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:


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wells Fargo prisons: profit motives still drive legislation...

Wells Fargo, Phoenix
July 1, 2011

Wells Fargo takes heat over investments in private prison industry

Rawstory.com
By Eric W. Dolan
Thursday, November 10, 2011

The advocacy group Small Business United on Thursday called on Wells Fargo to provide a full accounting of investments related to private prisons and immigrant detention centers.

Wells Fargo is one of the largest investors in Geo Group, Inc. — the second largest private prison company in the world contracted by state and federal government agencies. The group spends millions lobbying for stricter immigration enforcement.

Wells Fargo has claimed the investments in the GEO Group were made by Wells Fargo mutual funds on behalf of clients, not investments made by Wells Fargo and Company.

“We demand transparency,” said Marco Reinoso, owner of Superstar Deli for 26 years and resident of Brooklyn. “I pay my fair share of taxes and deserve to know where the dark money trail leads, and whether our money is being used to further anti-immigrant bills that hurt our economy and lead to many in our community being treated with violence and inhumanity in these detention centers.”

For-profit prisons are associated with heightened levels of violence toward prisoners and have limited incentives to reduce future crime, according to a report by the American Civil Liberties Union.

“The perverse incentives to maximize profits and cut corners — even at the expense of safety and decent conditions — may contribute to an unacceptable level of danger in private prisons,” the report stated.

After spending a month in solitary confinement in a GEO Group operated Texas prison, 32-year-old Jesus Manuel Galindo allegedly died of an epileptic seizure in December 2008. The cell lacked an operational intercom, which would have allowed Galindo — who needed regular medical attention — to call for help. The neurologist who reviewed Galindo’s autopsy said he was “set up to die.”

In another incident, former GEO Group employees working for the Texas Youth Commission failed to report horrid conditions at a GEO-operated prison in Texas. An independent report found the bug-infested prison smelled of feces and urine, had numerous water leaks and racially segregated the young inmates.

“Prisons have turned into a business for the rich,” said Esmeralda Valencia, owner of Esmeralda Restaurant in Brooklyn, NY. “Wells Fargo should not be investing our hard earned dollars to make profits off of the most vulnerable members of our society. Instead, they should be working to resolve this economic crisis and support immigrant neighborhoods.”

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