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.

until all are free -

MARGARET J PLEWS (June 1, 2015)


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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Free the Phoenix Five. Charge the Phoenix PD.

Here's the footage I told you would be coming: this is why the MCSO won't be able to get away with their racial profiling, either. Everyone has a camera, and the truth exposed usually plays out in our favor.  Last word I had this PM was that Channel 5 aired footage showing that the PPD was clearly the aggressor, and that they were even calling for an investigation of the Phoenix PD's conduct at the march. Can't find any evidence of that on their website though - still the same BS article from yesterday.

Here's the link to Brian Wilkins' blog again, by the way, for another account of the police attack on protesters. He promises to follow what's happening with each of them - maybe we can do a  CourtWatch for them together. You can find a couple of video links to the police at the protest there as well.

The "Phoenix Five", by the way, is how our comrades were referred to today by anarchists/prison abolitionists in the Netherlands. 

They send their best. 

Here's a link they led me to:

The woman who posted this video also posted one prior to it, with the following comment: 

"... the pigs who pepper sprayed us!....Unfortunately, I don't have the police officer's name but she is the one who f****d up! no one was throwing rocks or water bottles as it has been reported by the media (who was not present)...I was there, just behind the "anarquist in black"....innocent people were affected by pepper spray including a young girl (about 4 yrs old), my underage cousins, and many many more! STOP POLICE BRUTALITY....STOP THE PIGS!!!!"


The links below came via Matt with the Phoenix Immigrant Rights listserve. I bet a lot of this footage was thanks to Copwatch. I'm sure more has yet to be edited and posted, so stay tuned.

Anti-Arpaio Human Rights March 1/16/2010




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