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:


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Deaths in Custody: Anthony Clayton Lester.

This is the beautiful young man who reportedly killed himself at ASPC-Tucson/ Manzanita on July 12 of this year. I didn't know anything about him at the time he died except for the short press release the Arizona Department of Corrections put out, which is always limited to the prisoner's name, ADC number, age, crime, and sentence.

I did a little more digging after speaking to his family tonight, though, and came across this obituary. Whenever I can I like to include things about prisoners who pass away that speak to who they were, instead of just the "criminals" the ADC feels a need to portray them as when they die.
Just because Tony had been criminalized does not mean he was a bad man. By his aunt's account, he was a very good soul.

I'll have more on this young man's story at some point down the road; his actual cause of death has yet to be determined, it appears. For now, please just think good things for his grieving family - especially for the little girl who he never even had the chance to hold.

-------------------------------

Name:
Anthony Clayton Lester

Date:
June 16th, 1984 - July 12th, 2010

Obituary:

Anthony Clayton Lester, born June 16, 1984 in Tucson, AZ, left our presence July 12, 2010 in Tucson, AZ after spending most of his short 26 years in Scottsdale, AZ. He was a music enthusiast, an extremely talented writer, a caring shoulder to cry on, a protector from all evil and an adoring father. He was preceded by Uncle Clayton Lester. He is missed and loved by his daughter Dawn, mother Eleanor, fiancée Samantha, Aunt Patti, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and puppies.

Memorial/viewing services will be held July 20 from 6 - 10pm @ Memorial Hall @ SRPMIC, Scottsdale AZ. Mass on July 24 @ 10am @ OLPH Scottsdale, AZ and funeral services to follow at St. Francis Cemetery, Phoenix, AZ. Arrangements by Bunker’s Garden Chapel.

"Lord, I am the bruised reed, the smoldering wick. May I believe more deeply in your compassionate guidance."

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