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, October 20, 2010

My Prison Watching Compa.


Less than two months after I started blogging at the Prison Abolitionist last summer, I came across Nevada Prison Watch and a couple of other sites my dear friend ASE was involved with. I saw that she'd somehow helped compile a bunch of medical records and testimony for the ACLU with the guys in prison there to initiate legal action and posted them to her site, along with the results of inquiries, letters to (and about) the administration about cleaning up Ely State Prison, and letters from prisoners themselves. My friend's main focus in her prison outreach and blogging has been on amplifying prisoner voices rather than her own.

Most of what I've learned about watching prisons and working with prisoners I've learned from her. That means that a lot of folks have been spared some of my own trial and error. If you've landed on a fledgling Prison Watch site for just about any other state in the nation, ASE is probably the one who helped get it up and keeps it going. She's also behind Prison Watch for Imprisoned Women, Immigrant Detention Watch , and Prison Watch International.

No one but the prisoners she corresponds with, a handful of other prison watchers, and a few state administrators probably even knows her name, much less her face or where in the world she's blogging from. Whether she's been 5 or 5000 miles away, though, she's never been very far from any of us.

Anyway, I've been blessed to have her company on this leg of my journey, and I don't think I tell her that often enough. Tonight I thought I should.


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

A. -

You have been one of the most devoted constant friends and comrades I've ever had. Knowing that you're there, always checking in on me, ready to back me up, telling me how awesome I am - and praying for me, I bet - has made it possible for me to push these people harder and for longer than I ever would have been able to do otherwise.

You inspired AZ Prison Watch, and helped me Free Marcia Powell. You've seen me through both the highs and the lows that might have derailed me without the solid ground that only the well-grounded could be a bridge to. You've taught me a lot about being steady and strong for prisoners, and about collaborating with others to build something bigger than both of us. And by example you've shown me that if you keep the faith and hang in there long enough, you just might be able to shine enough light on a dark place in the world to bring the exiled out of the shadows - and maybe even bring some home.


I wouldn't still be doing this today without you.

Gracias.

Justicia Ahora!!!

Love,

Peg

On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 2:37 PM, Nevada Prison Watch wrote:

Dear Peg,

It is bedtime here, but I wanted to say you do such great work, thank you!
I am so glad to have you in my life.
Am back on Facebook, was on holiday from that for a while...

Love!

A.


--
"Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness, and our ability to tell our own stories..."

- Arundhati Roy

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