Well, it's said that there are two sides to every story, so here's the other side to Sheriff Joe Arpaio's claim that the Sheriff's Office is taking steps to keep the inmates warm in Tent City.
Less than half an hour after we posted our blog, passing along the message from the Sheriff's Office, an inmate phoned up New Times to tell us that it's "total bullshit."
The inmate, who just wanted to go by "John," is on work-release, so he gave us a call before he's due back to the jail tonight.
He claimed that the people in the work-release section are getting two blankets, and no access to the day room, which contradicts the claims from the Sheriff's Office.
Arpaio's press release said he "would like families and friends of inmates incarcerated in Tent City to know that their loved ones will be fine, despite the low temperatures.
Inmates have access to an unlimited amount of blankets, 24-hour access to the heated day room, and hot chicken broth is being added to the evening meal for an "added touch," the press release said.
"We get basically nothing," John tells us.
He says they do have access to a laundry room, and guys will toss a quarter into the dryer, and huddle around it an an attempt to keep warm -- which kind of works.
John says it's been cold in there for a few weeks now, and said he wouldn't be surprised if 60-year-old Arthur Madril -- the Tent City inmate who died in the work-release section of the jail last weekend -- died from hypothermia. There's been no word on an official cause of death, but the Sheriff's Office reportedly said it looked like he died from cardiac arrest, brought on by "natural causes." John says he had seen Madril that weekend, and wasn't sleeping too far from him.
"He wasn't complaining about [the cold], but the guy's 62 years old," John tells us.
John told us he'll call us back when he's out, to see if anything changes. He doubts it.
"It's a nightmare in there," he says.
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