Video by Sallydarity / set to Comin' up from Behind ( Marcy Playground)

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:


Saturday, May 4, 2013

AZ DOC to buy ASP-Marana; still farming operations out.

Interesting...

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Standard Examiner, OGDEN, UT

Tue, 04/30/2013 - 8:30pm

AP PHOENIX — Arizona intends to purchase a privately run prison but still have it run by a commercial company.

The state will pay $150,000 to buy the Marana Community Correctional Treatment Facility, a 500-bed minimum-security prison that houses male prisoners with drug and alcohol problems, the Arizona Capitol Times reported.

A provision in each contract for the state’s five privately run prisons allows the state to buy each at a nominal price as the contract expires.

Legislative budget analysts estimate the state could save $850,000 annually by buying the Marana prison from Utah-based Management and Training Corp.

The department has requested bids from companies interested in running the prison after the state takes possession in October.

Management and Training Corp., of Centerville, Utah, has managed the prison since it opened in 1994, and a spokesman said the company will submit a bid to continue running it.

“We’ve created strong relationships within the community and we look forward to continuing our partnership with ADOC,” spokesman Issa Arnita said in an email.

Management and Training Corp. also runs the state prison in Kingman where three inmates escaped in July 2010. The escape resulted in two state employees losing their jobs and a revamped oversight system by the department.