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)


ANTICOLONIAL zines, stickers, actions, power

Taala Hooghan Infoshop

Kinlani/Flagstaff Mutual AID


The group for direct action against the prison state!

Black Lives Matter PHOENIX METRO

Black Lives Matter PHOENIX METRO
(accept no substitutions)



PHOENIX: Trans Queer Pueblo


AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Warden FCI Cumberland Re: Medical for Manning.

Here's the email I sent early this AM to both of the Federal Bureau of Prison email sites Jericho gave us,  as well as a number of other prison watchers and abolitionists. And McCain, for good measure - he's supposed to be representing me. Make sure you hit your congress members in your cc's too. It helps for them to see who else we're communicating our concerns to. Throw Senator Jim Webb from VA in there, too.

So start putting these posts on Manning up on the blogs folks - like you did for Oso Blanco. In Europe, too. And hit these people with emails until we hear from Jericho that he's been moved, or that we're cranking it up another notch. 


Dear Warden, FCI Cumberland -

This is in re: a prisoner recently transferred to your facility from USP Hazelton - I'm sure you know who Mr. Manning (10373-016) is. I am writing as a concerned citizen and angry taxpayer - part of the greater "public" which I think you have chosen to serve. I am also one of a growing number of Prison Watchers - and as we spread across the country we support each other's struggles: we will be supporting Tom's efforts to get good medical care. He needs an evaluation for suspicious masses to rule out cancer. This needs to be done immediately.

How you treat him will be witnessed by our brothers and sisters around the world, actually. And it will affect increasing numbers of legislative districts as our new blogs go up, to bring more pressure on congress to start changing the way people are criminalized, incarcerated, and brutalized once they get there. We prison watch in part because we've had enough of all the state violence.

There's no excuse to make people suffer while they're in prison - being separated from their families and communities and losing their liberty is the punishment the people gave them - not torture or neglect. We expect this man to be well taken care of for the money we pay to imprison him. We also expect to have him free someday, so we'd like you to take good care of him in the meantime.

Please let us know when Mr. Manning is being transferred to the Buntner, NC Federal Medical Center and scheduled to have these suspicious masses evaluated.

Copies of this email are going to my allies as well as my state senator, John McCain. He probably doesn't care much for Manning (nor will he care much for me, I imagine), but he knows what it's like to be a prisoner and as a matter of principle should be rather concerned about assuring that all our federal prisoners receive appropriate attention to medical concerns.

Thank you for your time.


Margaret J. Plews
Arizona Prison Watch

No comments: