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.

until all are free -

MARGARET J PLEWS (June 1, 2015)


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AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

ASPC-Lewis Deaths in Custody: Anthony Brown

---------the following article comes from KPHO Channel 5 News/CBS Phoenix--------

Woman claims inmate husband died after lack of medical help

Posted: Oct 12, 2012 8:52 PM  
Updated: Oct 12, 2012 9:12 PM

A Phoenix woman claims her husband died after being refused medical treatment at Lewis Prison in Buckeye.

Anthony Brown, 43, died at St. Joseph's Hospital on Monday, Oct. 8. After performing an autopsy, the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office initial finding is that Brown died of natural causes.

"Nothing natural about a 42-year-old man that laid there for three or four days and died slowly," said widow Jami Brown. "There's nothing natural about that."

Jami Brown said she last spoke to her husband Thursday morning, Oct. 4.

"He was in a good mood, everything was great, you know," she said.

After that conversation, she had trouble reaching him. She visited the prison in Buckeye on Sunday and was unable to find out details of her husband's condition.

She was informed early Monday morning that he had passed away. Since then, she has been able to piece together what may have happened after talking with prison officials and other inmates who were close to her husband.

On the Friday after her last visit, Anthony Brown came down with a severe migraine headache.

"The pain got worse, the pain got worse," Jami Brown said. "He was vomiting and his balance was off and he fell."

She said her husband and other inmates were begging for medical help, but that corrections officers blew them off.

"There were probably 15 to 20 officers and medical staff that had seen him in that condition and not one person did their job. Not one," she said.

Wexford Health Services operates the medical units inside state prisons.

They provided CBS 5 the following statement:

"Wexford is awaiting word on the autopsy to determine the next steps and the reason for his (Mr. Brown) passing."

Anthony Brown was serving a 10-year sentence for aggravated assault. He was set to be released next September.

"My heart hurts," Jami Brown said. "I mean, he laid there for three days and nobody did anything.
Nobody did anything for him."

The Arizona Department of Corrections is investigating Anthony Brown's death.