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:


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Legislating Hate: State Legislators for Legal Immigration.

This is a great report to arm ourselves with; people need to know more about the think tanks spitting out the racist garbage that becomes law in this land. Is it any surprise that the people the AZ Me Party Senate President gets his brilliant immigration legislation from are so closely affiliated with hate groups? Pearce and Burges should be ashamed of themselves - but then this is Arizona - they're heroes to the white supremacists who think they own this state. I believe Pearce quotes FAIR directly for his propaganda campaigns all the time...


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SPLC Report Examines Extremist Views of Lawmakers Attacking 14th Amendment

Southern Poverty law Center
03/09/2011

The coalition of state lawmakers seeking to undermine the 14th Amendment’s birthright citizenship protection includes a dozen legislators who embrace a raft of radical beliefs, including conspiracy theories about supposed government concentration camps and claims that President Obama is a foreigner.


Attacking the Constitution: State Legislators for Legal Immigration & the Anti-Immigrant Movement profiles 12 leading members of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI), which has announced a national campaign to end the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of citizenship for all children born in the United States. The group is also pushing a number of other harsh, anti-immigrant proposals in states across the country.


"The radical beliefs of SLLI members parallel their radical agenda – rewriting the 14th Amendment," said Heidi Beirich, research director for the SPLC and author of the report. "The fact that we're talking about people who wield real political power should scare everyone who cares about our constitutional ideals."


SLLI, which has about 65 members in 40 states, was founded by Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe in 2007. The group works closely with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which the SPLC has designated as an anti-immigrant hate group because of its white nationalist agenda and ties to racist groups.


Metcalfe has said that immigrant parents "live the life of a criminal" and should have their children taken away. He has routinely demonized undocumented immigrants as criminals, despite studies that clearly show immigrants are on average much less criminal than native-born Americans.


Metcalfe once denounced Pennsylvania's Domestic Violence Awareness Month as part of the "homosexual agenda" because it included men as possible victims of domestic violence. He characterized military veterans concerned about climate change and foreign energy dependence as traitors promoting a "leftist agenda." And, like others in the so-called "birther movement," Metcalfe has cast doubt on Obama's U.S. citizenship.


Along with Metcalfe, the report profiles Rep. Tim Bearden, Georgia; Rep. Leo Berman, Texas; Rep. Judy Burges, Arizona; Rep. Sally Kern, Oklahoma; Rep. Charles Key, Oklahoma; Sen. Brian Nieves, Missouri; Sen. Russell Pearce, Arizona; Rep. Michael Pitts, South Carolina; Rep. Matt Shea, Washington; Rep. Randy Terrill, Oklahoma; and Sen. Danny Verdin, South Carolina.


It includes these details:


  • Charles Key, an Oklahoma legislator, has claimed the federal government had advance knowledge of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and engaged in a "cover-up." He managed to get a grand jury convened in 1999 to investigate the allegation, only to denounce the grand jury when it found nothing to support his theory.
  • Matt Shea, a Washington legislator, appeared on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' radio show and expressed concerns about supposed concentration camps operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
  • Sally Kern, an Oklahoma legislator, told a newspaper that she opposed high-resolution driver's license photos because she believed they were a sign of the end times. She apparently feared a coming one-world government could use the photos.
  • Danny Verdin, a South Carolina state senator, has compared the fight against undocumented immigrants to the Confederacy's struggle against the Union. In 2000, he was one of the main speakers at the "Heritage Celebration" held in Columbia, S.C., to defend the Confederate battle flag. He reportedly helped to organize the rally, and he shared the podium with several neo-Confederate and white supremacist leaders.

"Not all members of this coalition have voiced such radical opinions, but by virtue of pursuing this attack on the 14th Amendment, they all have signed on to an attempt to radically reinterpret the Constitution – an attempt that one conservative commentator accurately described as a fool's errand," Beirich said.


SLLI contends that the 14th Amendment has been misapplied to grant automatic U.S. citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants. But it is clear from the record of debate in Congress leading up to the amendment's adoption in 1868 that its sponsors did intend for the amendment to cover the children of non-citizens, including Gypsies, perhaps the group most analogous to today's undocumented immigrants, as well as Chinese immigrants, who retained citizenship in their home countries, were present in large numbers and were barred from naturalization.

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