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:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Prosecute CCA Prisoner Abuse.


Hey folks: this is Peggy Plews at Arizona Prison Watch. My comrade from Nevada Prison Watch set up this site and has been staffing it, but we could use some help from Arizona and/or Hawai'i. For more information, contact me at: 

Arizona Prison Watch
PO Box 20494
Phoenix, AZ 85036 

Most people have probably read the news reports on the lawsuit filed by the prisoners who were repeatedly assaulted and threatened with more time in prison, rape and even death. Even their families were threatened. Read the actual suit. It's really contemptible. As a member of the Arizona public, I even feel violated by what's happened here. 

Now, maybe I missed it, but I haven't been able to find anything about aggravated assault charges, among other things, being brought against the guards and warden at the Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy AZ. That's criminal conduct, and if the assaultive behavior was the other way around all those prisoners would be up on the most serious charges the state could bring against them by now.

So, I'm encouraging EVERYONE who cares about human rights out there to please contact the Pinal County Attorney's and Sheriff's offices to ask about criminal prosecution of those people responsible for the violence committed against their prisoners. Here's the contact info:

James P. Walsh
Pinal County Attorney
P.O. Box 887
Florence, AZ 85132

Front Desk: 520-866-6271


Paul Babeu, Sheriff
Pinal County Sheriff's Office
P.O. Box 867
Florence, AZ 85132 

PCSO Main Number: 1-800-420-8689
Administration: 520-866-6800

Public Information Office: 520-866-6800
Records: 520-866-5193

you need to go here to submit an email comment to the Sheriff.

I plan to write to them both, myself, soon, and will post my letters so you get the gist of what I'm advocating here. Don't wait for me, though, if you already know what you want to say. Letters/email are best, because they provide written documentation that phone calls can't capture, but doing both is even better.

Also, here's the info you need to send copies of your correspondence to the area media, and to urge them to investigate the matter as well:

Phoenix New Times
PO Box 2510
Phoenix, AZ 85002
Phone: 602-271-0040
Fax: 602-340-8806

Tucson Citizen
4850 S. Park Ave.
Tucson, AZ, 85714

The Arizona Republic
Letters to the Editor

P.O. Box 2244
Phoenix, AZ 85002

Main switchboard
(602) 444-8000
(800) 331-9303 toll-free

Letters may also be faxed to (602) 444-8933.

Arizona Daily Star
4850 S. Park Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85714

Cruz, Veronica
News Assistant
520-573-4179 office
520-573-4107 fax

Fell, Cina
News Assistant
520-573-4203 office
520-573-4107 fax

O'Sullivan, JayneNews Assistant
520-573-4133 office
520-573-4140 fax

That should get you started, at least. Send copies of what you end up doing to the above email or PO Box addresses, too, and I'll post them. And again, READ THE LAWSUIT! Then you'll know what you're talking about.

Thanks -


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