Location: (Map It)
2939 W. Durango Street
Phoenix, AZ 85009
The Tents Jail was begun in 1993 when Sheriff Joe Arpaio was able to
obtain some surplus military tents. These tents were set up in an area
adjacent to one of the existing Maricopa County Jails in Phoenix,
Arizona. Sheriff Arpaio had previously decided that he would not
release any inmates due to jail overcrowding, and housing sentenced
inmates in the tents seemed a good solution. Funding for the project
was minimal, and included the cost for cement necessary for base pads,
secure fencing, and electric costs for heating, cooling and lights.
The Tents Jail can currently hold up to 2,126 inmates.
Sheriff Arpaio has added a few improvements at the Tents Jail,
including four Sky Watch Towers for security, stun fences around the
perimeter, and facial recognition computer software for inmate
identification. K-9 units and patrol deputies have been added for
additional security. The Classification Unit conducts background checks
on inmates before they are housed in the tents, so that dangerous or
predatory individuals are not placed there.
Scheduling tours: Group tours of the internationally famous Tents
Jail can be scheduled in advance by calling: (602) 876-5551. Adults
only (ages 18 and over. Please provide full names and dates of birth when calling to schedule the tour)
- Tours will be conducted by Tents jail staff
- Group size: up to 5 adults, no tour buses
- Time and date availability to be determined by Tents Jail Administration
- Dress standards apply. (Business casual is appropriate.)
- Other guidelines/requirements may be established by Tents Jail Administration.
- Groups wishing to purchase Sheriffs’ related items at Enforcement
Support please contact (602) 876-1000 ask for a transfer to Enforcement
Support to get prior approval.
Please see the "Frequently
Asked Questions" (FAQ) pages for more information about visitation
hours/rules, regulation and rules about inmate mail, and other questions related to the Tents Jail.