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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AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Justifying A Prisoner Homicide: GEO prisoner beat to death.

Judges know what happens to these guys when they send them away - so do we. Why do we keep letting it happen? Most of them were criminalized by the same brutality in the first place. How does perpetuating that cycle of violence help any of us, especially children?

This article seems only to justify why the guy was his murder gets off easier than he did. I find that kind of disturbing. People should not be allowed to torture and execute others like that.

Anyone remember that guy Arizona had to let go recently who did 35 years for child molestation, swearing all along he was innocent? He was. So, do they all "deserve what they get/" Would your child, if it happened to them?


Inmate dies after beating at Graceville CI

March 13, 2010 11:02 AM

Jay Felsberg, Managing Editor

The Florida Department of Corrections said that an active investigation is underway into what has been reported in local media as the beating death of an inmate at Graceville Corrections Institution.

"The victim passed away this morning," said Gretl Plessinger of the Office of Public Affairs of the Department of Corrections. "His name is Jason Owens. We have a person of interest but no suspect yet."

Jason Jerry Owens, 31, was adjudicated guilty of being principal to lewd and lacivious sexual assault on a victim under the age of 16 stemming from an incident on May 1, 1997 and was sentenced to 2 years and six months in state prison.

Owens later accumulated an extensive criminal record in Pasco County, being adjudicated guilty on nine various burglary charges and possession of controlled substance from an incident on April 3, 2002. He was scheduled to be released on April 4, 2017 after a 15-year prison sentence.

The St. Petersburg Times reported on April 6, 2002 that Owens was arrested after what appeared to be a burglary spree through New Port Richey while he was trying to break into cars. Deputies reported that Owens earlier donned latex gloves to burglarize jewelry from a home while a family slept, and used a screwdriver to break into a home and take jewelry and cash.

Owens broke into another home and took batteries, informing a resident that, “I’m a burglar,” and broke into three vehicles and stole tools and cigarettes.

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