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MCSO Closes Durango Jail, Moves Inmates To New Saguaro Jail

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has closed the Durango Jail near Durango Street and 35th Avenue in Phoenix.  Plans to transition out of the facility had been pushed back by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new Saguaro Jail, at 28th Avenue and Watkins Street, was constructed to replace the Durango Jail and serve as the new intake, transfer and release center for the Sheriff’s Office.

While the intake center is not yet open, the Sheriff’s Office says 750 inmates from the Durango jail were recently moved into the new Saguaro jail.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Bryant Vanegas says the new jail utilizes a direct supervision model that incentivizes good behavior among inmates.

“The officer is now inside the housing unit with the inmates the majority of their shift," Vanegas said. "They get a break, but at all other times they are in there interacting with the inmates and that’s really the goal.”

Vanegas says the new facility holds up to 1,600 inmates. He said there is no plan as of yet for the Durango Jail building and grounds.

Jimmy Jenkins is a senior field correspondent at KJZZ and a contributor to NPR’s Election 2020 and Criminal Justice station collaborations. His work has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here and Now, The Takeaway and NPR Newscasts.Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, Jenkins has a B.S. in criminology from Indiana State University and a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.Much of his reporting has focused on the criminal justice system. Jenkins has reported on Tasers, body cameras, use of force, jail privatization, prison health care and the criminal contempt trial of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.