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:


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

AZ small town warned about Corplan

Via Ken's list-serve at the Private Corrections Working Group. These people cashing in on exploiting the devastation of immigrant detention - and lobbying for more criminalization, no doubt - are especially repulsive. I hope Benson escapes their grasp.

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Benson warned on private detention center

Published: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 10:40 AM CDT

Thelma Grimes/San Pedro Valley News-Sun

Allowing a private detention center to operate in Benson is not in the city's best interest said Michelle Brane, the director of the detention and asylum program for the Women's Refugee Commission.

In fact, Brane said private prisons like the proposed 200-bed facility are "horrible for rural communities."

Corplan Corrections, a Texas Company, wants to build a 104,000-square-foot facility to house mostly women and children who are in the country illegally.

The company known for building prisons and detention centers in the U.S., has promised the city big payouts if they sponsor the $27 million bonds needed to pay for the prison construction.

Representatives of Corplan, including Toby Michael and James Parkey, have told city officials and council members that the bond is paid for through federal funding.

Corplan Corrections has already selected a 25-acre parcel that would hold the facility, that they are calling a "Family Residential Center of the Southwest," near Benson Municipal Airport.

However, Brane said the promise of federal funding is not a true statement.

"I have spoken to the Department of Homeland Security, and the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement because if Corplan were to get funding, it would be from them," she said. "At this point there are not any (request for proposals); there have been no discussions with the federal government. Nothing is a sure thing and in fact I would say highly doubtful."

City Manager Glenn Nichols said city staff has moved forward with investigating whether this would be a good economic move for the city, and it will be discussed by the City Council during the May 10 regular meeting.

Nichols said the biggest concern remains accountability.

"We have seen nothing in writing from the Department of Corrections that this would definitely be funded," he said.

The second concern is the city's liability if the bond were to go into default. Corplan Corrections says there is no liability on the city's part, but Nichols said they are not completely sure.

Nonetheless, the direction the city will take will depend on how the council votes on May 10. Nichols said the council will be presented the information, discuss it and vote to either move forward with the process or stop it.

Corplan Corrections has painted a picture of great economic promise if Benson moves ahead with the project.

In closed-door meetings with council members, Corplan has promised a federally funded facility that would house 500 women and children in the country illegally and would create up to 150 jobs.

The city has also been told they would get an increased revenue stream of $218,000 a year.

Similar facilities have been proposed in New Mexico and Texas, and one became a failure in Hardin, Mont., where the city signed off on $27 million in bonds in 2007 for a 200-bed facility.

The facility was constructed, but to this day sits empty with no federal grant funding or per diem fees as promised by Corplan Corrections.

Kim Hammond, mayor of Hardin, has warned cities like Benson to tread lightly when considering the proposals brought forth by private companies like Corplan.

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