Female Chain Gang


Maricopa County Female Chain Gang – Images by Pat Shannahan

One of the programs Maricopa COunty Sheriff Joe Arpaio is known for is the female chain gang. The chain gang is made up from inmates who have been sent from Tent City to Estrella Jail for discipline problems. At Estrella Jail the inmates are locked down fro 23-hours-a-day. If they volunteer for the chain gang they can earn their way back to Tent City, where inmates have a lot more freedom. Each chain has five inmates attached to each other. They must work together to complete the most basic tasks. The chain gang is responsible for cleaning up roadsides and burying the county’s unclaimed bodies in the White Tanks Cemetery.

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