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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Monday, November 9, 2009

Governor Brewer: Remember Vets in Prison

War veterans are disproportionately represented in U.S. prisons, and there are still war resisters in U.S. military brigs facing courts martial or serving sentences as prisoners of conscience. Let's make sure none of them are forgotten on Veterans Day this year.

Public Schedule For Governor Jan Brewer

Monday, November 9, 2009
• 11:00 a.m. – Governor to Visit Bishop’s Storehouse in Mesa
LDS Employment Resource Center, Conference Room
235 South El Dorado Circle, Mesa

• 2:00 p.m. – Governor Brewer to Speak at the Banner Health Dedication
and Blessing of Cardon Children’s Medical Center
Cardon Children's Medical Center
1400 South Dobson Road, Mesa

Tuesday, November 10, 2009
• 4:00 p.m. – Governor to Hold Bill Signing Ceremony – SB 1403 –
Renewable, high-wage Industry Incentives
Greater Phoenix Economic Council
2 North Central Avenue, Suite 2500,

Wednesday, November 11, 2009
• 9:30 a.m. – Governor to Participate in Veterans Day Parade
Phoenix VA Health Care System
650 East Indian School Road, Phoenix

• 1:25 p.m. – Governor to Attend Arizona State Veterans Home Barbecue
And Veterans Celebration
Arizona State Veterans Home
4141 North 3rd Street, Phoenix

Thursday, November 12, 2009
• 8:30 a.m. - Governor to Speak at 88th Annual Meeting of Arizona Farm Bureau
Carefree Resort and Villas
37220 Mule Train Road, Carefree

• 2 p.m. – Governor to Speak at Street Renaming Ceremony in Honor of
Silvestre Herrera
Arizona State Veterans Home
4141 North 3rd Street, Phoenix

• 5:00 p.m. – Governor to Speak at the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Celebration
Arizona State Capitol Mall
17th Avenue between Washington and Jefferson Streets

Friday, November 13, 2009
• 12:00 p.m. - Governor to Speak At Arizona Character Education Foundation’s
10th Anniversary Celebration
Salt River Project PERA Club Facility
1 East Continental Drive, Tempe

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