Tent City Jail


Tent City Jail

Jail Location:

2939 W. Durango Street
Phoenix, AZ 85009
(602) 876-5551

The Tents Jail is a 2,000 inmate outdoor facility that was created 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; placing 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.

Over the years, a few improvements at the Tents Jail have been made, including two 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.

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Jail Index:

Inmate Inquiry:

The Tent City Inmate Inquiry is provided as a free service to prospective clients actively seeking bail. This Inquiry is not for the purpose of updating you on an inmate’s release status or for individuals just curious about an inmate’s bail or charges. For those of you that need release status of an inmate, please call the SIMS HOTLINE at (602) 876-0322.

Tent City Jail Inmate Inquiry Form

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    Call: (602) 258-4488

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Tent City Jail Visitation

Visitation Hours/Days

Before scheduling visitation with an inmate, confirm that the inmate is still located in the Tents Jail; call the Sheriff’s Information Management Services (SIMS) at 602-876-0322. Visitation is generally held between the hours of 8:00am – 1:30pm; visitation restrictions may be in effect and schedules are subject to change. Tents Jail is really two separate jails; In-Tents and Con-Tents. In-Tents is for inmates that have been sentenced and are doing straight time, whereas Con-Tents is for inmates that are sentenced but are on work release or work furlough. Inmates on work release/furlough are not allowed visitation. Visitation for In-Tents inmates is conducted via video monitor and telephone. Call the Tents Jail information line at 602-876-5551 for up to date visitation times.

Visitation Procedures

You must fill out a Visitation Form, available in the lobby of each jail. You must know the formal first and last name of the inmate. Visitations are limited to 2-3 visitors at once, depending on age. Inmates are allowed three thirty-minute visits per seven-day period.


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Placing Money on Inmate Books

Money mailed to inmates may be in an envelope addressed to the jail and must state the inmates name and booking number. “FOR DEPOSIT ONLY” must be clearly marked on the outside of the envelope, and be sure to include the “Return Address” on the mailing envelope.

Money may be placed on an inmate’s “money account” by mailing to the jail a Cashiers Check (official check), or U.S. Postal or Western Union money order with the inmates’ name and booking number. Also acceptable are checks payable in U. S. funds issued by local, state, and federal government agencies, or by privately run jails or prisons, which are payable to the inmate. The full amount of the check must be deposited to the inmate’s fund account. Do NOT mail cash.

A person may also place money on an inmate’s “money account” books by presenting U.S. Currency, Cashiers Check (official check), or a U.S. Postal or Western Union money order with the inmates’ name and booking number to the visitation officer during the regular visiting hours. The person needs proper and current identification. Inmate funds are accepted at any Sheriff’s Office jail for deposit, or visitors may also use the touch pay kiosks located in the jail visitation lobbies. Wet, soiled, or altered forms of money will be rejected.

After visitation hours, you may deposit monies at the Bonds and Fines public window located at the 4th Avenue Jail, 201 S. 4th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85003.

During the time the window at Bond and Fines is closed, you may also use one of the touch pay kiosk systems locating in various jail locations, or via the telephone at 1-866-355-9593 or via the internet at www.touchpaydirect.com or https://maricopa.touchpaydirect.net. You must provide the inmates name and MCSO booking number. Touchpay kiosks currently accept Visa/Mastercard and funds are usually posted within 1 hour to the inmate’s account. There is a fee for this service.

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