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, April 3, 2012

AZ DOC: Nobly, heroically, protecting us from the dying...

I find this kind of thing particularly disturbing because the AZ DOC blames the tripling of the assault rate and the doubling of the homicide and suicide rates on staff shortages. No one watched Dana Seawright's back - or Shannon Palmer's, or Duron Cunningham's, or Tony Lester's, or Susan Lopez', or Marcia Powell's - when they were alive in their care, but the state always has plenty guards and chains at the bedsides of the helpless and dying...



Immigrant Mother Asks Arizona to Let Her Son Die in Peace

Published April 03, 2012  | EFE

An immigrant mother is asking Arizona authorities to let her son die in peace since he is in the terminal phase of brain cancer and is kept cuffed to his hospital bed with two guards beside him.

"My son is dying, he cannot move and yet they're still keeping him handcuffed," Martha Elena Palomares, originally from the Mexican state of Sonora, told Efe on Tuesday.

Her son, Juan M. Corrales Palomares, 20, is hospitalized at Tucson's University Medical Center.

Corrales, a U.S. citizen, was serving a five-year sentence for possession of drugs and a firearm in Safford state prison when he began to experience severe headaches.

Palomares said she received letters in which her son complained of bad headaches, but she was still surprised when he called her last week from UMC to say he had undergone surgery on Feb. 29.

"He called me to tell me with his own mouth that he didn't know what was happening, that his head hurt him a lot. It was a nurse who told me that they had found some tumors and that it could be cancer," the mother said.

The doctors told her that her son, who is now unconscious, had terminal brain cancer, and they recommended that she disconnect him from life support when the time came, something that she refuses to do.

"What mortifies me is to see that they still have one of his legs cuffed to the bed and two guards are always with him. They don't allow more than one (visitor) in the room and they ask for identification to enter," she said.

"In the situation my son is in, I don't think he can escape, or that I can take him anywhere," she added.
Upon being contacted by Efe, spokesmen with the Arizona Department of Corrections explained that agency policy is to use handcuffs as a way to guarantee the safety of their personnel and of the prisoners.

Palomares also questioned the medical care her son received while he was in prison.

"I don't know what happened with him, someone told me that he had fallen inside there," she said.

Last month the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona filed a lawsuit against the state corrections department arguing that prisoners are not receiving the medical and mental care they need.

The documents presented to the court by the ACLU indicate that sick prisoners who asked for medical attention were told things such as "be patient" and "it's all in your head," or urged to pray for a cure.

"We're asking for several things, among them an order prohibiting the Department of Corrections, for example, from putting people with mental problems in isolated cells," Alessandra Soler, the executive director of the ACLU in Arizona, told Efe on Tuesday.

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