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 who I've been supporting, Jessie Burlew.

I will miss my work and the people who have supported me - but I have been most especially grateful to the prisoners who educated, confided in, and encouraged me. My life has been made all the more rich and meaningful by their engagement.

I have 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



ALONE: Teens in Solitary Confinement

AZ PRISON WATCH ACTION ITEMS:

17 year old seriously mentally ill prisoner Jessica Burlew has been held in solitary confinement, in the jails of Joe Arpaio, since January 2014 pending trial for the accidental death of the sexual predator who was exploiting her.

Her next hearing date is Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 8:30 am at the Maricopa County Superior Courthouse in Phoenix. Please show wearing blue, if you can - it matters to her to see people on her side in the crowd. Her trial will be coming up fast.
AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:


Friday, September 10, 2010

Young woman suicides at Perryville prison.


There was another prisoner suicide this week at the Arizona Department of Corrections' woman's prison, where family members have been deeply concerned about the conditions of confinement and lack of mental health services. It appears as if this young woman had less than a month left to serve before parole - perhaps a little longer due to the behavior problems she had in prison.

Our condolences to Lasasha's family and friends. If anyone wishes to share an obituary or anything about her life, please contact me at arizonaprisonwatch@gmail.com
. We try to recognize more than just the criminal record when we have access to such information.

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ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
1601 W. JEFFERSON PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85007

(602) 542-3133


JANICE K. BREWER, GOVERNOR
CHARLES L. RYAN, DIRECTOR

NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release

For more information contact:
Barrett Marson
www.bmarson@azcorrections.gov
Bill Lamoreaux
www.blamorea@azcorrections.gov

September 8, 2010

Inmate Death Notification

Phoenix, Az- Inmate Lasasha Cherry, ADC#244426, died while in Arizona Department of Corrections custody Monday after apparently committing suicide.

Cherry, 23, came to ADC on July 20, 2009 after a conviction from Maricopa County for abuse and unlawful use of means of transportation. She was serving 1.5 years and housed at the Lumley Unit of ASPC-Perryville.

The death is under investigation by the Department.

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