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 who I've been supporting, Jessie Burlew.

I will miss my work and the people who have supported me - but I have been most especially grateful to the prisoners who educated, confided in, and encouraged me. My life has been made all the more rich and meaningful by their engagement.

I have 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. collective@phoenixabc.org


until all are free -

MARGARET J PLEWS (June 1, 2015)
arizonaprisonwatch@gmail.com



AZ PRISON WATCH ACTION ITEMS:

Please hear and encourage the voices of former prisoners speaking out....

Perryville Prison

17 year old seriously mentally ill prisoner Jessica Burlew has been held in solitary confinement, in the jails of Joe Arpaio, since January 2014 pending trial for the accidental death of the sexual predator who was exploiting her.
AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:


Monday, August 10, 2009

CCA Red Rock Correctional Loses Contract

Bet we fill them as fast as they get emptied...
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Corrections Corp. loses Alaska contract
Monday, August 10, 2009, 2:33pm
Nashville Business Journal

Corrections Corporation of America lost its contract with Alaska to house up to 1,000 inmates.

The Nashville-based prison manager (NYSE: CXW) houses about 765 Alaskan inmates at the firm's 1,596-bed Red Rock Correctional Center in Arizona. The contract expired June 30, and the Alaska Department of Corrections selected another provider in its recent bid process.

Corrections Corp. said it expects the state will begin transferring its inmates out of Red Rock in December, and the company plans to market the available beds to other state and federal customers. The corrections firm houses about 650 inmates from the states of California, Washington and Hawaii at the Red Rock facility.

Corrections Corp. is the nation's largest corrections manager for government agencies.

"We are very disappointed to have not been selected by the Alaska Department of Corrections, a long standing customer of ours. We will work closely with the Alaska Department of Corrections to ensure a smooth transition out of the Red Rock facility," said Damon Hininger, president of Corrections Corp. "Although at the present moment, we do not have another customer lined up to fill the vacant beds, these beds are located in a market that is very attractive to a variety of state and federal customers."

Corrections Corporation of America owns 12,180 beds in the state of Arizona, which are fully occupied, including the 765 beds currently used by Alaska.

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