Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, said Penzone referring to Tent City as a circus was "insulting".
Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone announces that he's shutting down a complex of jail tents in Phoenix.
"Starting today, that circus ends", Penzone said.
In Arizona's Tent City Jail, "America's toughest sheriff" forced his inmates to wear pink underwear, shower with pink towels and sleep on pink sheets.
According to a statement released after the news conference's conclusion, an average of 700 to 800 inmates are detained at the facility in recent years, Meanwhile, Penzone said staffing levels have remained the same, as the number of inmates at Tent City fell. "Once you get those tents down, you will never get them up again because the city of Phoenix has to issue a permit-Do you think the city will issue a permit when half of the city council hates the tents?"
Tent City became known for its bad food, scorching summer days, and frigid winter nights. "It's not tough on criminals", Penzone said.
In November, the voters ousted Arpaio, a Republican, who faces trial for criminal contempt of court for ignoring a court order in a racial profiling case involving his notorious immigration patrols.
"Tent City was established to fill the demand for quick and low-priced beds, " former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods, who chaired the SPEAR committee said, according to the press release.
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Closing Tent City complex would undo a critical piece of Arpaio's six-term political legacy.
For Arpaio's critics, the tent city symbolized disregard for human rights and dignity. With its closure, the prisoners at Tent City will be moved to other MCSO jails.
During the news conference, Penzone said at least half of the people now detained at Tent City will be moved to secure facilities, within the first 45 to 60 days after the announcement Tuesday.
Arpaio posted a neon "vacancy" sign on an observation tower and another sign that said more than 500,000 people had spent time in the tents. We have five hard-walled detention centers waiting for you and your stay will not be a pleasant experience, " Penzone said in a news release.
Officials say economics drove the jail's closure.
"Closing Tent City doesn't mean you aren't going to jail in Maricopa County".
Arpaio, 84, already has been found in civil contempt, but prosecutors will have to prove that his defiance was willful to convict him, the website said.
"The days of Arizona being a place where people are humiliated or abused or ridiculed for the self-aggrandizing of others are over", Woods said.