MARGARET J PLEWS
PO BOX 20494
PHOENIX, AZ 85036

arizonaprisonwatch@gmail.com

480-580-6807

Established: July 18, 2009
Editor: Peggy Plews


This site is to offer some critical analysis of the prison industrial complex in Arizona from a prison abolitionist's perspective. Abolitionism is an anti-colonialist articulation of a vision of racial and economic justice, one in which we don't submit to or depend on the prison industrial complex to brutalize the "duly convicted" (and their loved ones) as a response to harm, as a preventative measure out of fear, or as a means of assuring social order. It's an optimistic vision which presumes that our society collectively evolves, both morally and socially, such that the root causes of criminalization and incarceration are addressed before we produce more generations of people being allowed to hurt eachother. The current system doesn't prevent people from being victimized - it just prescribes rules for who does and doesn't get to hurt or be hurt in America. That's not a good enough foundation for a system truly based on achieving justice.

Prison abolitionism argues that we don't simply need to shut down the prisons: we need to rewrite the way the rules around perpetrating harm against people and property are made in the first place, so that humanity, not profit (or state "savings", as the case may be) comes first. From re-prioritizing our world, our ideas around what is crime and how to punish it would look much differently...Critical Resistance is a good source for more info on that.

I'm just a freelance writer and artist, by the way, but if you are the loved one of a prisoner and need help, feel free to contact me. Emailing me works best: arizonaprisonwatch@gmail.com but 480-580-6807 is ok too.

AZ PRISON WATCH ACTION ITEMS:

RESIGN, CHUCK RYAN

RESIGN, CHUCK RYAN
Petition by the family of Tony Lester, victim of suicide in AZ DOC custody.

The Free Alabama Movement! (PDF)

The Free Alabama Movement! (PDF)
for more info hit www.freealabamamovement.com
**************

AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:


Friday, September 18, 2009

One Roadblack to Prisoner Release

This is such a a tragedy when the perceived and actual health of a community becomes so dependent on the prolonged imprisonment and suffering of thousands of people - most kept far from home. The industry of incarceration has more than just criminals in chains.
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Prison cutbacks face opposition

Bent, Crowley and Huerfano officials ask governor to reconsider early release program.

By ANTHONY A. MESTAS
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
Published: September 17, 2009

Officials in three Southern Colorado counties said Wednesday that Gov. Bill Ritter's decision to release more than 6,000 inmates from state Department of Corrections custody will be devastating to small communities that house private prisons.

Commissioners in Bent, Crowley and Huerfano counties all have private prisons owned and operated by Corrections Corporation of America.

Ritter announced the Accelerated Transition Pilot program in August. By June 30, an estimated 2,720 inmates out of 3,400 eligible for parole will be on the streets, saving the state $19 million in prison housing costs. The next year, another 3,000-plus inmates could be released.

But Bent County Commissioner Bill Long said that the lion's share of the proposed reduction would come from the private prisons in Crowley, Bent and Huerfano counties.

Long said the proposed releases will impact the private facilities which were built at the request of the state. "If they do what they have been talking about in the last few days, which is 5,000 to 6,000 inmates possibly being up for parole, that will empty virtually every private prison in Colorado that has Colorado inmates," Long said.

"I guarantee that this will be an absolute disaster for Bent County and Crowley County. No question about it."

The Crowley County Correctional Facility in Olney Springs and the Bent County Correctional Facility in Las Animas are key parts of their local economies with more than 200 employees at each facility, Long said.

"We receive property tax, telephone revenue and other benefits from the

facilities," Long said.

Long explained that the Huerfano County Correctional Facility in Walsenburg and the Kit Carson Correctional Facility in Burlington also will be hurt if the reduction occurs.

Currently the Huerfano facility is full of inmates from Arizona, but Long said that when Arizona gets its inmate situation straightened out, the inmates will be taken back to that state.

"That would be another facility that was built primarily for Colorado inmates that would also be emptied," Long said.

anthonym@chieftain.com

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