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:


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

AZ Capitol Nine call for MASS Civil Disobedience.

This is more like it...

I echo their call. We can't let this legislation settle in and kill our people without a fight.

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Activists Chain Themselves to Arizona Capitol to Protest Russell Pearce's SB 1070

By Stephen Lemons, Tuesday, Apr. 20 2010 @ 1:11PM

Nine activists protesting state Senator Russell Pearce's anti-immigrant bill SB 1070 chained and locked themselves to the doors of the Arizona Capitol today, forcing the Capitol Police to use bolt cutters to unchain the nine and arrest them for disorderly conduct.

As a demonstration of hundreds denouncing SB 1070 raged nearby on the state House lawn, the nine twenty somethings sat silent and stone-faced, waiting to be taken away. Some moved their lips in prayer, as reporters and activists crowded around them.

One activist separate from the group handed out a statement from the nine, calling for "massive and ongoing civil disobedience to be organized all over Arizona and the rest of the nation."

The press release further read, "A people can only remain oppressed for so long before they rise from the shadows, from the margins, from oblivion...We chain ourselves to the Arizona State Capitol because nothing else has worked."

Capitol Police Commander Andrew Staubitz told reporters that the nine would be transported to Maricopa County's Fourth Avenue Jail to be booked.

Asked why he didn't cite and release the nine, Staubitz said that they were told they would be arrested if they did not unchain themselves. When they did not comply, they were taken into custody.

The nine protesters were later marched out of the old Capitol building in handcuffs, singing "We Shall Overcome," and chanting, "Veto 1070," a reference to the anti-immigrant legislation now on Governor Jan Brewer's desk that would make it illegal to be in the state of Arizona without proof of citizenship or legal residency.

They were then loaded onto a black sheriff's department bus. Demonstrators met them outside, cheering them like heroes.

This list of their names was acquired from one of the lawyer's representing them, Antonio Bustamante: Faviola Augustin, Leilani Clark, Daisy Cruz, Gregorio Montes de Oca, Justine Garcia, Ernesto Lopez, Rubin Lucio Palomares, Jr., David Anthony Portugal, Jr., and Armando Rios.

Present for the rally outside was organizer/activist Alejandro Chavez, grandson of civil rights leader Cesar Chavez, who said the protest was very much in the spirit of his late grandfather. I asked him if he thought we would see more civil disobedience if Governor Brewer signs the bill or lets it become law without her signature.

"I do," he said. "The important thing is that we do it in a peaceful, nonviolent manner. It's important for people to listen. If there's violence, people shut off their ears. My grandfather said that nonviolence is our greatest strength. That's more important now than it's ever been before."

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