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:


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ASP-Kingman's Deaths in Custody: Neil Early, 23.

UPDATE (1/25/15 3:20pm) 

I've heard from Neil's family since the post below, and they confirm he was murdered at ASP-Kingman/Cerbat. The AZ DOC should have cracked down on ASP-Kingman over the proliferation of drugs and violence there after the escape of John McClusky and friends, but by the sound sof things, it all only got worse once the spotlight was off this private prison.

Neil's mom has posted this message on her facebook, and has asked folks to share it far and wide.




 


(Neil Early 7/11/1991-1/19/2015)

We are the parents of Neil Early who was murdered in the Kingman Prison on Monday 1/19/15. Neil was only 23 years old. There are many untruths going on and we want to clarify a few details.

Neil wasn’t a bad man, misguided, but he wanted to do the right thing. He was in prison, doing 5 years and had 15 months left on his term. He was convicted of Drug Paraphernalia and Conspiracy to Commit Retail Theft. This meant that he stole some video games from two different stores and resold them for money. Stupid yes, but he shouldn’t have to die for a mistake he was already paying for. He now will never be a son again, a big brother, a cousin, or a father to his child. The family needs to know what happened to him! This should not be covered up! We are understandably very angry and need answers. He shouldn’t have had a death sentence for his mistakes!

The family is requesting anyone with ANY information please contact us:

Email: NeilEarly@bcaz.com
Website: NeilEarly.com

The Early Family
PO Box 1138
Black Canyon City, AZ 85324



Original Post (1/21/15 6:41am)

Arizona state prison officials have kept the recent death of 23 year old ASP-Kingman prisoner Neil Early on the down low since it happened. My condolences to the family; I hope you sue - that's the only way you'll ever get to the truth. You sure can't trust the AZ DOC to get at it for you. Contact me if you don't know where to start: Peggy Plews at arizonaprisonwatch@gmail.com or 480-580-6807. 

I'd also like to hear from anyone else who can fill in the blanks - all I don't know about this kid's life, his dreams, and such that I can't find out from the AZ DOC website; I know there was more to him than what meets the eye. Send me a better picture, too, if you can.




Folks at Prison Talk suggest that Neil's death was a homicide, but none of the media outlets have reported it as such, and the DOC has nothing on their site (though his AZDOC profile has been updated to show he passed away.) Sadly, it appears he was having trouble with substance use in custody, up until shortly before his death. His judge did recommend he go to Marana facility for substance abuse treatment when he was sentenced. It's a shame they think (or pretend as if) people actually get any care in prison. They should have taken one look at him and known he would be prey in there, instead. It's time we stop sending non-violent offenders like him to prison on minimum mandatory sentences. That could be done this year, if the legislature had the will. 

Here's what AZCENTRAL.COM has to say this am:

 ------------------






Officials: Kingman inmate, 23, dies at private prison


An inmate's death Monday at a private prison near Kingman has prompted an investigation from the Arizona Department of Corrections, according to a statement from the agency.

Neil Early, 23, was serving a sentence for two counts of organized retail theft and drug paraphernalia charges from 2011 in Maricopa County.

Early was sentenced to a 5-year prison term in May 2012 after having previously served less than a year in 2010 for for theft charges.