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:


Friday, October 5, 2012

Justice for Deborah Braillard: Change the Victim's Bill of Rights.

These jail and health care "professionals" from Correctional Health Services should have been criminally prosecuted for their treatment of Deborah Braillard. This is one more reason we need to change the Victims' Bill of Rights in the AZ Constitution to stop exluding prisoners as victims. "Persons in custody for an offense" (and their survivors, if they are killed in the care of cops or corrections officers) are the only class of humans denied those basic rights and protections. 

State entities and predatory corporations like Wexford Health Sources can claim "victim" status if anyone so much as trespasses against them, but prisoners - including people in custody who are not yet convicted or charged - don't have legal status as victims of their criminal misdeeds. We need to change that, people...




--------from the AZ Republic-----

Maricopa County agrees to settle suit tied to inmate death


Maricopa County administrators have agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to settle a 6-year-old lawsuit over a woman's death that occurred after she was booked into a county jail.

The county has already spent about $1.8 million to hire attorneys to defend itself in the lawsuit, said Cari Gerchick, a county spokeswoman.

Any other details on the terms of the settlement will remain under seal until the county Board of Supervisors meets on Oct. 17 to authorize the agreement, she said.

The Sheriff's Office is also not authorized to comment on the agreement until it is approved, a spokesman said.

In addition to Maricopa County and the Sheriff's Office, the lawsuit targeted Correctional Health Services, the taxpayer-funded agency that provides constitutionally mandated health care in the county jails.

The lawsuit was filed in 2006 by the surviving family members of Deborah Braillard, a 46-year-old woman who had been booked in jail several times before her entry into the Fourth Avenue Jail on Jan. 1, 2005, on suspicion of drug possession.

During her prior jail bookings, Braillard's diabetes had been noted during the health-care screening that every county inmate undergoes when admitted into jail.

But employees of Correctional Health Services failed to note Braillard's medical condition in early 2005.
Instead, because Braillard was barely coherent and slurring her words, jail health-care workers thought they were dealing with a woman in the throes of a drug addiction.

Braillard was coming off drugs and showing signs of a blood-sugar crash, according to court documents, her family and testimony from jail employees. She was disoriented, vomiting, soiling herself, sweating profusely and complaining of pain, according to court documents. Employees attributed her symptoms to drug withdrawal.

Four days after she was booked into jail, Braillard was taken to Maricopa Medical Center, where she would remain unconscious until she died 18 days later of complications from diabetes.

The form used to assess the medical condition of an incoming inmate lists 27 questions. A health-care worker completed Braillard's assessment in less than a minute, according to court documents.

No one noticed that Braillard was diabetic. An electronic medical-records system, had it been in place, could have immediately alerted employees about Braillard's condition. She had been administered insulin at the jails many times before, and an electronic system would have included her medical history.

County administrators signed a $4.5 million contract for an electronic medical-record system in March, though the network is still in the design phase, Gerchick said.