Video by Sallydarity / set to Comin' up from Behind ( Marcy Playground)

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:


Sunday, August 21, 2011

At the Mercy of the Court: Deaths in Custody.


This is an SOS to the justices of the Maricopa County Superior Court, which is filling the prisons with vulnerable people. Please contact the Department of Justice about a CRIPA investigation, or initiate an independent judicial inquiry into the doubling of the suicide and homicide rates over the past 2 1/2 years among prisoners of the Arizona Department of Corrections, and the neglect and abuse in particular of women prisoners. These folks should get you started; the list of the dead still grows...


Prisoner Names Project: Appeal to Justice
Maricopa County Superior Court /Cesar Chavez Plaza

Phoenix, AZ (August 21, 2011)

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Arizona Department of Corrections' Deaths in Custody
January 2009-June 2011
(suicide & homicide rates have doubled)


HOMICIDES:

Pete Calleros, Mando Lugo, Dana Seawright, Shannon Palmer, James Jennings, Alex Usurelu, William Gray, Ulises Rodriguez, Albert Tsosie, Sean Pierce, Jeremy Pompeneo


SUICIDES:

Susan Lopez, Tony Lester, Duron Cunningham, Lasasha Cherry, Geshell Fernandez, Patricia Velez, Angela Soto, Hernan Cuevas, Jerry Kulp, Robert Medina, Eric Bybee, Erick Cervantes, Rosario Bojorquez-Rodriguez, Douglas Nunn, Monte McCarty, James Adams, Patrick Lee Ross, Caesar Bojorquez, Angel Torres, Harvey Rymer, Dung Ung, Ronald Richie, Michael Tovar, Carey Wheatley, Michael Pellicer, Jessie Cota, Luis Moscoso-Hernandez

Institutional INDIFFERENCE:

Brenda Todd, Marcia Powell, Tom Reed, Edgar Vega, Huberta Parlee


ACCIDENTAL DRUG OVERDOSES:

Pete Childs, William Engelbert, Santana Aqualais, Carl Cresong, Christopher Francis



To contact the DOJ:

Jonathan M. Smith, Chief
U.S. DOJ Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Patrick Henry Building / 950 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20530

(202) 514-6255
toll-free at (877) 218-5228
Special.Litigation@usdoj.gov

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