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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Saturday, June 12, 2010

From No More Deaths - Phoenix...


below are incredibly disturbing news of incidents along the border. Keep an eye out for upcoming responses by No More Deaths.

Please share these stories with others.

1. Youtube video of Border Patrol shooting of Sergio Adrian Hernandez, 15, in El Paso:


The Mexican government Wednesday vigorously protested the shooting this week of a 15-year-old boy at Mexico's border with Texas. The boy, Sergio Hernandez Guereca, died of a wound to the face. U.S. officials say he died after a Border Patrol agent opened fire Monday night on a group of Mexicans throwing rocks at the agent, who was attempting to arrest suspected illegal immigrants...

[to read complete article, go to the link:,0,6357135.story]


Mexico has demanded a full investigation into the death of one of its citizens after he was beaten and shot with electric stun guns by US border patrol agents.

The incident happened as Anastasio Hernandez was about to be deported from the US state of California. A spokeswoman for the US Border Patrol said its officers had acted in self defence after he became violent.

Mr Hernandez had lived and worked in California for more than 20 years. In a statement, the Mexican foreign ministry expressed its "indignation" and condemned the events that led to his death.

Mr Hernandez died in a hospital near San Diego on Monday, three days after he was beaten and shot with Taser stun guns as agents tried to deport him...

[to read complete article, go to the link:]

3. 18% increase in human recovered remains this year over last (108).

Posted: Jun 07, 2010 2:56 PM EDT

WELLTON, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - U.S. Border Patrol agents rescued two men stranded in the desert Thursday after they activated a rescue beacon near the Gila Mountains, the Border Patrol said Monday, in a media release.

Both men were Mexican citizens in the United States illegally, according to the Border Patrol. On Thursday afternoon, agents assigned to the Wellton Station responded to a rescue beacon activation about 15 miles southeast of the Fortuna Foothills near the Gila Mountains.

Agents found two adult males in need of water near the beacon, the release said. Here is more on the incident:

"Agents offered the men water and discovered that they had illegally entered the United States on May 30 and had been wandering the desert for nearly four days. Both men refused advanced medical care and were subsequently taken into custody and transported to the Wellton Border Patrol Station for processing.

"At the station, agents ran records checks on the men and learned that one of the subjects had been previously removed on four separate

occasions after illegally entering the country. Both men were Mexican citizens.

"Since Oct. 1, 2009, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents have rescued 17 people suffering from heat-related stress in the Arizona desert."


Laura Ilardo
No More Deaths-Phoenix