This site is to offer some critical analysis of the prison industrial complex in Arizona from a prison abolitionist's perspective. Abolitionism is an anti-colonialist articulation of a vision of racial and economic justice, one in which we don't submit to or depend on the prison industrial complex to brutalize the "duly convicted" (and their loved ones) as a response to harm, as a preventative measure out of fear, or as a means of assuring social order. It's an optimistic vision which presumes that our society collectively evolves, both morally and socially, such that the root causes of criminalization and incarceration are addressed before we produce more generations of people being allowed to hurt eachother. The current system doesn't prevent people from being victimized - it just prescribes rules for who does and doesn't get to hurt or be hurt in America. That's not a good enough foundation for a system truly based on achieving justice.
Prison abolitionism argues that 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 profit (or state "savings", as the case may be) comes first. 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 just a freelance writer and artist, by the way, but if you are the loved one of a prisoner and need help, feel free to contact me. Emailing me works best: firstname.lastname@example.org but 480-580-6807 is ok too.
AZ PRISON WATCH ACTION ITEMS:
RESIGN, CHUCK RYAN
Petition by the family of Tony Lester, victim of suicide in AZ DOC custody.
Joseph Venegas, 29, died on April 25, 2012 of unknown causes. He was a
prisoner at ASPC-Yuma/Cheyenne. If anyone has any information about his
life or death, please contact me (email@example.com).
There was an apparent homicide at the ASPC-Winslow/Kaibab unit on April 20, 2012. If anyone has any further information about this man's life or death to fill out Shon's story, please contact me. I was unable to find any obituaries or remembrances on the
internet, but this was left in the comments following the brief article
about his death that was posted on ABC15's site:
really hope they do investigate. Regardless of what he did he didn't
deserve to die. Shon was a good guy and just made bad choices. I've
known Shon for years along with being engaged to him. He was sweet and
kind. He will be missed by those of us who loved him. R.I.P Shon"
Condolences to Christine and Shon's other loved ones.