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:


Friday, July 23, 2010

Prison Health is Public Health: UN

Got this from the UNSHACKLE list-serve - join it if you haven't already and are serious about these issues. This argument also applies to Hepatitis C - only it's even more infectious and prevalent than HIV/AIDS...

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UN warning on AIDS in prisons

By VERONIKA OLEKSYN

Associated Press Writer

VIENNA (AP) -- The U.N.'s top investigator on torture and punishment warned Friday that overcrowded prisons are breeding grounds for AIDS.

Often, inmates are held in inhumane conditions in which the HIV virus is spread through the use of non-sterile drug injection equipment, sexual contacts, tattooing and sharing of razors, Manfred Nowak said.

"There is a global prison crisis," he told an international AIDS conference.

Nowak, who has visited detention facilities around the world, urged authorities to inform prisoners of the risk of HIV transmission and to offer them free condoms, HIV testing and counseling. He also pressed prisons to offer needle and syringe programs, opiate substitution therapies and methadone treatments.

"Science tells us exactly what we have to do, it's just a question of political will to implement it," Nowak said.

In addition, prison guards should live up to their obligation to prevent rape and other forms of coercion that thrive in packed environments.

"One of the most important measures to prevent HIV transmission would be the reduction of overcrowding," since it leads to violence and conditions that are conducive to the spread of the virus, he added.

Nowak said that, although reliable figures are hard to come by, the prevalence of HIV in prisons is generally much higher than in a country's wider population.

In Ukraine, for example, the prevalence of HIV in prison is at least 10 times that of the overall population, he said.

Dmytro Shermebey of the All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS - who was diagnosed with HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis after spending nine years in a Ukrainian jail - stressed that inmates have a right to both treatment and protection from the disease.

"They have the right because they are human," Shermebey said.

While about 10 million people are incarcerated every year, some 30 million enter and leave prisons annually - making it a public health problem for society, according to Nowak.

"Prison health is public health," he said.

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