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Sheriff Ends Courtesy Holds For ICE In MCSO Jails

(Photo by Jimmy Jenkins)
Sheriff Paul Penzone addresses reporters late Friday night regarding a policy change for handling immigration detainees

Sheriff Paul Penzone said he was notified by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office on Friday that is was necessary to make changes to the current practice of courtesy holds for immigration violations on behalf of federal agents.

Penzone said the threat of litigation and prior court rulings addressing civil detention of immigration violators requires clarification.

So effective immediately, MCSO will change its detention policy.

“Once our office is advised there is no further authority under state or federal law to detain an individual, we will notify ICE we are following our legal obligation to process the individual for release,” Penzone said.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement will still have the opportunity to take custody. The Sheriff said ICE will maintain its presence in Maricopa County Jails and continue to interview all detainees booked by MCSO.

A spokesperson for the Maricopa County Attorney’s office was unaware of the policy change and had no information about pertinent litigation as of Friday night.

The Sheriff’s Office did not provide details on how many current detainees would be affected.

Jimmy Jenkins was a producer and senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2021.