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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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winslow's Future with Ruby Wash Prisons

Today is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, with a special memorial for Marcia Powell taking place in Tucson this evening, and a rally occurring tomorrow at the AZ Department of Corrections (1601 W. Jefferson Phoenix) at 12 Noon.

Forwarded by the guys at Private Corrections Institute. I'm very sad to hear this. I'll leave it there for now, having edited my earlier post on this..I'll save all that for another time. 

Council OKs Agreement With Private Prison Firm
December 16th, 2009
By Sam Conner
    The Winslow City Council passed a resolution last week authorizing a memorandum of understanding with Ruby Wash Properties LLC regarding development of a private prison complex in Winslow after considerable debate and time spent in executive session.
    The proposal is for a 5,000-bed prison unit, a wastewater treatment plant, two water towers, and a police and fire substation in the area. The company has stated that the complex may eventually expand to some 11,000 to 16,000 prison beds, and include a federal prison unit. That would require leasing property at the Winslow-Lindberg Airport and building a sally port there to be leased from the city.
    The resolution was necessary for Ruby Wash Properties, LLC and its affiliated company to respond to a request for proposals (RFP) from the State of Arizona for construction of a 5,000-bed private prison facility.

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