Infamous outdoor jail in Arizona's biggest county shut down

Maricopa County's infamous outdoor jail has been officially shut down.

The Arizona Republic reports that Tent City's remaining inmates were taken from the 7-acre compound in southwest Phoenix late Saturday and checked into the county's Durango Jail a few blocks away.

County Sheriff Paul Penzone announced in April that he was closing the complex of jail tents that helped make his predecessor, Joe Arpaio, a national law enforcement figure.

Arpaio opened Tent City in August 1993 as a way of easing jail overcrowding.

The barbed-wire-surrounded compound was part of a broader campaign by Arpaio to enact get-tough measures in his jails such as banning cigarettes, creating inmate chain gangs and dressing them in old-time striped prison uniforms.

Closing Tent City reportedly will save the county about $4.5 million annually.

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Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com