Penzone Proposes Using 'Tent City' for Animal Program

May 17, 2017

Sheriff Paul Penzone says he's pursuing the option of turning a complex of jail tents into a detention space where inmates would work with shelter animals in a bid to teach prisoners compassion and discourage them from committing future crimes.

Maricopa County's Tent City jail

Penzone provided an update Wednesday on his planned closure of "Tent City" during a speech highlighting his first 100 days in office.

Six weeks ago, Penzone announced he would close the tents that helped make his predecessor, Joe Arpaio, a national law enforcement figure.

Since 2000, the sheriff's office has operated a unit that serves as a no-kill shelter for abused animals and lets some inmates care for pets in a bid to encourage personal responsibility.

The option being pursued by Penzone would be part of that program.