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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AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Private Prison security lapse: 2 Kingman escapees still on loose.

(FYI: McCluskey and Welch arrested in AZ 8/19/10 post. All escapees back in custody.)

According to the Az Department of Corrections website, Kingman Prison (Golden Valley) is operated by the Management and Training Corporation (MTC). This is the reason why the ADC didn't want to turn over their maximum security facilities to private prison operators - security, among other things, is often substandard.
But it would have been the ADC who decided to put three murderers in medium security facilities in the first place. It's ludicrous that these guys could have escaped the way they did - they are now both dangerous and desperate - a bad combination.


Authorities capture one of three escaped convicts in Colorado

By the CNN Wire Staff
August 2, 2010 5:35 a.m. EDT

(CNN) -- One of three convicted killers who escaped from an Arizona prison was captured Sunday in Rifle, Colorado, and authorities are on the lookout for a silver Volkswagen Jetta the remaining escapees may be driving, according to corrections officials.

Daniel Renwick, 36, was spotted driving a brown Chevy Blazer by a Rifle police officer who gave chase, Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan told CNN Radio. Gunshots were exchanged, and Renwick was ultimately taken into custody.

Renwick, who broke out of the Arizona State Prison-Kingman Friday night along with two others, was serving 22 years for second-degree murder. He is being held in Colorado, awaiting questioning by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Ryan said the remaining escapees, identified as Tracy Province and John McCluskey, are believed to be driving a 2002 silver Jetta purchased Saturday in west Phoenix.

"If anyone sees this silver, 4-door Jetta, we recommend they call 911," Ryan said.

The men, who have been described as armed and dangerous, were discovered missing after the 9:45 p.m. count Friday at the privately-operated Kingman facility. The escapees cut a hole in the fence, authorities said. A helicopter and dogs began a search.

"Precisely how they escaped is under investigation," Ryan said, noting some "operational security problems" at the prison.

"Those are being evaluated and investigated as we speak," he added.

Province and McCluskey are believed to be with a female accomplice who was on the visitation list for one of the inmates.

After their escape, the inmates and the accomplice abducted two truck drivers on Interstate 40 outside of Kingman and hijacked their 18-wheeler, according to the Mohave County Sheriff's Department in Kingman. They released them and the rig five hours later in Flagstaff, about 135 miles to the east.

Province, 42, was serving a life sentence for murder and armed robbery. McCluskey, 45, was serving 15 years for second-degree murder and other charges.

The suspected accomplice was identified as 43-year-old Casslyn Mae Welch, who is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 135 pounds with brown hair and green eyes.

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