PHOENIX — Maricopa County’s infamous outdoor jail has been officially shut down.
The Arizona Republic (http://bit.ly/2y4YN3D ) reports that Tent City’s remaining inmates were taken from the 7-acre compound in southwest Phoenix late Saturday and checked into the county’s Durango Jail a few blocks away.
County Sheriff Paul Penzone announced in April that he was closing the complex of jail tents that helped make his predecessor, Joe Arpaio, a national law enforcement figure.
Arpaio opened Tent City in August 1993 as a way of easing jail overcrowding.
The barbed-wire-surrounded compound was part of a broader campaign by Arpaio to enact get-tough measures in his jails such as banning cigarettes, creating inmate chain gangs and dressing them in old-time striped prison uniforms.
Closing Tent City reportedly will save the county about $4.5 million annually.
Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com