UPDATE: May 20, 2019
To all my AZ friends/family:
Thanks so much for your and likes and hope and encouraging words via FB these past 4 1/2 years. You helped me survive some of the loneliest days and hardest nights I've endured yet by keeping our connections alive across 2000 miles.
My 55th birthday is June 13, 2019, and I plan to celebrate it in PHX (details to be announced). I'm leaving Michigan (god willing) by May 25 - and should land in an undisclosed location in the Deep Southwest soon after.
Here's my PAYPAL link for anyone who wants to shoot me $10 bucks or throw a big impromptu anarchist talent show and pass a hat or something to help me make it home. Once I land I'll be back to work on my art again, and will send a homemade gift to everyone I can...
And don't forget to pick up PJ Starr's 2016 documentary film about the life and death of Marcia Joanne Powell:
SHARING IS CARING,
so please share with all our friends!!
THANK YOU and MUCH to all, near and far.
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
until all are free -
MARGARET J PLEWS (June 1, 2015)
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Lima, Peru: Lori is Free!
Anyway, I am posting the following email verbatim - it's joyful, long-awaited news on Lori Berenson. Blessings to her and her family tonight...
dateTue, May 25, 2010 at 4:35 PM
subject: LORI IS FREE
Lori and Salvador are Granted Parole!
Dear Friends and Supporters of Lori,
On May 25, 2010 a Peruvian judge, after carefully studying Lori's application for what in Peru is termed "conditional liberty" (parole), determined that Lori has earned her freedom. Lori and her son Salvador will be leaving prison in a few days and moving to an apartment in Lima.
Parole requires individuals to live within the city in which they were incarcerated (Lima, in Lori's case) - we do not know if there are exceptions for foreigners or whether Lori will be permitted to travel to the US while on parole. Parole in Peru is based on good behavior, work and study. In September 2009 Lori officially filed her application under a Peruvian law which established eligibility after serving 75% of her 20-sentence, less time off for work and study.
Lori appeared before the judge in court on Monday, May 17th, for a hearing, defended by her husband, Anibal Apari Sanchez, a Lima lawyer and candidate for Mayor of Villa El Salvador, a suburb of Lima with over a half million inhabitants. Lori will be a single mom - Anibal and Lori are legally separated but remain friends and both share concerns for Salvador's proper upbringing.
Salvador, now an active one-year old boy, will certainly enjoy the opportunity to run around outside the confines of the prison. He is learning both English and Spanish but babbles continuously in "unknown tongue." He is a very happy child and loves to be with people.
We want to express our gratitude to all of you for your expressions of love and support all these years. You have truly sustained us through some very dark hours and the dawn of a new sunny day has arrived.
With appreciation, always.
Rhoda and Mark B.
English Website: http://www.freelori.org/
Spanish Website: http://www.lorilibre.org/