19 April 2001

No hockey arena? How about a tent city jail instead?

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is making the rounds on the local radio morning shows - Leibowitz yesterday, the John and Kim Arizona Sunrise show on KXAM, promoting his idea to turn the former Los Arcos mall site into a temporary "tent city" jail. Joe says that the location is ideal - right across the street from some nightclubs and pr0n shops - so the police won't have to travel very far to dump off drunk drivers and other miscreants after they've been arrested. Steve Ellman has offered to give the land to Arpaio.

Arpaio says that it is a great idea that would save taxpayers money and relieve jail overcrowding. Mary Manross, however, thinks it's a ridiculous plan and believes it just a vindictive move on the part of Ellman because of the failed negotiations over a new hockey arena for the Coyotes.

I didn't hear Sheriff Joe on Leibowitz yesterday, but I caught his interview with John Dayl and Kim Laurie this morning and I almost drove off the road when he said that he was responsible for pumping up tourism in the valley - and he discussed what a great tourist site the tent city jails make - past presidential candidates, foreign dignitaries, the national media all have descended down to Durango to see his marvel. Issues about looking at a bunch of tent jails on a busy street corner was brushed aside by Joe as he stated that the prisoners would erect and paint a big wooden wall to shield the public's view, and that only airplanes traveling overhead would be able to view the tents.

Only in Arizona ...


When I lived in AZ, I used to make drops at tent city at 12:15 am like every 3rd day. It is as easy to get stuff in as it is to be thrown in there anyway. Tent city has more addicts come out than go in. It is rediculous. Way to go sheriff joe, if a girl like me can beat their system, who cant?
I think it's really way to hott to have the innmates in Tent City. I just think thats wrong, the summers out here are so bad
I think putting inmates in tents is a great idea. And they should probably have more patrole outside to keep drugs out if it is so easy to get them in there. If they dont like the heat then they should not do the crime.
Sheriff: We're visiting AZ from WI and PA. We would like to get your autograph. How do we get in touch with you? We support you in ALL that you do!
i'm rick james, bitch!
I think this is a very odd idea. When i first heard of this jail i thought it was a joke. I mean yeah it being as hot as it is out there that is not sufficient living arangements for someone who has committed a crime. Im not saying give them the best living conditions cause they dont deserve it. But put them in a regular jail but with all the same stipulations. Prisoners shouldnt have an easy life.
It is bad enough to be in prison but green bologne is going way to far and also your collect call system $25. a call, no come on you have to give them as much bread as the other jails. Also it is way to hot in the summer time, the other jails have a/c so what is going on so bad to punish some more then others. I am a concered mother of a inmate that is in there.
What a ridiculous idea. Torture is not rehabilitation, and I'm surprised that the government allows it. I'm sick of hearing the phrase 'well don't do the crime if you can't do the time', but in my opinion this jail is an example of the increase of 'revenge-type thinking' and has no place in the justice system. You don't think that being removed from your family and friends, and having to work for no pay, and being locked up with dangerous people is not punishment enough? As for the easy access to drugs in tent city jail, lets remember that 75%+ of crime is drug related - this jail is actually increasing the potential for repeat offenders. I'm not defending criminal activity, but I am am able to see that there is a much bigger picture.
Congrats To Sheriff Joe,
I am a Corrections Officer In Arkansas and let me tell you, our inmates are treated like the POPE at our jail. You have always heard the phrase, the inmates have more rights than the citizens, I'm here to vouch, they do. I would be honered to have a sheriff like Joe in Arkansas, when the inmate can sue you for letting "ASS" come out of your mouth after you have taken a cussin like you were a DOG. something needs to change. Congrats Sheriff Joe on your tent city there needs to be alot more of them.
I think every jail should be like tent city, then maybe people would think twice before commiting a crime!!
Why not read up how someone dies in tent city because the summers get too damn hot out in the DESERT to be staying in a tent. You think tent city is saving money till you look at the legal fees and settlement of this case. Im all for prisioners having less just given to them, but they are still human beings and do not deserve to stay outside in 116 degree weather. A lot of people compare this to people serving in the military in the middle east. There is no comparision here; its comparing apples to oranges. Just because people who volutary sign up for serverice go through the same temperatures in tents, the conditions are much different. Putting people through cruel and unusual punishment may make them think twice about commiting a crime (even though a Arizona State University study says tent city is NOT having this effect), it is still against the right of EVERY american citizen not to be treated in this manner even if they have committed a crime.
I have a son who spent time in tent city and I am now not sure it did any good for him.But I believe that the sheriff is doing the best he can with the money he has and the people he must work with.The old saying do the crime,do the time.Where does it say anywhere you get to be housed like your in a hotel?There are children in Az who would like the food these prisoners get because they get none every nite,and they aren't commiting crimes,they are just poor.Buck up,take control of your life and do something postive with it and not get yourself in Tent City.
The thing that none of you realize is that in AZ it takes nothing to have to go to Jail. The cops here have all of the power and it isn't a system of being innocent until proven guilty it's a system of being guilty no matter what. There were three people who were in a traffic school that I went to that were three people there who went to Tent City for completely unjust reasons. 1. A girl called her mother for a ride from the bar, she was sitting her vehicle with the ignition off and her keys in her pocket waiting for her mom when she received a DUI. She hadn't ever started the vehicle because she was being responsible. 10 days in the tents. 2. A man moved his car from one sid3e of the drive way to the other so his wife ciuld pull her car out of the garage and drive them to dinner he never left his driveway parked the car and got a DUI for moving his vehicle so that his wife could drive. 10 days in the tents. 3. A lady took over the counter cold medicine. No alcohol or illegal drugs at all. She was pulled over for a tale light being out and got a DUI. 10 days in the tents. Before you commend the law enforcement in Maricopa county you need to know what you're talking about. You can get a DUI here with out driving or even drinking and it is an automatic trip to the tents. Think about how fair that is...
I have friend that has been in Tent City for almost 2v years. He has never been tried or convicted. They say they are still building a case against him. I don't know if he is guilty or innocent, but what ever happen to due process? If he is innocent, could they ever repay the debt of false imprisonment? I don't see that crime has dropped in the area. Here is someone with way too much power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
So what if someone does something illegal? Does that mean they should suffer? Some laws are very unjust. What about all the people sitting in those tents for smoking weed? Or for prostitution? Who says something is a crime, and deserves punishment?
Sheriff can you come up to Essex County Mass and clean up our ditry shriff and show him what a real sheriff can do.
I have worked there for 8 years and the inmates get treated better then we do.
"So what if someone does something illegal? Does that mean they should suffer?" HELL YES THEY SHOULD! They made someone else suffer!
What the hell are you liberals thinking?! Punch me in the nose and I am GOING to fight back to inflict pain on you and I would EXPECT the very same from you, if I was stupid enough to punch you in the nose.
Pull your heads out and come back to civilization!
When you take someone else's right away don't bitch when yours get taken away.
Jail is a very dangerous place, and people do not want to go there, but they are more likely not going to want to go to a prison that gets up to 140 degrees, eating nasty food, no TV, pink underware (haha), working on a chain gang like a dog on a leash, etc... I think it is a GREAT IDEA, and anyone who thinks different is probably an ex-con, relative of a con, currently in prison, or an idiot!!
I hope this system of TENT PRISONS spreads to other cities in the US (look at how bad the prisoners have it in other countries for GOD sakes).
my boyfriend just got out of tent city about 3 weeks ago and he says that people there smoke more weed than free ppl... i dont think tent city is such a bad idea.. but the whole pink underwear thing is ridiculous and humiliating
How can the critics call these tent cities inhumane? Our soldiers in Iraq have it far worse! To those of you who say the chain gangs in Maricopa County are barbaric- these programs are completely VOLUNTARY- get your facts straight! If the inmates don't want to work on the chain gang THEY DON'T HAVE TO. I only wish we could have a system like Sheriff Joe's up here in NY. Instead of complaining about the heat, let them complain about the cold!
I just dropped my boyfriend off at Tent City this morning and I am terrified for him. I heard there are hard-core drugs in there, like herion, which I have never even seen in real life and that they are everywhere. I don't understand how inmates get away with that without anyone knowing, or caring. I just hope that he comes out safely without being traumatized.
not a bad idea.
does anyone know where to find pics of the tent city?

i agree with several people above... put more patrol around the outside...
I am sick and tired of all of you bleeding hearts! If its ok for our boys in Iraq, its more than ok for our cons. Some say our military volenteer well the cons dont have a gun to their head telling them to be a criminal now do they???
I think Joe is just a jurk that likes to toot his own horn, I call it self centered. It just makes him feel good to have that kinda power over people.
I've seen some comments on here from people that are in support of Sheriff Joe and/or his tents. As a citizen of maricopa county, I am fully aware of Joe's tendency to exploit the law and the constitution in order to bolster his reputation. He has remained in office for this long in part due to his "old west" mentality that draws a high percentage of elderly votes.He uses a sort of a clan-type fundraising technique that attracts the same people who live in gated communities and are afraid of "what goes on out there." The money, combined with tax-payer money helps to pay off the 1000's of lawsuits brought against the county from people or families of people who have been injured or even died while serving time in tent city. The fact is, we are not punishing criminals in a way that is at all reciprocal to the crimes comitted. It is understandable that some violent criminals will only behave if they are motivated by fear, but what about those who are not violent? Should they too be haunted by concepts of inhumanity? Sheriff Joe is not only guilty of sins against humanity in his tent-city policy, but he has also been an underlying force in many other unconstitional (not to mention immoral) activities that will pop right up if you do a quick search on 'prostitution'...I'd go into further detail on that, but it sickens me to even think about it. Long story short, I'd encourage any supporters of 'the toughest sheriff in america' to take a look at the appaling headlines regarding his behavior. And one more thing...for anybody here that lives in maricopa county who is younger and has any sense of 'what goes on out there', please vote, and get rid of this monster.

p.s: take a look at this too...
p.s: to Chris & Nyer...Our soldiers in Irag may have to live in tents, but they're not getting raped, taking heroin or getting beaten with re-bar.
maybe abu ghraib would be a better example
I absolutely agree with Sheriff Joe. I think tent city is an awesome idea. Go Joe!!!!
If the criminals had not committed the crime they would not be locked up in the first place.Here is th definition for the ones who dont't know! involving, or having the nature of crime: criminal abuse.
Relating to the administration of penal law.
Guilty of crime.
Characteristic of a criminal.
Shameful; disgraceful: a criminal waste of talent.
One that has committed or been legally convicted of a crime.And to the liberal dems. Here why dont you house them with your families maybe you can rehabilitate them better there.
I must say that I full agree with Sheriff Joe. I am a mother of two, and if they EVER do a serious crime I HOPE they go to a jail like this one. What in the hell is wrong in our country when CRIMINALS are living better than WORKING families.
Ray, I absolutely agree with your post. Let the CHILD MOLESTERS and the MURDERERS move into your home if you feel so bad for them, what about the families of the child, or the person killed, what do they get?
Do I think someone who stole a car or something should go to a prison like this...no, not on the FIRST offense, but on the SECOND you're damn right. And well, rapists and murderers and all that, they should go here on a FIRST offense for LIFE.
I believe in a person can change, and I believe in SECOND chances, but if they didn't learn the lesson the FIRST time what makes you think they will learn it the second, or third time? If I was in Sheriff Joe's place these prisoners would have it a lot harder. I say put them all in a DESERT with a tent each, send a plane or helicopter or whatever to drop off SEEDS so they can grow their own food, make sure they have a clean water supply so they can bathe, cook, drink whatever, give them 3 changes of clothing each, and let them get after it. Build a HUGE wall around the place so they can not get out. They'll either kill each other or learn to get along, and maybe they'll think twice before selling drugs to a kid, or taking advantage of a person, or even taking someone's life.
Again I am a mother of two (so far), and I love my children more than anything, but damnit if they do the crime, they need to do the time AND NOT IN LUXURY. I say take away the cable TV, take away the A/C, take away the computers, take away the phones. Giving them luxuries than some who are INNOCENT can not afford is not helping the situation. Criminals get all of this FREE, and we wonder why we have repeat offenders? Hell, if I could have all of this without busting my ass for it, I would take the opportunity too.
I got an extreme DUI back in October of 05. I got an attorney, and he just informed me that I would have to plea guilty to get the other citations for my pullover dropped. I was following my boyfriend home after a few hours at the bar 2 mins from my house. I have to go to court next wednesday. I also know that I will have to spend 10 days in Tent City and I am terrified. Before my pullover, I had a perfect driving record, and never drove after having even one drink. I got pulled over for honking my horn at my boyfriend who was driving in front of me. So, I got pulled over for a noise ordinance, that in Phoenix is a reason for a cop to pull you over apparently. I am also 3 months pregnant with my first child and am very scared that being in a holding cell could subject me to any type of illness that could be carried by any other cellmate that I could be crammed into a barely breathable cell with. Why do first time offenders, who have otherwise had 0 trouble with the law, or previous tickets have to serve such a harsh punishment? I realize, I could be serving up to 30 days, but I fear mostly for my health. My lawyer is going to try to get me out on work release, and that means I will be able to leave for 12 hours a day. But with all the conditions that I hear about at tent city, I think it's dangerous and uncalled for to consider me in the same class as all the other criminals serving time at tent city. I didn't harm anyone, nor did I commit a crime against anyone else. For pete's sake, I was pulled over for HONKING MY HORN! More than likely I won't have to serve my time until April, according to my attorney, but being pregnant....I fear for my safety and the health of my unborn child.
My brother just went in to tent city for his only criminal offence , a DUI. He was sentenced to 10 days in ther and it is currently 115 degrees in PHX. He called me and told me that he saw people throwing packages of drugs over the fence and that the guards did nothing. He said that he was yelled at by a guard for getting his towell wet and putting it on his head to stay cool.He said that they have water coolers that they fill up every 4 or so hrs and that when they do get filled that the lines are soo long that the water is gone when you get there. I am all for a jail of tents and pink underware. But somthing needs to be done if drugs are being thrown over the fence and people are being deprived of water in 115 degrees. If we were to do that to terrorists in another country we would go to jail for crule and unusual punishment. Also if it is so easy to throw drugs over the fence then what keeps them from throwing wepons.... Somthing needs to be done!!!! Many of these people are in there for a DUI. Yes this is a stupid and dangerous crime, but many of you reading this have driven after a beer or too. Make it terribly boring, make the food discusting, make it uncomphortable, but make it safe!!!!
i think this tent city is awesome, too bad it only gets to a high of 120 or so.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio for President 2008!!
Joe Arpaio is crook, a phony a sideshow!
I used to suppoert him until I recieved a DUI a few months ago.
That is when I begain to learn the REAL truth about him!
I was at an Italian restraunt for dinner and had two glasses of wine with a very heavy Italian meal.I was there for 3 hours with a lot of family for my brothers birthday.
I was pulled over because one of my tail lights was out (unknown to me)
and he saw my husband was intoxicated and asked us how much we had to drink.
He decided to place me under arrest.
I had to give a blood test and it came back a .06
.08 is supposed to be the legal limit, but I guess it really doesnt matter.
I fell much below an .08
So anyway, I have to serve two days at tent city now.
I am a stay at home mother of two children under the age of 5, and now I am a criminal at Joe's joke tent city!
My first day is tomorrow morning, I hope I make it through okay.
Joe Arpaio is a Jail's Jailer! I read articles from time to time and think when he can't come up with enough to justly to inmates he does more! And the inmates deserve the absolute worst treatment than the crime is for. Our criminal system should be modelled completely by this so our tax dollars goe to do better things for our citizens and servicemen. You do the time here for the crime you commit you don't live highand mighty like ALL the other jails. Prison is so you dont come back from doing more wrong and have for a way of life. It is supposed to be the deterent for ALL other deterrents and keep you from doing the crimes again. Hearing about some inmates crying the blues about how this is harsh treament. By no means this kind of prison is but a taste of harsh treatment compared to the person(s) they have done harsh treatment to. And the inmates there deserve every bit of harsh treatment they get. How much inlin ejustcie can it be than that. Minimal tax dollars to function and no one who goes there likes it. Just the way prison is supposed to be. And no amenities! You don't go to jail for freedoms. They are to be taken away and Joe does exactly that. If there is any sympathy right to lifer or tree hugging right people out there that believe otherwise should be shot. I think what Sherif Joe is doing is what should be in this entire country! Stop ripping off the people to cushion the penal system. Keep it simple and just. The way Joe does it.
People complain about the finer points of our criminal system. The way criminals are treated in jail. The inmates get better treatment than the guards and so forth. Prison and jail time are for one reason only. You commited a crime and you pay for it. And if this man wants to see that is how its to be done than all the other jails and prisons have something WAY wrong with them. Sherif Joe can't be thanked enough by this society in the way he sees the jailing system. When our rights are violated or taken away because of someone doing the crime, so their right are to be taken away and made to suffer. This is as close to and Eye for an Eye as you can get and without taking advantage of one out of line instance, Sherif Joe gets the Eye for an Eye with the treatment he hands down to his prisoners. Those dirt bags and scum suckers in there deserve every bit of harsh enviromental treatments as they get! So you DONT DO IT AGAIN YOU MORONS! That is the point of his system. And his justice system for prison is the way all jails should be copied from. And if Joe wants to be anything outside of his JOB, he can just like any other average citizen. He is just doing his job and I like it!
From reading these posts, I can see that there are a lot of ignorant citizens out there talking about things they know nothing about. Anyone I have talked to that has experienced tent city says that the pink boxers do not bother them a bit. Considering everyone around you is wearing them....who cares. For all you know it alls that are "all for maximum punishment" you have no idea how it affect society long term. This type of punishment for petty crimes only makes people more angry when they get out in a few week, months, or years. You people will be the first ones to bitch when these angry tormented inmames attack one of your family members next. I believe in jail and prison because it is necessary, but tent city only makes the inmates more angry than they probably were before. How is that helping society? The sheriff is a control freak in my opinion and is only buying votes and praise from the ignorant people in the world. I have no personal stake in this and I do not know a single person in jail or prison, but if you all educate yourselves and read a little further about jail time you will be a bit more educated before running off with the mouth. It has been statisticaly proven that the death penalty does NOT deter those who are going to commit crimes. Since the death penalty became legal, there has not been a single decrease in crimes. This proves that it DOES NOT WORK. If the death penalty isn't a deterent, then why the hell would tent city be? You people need to THINK. I know a lot of people have no life and sit online all night looking for stuff like this to respond to. I live in AZ and I think tent city is b.s. All you advocates.....don't be mad when an ex-felon or ex-tent city visitor affects your life directly.
I agree that if you do the crime you should do the time BUT...If the average Joe/Jane goes out to dinner & has a few glasses of wine or out with friends and having a beer or two...should WE really be subjected to the conditions of the so called "Tent City??"
And to "Mike who believes in Sher Joe"...I hope that you are never invited out to an event where you are asked to participate in a celebration where a glass of wine or champagne might be offered cause your ass is gonna be in that so called "Jailers Jail" and you too will experience this "Harsh treatment" for yourself!!
Inmates at the Dickens County correctional Facility in Spur Texas recently had a non violent protest because they were demanding butter for their rolls and more cable channels to watch on TV. These inmates are from The Boise Dept of Correction from Idaho State.Texas has a contract to house the Idaho inmates for the next 2 years due to over crowding in their prison system. One of those inmates was convicted of molesting my son and received 1 life sentence for the crimes against my son (20 years to you and me). I would personally like to see him serving his time in the tent city with Sheriff Joe, than in Dickens County Facility. I would like to see more states BUCK UP to the plate just like Joe did for the tax payers in his state. I spoke with Bruce the victims coordinator out of Boise State Corr and he said that until they build a new prison in Idaho they have to farm out the inmates due to the over crowding. The inmate Ken Bennett should be grateful that Texas has a building to house criminals and he at least gets to use 18 grit sandpaper as toilet paper, because if he were TENT CITY I can bet they use even harsher stuff. I feel that all criminals DUI, Pot smoking and prostitution included are all crimes and illegal in MOST states so if you disapprove of the treatment received in the facility encourage your friends and loved ones to stay on the right side of the law.Hey IDAHO wake up, it's a great idea. They won't complain about the heat but I know it's pretty cold down there. I feel that the prison should be heald harmless and not allowed to seek damages of any kind in a lawsuit. THEY HAVE NO RIGHTS THAT'S WHY THEY'RE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. Think about it people. If I lived in AZ I'd vote 4 JOE! Keep up the great work!
Pam, sorry that happened to you. They dont put child molesters in tent city...its very minimum security.
Good Luck to you
My first offense ever and its a DUI. I'm serving my sentence this coming weekend and I'm really scared and don't really know what to expect. I just hope I survive through it all. All comments about tent city sound pretty harsh and I although I made my mistake to drive, I don't deserve any bad treatment I hear may be coming my way. Wish me luck!
good luck amanda, how long is your sentence?

i didn't know they sent 1st time offenders to jail.
My husband is going to tent city because his x wife lied about him. He is a good man who has only helped people. He has put 2 people through rehab and has sent 2 kids to college. He also has fixed up more then 20 homes out of his own pocket to help families with low incomes. His company donates money for breast cancer research, donor support, Soldiers in Iraq.... I do not think it is fair for an inocent person to have to suffer like that, who knows how many other people have been screwed by our justice system.
All you ppl who have never been to tent city are stupid and don't know what you're talking about! Everyone says what about the soldiers in Iraq?? Blah blah they get PAYED to be there. I got a DUI. yeah I was stupid and I learned my lesson. I havent even gone to tent city yet but let me tell you...anyone who gets a DUI has to pay a $1500 fine just to GO TO JAIL.(Im not talking about the DUI fine, it's literally called the fine to go to jail) So basically everyone who's in there for a DUI is paying the bills for tent city to stay open. That's exactly what the judge told me. SO since I payed $1500 bucks to get in there I think I at least deserve to have a portable AC unit in the tent. I dont care about the other bad conditions in there because I deserve it. But being in temperatures that hot is a HUGE health risk and liability. What I DUMB idea.
"should WE really be subjected to the conditions of the so called "Tent City??""

Yes.... yes you should. If you go out, have a couple of drinks, and are impaired to drive, which means you could kill someone, then you should face tent city. If that means you can't go to some party and have a drink... so be it! I was in a severe car accident because of a drunk driver, you will find no sympathy from me. Now, could I live with portable AC in the summer for tent city, sure! But either way... DUI is a dangerous and severe crime....

Cheers ;)
If you want less DUI's out there, vengeance isnt the way. The only way to minimize people drinking and driving, is to have a good public transportation system, which arizona doesnt have, and to give people multiple alcohol-related classes so this way they can help themselves if they have a problem, and so they can see what families have been through when losing a loved one, due to a drunk driver.
I have been to Iraq and to the tents and let me tell you if I had to choose between Iraq and the tents I would pick Iraq anyday. I went to the tents for 10 days for a DUI and it is amazing how inhumane people are treated in there. They constantly are running out of water in 120 degree heat. The guards do not treat you like a human being at all, there are rats everywhere. The food that they do give you is not fit for any living thing. I addmit that I made a mistake but that treatment was much much worse than livingin Iraq for 8 months. Sheriff Joe is one of the worst criminals in AZ and should be locked up for life. But I wouldnt wanthim to go to his tents here because nobody should have to.
I've been to the tents and I can tell you first hand that the conditions are absolutely horrid in there. There is about five maybe six guards for the whole population I estimate to be at 2 to 2500 inmates which include violent gangs. Now how is that safe? Could some of these right-wing fascists who support Joe Arpaio explain to me why I'm subjected to such a dangerous envirmonment for my unexcusable crime of having A BEER with dinner and driving home? They blindly support this monster who abuses his position of power to his benefit, namely massive nationwide publicity. Maybe they should come check out the tents for themselves and see what a fantastic idea it was to create it. Maybe then they'll realize that not all criminals are the scum they think they are and support a change in the way our "black and white" justice system (if you could call it justice) metes out punishment. Upgrade to color.
Joe Arpaio is a damn fool. He can't even drive a Crown Vic without parking it on top of a boulder in the landscaping around a parking lot. (He blamed it on the car of course.) Just listening to him in an interview gives one the sense that he is in the early stages of senility. He is unfit for his job. DOWN WITH SHERIFF JOE!
I believe tent city prisons are an excellent idea. They save massive amounts of tax payers money, I mean why should we pay for the comfort of criminals? I know I wouldn't want to, given a choice. It also helps with overpopulation within prisons and I do believe they wouldn't put anyone insanely dangerous in these type of prisons. I don't necessarily agree on sending people to them though if they only offended once. And do I necessarily agree with the way he *runs* them? No, not at all.

I live in Las Vegas, NV and the current candidate running for Sheriff proposed these so I think that people are hugely against it are in for a surprise. There is probably going to be more of these type of prisons in the future all around.
Tent City is not a good idea. The punishment should fit the crime and that is not the case. Arizona has one of the toughest DUI laws in the country. There are a lot of people that get a DUI and go to Tent City. I am sure that many peoples opinion of Tent City would change if they actually saw how it was being run or if they had someone that they loved go there. You can label the inmates at tent city as “criminals” but most of the people there are not hardened criminals. They made a mistake like everyone does. So you have to ask yourself this; if you or someone that you love was going to Tent City would you still think that Sheriff Joe was a stand up guy. No, I am 100% sure that you would not. We do not torture people here is America why should Tent City be any different. So before you write how great of a guy you think Sheriff Joe is you need to do a little research on find out what you are talking about.
At First I thought that it was a wonderful Idea to put inmates in tents. An Idea always seems great, until you see first hand the reprocussions. I thought, "that'll teach 'em!" and then I knew someone that went to tent city. He was just a kid, only 19, college education, he was so bright! and what crime did he commit? DUI. before he went there, he was clean and hadnt touched a drug or got in a fight. He came out, suddenly a heroin addict and had been beaten up many times. He lost his job because of the DUI and no decent girl wants to date him because he has been to jail. So, I thought, maybe there are some issues with the system that need to be worked out. Then my boyfriend got a DUI. Just being a good samariton, He went to pick up his friends from a bar who were too drunk to drive, he had one beer, HOURS earlier and had eaten a full meal with it, but it was on his breath. He pulled out of the bar and was pulled over by one of sherrif joe's deputies, just because he looked suspicious! They tested him and because he didnt walk literally "heel to toe" (even though it was a straight line) he got a DUI. He had to go to tent city. The food made him sick every day, and he froze at night. The air smelled of dead animals that were laying all around them. He was offered drugs and approached by gangs. And with very little security, he was afraid. So it made me think! Should sherrif joe be allowed to appoint his own deputies? It seems to me they feel as though they are above the law because they are joe's friends. Should DUI's be treated so extreme? Of course driving drunk with kids or extremely over the limit may deserve jail time, but just barely over the limit, i think it should result in fines, these people should not be treated as inmates. Does tent city save tax money? NO! because joe puts everyone and thier brother in jail, we actually spend more! Finally, should sherrif joe be allowed to make inmates sleep outside? in tents? with flimsy blankets and dead animals? And nothing but the clothes they came in with? From the stories Ive heard, it just seems inhumane and that joe just wants to be in control and is power hungery!
I believe that there has to be some middle ground here. As a former inmate of the California Institutions, I feel that if I would have had it rougher as an inmate I would of stopped all the petty crap in my life that kept landing me in jail. I think that maybe if this plan of tent city was thought out a little better they would have better results. If you commit a crime why should you be able to go to jail and have the same if not better comforts as you do at home. People at the county level would sit around and talk about the crime they would commit when they got out of jail this time so the next time they would get state time better yet federal time. Is this what we want our prisioners to learn from incarceration? What's the best crime to get a better jail sentence? No they should be learning that they have committed a crime and it is PUNISHABLE. Make them work for anything they get. It shouldn't be another free ride. Jail should not be the place to get rested. Liked I use to think. Oh going to jail, Vacation time. So although I may not agree with all of the tent city ways. I do agree with making it less comfortable for prisioners.
There are a lot of judgemental people out there. In my opinion, Tent City is a gross abuse of power.
I got an extreme DUI and went to tent city for 10 days in the middle of December. Temperatures at night got down to the middle 30s and everyone around me got sick. They used to have heaters, but since some people used to toast bread on them, they got rid of them. So we would have to use about 10 blankets...you felt like you were in a mummy suit. There were no doors on the bathroom stalls so you had to go in front of everyone. It was hell. I am a professional female who works her ass off but happened to have a few drinks at dinner. I made a mistake but having to pay huge fines, along with the fact that Joe makes you pay $70/night that you are in the jail (like the Holiday Inn!), go to 54 hours of classes, and get the Interlock device on my car. I agree with the fines, classes and Interlock device, but 10 days in jail is over the top.
Will you now be more careful about driving under the influence? I hope so, drunk drivers can kill innocent people, and we do what we have to to try to keep drunk drivers off the road.
Its a tough problem and it requires a tough punishment. I do agree with you about having no heaters though. That seems terribly cruel to me too, but to lose your baby because of a drunk driver is FAR WORSE!!! Sounds to me that you will never drive under the influence again, because you will never want to spend 10 days in jail because you were so miserable, but those that have lost loved ones will never be through suffering, no matter how long they live. HOw about those that have lost the ability to walk because of a drunk driver? Thousands of people are messed up for life and they were innocent, they now have to be dependent for the rest of their lives on caretakers. Count your blessings, you are a very lucky person.
take away the rights of others by doing stupid things like driving drunk and you loose your rights,Tent City should be the BEST thet get.
To comment #38-when you drive drunk you take a chance on killint someone because you can not controll your self,
does someone have to die for you to want to punish a drunk or some nice person that only had a couple and only had a buzz and wasn't completely out of it to kill some one? you idiot
Well, I too got a DUI and I am going to probably be spending some time in the Hanoi Hilton. What you don't learn about the law is, they can cite you for a DUI even if you BAC is lower than .08 as Arizona is a zero-tolerance state. Now, I understand harsh jail time for someone who has been involved in an accident or is a constant offender. But most DUI's are committed by people who aren't heavy drinkers and had a few drinks. If there were no aggravating factors involved, an accident, a chase or resisting arrest, I would say that the court should have lee-way on sentencing. But they don't. The real reason for the heavy fines and jail time is for money. DUI's are a cash cow for the state of Arizona since there are so many first time offenders. If anything, they should have 1st time offenders under house arrest with an ankle bracelet to monitor them. Putting people in jail for a first time offense does nothing more than screw up their lives and their families, especially if they are a mother or the breadwinner of the family.
to the dumba** who said that anyone having sympathy for the inmates in tent city has to be an ex-con, relative of an inmate or an idiot....i have something to say....i am none of those above... i am simply HUMAN. i am a law abiding citizen, medical student and mother. i would understand a punishment of such intensity for someone responsible of a genocide or something around there but for things as stupid as traffic infractions.... give me a break!!!! it outrages me that there are people actually applauding sheriff joe. what he is doing with these people is downright cruel....he claims to be a man of law yet in treating people like that he is violating americans' constitutional rights. whatever happened to no cruel and/or unusual punishments. oh and the due process....yea i think that flew out the window too. criminals are people too, now please tell me why more money is being spent on food for the canines than for the inmates. supposedly the sheriff is saving money, but then he has to spend even more on all the civil lawsuits from prisioners dying because of inhumane living conditions.personally, i think that the inmates should be taken more into consideration...especially in the 120 degree arizona weather that most of us can't handle even with the a/c on....as of for sherrif Arpaio and his followers, i think that they should spend at least 6 months in tent city and then come out and tell the world that they think "it is an awesome idea and that all jails should be like tent city"
I am a professional who is currently on work-release and just served the weekend in tent city. The experience is horrific and truly unforgettable. I am in there with nurses, teachers, pharmacists, etc...all of whom are first time DUI offenders. In these instances, the punishments do not fit the crimes. Trust us, the lesson was learned the minute we were arrested and the shame and humiliation felt throughout this lengthy process is indescribable. The food is unedible and the temperatures are erratic. Being in the tents is paradise compared to the chain ganging and 24 hours in "the tank".
In response to Karen in #38 - The death penalty doesn't deter crime because if you're sentenced to death you stay on death row forever. If the criminals were actually punished; like in Iraq, after found guilty, the penalty must be carried out within 30 days - crime would go down rather dramatically. We find that repeat offinders make up a large percentage of our jail inmates. If the "three strikes" rule were enforced in lesser crimes - (3 strikes equals termination of life), we would be rid of the nuisance to society. Don't you think this would solve the over crowding problem?

People should know what's right and what's not. If you break the law you should face the consequences. If the crimes are still being comitted, then the consequences aren't severe enough.

We as a nation need to get our priorities straight. Taxes wouldn't be so burdensome if the government was more efficient. Why does it cost so much to build a prison? Sheriff Joe has eleminated that problem. Why are there so many criminals? The consequence of crime is not severe enough. The moment you commit a crime is the moment you forfiet your rights. If we taught the ten commandments in school and lived by them for the rest of our lives, wouldn't we be a happier people?

We don't live in a perfect world yet, so we have to make due and work with what we have. It sounds to me as if Sheriff Joe is doing exactly that! If you don't want to spend time in his "tent-city" style jail, then don't get arrested in his county.
Arizona has a vehicle theft rate 3 times the national average. I lived in L.A. for 30 years and never had a one stolen until I moved to AZ. And I never got it back! It took me 5 years to pay for it.

I hope all you Joe Blow worshipers get your car stolen! This stupid thing with the tent dont mean a thing!
I got arrested 5 times for DUI from the age of 16 to 22 from 1976 to 1982.
Never hit anything and no one got hurt.
I have been a truck driver for the last 19 years and quit drinking all together 4 years ago. No 12 step no religon, Just flat out quit 07 17 03.

I thinks its a joke that grown professionals like pharmacists and nurses could be so stupid do drive drunk. Part of the problem is bringing alcohol into their social lives in the firt place. Hey did you have a drink while having fun when you were a kid ? Then why now ? Botttom line is this. The root of the DUI is the persons belief that drinking alcohol is a good thing in the first place.

They can outlaw it for all I care. Infact in my home town of Peoria Az we got no liquor stores! I lived in Huntington Beach Calif. for 15 years and HB has a lot of alcohol related problems everyday. They even had a real roit on the news. I was there when it happened on the 4th of July. It was ALL ALCOHOL RELATED! They should outlaw beer commercials on TV just like they did with the cigarettes.

Even if you dont have a problem with booze it's guaranteed somebody you know does! Get rid of the crap or at least stay away from it and you probably wont have a problem with it.
I went to Tent City for 10 days just for a basically a joint. Fun times. Was there almost a year ago today and it was literal hell. I didn't care about the pink underwear and socks, but the food was literally unedible with uncontrollable shivering all throughout the night considering it's around 30 degrees. I'm all for treating inmates a lot less favorable then they can ever be treated on the outside---sure. But I feel Arpaio oversteps his boundries. He makes a name out of other peoples humiliation, pain and anguish. Missing Christmas and New Year's with my family for having a joint in my pocket just doesn't seem right---considering I shared a tent with some guy bragging about being a drug dealer and a "professional rapist". I can't wait until Arpaio is out of office.
I was not looking to comment (( I was looking for the link to put troubled teens in to tent city for a weekend!)) but after reading a few of the posts I had to. I had a dear friend of mine that was addicted to Meth a few years ago and he got caught finally and he HATED the tents this was not his FIRST visit there **sometimes people are ignorant and want to learn the HARD way** but if he did not get it right he was going to Prison and would have a serious record to deal with. EVERYONE I talked to in the tents HATED it and said it was THE BEST thing for them because THEY CHOSE to commit a crime and now they HAD TO PAY~ I voted for the Sheriff every year and I will again.. I just wish it was bigger so more could be put in there. Sad to say that most would rather be in prison than to go to one of Sheriff Joe's facilities! What does it say about out Prisons?? they are too soft? IDK..
BTW my friend~ HE DID see what this was .. an opportunity to change his life and quit being a baby pointing figers at this and that and making excuses for his mistakes.. HE IS CLEAN now 3 years and has a good life.. he played the addict game for 7 years and now he has a real life and jail time is just something in the past. ##oh and you above POT IS ILLEGAL## do the crime DO THE TIME ~
My son recieved an extreme DUI last week. he also had a small amount of marijuana on him. His first court appearance is tommorrow. He wasn't driving when arrested. He was asleep in a parking lot. Will he have to go to Tent City?
i thing it is okay to have tent city becaouse the people there are ther have done things they shut'nt have done i dont care ! they can maby learn sometings becaouse they are there!!!!!:P
Hell is real and it's hot. Much hotter
then Arizona summer heat.You can learn a lesson here, tent city as cruel as it is,there you can still-finnish your sentence and get out. Once you are in hell its for ever and in all that heat and demonic torture, in there you wont it all to come to an end, but you just can't die.In tent city you still have your life, and Gods mercy is upon you.Tent city is not forever but hell is. If you dont want to go there repeant of your sins and follow Jesus, it's not too late.Bless you.
"Don't do the crime if you can't do the time." Can we please come up with something new, this is played. I find it absolutely shamefull what some of you write on this post in regard to the people who have or will have to serve time in "tent city." These are not hardened criminals who prey on innocent lives. Although i will agree to the fact that drinking while driving has its consequences and can destroy the life of another. I also have no sympathy for those who have broken this law. But what about those, including myself, who played by the rules. Decided to get a designated driver or elected not to drive at all. whereas in my case, i was out with some of my friends who had flown in from germany. My girlfriend was my designated driver. Unfortunately she succommed to peer pressure and drank a little with my friends at the close of the night. When she finally confessed this to me me, we were walking toward our vehicle. i decided that her driving wouldn't be in our best interest. it was a low thirty degrees outside so we climbed into the car and layed back to discuss and laugh about the nights events. At around three oclock in the morning a random patrol car surfaced in the parking lot and cited me for a dui for having the keys in my pocket. There is something called physical control laws in this state that make you liable for DUI regardless if any vehicle was in operation at the time. I will be serving in tent city for 15 days beginning tomorrow at 6am. I would never put any innocent life in danger. I have never been accused or have ever broken the law of a state that has welcomed me and my family with open arms. Punishment on this level doesn't teach us anything, only that law abiding citizens aren't safe either in this system. I'm not sorry for what i did, when was the last time someone died from being hit by a parked car. How dare some of you wish ill and immoral will on "everyone" in this jail. Don't lump us all in together. Be specific please. We're not all in here for a reason, some of us were in the wrong place at the wrong time. you got that #34, your mentality is probably a lot scarier then those i will be sharing time with.
Wow after reading this entire page of comments I have mixed feelings. I still feel strong that these are real life criminals. They should be treated as such. We as tax payers. Need to invest our hard earned money. On people who deserve it. I think the American people need to see how the other prisons are ran and all the priveliges they get for WHAT !! Killing there own family members. Because they want the Insurance money. Or killing there own child because they would'nt stop crying.I relize the living conditions are harsh. They're still here while others have lost there loved ones because of this Scum in todays socity. Wake up America and see this world is going to Hell fast. The crimmals are doing their time, getting out,just to commit another crime. Lifting weights is just making stronger criminals. Why should they go to college in jail, when some hard working tax payer is paying their way and not able to go to college themselves. I am all for tent city, how it's ran and what he does, and can only pray that our "Politicaly Correct" nation would start endorcing more tent city prisons, to put a stop to habitual criminals. When these criminals get out, I am sure they do not want to go back.Take a good look @ one crimal Charlie Manson for instance all his life from one reform school to the next. State to State jails and prisons. Has all that made him a better person all the Psychiatrist. No but Socity is paying his way thru life for killing how many people. GO JOE!!! They don't deserse anything but what you gave them. As for are military there in full gear in the heat risking their lives for OUR freedom. What have your crimals done for socity. NOTHING !!!! So enjoy Tent City you deserve to be there. So do your time.I would vote him in if I lived in Az.
Bleeding Hearts...Criminals are criminals, 1st time or tenth, it doesn't matter they are still criminals. I wish there was a Sheriff Joe in every county in the U.S. and then maybe we could get control of our own country. Every one is so worried about political correctness, and every one elses back yard, Lets tend to our own..God bless you Joe and keep up the Great work.
Go Joe!!! For years I have complained about the prison system and how good the prisoners have it. Not only do the crime, pay the time but pay the time hard. Citizens end up paying too, in taxes and we are fed up!!! Chain gangs should be brought back and prisoners should live in tents and they should eat bologna sandwiches. I passed a chain gang one time in my life and it felt good knowing they have to work while doing their time. At least the tax payers are getting something back. The prisoners need to shut their mouths and stop crying because someone cursed at them or actually sprayed them with spit when yelling. Do you really think they worried about cursing or yelling or spraying spit when they were raping that woman or shooting the teller or whatever crime they committed. Do you really think their etiquette was the first thing on their minds? No or they would have rethought the crime. We need Joe everywhere.
I've read a lot of posts on this page and my opinion still stands. As for all you bleeding heart liberals, tent city is a great idea. As for all you right wing extremists who say the law is the law. You're right. We have laws to protect us from cruel and unusual punishment. Extreme temperatures, boredom, tough living and hard work are fine. Prisons are too soft. But prisoners are not. If I'm having a beer at home and go out to my car to get something I don't deserve to be raped in the ass and beaten for 10 days because of an unbalanced legal system. They don't just make them wear pink for humiliation. When you're in there, you're a woman. My other complaint is nutrition and hydration. Rice and beans cost as much or less than bologna sandwiches. It doesn't spoil and it's healthier for you. Even the worst criminal doesn't deserve to have chronic digestive problems, decaying health and reduced immunity from a lack of proper nutrition. And they shouldn't have to wait in line to get water in the desert. Our troops may have it pretty bad but they have good nutrition and are kept hydrated. Tent city is a great place. They just need a system of checks and balances and 2 guards for every tent.

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