Fight the Treatment Industrial Complex

Fight the Treatment Industrial Complex by supporting the AFSC- Arizona campaign

Fight the Treatment Industrial Complex by supporting the AFSC- Arizona campaign
AFSC-Arizona staff are amazing advocates for prisoners - and as such, are true blessings to our communities. Spend time on their site - lots of resources.

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:


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Social work values, state violence, and Project Rose.

The following post from the Best Practices Policy Project references a great article in AFFILIA: Journal of Women and Social Work that sums up my own major concerns about Project Rose being supported by the ASU School of Social Work program.

Download the PDF and read on...


protesting Project Rose 
October 17, 2013

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Questionable Practices: Arresting people “for their own good” violates social work ethics

Stephanie Wahab and Meg Panichelli provide a succinct analysis of the ethical considerations associated with diversion programs that arrest people in the sex trade in order to force them to accept services. Their commentary which appears in a 2013 edition of AFFILIA, a peer reviewed social work journal addressing the concerns of social workers and their clients from a feminist point of view, challenges the “assumption that arresting (or participating in the arrest of) people ‘for their own good’ constitutes good or ethical social work practice.” The authors conclude that, “targeting people for arrest under the guise of helping them violates numerous ethical standards as well as the humanity of people engaged in the sex industry” and express concerns that such an approach “constitutes an act of structural violence against individuals who already frequently report negative, discriminatory, and often violent encounters with law enforcement including people with precarious migratory or citizenship status, poor, youth, transgender, and people of color.”

The example that sparked the writing of the AFFILIA editorial is Project ROSE, a program in which social workers from Arizona State University  School of Social Work and some service providers collaborate with city wide raids orchestrated by the Phoenix Police Department. Project ROSE is found to violate ethical standards described in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics, the Council on Social Work Education Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, and the International Federation of Social Work Ethical Principles. Informed consent–an essential element of social work practice and the standard in many other professions–is violated because the services provided rely on recruitment via ”massive police (in this case 125 officers) sting operations.” The authors explain that, ‘if targeted sex workers (and people profiled as sex workers) reject the ‘offer’ to enter the diversion program and/or if they fail to successfully complete a diversion program… they face criminal prosecution.”

Wahab and Panichelli provide the reader with clear guidance on how to avoid unethical practice from the perspectives of social workers. “Whether you believe that sex work = sex trafficking or whether you believe that there is no universal sex work experience and that sex workers can make their own decisions about what they need and when they need it,” they write. “Schools of Social Work and social work in general should not be in the business of arresting people for their own good.”

The full text for the commentary is available at: Ethical and Human Rights Issues in Coercive Interventions With Sex Workers Stéphanie Wahab and Meg Panichelli, Affilia 2013 28: 344.