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, January 12, 2010

Council of Churches: No private prisons.

This came from Ken at PCWG a short bit ago - it helps remind me that there are many small town groups and individual activists working against prisons and detention centers for all the right reasons. Blessings to all of you out there, especially if you feel like you're the only one in your community who feels that way. You aren't, and your resistance does matter. If nothing else, it encourages the rest of us to keep it up a bit longer.

--------------


Public News Service – WV January 2010
January 12, 2010

CHARLESTON, WV - West Virginia's largest church group has asked U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd and the rest of the state's congressional delegation to oppose funding a private prison for undocumented immigrants in Pendleton County near the Virginia border.

The Council of Churches is one of several groups discussing immigration reform ahead of expected congressional action on the issue. The Council has asked federal lawmakers' help in the effort, arguing private prison operations have been rife with abuse. GSI Professional Corrections is seeking county commission approval to build the detention center near Sugar Grove to house 1,000 nonviolent immigrant detainees awaiting possible deportation.

Rev. Dennis Sparks, the Council's executive director, complains private prisons operate outside the mainstream legal system. Young people have been trapped in them unprotected, he says, simply for being members of undocumented families, even if they were born in the U.S.

"There have been a lot of abuses of children in these facilities: no way to communicate adequately, no way to get legal protection or representation. So, they're stuck."

GSI Corrections has said the prison would create 300 jobs, but Sparks sees private prisons as a bad idea in general. In other places, he adds, the jobs have not materialized.

"There's no way to really regulate them, either by the state or by the federal government. There's no due process. All the evidence we've seen is that they do not create jobs."

The detention system would be more productive if nonviolent workers were held on work-release programs while their immigration cases are decided, Sparks says.

"These folks are an economic contribution to our society. They can bring a lot to us, and I think that's the way we've got to look at it."

Congress will soon begin considering comprehensive immigration reform at the request of the White House.
Backers of incarcerating undocumented workers say they have broken the law by being in the country without permission and should be treated as criminals. Sparks says the entire system is broken and changes must be addressed.

Several West Virginia advocacy groups will hold a press conference today at 2:30 p.m. in room 330 of the State Capitol's West Wing. It is one of 100 events taking place around the country on the upcoming immigration reform effort.

No comments: