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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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bad Phoenix Cop assaults teen girl.

May 5, 2011

Yes, another cop from Phoenix. Makes you wonder why none of these guys ever get investigated or suspended until their videos go least they nailed this one.

We were
all violated when this cop did this...what the girl was being taken into custody for (or walking away peacefully from) is irrelevant - he could have killed her. If a parent did that for ANY reason, they'd be in lock-up and the girl would be in Child Protective Services' custody.

Good for the Phoenix employee who found the footage and turned it in. I hope that girl's family has a good civil attorney; that seems to be the only thing that gets police departments to take notice and stop tolerating this kind of abuse.


Phoenix police officer on leave after excessive force video found online

by Natalie Rivers and Jared Dillingham

Posted on May 4, 2011 at 5:47 PM

PHOENIX - Phoenix police are investigating an officer's actions after a video was found on You Tube of him using excessive force during an arrest.

The incident occurred in January, but was just recently discovered by a police employee who in turn notified a supervisor.

The video shows a Phoenix officer delivering what police refer to as an impact push to a female who is in the process of walking away from an altercation with a parent in a school parking lot.

Police identified the officer as Patrick Larrison, a six-and-a-half-year veteran of the department who is assigned to the Central City Precinct.

Leading up to the incident, Police say the 15-year-old girl involved was drinking and passing out alcohol in school. They say she first fought with a teacher, and then with her mother, before police arrived.

During an afternoon press conference, police spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump called the video a "great concern" to the department. They say the officer's actions went beyond the boundaries of what is considered "reasonable" use of force.

"Obviously we don't like the video out there, and don't want this to be the image of us within the community," Crump said.

The department has initiated a criminal and internal investigation into the officer's actions. Larrison has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately.

The juvenile division of the County Attorney's Office has also been notified.

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