PHOENIX - Inmates at Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Tent City are actually getting into trouble on purpose to escape the freezing temperatures overnight, they said.
“If you break the rules, they take you inside,” one inmate said.
On Monday night, there were roughly 1,000 men and women locked up in the outdoor jail facility near 27th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road. These inmates at Tent City have already been convicted of their crimes.
“It makes it to where I never want to come back here,” said Emily Stokes, an inmate.
Those words are exactly what Sheriff Arpaio wants to hear. “If you don’t like it, don’t commit a crime,” Arpaio told ABC15.
The jail opened in 1993, making these the coldest nights the jail’s ever seen.
Inmates are getting creative with the pink clothing provided to them, some wearing socks around their heads and towels around their neck.
“It gets really cold in the middle of the night,” said Eric Claxton, another inmate. Claxton uses extra mattresses to cover the edges of the tent, hoping to block out any wind.
“I have seven blankets,” Claxton said. “Normally, we’re only allowed to have five.”
The staff at Tent City has requested all available blankets from the other MCSO facilities, but currently, supplies are at their limit.
In addition to allowing extra blankets, the jail has also started serving broth with meals.
One sergeant told ABC15 that Tent City originally had heaters during the winter, but had to remove them when inmates tried to make weapons out of them.
Sheriff Arpaio points out that American troops have it worse than the inmates. “Our men and women are fighting for our country in cold weather,” he said. “The people in the tents have committed crimes, and I’m sure they can withstand a little cold weather.”
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Click on the region names in the map below to see news from that region.
Things To Do
INSIDE: View our list of events happening this week around the Valley.
RIGHT NOW: Top Stories
Walmart is speaking out, saying a man is banned from their San Tan Valley location because he threatened an employee.
This year, the Arizona Department of Education issued an F-rating for 11 public schools, five of which are charter schools.
Valley freezes are out of here and warmer air is on the way.
Eric Kim was one of more than 100,000 students to take the AP Calculus BC exam.
Mesa police say the mother's boyfriend has been arrested in the death of a 14-year-old girl whose body was found in a dumpster last week.
Nearly 2.5 million notices are being sent out, letting students and staff know that their personal information may have been compromised.