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:


Thursday, December 3, 2009

"Streamline" Immigration Hearings unlawful: Rule 11

From No More Deaths:
------------------

Dear No More Deaths Supporters:

Below is great news about ending Operation Streamline!  The 9th Circuit Court ruled these trials illegal and have been told they must stop holding these hearings!!  This is great news; hopefully, these trials (held in Tucson daily) will end immediately. 


The problem generated by the massive caseload on the court understandably led the court to adopt a shortcut. Abstractly considered, the shortcut is not only understandable but reasonable. 

The shortcut, however, does not comply with
Rule 11. We cannot permit this rule to be disregarded in the name of efficiency nor to be violated because it is too demanding for a district court to observe. We act within a system maintained by the rules of procedure. We cannot dispense with the rules without setting a precedent subversive of the structure.

Accordingly, on this challenge by an intrepid federal
public defender to the Tucson court’s taking of pleas en masse, we hold the procedure to be contrary to Rule 11.”
 

Or, read the AP article:

By ALICIA A. CALDWELL (AP) – 12 hours ago

EL PASO, Texas — Immigrants who have been arrested in zero-tolerance zones along the Mexican border must not be tried at mass criminal immigration hearings because the proceedings violate federal rules, an appeals court ruled Wednesday.

A three-judge panel with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that a federal court in Tucson, Ariz. — where mass hearings have been held for defendants arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents — had violated Rule 11, which requires that each defendant be read their rights and be given an explanation of what a guilty plea means.

Any immigrants found in zero-tolerance zones established along the Mexican border under Operation Streamline can be arrested and prosecuted in a federal court on charges of illegal entry.

The program was initially credited with curbing illegal border crossings, but critics have long argued that immigrants are pushed through the system without being given a chance to fairly defend themselves or understanding the proceedings.

Most immigrants scooped up under those circumstances answer "yes" en masse when asked if they understand their rights and the consequences of pleading guilty, according to the ruling posted on the court's Web site. Most are not individually questioned by the judge, it said.

In a 19-page ruling, U.S. Circuit Judge John T. Noonan, said the mass hearings were understandable, given the number of immigration cases.

"Abstractly considered, the shortcut is not only understandable but reasonable," Noonan wrote in the ruling. "The shortcut, however, does not comply with Rule 11. We cannot permit this rule to be disregarded in the name of efficiency nor to be violated because it is too demanding for a district court to observe."

Jason Hannan, Tucson's assistant federal public defender who argued the case, did not immediately respond to a request from The Associated Press for comment.

Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke, whose Tucson office handled the appealed cases, said some procedures would be changed as a result of the Appeals Court decision.

"While changes will have to be made to some change-of-plea proceedings to comply with the Ninth Circuit's decision, we are confident that the decision will not adversely impact our ability to prosecute individuals who violate the laws of the United States," Burke said in a written statement.
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


--
Laura Ilardo
No More Deaths-Phoenix
(602)818-5447

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