MCSO to change to all-orange inmate uniforms to save taxpayer money
PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday it would change its inmate uniforms from black and white stripes to orange in an effort to save taxpayer money.
According to a recent press release, the sheriff’s office kicked off the effort this week and said it will be complete by Friday.
Sheriff Paul Penzone said he asked custody officials to look into a way to cut costs. The move is expected to save the department about $22,000 per year.
“Our staff has done an excellent job examining our entire operation to find cost savings and workplace efficiencies that will stretch our dollars without compromising safety,” he said.
“Changing the inmate uniform is one more way we can deliver top service at reduced expense.”
Uniforms for adult pre-trial detainees will have “MCSO UNSENTENCED” stenciled on the front and back of the shirt, while sentenced inmates will only have “MCSO” on the back of the shirt.
Juvenile inmates will have yellow sleeves with “MCSO” stenciled on the front and back.
The department moved to striped uniforms in April 1997 after “decades of utilizing a uniform color code based on an inmate’s classification or status” under former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the press release said.
According to the sheriff’s office, that multi-color system “complicated the purchasing and laundering processes and the decision was made to change to stripes.”
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