Heather Turner, KNXV-TV (Phoenix), June 29, 2009
Sheriff Joe Arpaio has ordered all Maricopa County jails to immediately be placed on lockdown after learning that inmates were planning racially motivated, large scale assaults, according to the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office on Monday.
The jails hold approximately 10,000 inmates, 44-percent are Hispanic, 37-percent are white, and 14-percent are black, MCSO said.
Over half of the Hispanic inmates are reportedly undocumented immigrants.
Sheriff’s SWAT units will be standing by ready to assist in case a disturbance breaks out at the jails, MCSO said.
Visitation, inmate phone calls, and all non-essential movement will be restricted until the Sheriff lifts the lockdown, MCSO said.
Inmates will only be able to leave their cells for court appearances, MCSO said. Approximately 800 inmates are transported each day for court appearances.