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 who I've been supporting, Jessie Burlew.

I will miss my work and the people who have supported me - but I have been most especially grateful to the prisoners who educated, confided in, and encouraged me. My life has been made all the more rich and meaningful by their engagement.

I have 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



ALONE: Teens in Solitary Confinement

AZ PRISON WATCH ACTION ITEMS:

17 year old seriously mentally ill prisoner Jessica Burlew has been held in solitary confinement, in the jails of Joe Arpaio, since January 2014 pending trial for the accidental death of the sexual predator who was exploiting her.

Her next hearing date is Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 8:30 am at the Maricopa County Superior Courthouse in Phoenix. Please show wearing blue, if you can - it matters to her to see people on her side in the crowd. Her trial will be coming up fast.
AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ADC officer arrested for child sexual abuse.

More on the good character of people in uniform sworn to protect us, working the "hardest beat in the state". If you think the women at Perryville prison in Goodyear aren't also vulnerable to abuse and exploitation by the people with the keys to their chains, think again. As is the case with minors, there is no such thing as consensual sex with a prisoner...

Please: AZ Legislature, DOJ, ACLU, someone get an investigation going out there.

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Corrections officer arrested in Mesa, suspected of sex with minor

Mesa police arrested a Department of Corrections officer and his brother on suspicion of having sex with two girls aged 15 and 16 on three separate occasions.

Officers arrested Corrections Officer Leon Scott, 34, at 9:20 p.m. Friday. His 24-year-old, unemployed brother, Anthony Kniffin, was taken into custody at 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

Both men were identified by the victims, and each confessed to having sexual conduct with them, according to a police report. Scott has been employed as a corrections officer at Arizona State Prison in Florence, according to Department of Corrections Spokesman Barrett Marson.

Scott and Kniffin both confessed that three separate sexual encounters with the girls took place in June and July, according to a report.

Both men admitted knowing the girls were underage, but said they did not believe the girls when they initially told them their ages. Police documents indicated both men were present during the discussion of one of the victims' planned sweet 16 party.

All three of the encounters reportedly took place in the men's apartment, police reported. The victims' mother had previously had a brief relationship with Kniffin's brother, police said.

According to Sgt. Ed Wessing, spokesman for Mesa Police, the mother of one of the victims learned of the sexual conduct through a post on her daughter's Facebook profile.



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