Tent City being dismantled, but some inmates still housed in outdoor tents

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(Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
MARICOPA COUNTY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Tent City may be in the process of shutting down, but there are still hundreds of inmates housed in outdoor tents.

Authorities in Phoenix are trying to keep the 350 or so jail inmates still housed in outdoor tents cool despite the triple-digit heat.

[RELATED: Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone to shut down controversial 'Tent City']

[MORE: Last tent in Tent City torn down]

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office officials say the inmates are given unlimited access to ice water and iced towels.

They say the inmates' physical condition is monitored every hour around the clock.

[RELATED: Sheriff gives tour of soon-to-be dismantled Tent City]

Sunblock for inmates also is available for purchase from vending machines on site.

The barbed-wire-surrounded Tent City compound of military-style barracks tents and cots opened in August 1993 as a way of easing jail overcrowding in Arizona's most populous county.

[READ MORE: Sheriff Penzone unveils possible plan for Tent City during 100 days speech]

In a cost-cutting move, two of the three Tent City yards were dismantled over the past two months, with about 400 inmates relocated to indoor jail facilities.

“We deal with high temperatures frequently in Arizona,” explained Executive Chief of Detention Tracy Haggard. “We have prepared and executed this heat relief process many, many times. Inmates who may need medical care will be attended to by Correctional Health Services and Detention Officers will be attended to by MCSO medical staff.”

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