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:


Thursday, April 22, 2010

We Shall Overcome SB 1070.


Hey Folks - Note the new widget to the right and click on the Police State to take action against SB 1070. It'll take you to a page to email the Governor. You can use the canned letter they provide, or write your own. Even though she's received over 6,000 emails from the site, I wrote my own:

----------------------------------------Subject: "We Will Resist SB 1070"-------------------------------------

"We were kind of hoping you would save us from the fascists, not collude with them, but rumor has it that you'll be signing SB 1070 any day now - or just letting it pass into law - not vetoing it.

You still have time to save the day – you can still be the hero of this civil rights movement. Or, you can pave the way for people like Pearce to have even more power over people like you and I.

This will be your great test, I guess – do you have what it takes to fend off the bad guys in the legislature, or do we need a new chief executive?

I don’t believe you would sign this bill if Pearce didn’t have some kind of leverage with you that we can’t see, because I think you know the harm it will do us all. It’s going to tear this place apart.

Remember Mississippi's Freedom Summer? Arizona may have a similar boost in tourism soon - possibly of people not carrying documents. What a mess that could be, all those civil rights activists getting stopped and detained because they're passing through Arizona looking too brown...how embarrassing, and what a waste of law enforcement resources, verifying that they’re all citizens…

And no doubt hate crimes against Latinos and their sympathizers are about to go out of sight. The bad guys here carry guns everywhere, you know. Most poor people don't.

So, many prayers are with you tonight, as are the hopes of young citizens with undocumented parents, communities with undocumented neighbors, and a whole lot of undocumented and silenced victims of crime who will never feel safe anywhere again...

Would you tell the young woman from Chiapas who is raped that she should have known better, and deport her in cuffs? Or the Guatemalan teenager looking for his parents that it's their own fault if they're lost in the federal detention system (earning big bucks for CCA every day they stay "lost" there) - then lock him up, too, until they're "found"?

That's the kind of stuff you do, Governor, every time you sign off on one of these abusive pieces of legislation that Pearce pushes through. It's all only gotten worse for people of color in this state under you. If you really believe, with all your heart, that this bill is good for Arizona - sign away. By all means, be true to yourself and honest with us about the implications.

But I don't think you really believe it will be good for Arizona. I think you know there's a fascist or two among us with far too much power, and that this piece of legislation comes not from a love of America, but from a fear of everyone brown - citizen and non-citizen alike. It's about white supremacy. If you sign it, you can't later claim ignorance or innocence - you've been advised by the very people who would know what evil this is.

We’re saddened to think you'll be signing SB 1070, Governor. Just don't think it will win you any votes from the far right - and be sure it will lose you many from the center - once this thing sinks in.

This bill makes us the most racist, fascist state in the country, and we will resist it until the young and the wise and the poor are powerful enough to throw you all out of our State House and Governor’s Mansion..."

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