Destination Tent City, AZ


DUI: The Scarlet Letters of Our Time

You are a young woman, a productive member of society. One day you drink a few beers and drive. You are stopped by a policeman.

Tent City: No Summer Camp

You are a middle-class offender, so the law comes down hard and sends you to prison. Tent City in the summer is as fetid, repressive, and scorching-hot as any POW camp.

Total Cost: More than you can afford

Legal bills, endless fines, a malfunctioning interlock device … You are broke, humiliated, and everyone in your new social circle has a criminal record. Is this a recipe for reform?


Ever since Tent City was established in 1993, this jail in Maricopa, Arizona, has been making headlines. Destination Tent City, AZ chronicles a two-year period of a young woman’s life after she, like so many people, makes the fateful decision to drink and drive. This “as told to” account of the practical and psychological repercussions of receiving a DUI should give readers pause the next time they decide to drive away from happy hour.

Especially if they happen to be in Arizona.


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