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, December 24, 2010

Defend Free Speech for a Happier New Year.

December 22, 2010


I complained to the Phoenix Police today about being handcuffed and perp-walked Wednesday morning while exercising my First Amendment rights outside of City Hall. Then I informed them of my intention to chalk in front of their HQ. I was really just telling them what I was up to so I wouldn't get tasered or shot; I wasn't asking them for permission or to cut me a "break".

It didn't go over very well.

We argued for about 20 minutes, during which time one officer insisted that the "ground" in the Arizona Revised Statutes (pasted below) refers to dirt, not the sidewalk or street or anything paved. I was ultimately threatened with arrest on the spot and being booked into jail for criminal damage if I proceeded to chalk the walk, which I did.

I told them as I was walking out the door that I'd respect their access to their loading zone - which one officer made a good point about - but that as I understood it, chalking sidewalks isn't against the law, and if they really believed it was to come and get me. I'd rather have it out once and for all in court than haggle with them about it every time. Sooner or later, one of them is bound to hurt me.

They left me alone once I got started. They didn't even take down my personal information when I offered it (they probably already know who I am and where I live...).

Perhaps the "Graffitti Detectives" will chase me down another day. In the meantime, though, since my free speech at City Hall had just been stomped on, I still needed to make a "Happier New Year" card.

Here's two:



Let me know which one you like most and I'll send it to you -
just be sure to give me your snail mail address.

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


13-1602. Criminal damage; classification

A. A person commits criminal damage by recklessly:

1. Defacing or damaging property of another person; or

2. Tampering with property of another person so as substantially to impair its function or value; or

3. Tampering with or damaging the property of a utility.

4. Parking any vehicle in such a manner as to deprive livestock of access to the only reasonably available water.

5. Drawing or inscribing a message, slogan, sign or symbol that is made on any public or private building, structure or surface, except the ground,
and that is made without permission of the owner.

B. Criminal damage is punished as follows:

1. Criminal damage is a class 4 felony if the person recklessly damages property of another
in an amount of ten thousand dollars or more.

2. Criminal damage is a class 4 felony if the person recklessly damages the property of a utility in an amount of five thousand dollars or more or if the person recklessly causes impairment of the functioning of any utility.

3. Criminal damage is a class 5 felony if the person recklessly damages property of another
in an amount of two thousand dollars or more but less than ten thousand dollars.

4. Criminal damage is a class 6 felony if the person recklessly damages the property of another
in an amount of one thousand dollars or more but less than two thousand dollars.

5. Criminal damage is a class 1 misdemeanor if the person recklessly damages property of another in an amount of more than two hundred fifty dollars but less than one thousand dollars.

6. In all other cases criminal damage is a class 2 misdemeanor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What is "reckless" and who "owns" the ground and surface? Surely it was taken a long time ago from the rightful inhabitants of that place?