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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Monday, February 1, 2010

They never raise taxes on the rich.

This is pretty disastrous. Rich people in this state are not only hoarding their money (or investing it in prisons), they're trying to take more of ours.

This is Governor Brewer's website: interesting info is posted there right now.

Here is her address to the legislature earlier this month.

She called the legislature together again for another special session today on the budget:

Here's a clip from the AZ Republic about it:
Brewer calls 6th special session to deal with budget

by Mary Jo Pitzl - Feb. 1, 2010 01:15 PM
The session begins Monday afternoon.

At the top of the agenda is Brewer's long-standing call for lawmakers to refer a temporary sales-tax increase to the ballot, this time for a May 18 election.

If approved, money generated from the tax could be used to shore up the fiscal 2011 budget.

Brewer included other items to address the ongoing $1.4 billion deficit in this year's budget, which is halfway through the fiscal year. They include:

•  Another delay in monthly payments to the state's schools, from K-12 to community colleges to universities.

•  Another sale of state buildings to investors. The state would lease back the buildings.

•  Borrowing against state lottery proceeds, and adjustments to the lottery program, such as eliminating payments to specific lottery beneficiaries and keeping the money in the state general fund.

•  Taxing the income earned in Arizona of people who live outside the state.

This is the sixth special session of the current Legislature, and is the fourth time Brewer has called a special session to get lawmakers to refer the sales-tax hike...

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