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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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

DOJ - Investigate Death of Timothy Redman

Here's the latest on Timothy Redman from Nevada's Ely state prison, as taken from the Nevada Prison Watch website (which is receiving updates from Make the Walls Transparent, linked below):


Update on Timothy Redman's violent death

Tim, early 2009 (courtesy of Tim's family)

Hereby more updates on Make the Walls Transparent, dated November 23rd 2009.

MTWT has received mail from inmates at ESP and their family members regarding the 11-18-09 death of Timothy Redman on unit 3-B.

One inmate tells us, “Investigator General Thompson was on the unit to “investigate” but he never once asked any inmate what they had seen in the hours and minutes leading to Mr. Redman’s death,” even though, clearly those inmates are the eye-witnesses, not E.K. McDaniel and Debra Brooks, who both came on the unit after the death and stood around laughing about it.

One inmate’s sister received a letter from her brother that said: “The cops let this guy hang himself and watched him do it and did nothing to help him but to keep gassing him after he was hanging.” Brooks was here at his door laughing at it and so was E.K. McDaniel. The cops even came from Ely. It was a big deal and no one wants to let anyone get to a phone to report what happened here yesterday”.

On The Ely Times, someone who calls himself Winsan, and who obviously works for the prison stated that officers “…tried to save this inmate’s life…by using any means available to subdue and incapacitate the inmate when trying to save his life and protect others.” No one disputes that Redman was locked in his cell. Who were the officers trying to protect? Certainly not Redman. And certainly not the other inmates all locked in their cells and breathing in the poison being sprayed.

Winsan’s claim that the guards used any means available to try to save Redman’s life rings hollow. All the reports from inmates tell a different story. In reality, officers were able to reach the inmate, but chose not to – or more realistically – were ordered not to, according to one officer who alleges that E.K. McDaniel ordered them not to enter the cell.

What possible reason can there be to use 5,6 or 7 hairspray-sized cans of chemical agent on a man locked in a tiny cell with no ventilation? How did Mr. Redman even have the strength to hang himself after being poisoned for hours on end? And an even more pressing question: Whose safety were these officers trying to protect by spraying chemical agent for hours on end?

This incident is hard to stomach, even for some of the the guards hardened by working at possibly the most abusive prison in the country. It is understandable that they want to believe this incident did not take place. It is understandable that citizens want to believe this also, especially considering that as citizens, we are taught to hold a special level of trust for law enforcement. It is unfortunate, but the sooner we face reality and get a federal investigation regarding this incident and many other incidents of great cruelty and abuse, even death, at Ely State Prison, the sooner we will be able to trust our public servants. Meanwhile, the lies and cover-ups at ESP continue unabated.

From Make the Walls Transparent:

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Mr. Walls, Timothy Redman was my half brother and the time he was with Nevada prisons was horrifying. I know he done wrong but his passing there was not the way he was supposed to go. But from my experiences in life have taught me that Karma hurts and is bestowed upon those that ask for it.I loved my brother and may he finally be at peace..