Sheriff Joe Arpaio celebrates Tent City's 21st anniversary Sunday with young inmates

PHOENIX - Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is celebrating Tent City's latest milestone in an interesting way Sunday.

Tent City, the controversial outdoor jail in Phoenix, turns 21 years old Sunday after opening on August 3, 1993.

According to the sheriff's office, when the jail first opened, many expected it to close due to weather-related problems, illnesses and security issues that come with being outside in Arizona.

Though the expected closure never happened, Tent City is still a cause for concern for some who think conditions are inhumane. Either way, Sheriff Arpaio is celebrating the 21-year mark.

Cake and Gatorade will be served Sunday to more than a dozen inmates who celebrated their 21st birthdays this year and also to celebrate the jail's "birthday."

The celebration took place in a special tent at noon, the same time the jail originally opened, MCSO says.

The sheriff has been known to treat inmates at the jail with cold treats on particularly hot summer days .

Nearly 1,000 inmates populate Sheriff Arpaio's famous jail where coffee, R-rated movies, pornography and cigarettes are banned and inmates wear pink undergarments.

 

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