Penzone to use now-closed Tent City for counseling programs

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Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone details plans for the now closed Tent City (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone details plans for the now closed Tent City (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Crews tore down the last tent standing in the jail on Wednesday, June 7, 2017. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Crews tore down the last tent standing in the jail on Wednesday, June 7, 2017. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Sheriff Paul Penzone says Friday that part of the now-closed Tent City jail complex will house substance-abuse counseling programs for inmates.

The counseling will take place in air-conditioned rooms where Tent City inmates went for relief from the heat.

[RAW VIDEO: MCSO expands opioid treatment at former Tent City facility]

Officials say the move will let more inmates seek counseling.

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

Some jail yards within Tent City will be used as recreation areas for the programs' participants.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Opioid crisis in Arizona]

Penzone is assessing what to do with the remaining Tent City yards.

[RELATED: Arpaio denounces plan to close Tent City]

Sheriff Joe Arpaio opened Tent City in 1993 to ease jail overcrowding.

Critics say it was a way for Arpaio to garner media attention and contributed to a culture of cruelty within his jails.

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

Penzone announced plans this spring to close Tent City.

[RELATED: Last tent in Tent City torn down]

The last inmates were moved out of the complex Saturday.

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