PO BOX 20494


Established: July 18, 2009
Editor: Peggy Plews

This site is 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's perspective.
We don't simply need to shut down the prisons: we need to rewrite the way the rules around perpetrating harm against people and property are made in the first place, so that humanity, not politics or profit comes first. The current system doesn't prevent people from being victimized as it is - it simply prescribes rules for who does and doesn't get hurt or get to violate others, and mostly punishes the poor, the seriously mentally ill, and people of color. That's not a good enough foundation for a system based on achieving true justice.

From re-prioritizing our world, our ideas around what is crime and how to punish it would look much differently...Critical Resistance is a good source for more info on that.

I'm a freelance writer and human rights activist with no legal training or college degree. But if you are the loved one of a prisoner who needs help fighting for themselves, feel free to contact me - I'll do what I can. Emailing me works best: but 480-580-6807 is ok too.



Petition by the family of Tony Lester, victim of suicide in AZ DOC custody.

Prisoners and Families: Send your SOS to the DOJ!

We really need those of you out there who have been in an AZ prison, have lost a child or other family member in an AZ prison, or have a loved one in an AZ prison now, to write a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder (that one is mine) about the need for a federal intervention here, and send me a copy, with a nice photo, if you have one, of the beloved prisoner - I don't have to post your letters and pictures, but please tell me if I may, with or without names.

If you need some motivation, see what the Governor had to say to him about the swell state things are in here. Don't let her pass that BS off on him unchallenged.

When the truth of prison rape and violence is made public and appeals for relief come directly from those affected, the rest of the community identifies better with prisoners as people, and it puts more pressure on the feds - as well as the governor- to act. And you are the ones with the most at stake here. So, please back me up on this argument I'm making, folks. If the feds listened to me, they'd have been here long ago - I need your support!

And don't just "like" me on Facebook or the Daily KOS - SHARE SHARE SHARE!!!

US Attorney General Eric Holder
US Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC 20530

Send word to your loved ones in prison to write the AG as well, and to send me copies if they want me to post their letters, too.

THE I-Files: Teens in Solitary Confinement

Published on Jun 26, 2014

"Alone" was produced Daffodil Altan. It was reported by Altan and Trey Bundy, edited by David Ritsher and Andrew Gersh, and filmed by Marco Villalobos. The senior producer was Stephen Talbot. The executive producer was Susanne Reber.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prison (HBO)

Published on Jul 20, 2014

America's prisons are broken. Just ask John Oliver and several puppets.

AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:

Friday, September 21, 2012

ASPC-Tucson/Santa Rita: September Prison Riot.

UPDATE: OCTOBER 3, 2012: this account of prisoner unrest explains a lot more than the whole race riot thing alone did (click link below). The DOC has a  problem with racial violence for sure, but it's never just about race alone...

"He is concerned because many of the inmates are complaining they are not getting enough food and the doctor is concerned about the weight loss he has actually observed.  His says he has heard comments from many people that the real reason for the recent riots/disturbances at Tucson and Rynning is because of an underlying tension or stress among the inmate population due to (1) not enough food; (2) being denied medical care.  The DOC explained the reason for the riots to the media as "racial disturbances."

------original post (9/21/2012)-----

Several prisoners remain hospitalized from this; at least one is in ICU. Sounds like the DOC just let people have at it for half an hour, till these guys got too tired to fight. If anyone knows what really happened - particularly families of prisoners who were injured - please contact me, Peggy Plews at 480-580-6807 or at  I never believe the state's version of events.

Families trying to get information on their loved ones at Tucson/Santa Rita should probably call the AZ DOC Constituent Services' office at  602-364-3945 or in-state toll-free 1-866-333-2039

-------------Here's the DOC's UPDATE for Friday 9/21-----------


For Immediate Release

For more information contact:
Bill Lamoreaux
Jennifer Bowser

September 21, 2012
Disturbance Update

Tucson, Az – As a result of the disturbance yesterday in the Santa Rita Unit at ASPC-Tucson, two officers were taken to the hospital where they were treated and released. Eleven inmates were also transported out to the hospital for treatment to injuries sustained in the disturbance. Six of the inmates are still at the hospital in stable condition at this time. The other five inmates have been treated and returned back to the complex.

The Santa Rita Unit remains locked down, while this incident is investigated. The Santa Rita Unit will not have visitation this weekend. The other units of the complex are slowly returning to normal activities.
The fight started at the Santa Rita Unit around 5:30 p.m. yesterday, and involved approximately 200 inmates. Tactical Support Unit teams and on duty personnel were able to secure the yard with minimal force, including the use of pepper spray. Control of the unit was regained at approximately 6:00 p.m. No other units were involved.

ASPC-Tucson has 5,150 beds in custody levels of minimum, medium and close custody. Yesterday’s inmate count for the complex was 5,132. The Santa Rita Unit has a total of 727 inmates housed in 768 beds across four yards within the unit.

-----the original release from the AZ Department of Corrections-------

September 20, 2012

Disturbance locks down Tucson complex

Tucson, Az – A fight started at the Santa Rita Unit of the Arizona State Prison Complex Tucson earlier this evening, around 5:30 p.m., involving approximately 200 Hispanic and African-American inmates.  Tactical Support Unit teams and on duty personnel were able to secure the yard with no force required.  Control of the unit was regained at approximately 6 p.m.  No other units were involved.

All staff have been accounted for with one officer sustaining an injury to his rib cage.  Some inmates have sustained injuries.  The details of these injuries are not known at this time.   

All of the Tucson complex is on lockdown status at this time.  The Santa Rita Unit will remain locked down for several days, while this incident is investigated.

ASPC-Tucson has 5,150 beds in custody levels of minimum, medium and close custody.  Today’s inmate count for the complex is 5,132.  The Santa Rita Unit has a total of 727 inmates housed in 768 beds across four yards within the unit.