New Sheriff Closes Joe Arpaio’s Infamous ‘Tent City’ Jail
Penzone said at a news conference Tuesday that he’d carried out a “methodical review” of the facility and concluded it was unnecessary. Shuttering it will save the county some $4.5 million, he said.
“This facility is not a crime deterrent, it is not cost-efficient and it is not tough on criminals,” Penzone told reporters. “That may have been in the intent when it was first opened and there was a need. But this facility became more of a circus atmosphere for the general public. Starting today, that circus ends and these tents come down.”
The change marked another in Penzone’s efforts to roll back the policies of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an immigration hard-liner who targeted undocumented immigrants in the Phoenix area using tactics that repeatedly landed him in federal court for racial profiling. Arpaio lost last year’s election in a surprise defeat organized largely by Hispanic opponents.