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:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Another suspected prison suicide

Prison inmate serving 14 years dies in Tucson hospital

Reported by: Associated Press
Last Update: 8/24 3:24 pm
William Englebert
William Englebert 
TUCSON, AZ -- The Arizona Department of Corrections says a prison inmate has died at a Tucson hospital after being taken off life support.
Corrections officials say William Englebert was transported to St. Mary's Hospital on Aug. 16 because of a possible drug overdose and was placed on life support.
They say his family consented to the withdrawal of care and Englebert died last Saturday afternoon.
The DOC says Englebert was sentenced out of Maricopa County and was serving 14 years for armed robbery and identity theft.
He had been in prison since October 2005 and was being held at the state prison in Florence.
DOC officials say Englebert's possible drug overdose is under investigation.


Anonymous said...

I loved this man with all my heart. I have a hard time believing he committed suicide. Whats hardest is I'll probably never know what really happened
Rest in Peace Bily, I love you.

Roxi Geer said...

This is his cousin, we wrote all the time and my cousin would never have committed suicide, we arent wired that way we r like brother and sister and he couldn't wait to get out and come visit. He told me all the good and bad he was doin, he would have told me had he been using that shit. What I do kn no w is the groups he was associated with more than likely put him n a situation and he was murdered. I love u Billy and I miss u so much and its a hard thing daily to know we wont ever get to hang out and just be us crazy family. BACK TO BACK CUZ ALWAYS!!!!!

Amanda im on facebook contact me please. Roxi Geer