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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AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Change We Can Believe In: The DREAM ACT, Please.

For Edgar and his friends. From the folks at Dreamactivist. Sorry not to get this up sooner:

Representative Luis Gutierrez (IL-4) has introduced the long-awaited immigration legislation titled "Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP)."

Rep. Gutierrez has been a long-time supporter of the DREAM Act and recently co-sponsored the legislation, which will be part of this larger bill.

We know you may have questions and want to find out more about this new bill. Hence, we are excited to host a call this Wednesday to clarify key aspects of this immigration bill, with a special focus on the DREAM Act components.

Click here to RSVP and get call-in information.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 16, 2009

English: 6 PM EST / 3 PM PST
Spanish: 6:30 PM EST / 3:30 PM PST

  • Mark Silverman, Director of Immigration Policy, Immigrant Legal Resource Center
  • Mohammad, Co-Founder and Field Organizer, (English)
  • Lizbeth Mateo, DREAM Team Los Angeles (Spanish)
Do send us your questions and comments when you RSVP, we will try and answer as many as we can.

We will send you call-in information via text message or email on Wednesday morning.

Feel free to forward this email to your colleagues, family and friends.


DreamActivist Team

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