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:


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Idaho ACLU Suing CCA's "Gladiator School."

This is pretty despicable. The Idaho legislature and Department of Corrections should be ashamed of themselves for not overseeing these people more closely. If you're going to auction off our mothers and brothers and kids' bodies to the lowest bidders, make sure they aren't going to brutalize or kill them, please.

Hooray, again, for the ACLU.

ADC and AZ LEGS - please learn from this. Pay attention to these private prisons you're empowering to take over the state. This is all very disturbing to people with family and other loved ones inside.

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

Idaho: ACLU sues CCA

APNewsBreak: ACLU sues private prison company

http://www.kpvi.com/global/story.asp?s=12123609

Associated Press - March 11, 2010 11:54 AM ET

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Idaho prison officials and a major private prison company for more than $155 million over high levels of inmate violence at the Idaho Correctional Center.

The ACLU and the ACLU of Idaho said they would file the lawsuit against Corrections Corporation of America in Boise's U.S. District Court on Thursday.

In the lawsuit, the ACLU says Idaho's only private prison is so extraordinarily violent that it's known as "Gladiator School" among inmates and that guards deliberately expose inmates to brutal beatings from other prisoners as a management tool.

The group contends that the prison then denies injured inmates X-rays or other medical care to save money and hide the extent of the injuries.

-------------------------------IDAHO ACLU SUIT UPDATE-----------------------


http://www.tennessean.com/article/20100312/NEWS03/3120343/1001/NEWS

CCA condones beatings, lawsuit says

Idaho prison staff accused of denying medical treatment

By Rebecca Boone • ASSOCIATED PRESS • March 12, 2010

A federal lawsuit claims that Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America is running an Idaho prison that is so violent it is known as "gladiator school" by inmates.

The American Civil Liberties Union says CCA should have to pay all of its 2009 net profits — $155 million — in punitive damages.

Idaho prison officials also were named in the suit filed by the ACLU on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Boise.

The suit adds to the considerable controversies CCA has faced since its founding in 1983. Last year, it was sued by a Metro officer who was shot by an escapee from a CCA facility; berated for leaving a mentally ill inmate in his Metro jail cell without a bath for 9 months; and sued by 23 female inmates who claim they were raped at a Kentucky prison.

In 2006 CCA settled a suit over the death of a Nashville woman who was left in solitary confinement with massive head injuries. Charges against four guards accused of beating the woman were dropped.

Opponents argue that CCA, the nation's largest private prison operator, uses its political influence to stifle those who say prisons should not be in private hands. It recently lost an attempt to keep all its prison records private when the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that CCA acts as a public entity in operating public prisons.

The latest lawsuit claims that Idaho's only private prison is extraordinarily violent, with guards deliberately exposing inmates to brutal beatings from other prisoners as a management tool.

The group contends the prison then denies injured inmates medical care to save money and hide the extent of injuries.

Steve Owen, Corrections Corporation of America's director of public affairs, said the company would respond to the lawsuit through court filings. He said state officials have unfettered access to the prison and provide strong oversight at the facility, including daily on-site monitoring.

"For the past decade, CCA has safely and securely managed the Idaho Corrections Center on behalf of our government partner, the Idaho Department of Corrections," Owen said in a prepared statement.

"Our hardworking, professional staff and management team are held accountable to high standards by our government partner, to include those of the American Correctional Association — the highest professional standards in the country for correctional management."

Idaho Department of Correction Director Brent Reinke said he had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment. Stephen Pevar, senior attorney for the ACLU, said he has sued at least 100 jails and prisons, but none came close to the level of violence at Idaho Correctional Center.

"Our country should be ashamed to send human beings to that facility," he said.

Suit asks for $155M

The ACLU is asking for class-action status and $155 million in punitive damages — the entire net profit reported by the company in 2009.

The ACLU said the money should go to lead plaintiff Marlin Riggs, who sustained permanent facial deformities and other medical problems after he was savagely beaten in his cell.

Guards use violence to control prisoner behavior, forcing inmates to "snitch" on other inmates under the threat of moving them to the most violent sections of the prison, ACLU-Idaho Executive Director Monica Hopkins said.

Hopkins said inmates will be beaten by fellow inmates if they become known as snitches. If they refuse to give up names, the guards will have them beaten anyway, she said.

"It doesn't do us any good as a society to put people in there where they have to turn to other gangs and become gang members to protect themselves," Hopkins said. "The thing is, there's a constitutional duty to protect prisoners from violence at the hands of other prisoners."

The lawsuit also refers to an investigation by The Associated Press based on public records requests that found the level of violence at the prison was three times higher than at other Idaho prisons, and that Idaho Department of Correction officials believed violence was also dramatically underreported by Corrections Corporation of America and inmates.

At the time of that report, Steven Conry, CCA's vice president of facility operations, maintained the prison was safe and well-run.

----Companion Piece: Note CCA's Use of Power Against Privatization Resisters--------

A federal lawsuit claims that Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America is running an Idaho prison that is so violent it is known as "gladiator school" by inmates.

The American Civil Liberties Union says CCA should have to pay all of its 2009 net profits — $155 million — in punitive damages.

Idaho prison officials also were named in the suit filed by the ACLU on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Boise.

The suit adds to the considerable controversies CCA has faced since its founding in 1983. Last year, it was sued by a Metro officer who was shot by an escapee from a CCA facility; berated for leaving a mentally ill inmate in his Metro jail cell without a bath for 9 months; and sued by 23 female inmates who claim they were raped at a Kentucky prison.

In 2006 CCA settled a suit over the death of a Nashville woman who was left in solitary confinement with massive head injuries. Charges against four guards accused of beating the woman were dropped.

Opponents argue that CCA, the nation's largest private prison operator, uses its political influence to stifle those who say prisons should not be in private hands. It recently lost an attempt to keep all its prison records private when the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that CCA acts as a public entity in operating public prisons.

The latest lawsuit claims that Idaho's only private prison is extraordinarily violent, with guards deliberately exposing inmates to brutal beatings from other prisoners as a management tool.

The group contends the prison then denies injured inmates medical care to save money and hide the extent of injuries.

Steve Owen, Corrections Corporation of America's director of public affairs, said the company would respond to the lawsuit through court filings. He said state officials have unfettered access to the prison and provide strong oversight at the facility, including daily on-site monitoring.

"For the past decade, CCA has safely and securely managed the Idaho Corrections Center on behalf of our government partner, the Idaho Department of Corrections," Owen said in a prepared statement.

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