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:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

When education is under attack: FIGHT BACK!!!

These youth so ROCK!!!

Let's go support them today, folks!

Tuscon Unified School District's Board is meeting today at 5:30pm at TUSD HQ!

TUSD's ethnic studies meeting changed again

Steve Nunez
Web Producer: David Rush

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - KGUN9 News has learned TUSD will hold a special meeting to consider a controversial ethnic studies proposal on Tuesday. And it will be held 5:30pm at district headquarters.

9 On Your Side reporter Steve Nunez was at the board's agenda committee meeting today where the decision was made to change the meeting for the second time.

The meeting was originally scheduled for Tuesday this week. But moments before the start, protestors stormed the board room. Some chained themselves to board members' chairs and refused to leave. TUSD Superintendent Dr. John Pedicone then canceled the meeting.

Board members re-scheduled the meeting for Thursday May 5 at the Catalina High School auditorium. But the agenda committee changed its mind and moved it two days earlier and back to district headquarters.

Board members said they were concerned over security at Catalina High. They said security will be beefed up inside the board room, in the hallway and outside the building. In addition, when the board room fills up, authorities will lock the doors and won't allow anybody else in.

Doctor Pedicone told KGUN9 News he was upset at the student's actions Tuesday night and vowed to keep them from holding back the democratic process.

Ethnic studies supporters were demonstrating over a proposal by Dr. Mark Stegeman that would make most ethnic studies courses electives. Currently students have a choice of taking U.S. history or Mexican American studies to graduate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what a goon Pedicone is. Protest is a PART of the democratic process, and the only way for the real people to be heard, apparently...certainly not through mainstream politics in AZ