Tent City's About to Turn 19, Which Means It's Time For Another Joe Arpaio Publicity Stunt -- Inspired By McDonald's

Tent City is turning 19 later this year, but Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is getting started early for the jail's annual birthday publicity stunt.

This time, Arpaio's putting up a sign outside the jail, displaying the total "Number of Inmates 'Served'" -- an idea stolen from what the sheriff's office identifies as the "world's most renowned fast food chain."

Of course, there's going to be an unveiling ceremony at the jail this afternoon, although we've gotten no indication that a Ronald McDonald impersonator will be present.

A press release from the sheriff's office says Arpaio admits "some may say the sign serves little purpose," but he swears there's a point in adding McDonald's-like decorations to a jail.

"[H]is point in erecting it is to underscore that Tent City remains an excellent facility to safely and cost effectively house inmates," the sheriff's office says.

Arpaio's been trying to establish that point for almost 19 years now, but apparently the McDonald's sign will do the trick.

The sign is intended to announce to jail visitors how many inmates have "successfully served time in Tent City," the sheriff's office says -- a number that is currently around 427,000.

One would assume that the number of inmates who did not "successfully" serve in Tent City would be subtracted from the total, like Phillip Wilson and Brian Crenshaw -- who both died after being severely beaten in the jail.

"Tent City is one of my proudest innovations," Arpaio says in the press release. "And has long been and still continues to be a model program throughout the entire nation as an economical, safe and successful way to house a growing inmate population."