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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Friday, January 28, 2011

Restoration Project - Florence: doing justice...

Hey all -

Let's turn out and support these folks - they're doing good work in our communities, and we can learn a lot from them. Below is an excerpt from an email telling you a little more...


...Basically, the Restoration Project in Tucson and the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project ( are collaborating on a new visitation and hosting project, tentatively named Restoration Project - Florence. The website is, and we are also on facebook ( The idea is to have a network of people in Phoenix and Tucson who are willing to support people in immigration detention, either by writing letters, visiting them, and/or hosting people upon release.

To do this, we're asking that people come to a training - the next two are scheduled for February 12th and March 5th, at 115 North 12th Ave, Phoenix, AZ. To RSVP or for more info, folks should contact Carol (, or her phone number is 520.429.9792). I am also happy answer questions that people might have.

Just so you know, the Florence Project is a non-profit legal services organization that serves people in immigration detention. We work with adults processed through the Eloy and Florence courts, and up here in Phoenix with unaccompanied minors in detention. I work with the kids, and am always very happy to talk to people about what we do - its a little known aspect of the detention/deportation system.

I'd love to talk to you about this more, if you're interested. And feel free to forward on the fliers about the trainings...

dorien ediger-seto

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