Retiring Arizona Prison Watch...

This site was originally started in July 2009 as an independent endeavor to monitor conditions in Arizona's criminal justice system, as well as offer some critical analysis of the prison industrial complex from a prison abolitionist/anarchist's perspective. It was begun in the aftermath of the death of Marcia Powell, a 48 year old AZ state prisoner who was left in an outdoor cage in the desert sun for over four hours while on a 10-minute suicide watch. That was at ASPC-Perryville, in Goodyear, AZ, in May 2009.

Marcia, a seriously mentally ill woman with a meth habit sentenced to the minimum mandatory 27 months in prison for prostitution was already deemed by society as disposable. She was therefore easily ignored by numerous prison officers as she pleaded for water and relief from the sun for four hours. She was ultimately found collapsed in her own feces, with second degree burns on her body, her organs failing, and her body exceeding the 108 degrees the thermometer would record. 16 officers and staff were disciplined for her death, but no one was ever prosecuted for her homicide. Her story is here.

Marcia's death and this blog compelled me to work for the next 5 1/2 years to document and challenge the prison industrial complex in AZ, most specifically as manifested in the Arizona Department of Corrections. I corresponded with over 1,000 prisoners in that time, as well as many of their loved ones, offering all what resources I could find for fighting the AZ DOC themselves - most regarding their health or matters of personal safety.

I also began to work with the survivors of prison violence, as I often heard from the loved ones of the dead, and learned their stories. During that time I memorialized the Ghosts of Jan Brewer - state prisoners under her regime who were lost to neglect, suicide or violence - across the city's sidewalks in large chalk murals. Some of that art is here.

In November 2014 I left Phoenix abruptly to care for my family. By early 2015 I was no longer keeping up this blog site, save occasional posts about a young prisoner in solitary confinement in Arpaio's jail, Jessie B.

I'm deeply grateful to the prisoners who educated, confided in, and encouraged me throughout the years I did this work. My life has been made all the more rich and meaningful by their engagement.

I've linked to some posts about advocating for state prisoner health and safety to the right, as well as other resources for families and friends. If you are in need of additional assistance fighting the prison industrial complex in Arizona - or if you care to offer some aid to the cause - please contact the Phoenix Anarchist Black Cross at PO Box 7241 / Tempe, AZ 85281.

until all are free -

MARGARET J PLEWS (June 1, 2015)


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AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Deaths in Custody: Pete Calleros.

(FOLLOW-UP: PETE CALLEROS did not commit suicide. He was murdered and it was made to look as if he hung himself. The DOC knows this, but did not seek prosecution of the suspects, nor did they tell Pete's mother the truth. She had to find out on her own, by ordering a second autopsy be done, which showed signs of a struggle, confirmed by the DOC's criminal investigation.)

Phoenix, Ariz - Inmate Pete Calleros 143778, 28, died while in Arizona Department of Corrections custody Tuesday after apparently committing suicide.

Calleros, serving 22 years for second degree murder for the 2007 slaying of a man found behind a Goodwill store, was pronounced dead at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Calleros came to ADC July 14, 2009 and was held at the Cimarron Unit, ASPC-Tucson.

The incident is under investigation by the department.



Anonymous said...

This specific blog happens to be about my cousin "Petey'and would like to acquire any information in regards to the conclusion of the current investigation. for my own personal sense of closure if possible. I will be periodically be checking the site for any posts on this tragedy
-Calleros, K

Anonymous said...

pete calleros did NOT commit suicide,he would never do that to himself REGARDLESS of how much time he had to serve..and he was a happy person all the time no matter what he always had a smile on his face..

Margaret Jean Plews said...

Please check my post for Sat 8/15, where I responded to your concerns about Petey. There are probably others who need that information too; another suicide was just announced today. I'm very sorry for what you and your family must be going through. Do take care of yourselves and eachother.

Anonymous said...

i know for a fact that Pete would of never done that to him self. but we will keep an eye out, and Pete i know u are with me.