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)


ANTICOLONIAL zines, stickers, actions, power

Taala Hooghan Infoshop

Kinlani/Flagstaff Mutual AID


The group for direct action against the prison state!

Black Lives Matter PHOENIX METRO

Black Lives Matter PHOENIX METRO
(accept no substitutions)



PHOENIX: Trans Queer Pueblo


AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Arizona: Fire the Legislature in 2010.

This editorial from the Arizona Daily Star, begins with a story abut how Arizonans have been polled as among the happiest people in the country (I don't think much of polls). After reviewing all the things we have to be happy for, they also noted the things we aren't so happy with - some useful statistics.


It's fine to be among happiest states, but ...

Our view: Hiking, sunny clime go only so far when other measures lag miserably
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 12.20.2009
Arizona ranks at the bottom of the list of states in spending for education. We are not providing our children with a decent launchpad for 21st-century careers and, by extension, we are not attracting 21st-century businesses to operate here. 
Arizona's state budget crisis is arguably the worst in the nation. Our GOP-led Legislature has been hacking away all year at a budget deficit that for the next six months amounts to about $1.6 billion — savaging education spending and social-support agencies and refusing to identify new revenue sources to help close the gap. 
State Treasurer Dean Martin has warned that soon he may be forced to pay state employees and vendors with IOUs. Let's not even talk about next year's deficit. 
The recession has hit Arizona especially hard, thanks in large measure to our growth-based economy, which crashed when the housing bubble burst. The good news is that the state's unemployment improved to 8.9 percent last month, compared with 9.3 percent for October. But the rate was 6.4 percent a year ago. 
Further, according to Capitol Media Services, state personal income was unchanged between the second and third quarters of this year. That compares with a 0.3 percent increase nationwide. 
Let's get local now. 
• According to MarketWatch's annual survey of 101 cities last week, the Tucson region was seventh-worst in jobs lost during the recession. 
The city of Tucson is facing a fiscal crisis borne of lagging sales-tax revenues that almost certainly will force layoffs among the city's 5,600 workers and cuts in services to its residents. It is likely that no one will escape the impact; and it won't just be potholes anymore. The city must close a $32 million budget gap by June 30. 
So here is our point: Enjoy the beautiful weather. Enjoy the outdoors. 
But demand leadership and vision from our elected officials. There is much to be done, and it will take courage to accomplish. The future of our state depends upon it.

No comments: