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

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.

AUG 5, 7:30pm: Laverne Cox and Monica Jones at the Herberger!


AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

AZ DOC:Lightning strikes twice: Botulism at Eyman again.

SOS from AZ prisons, CDC! I can't believe there's more botulism at Eyman The last time this happened was July 2012, and the AZ DOC's claim it was from prison hooch was an outright lie. Those men got sick from something they ate this summer, and three of the four were left to suffer with it for a week without medical attention before being taken to the hospital - check out this post here. That's twice now since Wexford took over that there's been a botulism outbreak.

So before anyone else buys the latest DOC report that their prisoners are just up to no good again, let's look at the other possible reasons for this kind of exceptionally rare outbreak to have occurred twice in the same prison in just a few months period of time (mind you - there were only 110 cases of botulism poisoning in the entire US in 2010 - only 9 of which were food-borne). Even if this batch of botulism really came from an alcoholic beverage cooked up in a cell and not a can of beef stew or something smuggled out of the chow hall, I'd be looking at what they're selling in the canteen theses days, boys. Something those guys are eating in that prison just isn't right.

"SOS from Arizona's other death row..."
 Phoenix, AZ (June 2012) 

 The Arizona Department of Corrections is already facing a class action suit, Parsons v Ryan, for gross medical neglect of its prisoners and the abuse of solitary confinement for managing the mentally ill. For their part, Wexford Health Sources has been outright accused of criminal misconduct in their management of AZ state prisoner health care since wining the contract in July 2012. If the CDC doesn't really look into things this time, who can the public trust to do so?

--------------from Food Poisoning Bulletin----------- 

Prison Hooch Sends 7 Inmates To ICU with Botulism

Food Poisoning Bulletin
November 26, 2012


Prison hooch, or homemade alcohol,  is the likely source of a botulism outbreak at an Arizona prison that sent seven inmates to intensive care. The seven inmates, all from Special Management Unit 1 of the Arizona State Prison Complex Eyman in Florence, were hospitalized over the weekend.

Botulism is not spread through person-to-person contact. Although it can develop in contaminated wounds or through IV drug use, it most often develops after eating or drinking food that is tainted with the toxin. Botulism poisoning  must be treated with a course of special anti-toxin, the stockpile of which is controlled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Health officials in Pinal County, where the prison is located, suspect that the inmates became ill after drinking  hooch made from fermented fruit. After discussions with county health officials, the CDC made a preliminary confirmation of botulism and released the anti-toxin. Samples of the hooch were collected and sent to the CDC lab for testing.

Five of the inmates became seriously ill on Saturday and two more fell ill on Sunday. All seven are in intensive care. Symptoms of botulism poisoning, which can be fatal, include: muscle weakness, difficulty speaking, chewing, swallowing and breathing; and paralysis.

County, state and federal authorities are working on the investigation into the outbreak. This is the second time in four months that such and incident has occurred at the prison. In August, four inmates contracted botulism from prison hooch.