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:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

ASPC-Tucson Deaths in Custody: Homicide of Christian Frost.

UPDATED POST: July 1, 2013

AZ DOC Deaths in Custody: Loving Christian Frost

Original POST: 2/24/2013
If anyone out there has information about this man's death, or knows how to reach his surviving family members, please contact me at 480-580-6807 or arizonaprisonwatch@gmail.comMy name is Peggy Plews, I'm a prisoner rights activist, artist, and freelance blogger. I work extensively with families who have survived the loss of a loved one to suicide, neglect, or violence in custody. I also correspond with state prisoners trying to fight for their health care rights and find a "safe place" in the system to do their time. 

Follow this link for Survivors of Prison Violence and the articles 
Bob Ortega wrote last June for the AZ Republic
about the rising violence in AZ state prisons.

The problem is that there are no safe places in prison. The particularly dangerous places are the ones no one else ever sees or hears of, and the worst happens to those who no one thinks anyone will care about, so please, if you know anything about how Christian Frost lived or died, and who may have loved him, it would help me to know. Then I need to tell others, so they realize he was a human being, not just a caricature of a criminal and inmate that the state paints to assure the family is shamed and the public feels no sympathy when they die.

I'm available to anyone who has a loved one still living in prison, too, who is worried about their safety, health, or the conditions of their confinement. It's the prisoners and families themselves who have been teaching me how they survive, so I can pass information, like this post, on to others. So, please feel free to call or email anytime - that's what keeps me up on what's happening inside. 

Condolences to Christian's family on their loss. My heart goes out to the guys directly affected by this as well - I know a lot of guys for whom this will be terrifying, as they believe they will be next. Hang in there, guys, write to AZ Prison Watch even if you have no money, and my friends and I will help you fight the state the right way: 

   Peggy Plews
Arizona Prison Watch 
PO Box 20494 
Phoenix, AZ 85036

Margie is working on a special project assessing and addressing violence against gay and transgender prisoners as well, so let her know if you're interested in that in particular.


Inmate dies from possible homicide in Tucson prison

Feb 23, 2013 2:34 PM 
by Van Nguyen /Channel 4 - Tucson NBC

TUCSON - An inmate has died while in custody at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Tucson.

Investigators say 38-year-old Christian Frost died Friday from a possible homicide.

Medical responders tried but couldn't save him.

Frost was serving a 26 year sentenced for manslaughter, flight from law enforcement and aggravated assault.

He came to the Arizona Department of Corrections on February 13, 1998 and was held at ASPC-Tucson.

The investigation on how he died is ongoing and being conducted by the department's Criminal Investigations Unit.