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:

Monday, February 1, 2010

Prescott Valley Prison Resistance

Now these folks put up some good resistance...but every town is different.
Prescott Valley prison proposal all but dead By Ken Hedler, The Daily Courier Thursday, January 28, 2010
PRESCOTT VALLEY - The Town Council majority has taken a stance to oppose a private prison in the community without taking a formal vote on the matter...
Colleagues, public react to Skoog announcement
The Daily Courier – Prescott Valley
January 27, 2010
PRESCOTT VALLEY - A private prison supporter and two members of the Town Council declined to comment on Mayor Harvey Skoog's announcement that he opposes locating a prison in Prescott Valley
Daily Courier - Prescott Valley
By Heidi Dahms-Foster
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 PRESCOTT VALLEY - Mayor Harvey Skoog said Wednesday night that he is going on the record as opposing a proposed 5,000-bed prison in "urban Prescott Valley." Skoog said he wants to see jobs in the area, however, and would support the prison in another sparsely populated county area...  
Prison price tag: $300 million  By Ken Hedler The Daily Courier 
Report itemizes jobs, economic impact, construction costs 
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
PRESCOTT VALLEY - A proposed private prison with 5,000 beds will be an economic boon by creating thousands of jobs during construction and operations and generating tax revenues, according to a Scottsdale-based economist...

No comments: