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)

AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Investigative Reports on Arpaio and the MCSO

These MCSO links come from Courtney Bisbee's mom, Camille Tilley, from the National Coalition for Criminal Justice Reform.

The links that follow are also from her, and worth exploring.
Date: November 7, 2009 10:17:28 AM MST
Subject: AZ: FBI Investigate Sheriff Arpaio - Maricopa County, AZ

Watch how law enforcement and the criminal justice system operates in Maricopa County, AZ --  it's coming your way if the people don't take action -- along with the privatization of existing STATE prisons which includes Death Row  (last week-end New York Times -- Arizona privatizing state prisons).

Source: www.kpho.com
PHOENIX -- The FBI is looking into accusations that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is using his position to settle political vendettas. "Targets" claim they spoke out against him, and deputies visited them shortly after. Friday, October

Phoenix News. Ex-U.S. Attorney David Iglesias on Joe Arpaio:

Maricopa County Superior Court Hearing:

Phoenix News. MCSO Deputies Swipe Defense Attorney's Docs, MCSO Says Deputies

Camille Tilley



NCCJR  National Coalition for Criminal Justice Reform

Arizona Director Freedom March for the Wrongfully Convicted -2009 
Petition supports giving judges discretion with Mandatory Minimum Sentences  



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