Fight the Treatment Industrial Complex

Fight the Treatment Industrial Complex by supporting the AFSC- Arizona campaign

Fight the Treatment Industrial Complex by supporting the AFSC- Arizona campaign
AFSC-Arizona staff are amazing advocates for prisoners - and as such, are true blessings to our communities. Spend time on their site - lots of resources.

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. collective@phoenixabc.org

until all are free -

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



AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

AZ Second in Corrections $$; 38th in Education

This what it means in Arizona to be "tough on crime" - stealing futures from kids. Look at where we invest our money: that's what flourishes. That's why this state is in such a serious decline. 
 
This is pathetic, but no surprise. Kavanaugh is an embarrassment to Fountain Hills; really to the whole state. He has no business handling our money, given the kind of ignorance this article (and every other one I've read with him in it) reflects. 

I just can't follow his "logic". The amount of money we invest in education is not a reflection of how much we value education or the quality of it? However, the exorbitant amount we spend on police and prisons is justified? That's what it sounds like he's saying - and he's the AZ State House Appropriations Chairman. He'd sooner put your kid in prison for $26,000/year at 21, than subsidize his college tuition for $5,000/year at 18.  

And why is he so proud about Arizona having a "very median educational performance record?" That's something to be ashamed of, frankly.


-----------

Census data: Arizona second in police, corrections spending, 38th in education

By Evan Wyloge, Cronkite News Service

Published: September 30, 2009 at 7:58 am

Arizona outspent all but one state on police protection and corrections as a percentage of overall state and local expenditures while its education spending ranked 38th in U.S. Census Bureau data released Wednesday (Sept. 30).

“You get what you pay for,” said Jeffrey Chapman, Arizona State University Foundation Professor of Applied Public Finance. “We’re a low-tax, low-expenditure state. We like police, we like corrections and we don’t want to spend money on public services.”

The census data, based on 2007 expenditures, shows that Arizona’s spending patterns remained fairly constant from previous years. Chapman said that demonstrates shortsightedness on the part of leaders, promoting construction and industries tied to growth and preparing people to work in those jobs.

“They’d rather see retail clerks, construction workers and corrections officers in Arizona,” Chapman said. “They’re giving no regard to our children or our grandchildren.”

The data also showed that Arizona ranked fourth among states in expenditures on fire protection, 21th on public welfare and 28th on highways.

House Appropriations Chairman Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, defended the state’s spending on police protection, which was second only to Nevada, and on corrections, which was second only to California.

“Of course we spend more proportionally on law enforcement than other states,” Kavanagh said. “We have to be tough with criminals, as a matter of justice and deterrence. And being a border state, we deal with cross-border crime and we have one of the largest populations of illegal aliens.”

Kavanagh also said it’s wrong to suggest that Arizona isn’t committed to education.

“We actually have a very median educational performance record,” he said. “I prefer to judge our educational system by performance, not spending.”

Sen. Paula Aboud, D-Tucson, said Arizona would be better served by shifting its priorities.

“For four years I’ve been trying to change this,” she said. “And I think the public is unfamiliar with these numbers, so I’m glad to hear that they’re being talked about.”

Roger Hartley, associate professor of public administration and policy at the University of Arizona, said the money states spend on education correlates with earning potential, while poverty correlates with crime.

“We can see that we’re putting more money into putting people in prison rather than educating and thereby keeping people out of prison,” he said. Kavanagh called that conclusion overreaching, and pointed to Washington, D.C., as evidence.”

They have one of the worst crime rates, and they spend more than just about anybody per student,” he said.

Travis Pratt, an associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at ASU, said crime rates aren’t simple enough to link one-on-one with education, but he said it would be wrong to dismiss any connection with education.

He said spending on law enforcement pays political dividends much sooner than education.

“Budgets aren’t limitless, and Arizona devotes a greater portion of theirs to controlling rather than preventing crime,” he said. “And because spending on institutions like education and social services might not pay off for 10 or 15 years - not before the next election - politicians don’t see a reason for it.”

No comments: