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'Over 500,000 served' at Arpaio's tent city

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio “celebrated” the fact that his tent city jail, established 22 years ago, has now “served” half a million inmates.

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Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio “celebrated” the fact that his tent city jail, established 22 years ago, has now “served” half a million inmates.

The controversial sheriff issued a statement Tuesday and hung a sign on the tent city fence proclaiming “Over 500,000 served.”

“Half a million men and women have experienced incarceration at Tent City,” Arpaio said. “That’s a remarkable number considering many critics thought Tent City wouldn’t last. In fact, Tent City as a jail has lasted longer than brick and mortar facilities like the Madison Street Jail.”

The tent city jail was established by Arpaio in 1993 as a response to overcrowded jails, and since then has been criticized for hosting inmates in tents rain or shine and regardless of temperatures that range from 28 to 138 ºF depending on the season. 

Arpaio will face a trial later this month for not following a federal court order in a discrimination case agains Latino drivers.

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