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)

AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

ADC updates “Private Versus Public Provision of Services” Report

----------NEWS RELEASE-------------

(602) 542-3133



For more information contact:

Bill Lamoreaux

For Immediate Release
December 21, 2011
ADC releases Biennial Comparison Report

Pursuant to A.R.S. § 41-1609.01, on December 21, 2011, the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) submitted the Biennial Comparison of “Private Versus Public Provision of Services” Report to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC).

In 2009, Charles Ryan the newly appointed ADC Director found that a formal,
comprehensive biennial report comparing private and public provision of services, required by A.R.S. § 41-1609.01(K)(M), had not been completed and submitted to JLBC since the law was originally enacted. In order to comply with the statutory requirement and produce the report, it was necessary for Director Ryan to develop the tools needed to capture sufficient data to measure and compare private and public prisons. This included creating a new prison operations inspection program and annual audit process that could be used both to ensure operational compliance and to collect and to measure data for the required comparison. In addition, it was necessary to revise existing processes and develop new processes to reliably capture and report event-driven and outcome-based comparative prison data. This included enhancements to the significant incident reporting (SIR) process, collection of assault data and mortality data, and revision of internal data collection tools for inmate programs and services. Once annual audit data was available for calendar year 2011 and comparative data was available for fiscal years 2010 and 2011, the biennial comparison required by A.R.S. § 41-1609.01 was completed.

The report is available on the Department of Corrections website.


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