MARGARET J PLEWS
PO BOX 20494
PHOENIX, AZ 85036

arizonaprisonwatch@gmail.com

480-580-6807

Established: July 18, 2009
Editor: Peggy Plews


This site is 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. If you're unfamiliar with prison abolition, check out Critical Resistance. I'm a freelance writer and human rights activist, and have no legal training, FYI.

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AS OF AUGUST 2014 I am dealing with a family emergency out of state, and will likely be gone for the next month. If you need assistance, write to my PO box and my friends with the PHOENIX ANARCHIST BLACK CROSS will try to help you. Or email me at arizonaprisonwatch@gmail.com, which I'll try to check at least a couple of times a week.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prison (HBO)

America's prisons are broken. Just ask John Oliver and several puppets.

THE I-Files: Teens in Solitary Confinement

AZ PRISON WATCH ACTION ITEMS:

RESIGN, CHUCK RYAN

RESIGN, CHUCK RYAN
Petition by the family of Tony Lester, victim of suicide in AZ DOC custody.

Prisoners and Families: Send your SOS to the DOJ!

We really need those of you out there who have been in an AZ prison, have lost a child or other family member in an AZ prison, or have a loved one in an AZ prison now, to write a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder (that one is mine) about the need for a federal intervention here, and send me a copy, with a nice photo, if you have one, of the beloved prisoner - I don't have to post your letters and pictures, but please tell me if I may, with or without names.

If you need some motivation, see what the Governor had to say to him about the swell state things are in here. Don't let her pass that BS off on him unchallenged.

When the truth of prison rape and violence is made public and appeals for relief come directly from those affected, the rest of the community identifies better with prisoners as people, and it puts more pressure on the feds - as well as the governor- to act. And you are the ones with the most at stake here. So, please back me up on this argument I'm making, folks. If the feds listened to me, they'd have been here long ago - I need your support!

And don't just "like" me on Facebook or the Daily KOS - SHARE SHARE SHARE!!!

US Attorney General Eric Holder
US Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC 20530


Send word to your loved ones in prison to write the AG as well, and to send me copies if they want me to post their letters, too.

AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:

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NOTE AUGUST 12, 2014: I am dealing with a family crisis out of state, and will likely not be available for the next month. Please write to my PO box (above) if you need assistance and my friends will try to help you.

Friday, April 30, 2010

"I'm Mexican, Pull Me Over."

This is where you need to get the news on Phoenix from...

Hey - check out the car!

------------------from The Feathered Bastard------------------

Linda Ronstadt Returns, Joe Arpaio Hunts Hispanics, and ACLU Announces Plans to Sue Over SB 1070

Categories: Feathered Bastard

mexicanpull.jpg
EarlyOnsetofNight
One way of combating Sheriff Joe's anti-brown sweeps, and SB1070 to boot

Tomorrow will be a big day in Sand Land, with Latina pop icon Shakira meeting with Mayor Phil Gordon over their opposition to Arizona's new racial profiling law. Normally, that alone would make for a huge news day here in Cactus Country, but both the ACLU and Sheriff Joe plan to kick it up a notch.

Arpaio's just announced that his 15th anti-immigrant dragnet will start tomorrow, with a press conference scheduled for 4 p.m. This is the press advisory sent out by Arpaio's flak:

"As previously promised, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will kick off his15th crime suppression/illegal immigration enforcement operation which will utilize nearly 150 deputies and posse volunteers. The area targeted for this suppression operation, Arpaio says, was chosen weeks ago because of its high concentration of drop houses and human smuggling transportation routes as well as overall crime statistics and will be announced on Thursday by Sheriff Arpaio at his 4PM press briefing. That briefing will be held in front of the Sheriff's Training Academy at 2627 South 35th Avenue in Phoenix."

BTW, I spotted an apparent mistake in this advisory. It should state,

"The area targeted for this suppression operation...was chosen weeks ago because of its high concentration of Hispanics."

In this regard, catch a clue from the above photo from the blog Early Onset of Night. Maybe those activists who will be monitoring (read, "dogging") MCSO vehicles during tomorrow's sweep of brown people should do something similar to their cars.

In sympathy, I plan to spray-paint myself a nice, dark tan, blast La Campesina from my car stereo, hang a Shakira air freshener from my rearview window, and tell the deputy dawgs that pull me over that I'm actually Horatio Sanz.

Hey, there's more than one way to skin a story.

Also on the front burner for tomorrow is a press conference being given on the steps of Governor Jan Bewer's office by the ACLU of Arizona, MALDEF and other groups announcing their intent to sue the state over the recently signed SB1070.

Grammy-winner Linda Ronstadt will be coming up from her home in Tucson to be present for the presser tomorrow. You'll recall that Ronstadt was in Phoenix for a massive march to Joe's jails back in January. She'll be joined by representatives of the various organizations involved, as well as by Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America.

I'll attend the Ronstadt event and follow-up afterward. Regarding the Arpaio presser, "America's Toughest Sheriff" is too much of a pantywaist to allow me into his press conferences.

He must be afraid that I'll ask him a tough question, like,

"When you're indicted by the feds, do you want to be arrested with a pair of your own pink handcuffs?"

Or...

"As a prospective resident of a federal prison facility, do you prefer being on the bottom or the top -- um -- bunk?"

SB 1070: Still A Bad Law.

Patchwork changes to immigration law came in waning hours of session

By Evan Wyloge - evan.wyloge@azcapitoltimes.com

Published: April 27, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Arizona Capitol Times


One week after Gov. Jan Brewer gave Arizona the toughest immigration law in the U.S., state lawmakers added changes that would limit the scope of the law and protect local governments from lawsuits.

The changes were sought by lawmakers who voted for Arizona’s new immigration law after striking a deal with immigration hawk Sen. Russell Pearce.

Rep. Russ Jones, who was one of three Republican lawmakers to vote against a similar bill in 2009, said he agreed to vote for S1070 this year in exchange for Pearce’s promise to make changes to it in follow-up legislation.

The resulting bill, H2162, was approved on April 29, just hours before the end of the session.

H2162 prescribes a few key changes to the new immigration law, clarifying both the definition of lawful contact and guidelines for municipalities, as well as lowering the minimum — not the maximum — fine that can be assessed to cities that have so-called “sanctuary city” policies. It also restructured some of the punitive actions that a court would apply to those charged under the new law.

Representatives of the law enforcement community say the changes significantly alter the way police would have to enforce the law and the way they would be accountable for doing so.

Lyle Mann, who runs the day-to-day operations of the Arizona Peace Officers Safety and Training Board (AZPOST), said the fine points of the trailer bill are vital to the street-level execution of the new law. His group, incidentally, has been tasked by the governor with turning the provisions of the new law into a specific and manageable training rubric for police agencies across the state.

One of the changes to S1070 removes the word “solely” from the description of the new law’s lawful contact, when it comes to race. So, now race, color or ethnicity simply cannot be used as part of reasonable suspicion.

Mann said this is a huge simplification for his organization’s task, and should settle at least some of the fear over racial profiling. Now, his organization will simply be able to tell police agencies to have their officers understand that race is not a reason to initiate contact.

“It should quell the fears that a lot of people have vocalized,” Mann said. “This will make the training and policymaking much clearer and simpler.”

H2162 also narrows what is banned at the county, city and municipality level, changing it from a “policy or practice” to just a “policy” preventing police officers from using the new immigration law to its fullest extent.

With the independence that police officers rely on, Mann said, management of their activities is nearly impossible. So their “practices” are made at the officers’ discretion. The officers are trained, though, to rely on the “policies” their agency set.

“A ‘policy’ is the written instruction that tells officers how a task is to get done. ‘Practice’ is the actual activity carried out in support of that policy,” Mann said. “So the city of Phoenix might have 3,000 officers on the street. It’s much more difficult to control how those officers carry out their practices.”


Removing the words “or practices” from the new law goes a long way in protecting police agencies from lawsuits and fines, Mann said, because AZPOST will give guidelines, cities will turn those guidelines into “policy,” and the cities then would not be at the mercy of litigation coming from any resident who feels like the police agency isn’t enforcing the law to the fullest extent.

In addition, Jones said Pearce agreed to lower the fines assessed to local governments that violate the law. In S1070, a local government or agency initially could have been fined between $1,000 and $5,000 per day if an Arizona resident filed suit against them in Superior Court.

Jones wanted the fines cut in half, because he thought those numbers were arbitrary. Pearce only met him part of the way.

Instead of lowering both the maximum and minimum per-day fines, Pearce kept the $5,000 maximum and changed language in H2162 that would lower the minimum fines to $500 per day from $1,000 per day.

“Pearce says he thinks it’s important to have a sanction,” Mann said. “So you have to say, ‘OK, what’s a reasonable sanction? Do you get a better outcome with a bigger sanction?’ And you have to remember, if the city of Phoenix gets fined $1 million, they can’t open parks, they can’t operate their libraries, they take that money from schools. (Jones) is saying you can get the same compliance with half those numbers.”

Nancy Jo Merritt, who has 32 years of experience as an immigration attorney, said she understands why Jones and the law enforcement agencies would be so concerned over these small changes.

“This law is going to be so hard to comply with, so why make the punishments so harsh?” she said. “It’s like the assumption is the only way to get cities to follow this law is by threatening them with the death sentence.”

The last change outlined in H2162 concerned a phrase that said lawful contact can include an officer’s use of the new immigration law “in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town or this state.”

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Phoenix, harped on this new phrase, saying it will mean that law officers will be able and compelled to check the status of a person, even if the police officer were responding to some sort of civil town ordinance, like an overgrown lawn, a fence in disrepair or a barking dog.

Sinema said police officers could previously only use the new immigration law when they encountered someone during the enforcement of a criminal or civil traffic violation, and that this will expand the way police officers could contact, then detain people while checking their federal immigration status.

Pearce denied that this change means much, and said police would already have been able to use the new law when making contact with a person for such civil ordinances. He said this new language was only added to further clarify the way police are authorized to use the new immigration law.

Mann of AZPOST agreed with Pearce, saying police officers would have the ability to use the new immigration law during any type of contact with any person, regardless of this new language.

“Police officers do this every day. It’s called a ‘Terry Stop,’ after the Terry v. Ohio case,” Mann said. “Let’s say there are some guys playing basketball in a park. The officer walks up and says, ‘Hey guys. How’s it going?’ That’s lawful contact. It’s a standard voluntary stop.”

Pearce said the changes in H2162 were something he agreed to, in order to get the votes he needed, and that he thinks he lived up to his bargain.

“I wasn’t excited about it, but we did it,” Pearce said. “(Jones) ought to be happy with the changes, I kept my word.”

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Do Not Enter: AZ POLICE STATE.


Phoenix, April 29, 2010 rush hour, WB Loop 202.

(This would seem to suggest that a boycott is in order.)

(SENATE BILL 1070: full text)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

AZ small town warned about Corplan

Via Ken's list-serve at the Private Corrections Working Group. These people cashing in on exploiting the devastation of immigrant detention - and lobbying for more criminalization, no doubt - are especially repulsive. I hope Benson escapes their grasp.

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

Benson warned on private detention center

Published: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 10:40 AM CDT

Thelma Grimes/San Pedro Valley News-Sun

Allowing a private detention center to operate in Benson is not in the city's best interest said Michelle Brane, the director of the detention and asylum program for the Women's Refugee Commission.

In fact, Brane said private prisons like the proposed 200-bed facility are "horrible for rural communities."

Corplan Corrections, a Texas Company, wants to build a 104,000-square-foot facility to house mostly women and children who are in the country illegally.

The company known for building prisons and detention centers in the U.S., has promised the city big payouts if they sponsor the $27 million bonds needed to pay for the prison construction.

Representatives of Corplan, including Toby Michael and James Parkey, have told city officials and council members that the bond is paid for through federal funding.

Corplan Corrections has already selected a 25-acre parcel that would hold the facility, that they are calling a "Family Residential Center of the Southwest," near Benson Municipal Airport.

However, Brane said the promise of federal funding is not a true statement.

"I have spoken to the Department of Homeland Security, and the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement because if Corplan were to get funding, it would be from them," she said. "At this point there are not any (request for proposals); there have been no discussions with the federal government. Nothing is a sure thing and in fact I would say highly doubtful."

City Manager Glenn Nichols said city staff has moved forward with investigating whether this would be a good economic move for the city, and it will be discussed by the City Council during the May 10 regular meeting.

Nichols said the biggest concern remains accountability.

"We have seen nothing in writing from the Department of Corrections that this would definitely be funded," he said.

The second concern is the city's liability if the bond were to go into default. Corplan Corrections says there is no liability on the city's part, but Nichols said they are not completely sure.

Nonetheless, the direction the city will take will depend on how the council votes on May 10. Nichols said the council will be presented the information, discuss it and vote to either move forward with the process or stop it.

Corplan Corrections has painted a picture of great economic promise if Benson moves ahead with the project.

In closed-door meetings with council members, Corplan has promised a federally funded facility that would house 500 women and children in the country illegally and would create up to 150 jobs.

The city has also been told they would get an increased revenue stream of $218,000 a year.

Similar facilities have been proposed in New Mexico and Texas, and one became a failure in Hardin, Mont., where the city signed off on $27 million in bonds in 2007 for a 200-bed facility.

The facility was constructed, but to this day sits empty with no federal grant funding or per diem fees as promised by Corplan Corrections.

Kim Hammond, mayor of Hardin, has warned cities like Benson to tread lightly when considering the proposals brought forth by private companies like Corplan.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Scott Watch: Contact MS NAACP.

----------------------------from Free the Scott Sisters-------------------------


Greetings all,

Mrs. Rasco recently learned that Jamie's condition is unchanged and that when last they spoke she was being worked up for a possible urinary tract infection.  She was mentally strong, however, and very grateful that her mother and supporters are sticking by she and Gladys through all that they have suffered.

MDOC Commissioner Christopher Epps, whom we've been contacting for months regarding the disastrous level of Jamie's care and who's  been steadily misinforming people that she's not as sick as we've regularly documented, even after she had to be hospitalized several  times for high toxicity and infections that almost took her life, is  being HONORED as the KEYNOTE SPEAKER by the Jackson County, MS NAACP at their upcoming banquet on April 30, 2010!

Link: http://www.gulflive.com/sendthispage/sendthispage.ssf?http://blog.gulflive.com/mississippi-press-living/2010/04/christopher_epps_to_speak_at_freedom_fund_banquet.html

How could this branch, which is actually portrayed as an activist branch that has courageously taken on the police dept. and most recently the fire dept., completely ignore the sickeningly outrageous case of the Scott Sisters!  And to add insult to injury, laud Christopher Epps, who covers up the low-budget, some-timey care that denies Jamie Scott regular medications, regular dialysis, and the specific diet she has been told repeatedly that she needs to maintain any semblance of health. The medical care is said by inmates there to be abysmal on every level, and particularly so for Jamie Scott, with end stage kidney failure!

This is a smack in the face to Mrs. Rasco, to whom Epps made false promises of relief for Jamie, as well as Jamie and Gladys Scott, their  supporters, and the community at large!  This organization should be fighting on the front lines for justice for the Scott Sisters and not inviting Christopher  Epps to some banquet!  And what of the  National NAACP, why are they NOT responding to the many requests that have been made of them for the past 15 years to become involved in this case!

This is the final indignity and must not go unchallenged.  This bureaucrat should not pompously sit up there picking his teeth and pontificating while Jamie Scott lay suffering in one of the very prison cells that he oversees, a prison cell that she (nor her sister) should even be in!

Please contact the president of the Jackson County, Mississippi NAACP, Curly Clark, and ask him:

* Why is the NAACP distinguishing a man who would allow a woman to deteriorate in a prison on his watch until she is now at end stage of kidney failure?  

* Why does the NAACP want to hear from a man that won't permit this same, very seriously ill woman to be housed in the Medical Bldg. on the grounds of that facility so that she can be cared for by her sister and instead has her housed in a mold-infested, damp, breeding ground for the infections which have repeatedly threatened her life?  

Ask Jackson County NAACP President, Curly Clark, and State President, Derrick Johnson, why they are not involved in the fight for justice for the Mississippi Scott Sisters, a shocking and internationally known atrocity occurring right in their own backyard! 

This entire event should be protested if Epps remains on the program and attendees given refunds for their $30 tickets!

Curly Clark, President, Jackson County NAACP 228-762-9692 

Derrick Johnson, State President Mississippi State Conference NAACP
1072 West J.R. Lynch Street
Jackson, MS 39203
Phone: 601.353.6906
Fax: 601.353.1565
Website: www.naacpms.org

===================
Visit and LINK to: http://www.freethescottsisters.blogspot.com
Subscribe to our group:  Send a blank e-mail to scottsistersupdates-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and share information!
Facebook Group: Free The Scott Sisters
Facebook Fan Page: Free The Scott Sisters
Free the Scott Sisters Petition:  http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Free-Jamie-Gladys/index.html
Free the Scott Sisters Flyer: http://www.scribd.com/doc/28847395/Scott-Sisters-Flyer-Black-23-Mar-2010-20
Legal Transcripts: http://www.scribd.com/Scott%20Sisters

Friday, April 23, 2010

Brewer Signs SB 1070; most fascist in nation.

Thus begins 90 days of mass civil disobedience in protest...Arizona's Freedom Summer. Jan Brewer just became our George Wallace. Once school is out, this state becomes ground zero for the biggest civil rights demonstrations in a generation...

ROCK ON!! 


DEFY SB 1070!!!

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

Brewer signs far-reaching immigration bill; thousands protest

By Arizona Capitol Times Staff

Published: April 23, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Gov. Jan Brewer today signed a sweeping immigration bill that would make it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally.

Her announcement punctuated the tension at the state Capitol and as far away as Tucson, where thousands protested S1070, regarded as one of the country’s toughest anti-illegal immigration bills.

Earlier in the day, President Barack Obama president called the bill “misguided,” saying it could violate people’s civil rights and said the federal government must step up immigration reform to avoid states passing what he called similar irresponsible bills.

Brewer said the bill will make Arizonans safer and stressed that it mirrors provisions in federal immigration law that ensure civil rights.

“I will not tolerate racial discrimination or racial profiling in the state of Arizona,” she said. “My signature today represents my steadfast support for enforcing the law.”

Romley to Brewer: VETO SB 1070.

This is remarkable. 

This takes courage, Mr. Romley. 

Thank you.

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

Rick Romley to Governor: Veto Immigration Bill; Interim County Attorney Says He'll Enforce Law as Obligated


The harsh anti-illegal-immigrant law before Governor Jan Brewer is "tearing our community apart" and should be vetoed, Interim Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley said today.

Romley, in his first major news conference since replacing Andrew Thomas, said that besides the negative consequences in Valley neighborhoods, he also has "significant" legal and policy concerns about the bill, which would make being in the country illegally a state crime.

Romley referred to his office's aggressive prosecution of Frank Roque, who shot a Sikh Indian store owner in Mesa back in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks. Community members' emotions ran high after the terror attacks, but putting Roque behind bars sent a strong statement that violence wasn't the way to respond. Similarly, the harsh proposal passed by the Arizona Legislature is the wrong way to address the problem of illegal immigration, he said.


If the bill becomes law, Romley acknowledged, he's "obligated" to enforce it. But he's worried it represents an unfunded mandate from the state and that it has the potential to generate abuses of civil rights.

For instance, he said, the bill requires someone who's arrested to be detained until their immigration status is determined.

"What if the computers break?" he wondered.

Romley also said he's still deciding whether his office will prosecute anyone for smuggling themselves into the United States.

Thomas put more than 1,000 immigrants in jail for about three months each under his court-sanctioned interpretation of the state's human smuggling law.

Click here for more about Romley's announcements today.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Prison: Globe's bright hope for their children's future.

I just feel profoundly sad now every time I read an article like this...what about the imprint that economic dependence on crime and punishment leaves on the soul of a community? How is that a blessing for future generations? 

If you build it, they will come...

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

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 21st, 2010
www.silverbelt.com
BY: Andrea Marcanti/Staff Writer

GLOBE — After two hours of debate and discussion, Globe City Council voted in support of the private prison proposal introduced by the Southern Gila County Economic Development Corporation at the April 12 meeting.

What was initially presented to the council as an “out of city limits” correctional facility was later discovered to be inside the city’s annexed land on Globe’s northeast corridor. “We thought that the entire track was outside of city limits,” said James Parkey of Corpplan Corrections. “But after looking at it further we found it was in the limits, which puts the City of Globe in control of this proposal.”

Parkey along with Mike Moore from Emerald Correctional Management were on hand to answer questions about the project. Together with EDC Director Melissa Woodall, the group stressed the possible 40 to 60 million dollar economic footprint the prison could have on the area, the 300 plus jobs it could create, and of course their May 9 deadline to get proposals into the Arizona Department of Corrections.

Woodall explained at last week’s meeting that the state of Arizona offered a proposal to construct private correction facilities to house 5,000 beds.

The construction of these prisons would allow the state to transport inmates back to Arizona that are currently doing time out of state. “The state is looking to move the dollar back to Arizona where the citizens can benefit,” said Moore.

And with time passing and only a few weeks to submit their proposal, Emerald Corrections are looking to get the cities support in order to be placed on the “short list” with the state. “There are several other cities and towns looking to be awarded these beds,” said Moore.

The economic impact a facility of this size will have on the city is massive. “The city would get a monthly revenue check per inmate per month but it would depend on the monthly per diem that the state pays,” said Moore. “It does pay and it’s a sizable number.”

Another possible money making impact discussed lies in the Census money that could be received. “I know the Census money could be up to $1,500 per year per inmate,” said Councilwoman Thea Wilshire. “The fact that the site is already in the city is a pro to me.”

The city also looked at the possible $350 per person per year in state shared revenue, and the possible help with sewer infrastructure to help with the northeast area plan to expand Globe.

Both positive and negatives were discussed by the council and public in attendance. A big question regarding the cities lack of water was asked by Councilman Terence Wheeler. “We have a weak link in this city and that’s water,” said Wheeler. “Water is the most important commodity we have.” At the time of the discussion the EDC could not produce the numbers regarding the water usage and how that would affect the city. However, in an email received Tuesday morning, EDC member Mickie Nye felt it was important to produce these water numbers in relation to both the prison and Job Corps projects. “The northeast area plan is not homes but people, and I think the number is more like 4 thousand people if maximum build out were to occur. That is based on zoning densities. Assuming 150 gallons per day per person for 4000 people consumption would be about 674 acre feet. So taken together and assuming max capacity for both, the two projects would not exhaust the current excess capacity and would leave about 214 acre feet to support future development east of the groundwater divide, including the Job Corps (maybe 50-acre feet) and the large block of Freeport property (which also will need water). For now, there is enough water to go around.”

While other concerns expressed by the public were in regards to the possible psychological and cultural impact of having this type of facility in our city, and will Globe become a “prison town” like Florence.

The city moved forward to vote four to two in favor of supporting the prison proposal.

Honor Russ Pearce.


Honor Russ Pearce.

Hey, if you all hit the Police State to lodge your protest, you should have a chance to make a donation to a good cause. They even send a card to the person you're doing it to honor. Some Friends of Marcia Powell were hanging out when I wrote the Governor, so we honored Russ Pearce with our donation. Here's the card he'll get in his email (watch my back, now, please, folks...). 

Had we thought it out, though, our few measly bucks would have gone to SAVE THE MACEHUALLI - so that's where you should go after shooting an email to the Governor, and buy Russ some Virtual Tamales. I'm sure the center will be happy to send him a thank you card if you do it in his honor...lets see how many tamales we can buy him...
-------------------------


This eCard will be sent to rpearce@azleg.gov



  Dear Russell Pearce,

An online donation has been made on your behalf via Network for Good, by the Friends of Marcia Powell, to the National Day Labor Organizing Network, in tribute to your most fascist legislation, SB 1070.

Freedom Summer, Arizona, 2010. Thank you!



We Shall Overcome SB 1070.


Hey Folks - Note the new widget to the right and click on the Police State to take action against SB 1070. It'll take you to a page to email the Governor. You can use the canned letter they provide, or write your own. Even though she's received over 6,000 emails from the site, I wrote my own:

----------------------------------------Subject: "We Will Resist SB 1070"-------------------------------------

"We were kind of hoping you would save us from the fascists, not collude with them, but rumor has it that you'll be signing SB 1070 any day now - or just letting it pass into law - not vetoing it.

You still have time to save the day – you can still be the hero of this civil rights movement. Or, you can pave the way for people like Pearce to have even more power over people like you and I.

This will be your great test, I guess – do you have what it takes to fend off the bad guys in the legislature, or do we need a new chief executive?

I don’t believe you would sign this bill if Pearce didn’t have some kind of leverage with you that we can’t see, because I think you know the harm it will do us all. It’s going to tear this place apart.

Remember Mississippi's Freedom Summer? Arizona may have a similar boost in tourism soon - possibly of people not carrying documents. What a mess that could be, all those civil rights activists getting stopped and detained because they're passing through Arizona looking too brown...how embarrassing, and what a waste of law enforcement resources, verifying that they’re all citizens…

And no doubt hate crimes against Latinos and their sympathizers are about to go out of sight. The bad guys here carry guns everywhere, you know. Most poor people don't.

So, many prayers are with you tonight, as are the hopes of young citizens with undocumented parents, communities with undocumented neighbors, and a whole lot of undocumented and silenced victims of crime who will never feel safe anywhere again...

Would you tell the young woman from Chiapas who is raped that she should have known better, and deport her in cuffs? Or the Guatemalan teenager looking for his parents that it's their own fault if they're lost in the federal detention system (earning big bucks for CCA every day they stay "lost" there) - then lock him up, too, until they're "found"?

That's the kind of stuff you do, Governor, every time you sign off on one of these abusive pieces of legislation that Pearce pushes through. It's all only gotten worse for people of color in this state under you. If you really believe, with all your heart, that this bill is good for Arizona - sign away. By all means, be true to yourself and honest with us about the implications.

But I don't think you really believe it will be good for Arizona. I think you know there's a fascist or two among us with far too much power, and that this piece of legislation comes not from a love of America, but from a fear of everyone brown - citizen and non-citizen alike. It's about white supremacy. If you sign it, you can't later claim ignorance or innocence - you've been advised by the very people who would know what evil this is.

We’re saddened to think you'll be signing SB 1070, Governor. Just don't think it will win you any votes from the far right - and be sure it will lose you many from the center - once this thing sinks in.

This bill makes us the most racist, fascist state in the country, and we will resist it until the young and the wise and the poor are powerful enough to throw you all out of our State House and Governor’s Mansion..."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

NO MORE Deaths! RESIST SB 1070!

Greetings,

As most of you know by now, Arizona is gearing up to be the first state in the country to dramatically expand police powers to stop, question and detain individuals for not having proper identification.  The Governor will be expected to sign this bill into law this week...unless we fight to stop it! Please get involved in whatever way you are able.  There will be actions every day at the Capital until she VETOES this bill (or signs it).

 Here are things you can do to help:

1.  FIRST...if you haven't already called or e-mailed the governor, do it NOW!  Tell her to VETO SB1070!
Call her at 602-542-4331
Or, e-mail her at:

http://www.azgovernor.gov/contact.asp

http://www.janbrewer.com/contact/



2. Daily activities at the Capital (subject to change)

Monday - 
- Funeral & Mourning for Courage and Leadership - 12noon
- sponsored by Border Action Network
In front of Senate Building

- Daily vigil in front of Governor's office -11:00-1pm

Tuesday - (this is the day the Governor receives the bill for her signature)
11am - Press conference - at Capital
11-12 - Interfaith Prayer Vigil - at Capital
11:30 - Delegation to Governor's office
- Daily vigil in front of Governor's office -11:00-1pm


Wednesday -
- DC press conference, in front of the DHS office.
(for those living near the DC area...come out and support this)
- Daily vigil in front of Governor's office -11:00-1pm


Thursday -
- Protest at CPLC Dinner (more information tba)
- Daily vigil in front of Governor's office -11:00-1pm

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

ACLU of Arizona Condemns Passage of Immigration Enforcement Bill

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, April 14, 2010                                
Contact: Alessandra Soler Meetze, 602-773-6006(office) or (602) 418-5499(cell)


PHOENIX – Following a vote in the House of Representatives to dramatically expand police powers to stop, question and detain individuals for not having proper identification, the American Civil Liberties Union today condemned the passage of SB 1070.

“From business groups, faith leaders, and privacy advocates to municipal governments, police chiefs and prosecutors, Arizonans from all walks of life came forward to oppose the bill,” said Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona. “We are extremely disappointed that House members chose to ignore the serious concerns they raised in favor of political expediency.  History has taught us time after time that it does not pay to trade in our basic liberties for fear mongering.  Arizona will unfortunately have to learn that lesson again.”


The bill requires police agencies across the state to investigate the immigration status of every person they come across whom they have “reasonable suspicion” to believe is in the country unlawfully.  To avoid arrest, citizens will effectively have to carry “their papers” at all times.  It also attempts to make it a state crime to violate the federal laws on registering with the Department of Homeland Security and carrying registration documents, curtails the free speech rights of day laborers, and encourages unchecked information sharing between government agencies. The bill will likely be transmitted to the Governor in the coming week after a vote on the Senate floor to reconcile the House version with a prior version that passed out of the Senate in February.

“Instead of working on real solutions to the immigration crisis, our legislators have devised a proposal that is full of shortcuts,” added Meetze. “Contrary to what proponents of SB1070 say, the bill does not prohibit officers from relying on race or ethnicity in deciding who to investigate.  Police untrained in the complexities of immigration law will have a green light to harass anyone who looks or sounds foreign.”

The ACLU said that the provision that makes it a state crime to violate federal registration laws will likely be found unconstitutional. The Supremacy Clause gives the federal government exclusive power to regulate our borders, and with very few exceptions, states are not free to create their own laws regulating immigration.

Similar attempts by other localities to create their own immigration laws have been repeatedly struck down by the courts. Just last month, a federal court in Texas permanently enjoined the City of Farmer’s Branch from implementing a housing ordinance prohibiting rentals to undocumented immigrants.  This was the City’s third attempt at drafting such an ordinance, a failed experiment that has cost residents about$3.2 million in legal fees to defend.  Other ordinances have been overturned in Riverside, NJ, Valley Park, MO, and Hazelton, PA.  

“This bill is so far-reaching that many U.S. citizens, Native Americans, and lawful residents will predictably be swept up in its application,” said Dan Pochoda, Legal Director of the ACLU of Arizona. “The enforcement provisions rewrite the Constitution by turning the presumption of innocence on its head.  When the community loses trust in law enforcement, we all pay.”

Read the ACLU of Arizona’s updated analysis on the bill that passed the House on 4-13-10.
Read written testimony delivered before a Senate committee on January 20, 2010.
Read written testimony submitted to a House committee on March 31, 2010.

These materials also are available under the “legislature” section of the ACLU of Arizona Web site at: www.acluaz.org



--
Laura Ilardo
No More Deaths-Phoenix
(602)818-5447
www.my.calendars.net/nomoredeaths

Prosecuting People of Conscience.

 Let's show some solidarity with our brother, Friday, folks. Hook up with me for a ride.

Peg

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

 
Let's gather in community with Josh the night before the court appearance for his November arrest at Ft. Huachuca, for music, refreshments and a roundtable discussion on why we need to continue to protest torture - April 22 at 7 p.m. at Southside Presbyterian Church (address below).  And if you're able, please come to court as well -

Ft. Huachuca protester Joshua Harris, from Santa Barbara, California, will appear on Friday, April 23 at 9:30 a.m. in U.S. District Court, Tucson, Arizona.  He intends to enter a change of plea and expects to be sentenced that day.

Josh was one of five protesters who entered Fort Huachuca (home of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center where interrogators are trained) on November 15, 2009 with a message for military personnel and civilian employees.  They carried a statement (see below) opposing the cruel treatment and abuse of detainees from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and calling for the civilian oversight of all military interrogation practices.  The statement also condemned the used of armed drones in warfare.

All five protesters were given a formal letter barring them from entering the base for a year.  Because Josh initially refused to identify himself, instead saying he was there representing a victim of torture, he was also charged with trespass and refusing to provide a truthful name.

Please join us:

Thursday evening, April 22 at 7 p.m.
Southside Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Hall
317 W. 23rd Street, Tucson, Arizona
Let's gather in community with Josh the night before his court appearance

Friday morning, April 23 at 8:30 a.m.
DeConcini U.S. Federal Courthouse, plaza in front of courthouse
405 W. Congress, Tucson, Arizona
Join Josh for an 8:30 a.m. circle of support before his 9:30 a.m. court appearance

Please note that you need a photo I.D. to get into the courthouse.  Cameras, pocketknives, etc. are not allowed in the courthouse.

For more information about past and future protests at Ft. Huachuca, please visit http://tortureontrial.org and http://southwestwitness.org/

The annual Ft. Huachuca demonstration will take place on Sunday, November 14, 2010.


STATEMENT CARRIED INTO FORT HUACHUCA, November 15, 2009

We return to Fort Huachuca to call for an end to torture.

We are here because we desire dialogue with soldiers and commanders engaged in interrogation training. We are here because we still question whether soldiers are provided with adequate training about international human rights law so they would know to refuse illegal orders and other pressure to torture captives (including a guarantee that speaking out would not lead to retaliation or punishment). We are here in the hope that healing can take place--healing for the victims of torture, as well as the men and women who have been involved in carrying out torture.

Because the Obama administration has failed to close Guantanamo and the U.S. continues to imprison and interrogate thousands of captives at military prisons in Afghanistan, Iraq and places unknown, we renew our call for civilian, human-rights centered oversight of all interrogation training and practice.

Ft. Huachuca is also implicated in the rapidly expanding, legally questionable and morally reprehensible use of remotely-piloted aircraft, or drones, as a weapon of war. We're told that currently the Army only trains for the operation and maintenance of reconnaissance and surveillance drones at Ft. Huachuca. But we also know that the Army plans to weaponize some of these same drones.

Drone attacks have killed many more innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere, than alleged terrorists. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions has asked whether the use of drones in targeting terrorists to be killed constitutes "arbitrary extrajudicial executions," or rogue assassinations in violation of international law. We are here today to call for an end to the use of armed drones in warfare. We believe this terrorizing and killing generates deep resentment in the region that incites hatred for the U.S., boosts recruitment for Taliban, Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, and may spawn decades of retaliation.

We act in solidarity with the campaign to close the School of the Americas/Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation at Ft. Benning, Georgia, where the testimony of torture survivors has informed our outrage and moved us to action. We also act in solidarity with people in New York protesting the presence of Reaper drones at a NY Air National Guard base outside of Syracuse today.

Rogue assassinations and torture have damaged the soul of our nation and tarnished our image around the world. We know that a world without torture, without violence and without war is possible. We invite you to help us create that world.

Capitol Nine kicks off Mass Resistance to SB 1070

Chained Capitol protestors freed, arrested

Capitol Times
By Josh Coddington


Published: April 20, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Nine Arizona State University students were arrested today as a crowd of about 100 people gathered at the Capitol to protest a polarizing anti-illegal-immigration bill, which is now just Gov. Jan Brewer’s signature away from becoming state law.

The sea of protestors went beyond carrying signs and beating drums to get their message across - some of them chained themselves to the door handles of the old Capitol building, blocking access to the public facility, according to the Capitol Police report.

“We wanted to know what their intentions were when we approached them,” said interim Capitol Police Chief Andrew Staubitz. “We said if this is a photo op and they want to get their photo taken and leave peaceably, we set a time limit of 10 minutes.”

Staubitz, who had all eight of his officers and supervisors on hand, plus 10 officers from the Department of Public Safety said his department balances the rights of protestors to free speech with the need to maintain a safe environment.

“We support everyone having the ability to express their viewpoints, and we also support having a safe Capitol area where everyone can do that,” Staubitz said. “When people create an unsafe situation by blocking doors, then we have to take some action.”

Staubitz said he got the impression the protestors who had chained themselves to the doors wanted to get arrested. “They were told they would be arrested and booked into the county jail,” he said.

“Their decision came very quickly, which was that they would not communicate with us at all.”

After Capitol Police used bolt cutters to free the protestors from the doors, they were arrested without incident.

Attorney Antonio Bustamante, who represents one of those arrested, told the Associated Press the students chose to chain themselves to the Capitol doors to “block the bigotry that was emanating from the Legislature” and send a message to Brewer.

As the arrested protestors were being loaded on a bus to go to jail, a group of people containing protestors and cameramen swarmed the area. “It wasn’t my impression that they were trying to stop the bus,” said Staubitz. “I think there were several people trying to get photographs of the people being loaded on to the bus.”

It is a truly rare event for the Capitol Police force to arrest protestors, said Staubitz. He can’t even recall a time in the previous 10 years that an organized group was arrested at the Capitol.

“We really don’t make a whole lot of arrests with protestors,” he said. “I can’t think of a time that we have arrested a group. With people chaining themselves to doors, it’s a fire hazard, and it is illegal to block entry to a public building. It’s a safety issue.”

Today is the second day in a row of demonstrations on the Capitol grounds regarding S1070, which passed the Senate yesterday along a nearly party-line vote. Sen. Carolyn Allen was the only Republican to vote against the measure.

The bill, if signed by the governor, would require local law enforcement officers to verify the legal status of anyone they suspect might be in the country illegally, and it would allow trespassing charges to be brought against all illegal immigrants.

The bill also would provide grounds for anyone to file a lawsuit against a local government that is not enforcing laws to prevent illegal immigration.

These lives matter, too: AZ desert deaths soar.

Please keep these migrants and their families in your thoughts...

The bodies of three illegal immigrants were discovered over the weekend and Monday along Arizona's U.S.-Mexico border.

By Brady McCombs Arizona Daily Star | Posted: Monday, April 19, 2010 2:46 pm

Border Patrol agents following the tracks of a group of illegal immigrants came across the body of an adult man on Monday morning northwest of Patagonia, said agency spokesman David Jimarez. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department recovered the body.

On Saturday, agents found a body near Arivaca and Pima County Sheriff's deputies recovered the body. The Border Patrol did not know if it was a man or woman.

Also on Saturday, agents found a man upon arriving to the the location of a signal fire near the village of Pia Oik on the western side of the Tohono O'odham Nation, Jimarez said. They found two men in good health but a third was deceased. He was a brother of one of the survivors.

From Oct. 1 to March 31, the latest figures available, agents in the Tucson Sector have recovered the bodies of 87 illegal immigrants, up from 66 through the same time period in fiscal year 2009.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

AZ Capitol Nine call for MASS Civil Disobedience.

This is more like it...

I echo their call. We can't let this legislation settle in and kill our people without a fight.

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

Activists Chain Themselves to Arizona Capitol to Protest Russell Pearce's SB 1070

By Stephen Lemons, Tuesday, Apr. 20 2010 @ 1:11PM

Nine activists protesting state Senator Russell Pearce's anti-immigrant bill SB 1070 chained and locked themselves to the doors of the Arizona Capitol today, forcing the Capitol Police to use bolt cutters to unchain the nine and arrest them for disorderly conduct.

As a demonstration of hundreds denouncing SB 1070 raged nearby on the state House lawn, the nine twenty somethings sat silent and stone-faced, waiting to be taken away. Some moved their lips in prayer, as reporters and activists crowded around them.

One activist separate from the group handed out a statement from the nine, calling for "massive and ongoing civil disobedience to be organized all over Arizona and the rest of the nation."

The press release further read, "A people can only remain oppressed for so long before they rise from the shadows, from the margins, from oblivion...We chain ourselves to the Arizona State Capitol because nothing else has worked."

Capitol Police Commander Andrew Staubitz told reporters that the nine would be transported to Maricopa County's Fourth Avenue Jail to be booked.

Asked why he didn't cite and release the nine, Staubitz said that they were told they would be arrested if they did not unchain themselves. When they did not comply, they were taken into custody.

The nine protesters were later marched out of the old Capitol building in handcuffs, singing "We Shall Overcome," and chanting, "Veto 1070," a reference to the anti-immigrant legislation now on Governor Jan Brewer's desk that would make it illegal to be in the state of Arizona without proof of citizenship or legal residency.

They were then loaded onto a black sheriff's department bus. Demonstrators met them outside, cheering them like heroes.

This list of their names was acquired from one of the lawyer's representing them, Antonio Bustamante: Faviola Augustin, Leilani Clark, Daisy Cruz, Gregorio Montes de Oca, Justine Garcia, Ernesto Lopez, Rubin Lucio Palomares, Jr., David Anthony Portugal, Jr., and Armando Rios.

Present for the rally outside was organizer/activist Alejandro Chavez, grandson of civil rights leader Cesar Chavez, who said the protest was very much in the spirit of his late grandfather. I asked him if he thought we would see more civil disobedience if Governor Brewer signs the bill or lets it become law without her signature.

"I do," he said. "The important thing is that we do it in a peaceful, nonviolent manner. It's important for people to listen. If there's violence, people shut off their ears. My grandfather said that nonviolence is our greatest strength. That's more important now than it's ever been before."

SCOTT Watch: DOJ Needs to CRIPA Mississippi ASAP.

Called the warden's and governor's offices this weekend, then yesterday put together a packet of info to send off to the Department of Justice, requesting a CRIPA (Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons) investigation complaining about health care, using both Jamie's and a few other documented examples of neglect/extreme indifference to prisoner health and welfare. It seems I did that once already. 

So, here's how to request a CRIPA, as far as I know. The more people who do this and the more sources of information we have about conditions, the more likely it is that the DOJ will follow up and clean house at the MDOC.

Send the Free The Scott Sisters campaign emails with copies of letters you write on Jamie's behalf for their records.
---------------------------------------------------------




Margaret J. Plews
Arizona Prison Watch
1809 East Willetta Street
Phoenix, AZ  850o6
480-580-6807



April 20, 2010

Judy Preston, Chief
US Department of Justice
Special Litigation Section
950 Pennsylvania Ave NW  PHB
Washington, DC 20530

Dear Chief Preston;

Enclosed is some documentation regarding health care in Mississippi’s state prison system. The dramatic change in inmate mortality alone should have alerted your office and triggered an investigation – please don’t delay starting one any longer. The conditions are horrendous, people are dying for lack of adequate medical care, and patients seem to be completely left in the dark about their own illnesses, treatment, prognosis, etc. I believe their civil rights are being violated routinely with grave consequence. The enclosed account of retaliatory behavior on the part of the prison for Mrs. Rasco’s activism troubles me, too. We need you folks in there ASAP or her daughter, Jamie, is going to die before she’s exonerated.

A wealth of additional documentation about the medical services in the CMCF can be found at http://mississippiprisonwatch.blogspot.com , or http://freethescottsisters.blogspot.com . The welfare of Mississippi’s most vulnerable population – their prisoners, including Mrs. Rasco’s girls – is in your hands. Please at least read up on the blogs and see what we’re seeing; I don’t know how you all could not know what’s going on there. I’m getting mail from other women complaining about medical services in that particular facility, too, and expect more within the next couple of weeks. They are resisting their shoddy treatment, and writing and talking about it – there’s no better time than now to go in there…

Please let me know if your office will be following up on this complaint with a CRIPA investigation, or referring it to a more appropriate department for follow-up. Without question, though, we need some kind of federal intervention in Mississippi now. I may be asking for help in Arizona, next, but first things first.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Sincerely,


Margaret J. Plews
Prison Abolitionist

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Quality of Mercy: Compassionate Release in America


Medical Parole: Politics vs. Compassion

By Nina Quinn

Dostoevsky reminds us that society can be measured by how it treats its prisoners. And part of that measure must surely be the degree of compassion we show toward the dying. Yet compassionate release, or medical parole, is an under-used and too rarely granted option for terminally ill inmates in our U.S. prisons. 




While some form of medical parole legislation is in place in federal and state jurisdictions, it is often overly restrictive, narrowly interpreted, and muddied by political interests. Unfortunately, a lack of political will affects bureaucratic will and ultimately the number of dying released from prison.

Barry Holman of the National Center for Institutions and Alternatives sardonically states, "There is not much of a constituency for criminals in the United States." With overtones of Dostoevsky, he adds, "There is a lack of political and bureaucratic will to see dying in prison as a negative marker for what a prison system should be and society as a whole,"

Jack Beck; who has done a careful study of medical parole in New York State reports that not only are few people getting out, there is a downward trend. Both applications and releases are dropping. In 2000, out of 170 New York state prison deaths – most from medical reasons – 81 applied for compassionate release and only 12 were granted.

In New York, the current administration is against parole generally and this spills over to medical parole. This negative influence in not confined to New York. California and other states are facing the same antagonism and similar low release numbers.

Apart from negative political influence, there are other related obstacles. The eligibility criteria can be overly restrictive eliminating, people who are clearly terminally ill. The process can be convoluted and delayed resulting in many inmates dying in prison before their review is completed. In New York, the 2000 statistics show more than twice as many inmates died during the review process than were granted release.

When these three barriers of politics, criteria and process come together they virtually guarantee a fourth: lack of incentive to initiate applications.

While there can be various factors contributing to this, Beck points to a common theme of frustration and futility. The paper burden on the medical providers can be both excessive and judged a waste of medical time when so few are granted parole. Similarly, many prison staff with compassion for the dying, do not want to raise the inmates hopes and put them through the stress of a long waiting period only to have them die in the process or be refused.

Also, the establishing of Regional Medical Units (RMUs) and hospice programs make for a simpler alternative – transfer the inmate. The RMUs run on a fixed DOC's budget and there is incentive to keep the beds full. Plus it is quicker, less complicated, and does not require the additional work involved in a discharge plan.

Another obstacle Beck articulates is the failure to educate the staff and inmates about the program and the process. This is particularly important in states like New York where correctional staff can initiate but the prime responsibility is placed on the inmate. Beck notes that there are prisons and infirmaries within the state that do not, for whatever reasons; file any applications for their terminally ill inmates.

Other than holding our politicians to a higher standard, what else is required for effective compassionate release policy?

A first requirement is clear legislation that is free from murky political bias, compromise, and overly restrictive criteria. A clearly defined medical prognosis is required. One that includes all terminally ill inmates. It should be clear and factual enough that inmates and their doctors know if they meet the criteria. And it should be fair. 

In New York, where an incapacitation standard is used, some terminally ill are excluded because they can walk-they may die tomorrow but they are excluded because of the legislative restriction on self-ambulation.

Rather than an incapacitation model where the prime emphasis is on risk, Beck makes the case for a terminal illness diagnosis with a one-year life expectancy. Studies show that when a six months diagnosis is used, the median length of stay in hospice is roughly 30 days. One year would increase the possibility of the review process being completed before the applicant dies. Also, it would allow time for the patient to adjust and relate to his family or new surroundings.

Another requirement is that there be a clear separation between the medical prognosis and the assessment of risk upon, release. Medical staff should not be asked to assess risk but solely address the medical status and prognosis of the inmate. Risk assessment is the pervue of the criminal justice system.

It is at this stage that the process generally gets cumbersome and protracted. So many arms and voices within the criminal justice system are included that the inmate may be dead before a decision is reached. The political temptation to spread the risk and decision-making as broadly as possible needs to be reined in and the process streamlined. Maryland has a process that appears to run smoothly. What makes it particularly efficient is not only that they have kept steps to the necessary minimum, they have also mandated short timelines at each stage of the process. Any inmate applying for compassionate release knows that he or she will receive a decision no later than 30 days from the start of the process. In urgent cases, decisions have been made as quickly as one day.

Maryland also meets another requirement by mandating discharge planning as soon as the inmate is given a terminal diagnosis. This ensures that when the decision is made, everything is in place for the inmate's release.

Communication is also important. The system could benefit from staff being well educated on all aspects of the process and this information should be made available to inmates and their families, including language translation when necessary.

Finally, a key and critical requirement, is that when a doctor makes a terminal diagnosis a mandatory application for release is submitted and the process is started including discharge planning. This standardized application should be as simple and straightforward as possible.
accessed january 29, 2010

More new Prisons: MTC In Pinal County.

Arizona: MTC plans
New prison could land in Pinal County
By Michael K. Rich 

April 14, 2010 

A new housing structure could be built 20 miles southeast of Maricopa; however, most residents won’t like what it takes to qualify to get a room.

“We have responded to a request put out by the state looking for companies to build a 5,000-bed prison,” said Carl Stuart, communications director for Management and Training Corp. Management and Training is a Utah-based company that runs private prisons and Job Corps sites across the country, including two private prisons in Arizona.

In early February, the Arizona Department of Corrections began accepting bids and will continue to do so until May 7. State law requires the department to award 20-year contracts by June 30.

“Arizona prisons are overcrowded, and we need more room,” said ADOC spokesman Barrett Marson.

The proposal the company submitted to the state calls for the prison to be constructed on 226 acres of county land near the southeast corner of Montgomery Road and Selma Highway. The facility would house male minimum- to medium-security level non-violent criminals.

Although a land purchase is yet to be made, the company has an option on the parcel identified for the project and is already looking to schedule a hearing before the Pinal County Planning and Zoning Commission on May 20, and before the county Board of Supervisors on June 2.

The company would also be required to host several public hearings and receive zoning and site approval for the site. The prison would take between 12 and 24 months to construct and would cost between $100 to $300 million. The facility would have an annual payroll of $30 million to $40 million, and employ 600 to 1,000 people.

“Any employment opportunity that presents itself to the people of Maricopa is fantastic news,” said Danielle Casey, Maricopa economic development director.

If you’re interested in learning more about the site, a public meeting will be held tonight at Francisco Grande, 2684 Gila Bend Highway, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

ARPAIO's Jail Health Care Crisis Continues.


When Bertha Oropeza was arrested last summer for marijuana possession, she didn't expect it to nearly cost her life.

But after 10 hours in Maricopa County's Fourth Avenue jail, Oropeza was unconscious, in cardiogenic shock with acute kidney failure at Good Samaritan Hospital. Meanwhile, no one at the jail could tell her family where she was. "She's been released" was their refrain.

Oropeza, 45, had been straightforward with jail personnel about needing medication, which is reflected in jail and hospital records, as well as in Oropeza's recollection.

When she was arrested, she tells New Times, she clearly remembers telling the officer who took her purse that she would need to take her pills again in an hour.

He told her to wait until she got to the jail.

As Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's guards took her through the intake process "they asked me when I last took it, and I told them," Oropeza says. "I'm thinking, 'Okay, they're gonna give me my medication.'"

They didn't, so she tried again, telling the guard checking her into the jail that she needed her pills.
"Well, you don't need them right now," he told her. "It's your own fault. What do you think this is, a hospital?"

Oropeza's medical history is summarized in Good Samaritan Hospital records, released by Oropeza to New Times: She was in a car accident in west Phoenix in 2005 that left her disabled and with chronic back and leg pain.

Oropeza says she spent a month in a coma and five months in the hospital after she was thrown from the passenger's side of a car. Her hip "came completely out of socket," she says, and she suffered extensive head trauma after hitting the pavement.

She regularly takes the painkillers morphine and oxycodone as well as the muscle relaxant carisoprodal, according to hospital records.

Jail employees definitely knew about her condition, county records show. At 9:49 a.m. — about the time Oropeza was booked into the jail — a note was entered in her file recording that she was on medication for chronic pain in her legs and back due to a car accident.

Still, she didn't get help.

Oropeza knew what would happen next: The pain in her legs would come back, her stomach would reject anything in it, her muscles would seize up, and her lungs would tighten.

"If I don't take my medication, then I get a withdrawal right away," she says.

She had no power to stop it from coming. It did.

In the first holding cell, waiting to be fingerprinted, Oropeza asked for a bag to throw up in. A guard handed her one.

She sat on the concrete floor in the corner of the cell, vomiting into the bag until it was full, unable to move as the pain in her legs crept back and the painkillers wore off.

When she asked for a second bag, a guard told her to use the trash can on the other side of the cell. But she couldn't get up to walk over to it.

"Just don't throw up on the floor," he told her.

She was struggling to breathe and still throwing up when another woman in the cell began to kick the door to get the guard's attention. Oropeza, afraid of angering the guard, begged her not to.
"No," the woman said. "You need help. You need help now."

When the guard finally came, he walked Oropeza down a long hall and told another guard on duty there to "take her down to medical," Oropeza remembers.

Standing at the end of the hall with the new guard, Oropeza felt increasingly dizzy. She grabbed a nearby chair because she felt like she was going to faint.

"Don't touch that chair," the guard yelled.

"You don't need nothing to hold on to. You just stand there," Oropeza remembers him saying.
She asked him whether she could hold onto the wall. He told her no.

"All you're doing is putting on a show to get out of here. We get it all the time," he said.

When he took her out of the hallway, it was to yet another cell — this one right outside the medical unit, where she could see the nurses through a window.

Oropeza begged the nurses for help, miming that she couldn't breathe. She says Arpaio's guard just laughed at her. The nurses didn't come.

By about 1:30 p.m., after at least three hours of vomiting and dry heaving in a cement jail cell, Arpaio's guards finally turned her over to Correctional Health Services, the medical unit of the jail, according to records.

She was handcuffed to a gurney. When she complained of being cold, "they threw paper over me," she says.

At a few minutes before 7 p.m. on June 2, CHS staff called an ambulance to come for Bertha Oropeza. It arrived at 7:30 p.m., according to records, a full six hours after she had entered the medical unit...

--------------------------finish article at PNT: worth it -----------------------


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