MARGARET J PLEWS
PO BOX 20494
PHOENIX, AZ 85036
Established: July 18, 2009
Editor: Peggy Plews
This site is to monitor conditions in Arizona's institutions of incarceration, as well as offer some critical analysis of the prison industrial complex from a prison abolitionist's perspective. Abolitionism is an anti-colonialist articulation of a vision of racial and economic justice, an optimistic endeavor which strives towards collective moral and social evolution, such that alternatives to incarceration are embraced and the root causes of criminalization and incarceration are addressed. There is no need or room for prisons in a truly liberated, just society.
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 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 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 just a freelance writer and activist, by the way, but if you are the loved one of a prisoner and need help, feel free to contact me - I'll help if I can. Emailing me works best: firstname.lastname@example.org but 480-580-6807 is ok too.
Still Standing with Monica Jones!
- SWOP-Phoenix SUPPORT MONICA JONES
- WINDY CITY: Monica Jones found guilty under prostitution ordinance
- TRANSADVOCATE: Arizona Transgender Woman Monica Jones on trial for refusing “Project Rose”
- AFFILIA: Ethical and Human Rights Issues in Coercive Interventions With Sex Workers
- THE NATION: The problem with anti-trafficking dragnets
Prisoners and Families: Send your SOS to the DOJ!
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.
Published on Jun 26, 2014
"Alone" was produced Daffodil Altan. It was reported by Altan and Trey Bundy, edited by David Ritsher and Andrew Gersh, and filmed by Marco Villalobos. The senior producer was Stephen Talbot. The executive producer was Susanne Reber.
Friday, February 22, 2013
Deaths in Custody: Watching Tony Die.
Tony was sentenced to 12 years in prison in May 2010 for hurting two ex-girlfriends who tried to prevent him from cutting his own throat when suicidal and psychotic on his 23rd birthday. He had been struggling increasingly with symptoms of mental illness, which went untreated until the crisis that sent him to jail instead of a psychiatric hospital. There they found him to be so severely mentally ill that it took over a year to restore him sufficiently to sanity to prosecute him as if he'd been sane all along. Then it took another nine months for him to recover from the trial enough to be sentenced.
This state is exceptionally cruel.
Once sent off to prison, despite recommendations from the judge that he be placed in a special mental health treatment setting, Tony's illness still wasn't treated properly. He was left to suffer in prison without his anti-psychotic medications while his paranoia mounted. He was placed on a general population yard where he was soon confronted by the Warrior Society, a prison gang which informed him he wouldn't be allowed to live safely on the yard, in part, due to being a known bi-sexual. Tony's assault convictions had been tagged as domestic violence, which was another big strike against him...
Violating each other in our honor is not how to reduce violence against women, by the way, gentlemen. It diminishes us all.
Not surprisingly, facing 12 years like this, the next opportunity Tony had to cut his own throat - when handed a razor by DOC staff - he was sure to do the job right. He was no doubt fearful that what the other prisoners had in mind for him was far more traumatic than any death he could bring on himself.
When Tony was discovered by AZ DOC staff, they just stood by and watched him die...
Tonight Wendy Halloran will be following up on this story with some of the footage of the last minutes of Tony's life, while five corrections' officers stood around and watched him bleed out. Please watch KPNX Channel 12 PHX Friday Feb 22 at 10pm, then send your comments to email@example.com.
Let Channel 12 know we need to see more of what's happening behind prison walls, because what happened to Tony isn't the exception - this kind of deliberate indifference to - rather, outright contempt for human life is all too common at the AZ DOC. The suicide and homicide rates in state prisons doubled once Chuck Ryan took over, and haven't abated yet. Something is seriously wrong in there.
Ask them to look into the other deaths in custody, the practicality of a new supermax prison, the problems with privatizing the health care services for prisoners, and so on. Le tthem know there's an audienc eout here or that stuff, or the tone they'll hear from the community when they cover a prisoner's suicide will be left at "good riddance - give them all rope!". Let's not let those kinds of people dominate the dialogue on life and death for the most vulnerable in prison. Please watch the show AND give feedback.