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:


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Graffiti Busted by the PHX PD, finally.

The guy from Graffiti Busters came by yesterday morning to clean up Resistance Alley for a second time since June Artwalk -it was a busy weekend. Here's the follow-up to that original action - my challenge to the Phoenix Police to take action other than the ones they have to take against me.


Apparently, this is their only response.








  
The Graffiti Buster must not have to face the vandals whose art he demolishes very often - when I caught him checking things out and asked if he was planning to clean up my work, he muttered "maybe", then hurridly took off. I think I scared him: he was back less than 30 minutes later with four Phoenix Graffiti Detectives, one of whom finally read me my rights. 






The Graffiti Sgt. (Cadditz, I think) advised me that I can knock all this off now - he wasn't sure if I was facing felony charges yet or just a handful of misdemeanors, but he assured me that complaints about my activity have been referred for prosecution. I guess they've got a stack of evidence (including my blogs and postcards, I'd imagine) on someone's desk in the city attorney's office.






I'm not sure what exactly happened this AM with my rights being read to me - I automatically clammed up, though, which is kind of funny given how much I've already incriminated myself. I wasn't arrested - just warned that I will probably be getting notice of something about my other crimes in the mail. Funny how I still feel privileged - why can't I get arrested? 

Maybe I was Mirandized instead of arrested because I'm just a suspect in this new crime they all came to investigate (the art that was being removed right then, that I just confessed to creating). Maybe it's because I've been so cooperative, sending them my postcards from the edge as evidence. But why four cops? I think it was in case I got out of hand over my art being defaced.

Isn't that silly that the Graffiti Buster needed so many cops to protect and defend him - from ME, of all people? Granted, I was pretty upset to see my good work ruined - it wasn't bothering anyone but "The City" down there...of course, that's who I'm trying to annoy. 

Unfortunately, while they have plenty troops to deploy against me (and the city's taggers), they don't have a minute to spare of anyone who will even look into all these deaths in the prisons - not even one. I just get told to gather more evidence for them, and they'll think about it.

Seriously, what would it take for the new PHX Police Chief to just pick up the phone and say "Hey, Chuck Ryan - WTF??? How come all your prisoners are dying? We aren't sending any more criminals your way until you clean it up." Simple as that.


Real courage - that's what it would take. There isn't much of that among law enforcement out here in the Deep Southwest these days. They don't want to challenge power here -  they know who pays their way. And really, to do what I do in this place, apparently you must be a little mad. 


Resistance sure isn't coming from those most invested in maintaining this whole illusion that our justice system fundamentally works, that prison is a necessary part of it, and that they're all the good guys in this simplistic paradigm (that means those who oppose the state's police apparatus can only be "bad"). In fact, after he read me my rights I asked the Graffiti Sgt. who was going to do something about the prisons. He smiled and shook his head a little, then said " that's on you!" 


Great - no help at all. They'll sure show me, for trying harass and guilt trip the city into taking their share of responsibility for the prison crisis with my criminal activity. Not only will they clean up after me within hours of finding my work, they won't lift a finger to stop the rising death toll in the prisons.








So, I've said it before - fuck the DOJ, the ACLU, and the Phoenix Police if they won't help. 
Fuck the Arizona Governor and State Legislature, too.
And if you're reading this and not doing or saying anything 
about all these vulnerable people dying inside,
then fuck you, too.

If you want to make a difference, though, 
then help me do our own in-depth investigation and report, 
and we'll make them change without anyone else's intervention.

We'll be meeting weekly beginning July, probably at the new 
Ironwood Infoshop, soon to be in the back of 
The Fixx / 11 E. 7th St. / Tempe, AZ 85281
in the meantime to volunteer or donate to our efforts, contact me at:

Peggy Plews
PO Box 20494
Phoenix, Az 85036
480-580-6807

I'm only at my 1009 N. 1st St. office until July 1 - then I'm going to be mobile.


So sad and so lovely...


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