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 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. If you're unfamiliar with prison abolition, check out Critical Resistance. I'm a freelance writer and human rights activist, and have no legal training, FYI.

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AS OF AUGUST 2014 I am dealing with a family emergency out of state, and will likely be gone for the next month. If you need assistance, write to my PO box and my friends with the PHOENIX ANARCHIST BLACK CROSS will try to help you. Or email me at arizonaprisonwatch@gmail.com, which I'll try to check at least a couple of times a week.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prison (HBO)

America's prisons are broken. Just ask John Oliver and several puppets.

THE I-Files: Teens in Solitary Confinement

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.

Prisoners and Families: Send your SOS to the DOJ!

We really need those of you out there who have been in an AZ prison, have lost a child or other family member in an AZ prison, or have a loved one in an AZ prison now, to write a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder (that one is mine) about the need for a federal intervention here, and send me a copy, with a nice photo, if you have one, of the beloved prisoner - I don't have to post your letters and pictures, but please tell me if I may, with or without names.

If you need some motivation, see what the Governor had to say to him about the swell state things are in here. Don't let her pass that BS off on him unchallenged.

When the truth of prison rape and violence is made public and appeals for relief come directly from those affected, the rest of the community identifies better with prisoners as people, and it puts more pressure on the feds - as well as the governor- to act. And you are the ones with the most at stake here. So, please back me up on this argument I'm making, folks. If the feds listened to me, they'd have been here long ago - I need your support!

And don't just "like" me on Facebook or the Daily KOS - SHARE SHARE SHARE!!!

US Attorney General Eric Holder
US Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC 20530


Send word to your loved ones in prison to write the AG as well, and to send me copies if they want me to post their letters, too.

AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:

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NOTE AUGUST 12, 2014: I am dealing with a family crisis out of state, and will likely not be available for the next month. Please write to my PO box (above) if you need assistance and my friends will try to help you.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

MCSO 4th Ave Jail: Van Winkle murder trial

 Lest anyone think that jail is a "safe" place for people - especially in Maricopa County.
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Jurors shown videotape of inmate's fatal beating

by Jim Walsh - Nov. 3, 2009 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

Relatives of an inmate who was brutally murdered last year in the Fourth Avenue Jail shuddered as a prosecutor played a surveillance videotape of the killing for the jury.

Investigators have said that Robert Van Winkle, 27, a member of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, somehow lured Robert Cotton, 28, into his cell and then savagely strangled and beat him to death.

"It was a matter of having to go through it for the first time. It was the need to know," said Kay Cotton, the victim's mother. "It just wouldn't end. It just went on for so long."

Van Winkle is charged with killing Cotton as retribution for snitching on a White-supremacist gang member. A civil suit against the county stemming from the May 1, 2008, slaying was settled for $500,000.

The tape shows a man officials say is Van Winkle sitting on top of Cotton, pounding him with his fists. The attacker also kicks and stomps Cotton, jumping up and down repeatedly on his body.

Detention Officer Ken Monahan testified that he never witnessed the beating from a control tower but saw Van Winkle drag Cotton's body out of the cell and attempt to toss it over the railing.

"It was a very traumatic experience," Monahan said.

Cotton had been in and out of prison for nearly a decade as the result of alcohol and drug addictions but was not a violent criminal. He was assigned to the maximum-security unit after he received threats.

Dr. Etoi Davenport Grant, a forensic pathologist, testified that Cotton died of "homicidal violence," a combination of strangulation and a severe beating.

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