Maricopa County, AZ Jail has received more media coverage than almost any other jail in the U.S. But, no one has ever gone as deep inside, spent as much time, or uncovered as many provocative stories about the inmates who reside there as MSNBC’s “Lockup” series for 2010. “Extended Stay: Maricopa County Jail,” premiering Saturday, July 3 at 10 PM ET.

As ground zero in the nation’s immigration battle, Maricopa and its controversial sheriff, Joe Arpaio, have been in the headlines almost every day. Prior to the signing of the Arizona immigration law—set to take effect 7/29—media outlets have zeroed in on Maricopa because of Arpaio’s unusual policies, including the use of chain gangs, pink underwear for inmates and his infamous housing unit, Tent City. But in this series of six one-hour programs, “Lockup” cameras go far beyond the expected.

During a 4-month stay inside the jail, “Lockup” producers documented an institution that is organized and well-run—for the most part.  But the series also captures stories of inmates forcibly challenging officers for control, female units where the atmosphere feels more like a sorority house than a penal institution, and even a first-hand look at four women who are considered so dangerous that they’re isolated in a housing unit originally designed to hold 32 inmates.

In the 3rd episode of the series, “Heat Wave,” viewers witness what happens when Sheriff Arpaio comes face-to-face with 5,000 protestors accusing him of racist policies, as well as Arpaio’s response to accusations against himself and his treatment of illegal immigrants being held in the jail.

The schedule:
July 3rd: “Daddy’s Girl” @ 10 PM ET
July 10th: “Chain Reaction” @ 10 PM ET
July 17th: “Heat Wave” @ 10 PM ET
July 24th: “High Stakes” @ 10 PM ET
July 31st: “Identity Crisis” @ 10 PM ET
August 7th: “Trials and Tribulations” @ 10 PM ET

“Lockup: Extended Stay: Maricopa County Jail,” is an MSNBC original production, and is produced with 44 Blue Productions.