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:


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Toll of War and the Cost of Resistance


Tomgram: Jamail and Lazare, Who Will Be Sent to Afghanistan?

November 08, 2009 5:37 pm

From TomDispatch.com

In a grim November 3rd Wall Street Journal piece (buried inside the paper), Yochi Dreazen reported record suicide rates for a stressed-out U.S. Army. Sixteen soldiers killed themselves in October alone, 134 so far this year, essentially ensuring that last year's "record" of 140 suicides will be broken. This represents a startling 37% jump in suicides since 2006 and, for the first time, puts the suicide rate in the Army above that of the general U.S. population.

After eight years of two major counterinsurgency wars (and various minor encounters in what used to be called the Global War on Terror), with many soldiers experiencing multiple tours of duty, with approximately 120,000 U.S. troops still in Iraq and almost 70,000 in Afghanistan, with the Afghan War clearly in an escalatory phase, commanders in the field calling for 40,000-80,000 more American troops, and base construction on the rise, the military's internal problems are clearly escalating as well.

As Dahr Jamail, author of The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Sarah Lazare report, under these circumstances, the Army is digging deep for deployable troops; in fact, it's dipping into a pool of soldiers who have already been damaged or even broken by their experiences in our war zones -- and that's just to meet present deployment needs. Perhaps it's not surprising then that Dreazen included this striking passage in his report: "

At a White House meeting Friday, the Joint Chiefs of Staff urged President Barack Obama to send fresh troops to Afghanistan only if they have spent at least a year in the U.S. since their last overseas tour, according to people familiar with the matter. If Mr. Obama agreed to that condition, many potential Afghanistan reinforcements wouldn't be available until next summer at the earliest."

In translation (if Dreazen is correct), that means, in a private brainstorming session with the president, the Joint Chiefs have evidently put the brakes on implementing the full-scale plan of Centcom Commander David Petraeus and Afghan War commander Stanley McChrystal to send a massive infusion of new troops to Afghanistan any time soon.

It's worth asking -- though no one, as far as I can tell, yet has -- whether this may be a modest Afghan equivalent of the "Shinseki moment" before the invasion of Iraq. (Then, Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki warned in Congressional testimony that, if we invaded, we would need "several hundred thousand" troops -- numbers not available -- for the occupation to follow. He was laughed into retirement by the Bush-appointed civilian leadership of the Pentagon.)

At the same time, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen, has just made it clear that the Pentagon will once again request supplemental war-fighting funds sometime next year, over and above the $130 billion Congress appropriated only a month ago in the Defense Department budget. These will be based, in part, on a calculation that each 1,000 new troops sent to Afghanistan must be supported by an extra billion dollars in funds. (You can do the math yourself on those 40,000 troops and then wonder just where all that money is going to come from.)

We are, in fact, facing an ongoing disaster not just for the U.S., but for the U.S. military. Read the following piece and ask yourself: What state would a military have to be in to consider sending such men back into a war zone? A desperate military is, of course, the answer -- a military rubbed raw and, as the shocking mass murder spree at already stressed-out Fort Hood may indicate, on edge in a way that perhaps no one has quite grasped. Tom
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