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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Sunday, January 3, 2010

More of Russ Pearce's Racist Vitriole on Sanctuary Cities

This is Russ Pearce's latest newsletter, dated January 2, 2010. Pay attention. It's pretty disturbing. We need to stop this thing. Among other things, this attack on "sanctuary cities" is an attempt to strip local communities of their right to prioritize what laws they'll chase people down for and spend their resources prosecuting. So much for local autonomy...only his district counts, I guess.

By the way, I have no problem saying that racist politics are extremely incorrect. There's no acceptable defense for any of it.

-------------From Senator Russell Pearce's January 2, 2010 Newsletter---------------------------

This past Wednesday, Arizona Police Association representing dozens of Police Agencies (boots on the ground) and thousands of Police Officers state wide has without objecting and with overwhelming enthusiasm endorsed legislation to end all policies that restrict law enforcement from enforcing our immigration laws and in fact specifically endorsed my legislation "Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhood Act".  I will have a bill number in about one week. 

Current Endorsements of: "Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhood Act"
Arizona Police Association
Polls show 75/80% of Arizonans
Arizona State Republican Party (by Resolution)
Maricopa County Republican Party (by Resolution)
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe
Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas
Pinal Co. Sheriff Babeu
Mohave Sheriff Sheahan
Yavapai Sheriff Waugh
Cochise Sheriff Dever
Gila Sheriff Armer
Navajo Sheriff Clark
Graham Sheriff Allred
Greenlee Sheriff Tucker
Phoenix Law Enforcement Association
Maricopa Deputy's Law Enforcement Association
Maricopa County Detention Officers Association
Glendale Police Officers Association
Mesa Police Officers Association
Chandler Police Officers Association
Border Patrol Officers Association
Arizona Highway Patrol Association
Col. Albert Rodriguez - You Don't Speak for Me
Arizona African American Republican Club
Arizona Republican Assembly
The Pachyderms
Anna Gaines - American Citizens United
Arizona's Liberty Caucus
Life Liberty Freedom
American Citizens United
Team America (Bay Buchanan & Congressman Tom Tancredo)
9-11 Families
American Legislative Exchange Council (the largest national organization of conservative legislators)
and many more.


1. Illegal Sanctuary Policies: Eliminate ALL sanctuary cities in this state and allow legal citizens the right to sue their government for violating this law.

2. Trespass: Makes entering or remaining in Arizona in violation of federal law a state crime and "allows" law enforcement to arrest them on trespass violation or just call ICE to take them and deport them. (law enforcement's choice).  This allows them to hold those that are being investigated for serious crimes and not have deported before the investigation is completed.

3. Day Laborer Enforcement:  Makes it illegal for an illegal alien to solicit work (day laborers) and makes a misdemeanor for anyone with a license to do business in Arizona to pick up any day laborer without filling out a employment application.  Makes it a state crime to aid, harbor, conceal transport or attempt to aid, harbor, conceal or transport an illegal alien for work with a mandatory impoundment of their vehicle under 28-3511 for 30 days.  Also adds a mandatory $1000 fine per illegal alien being transported.

Closing our borders is a must; however it must be coupled with interior enforcement.  Attrition by enforcement.  Strict enforcement.  It is time to renew our efforts to end ALL sanctuary policies in our states and our nation: Require officials to fully enforce federal immigration laws of the United States. NO MORE TAXPAYER BENEFITS OF ANY KIND, No Amnesty, No retreat, No surrender.  We will take back America one state at a time.   It starts here!!!!!

•         8 USC Sec. 1325:   (ILLEGAL ENTRY)
•         8 USC Sec. 1324:   (Hiring an ILLEGAL)
•         8 USC Sec. 1644:   ("No local ordinance, rule, or measure shall stop law enforcement officers from enforcement of this section")
"Any person who knowingly hires/harbors/transports any illegal alien is guilty of a felony punishable by:
•         10 years in prison
•         $2000 fine per illegal alien
•         Forfeiture of the vehicle or property used to commit the crime."

"All officers whose duty it is to enforce criminal laws shall have authority to make arrests for a violation of any provision of this section" (affirmed US v Perez-Gonzalez 2002 Fed App 0360, 6th Circ.).

"We Don't Need No 'Stinkin' 287g;” Local Law Enforcements Has Inherent Authority to Enforce Immigration Law:

Today we will take the "political handcuffs off from our law enforcement officers;"  the only reasons our immigration laws are not enforced are Political, not a lack of Authority.

This Citizens Initiative will pass by 70% to 80% by the voters.  The last four (4) Propositions I placed on the ballot in '06 passed by an average of 75%.

In accordance with the Unanimous endorsement of a Resolution by the State Republican Party and the Maricopa County Republican Party at their annual organizational meetings with over 800 PC's present at each meeting, and in order to support our citizens Constitutional right to have our laws enforced and recognizing the damage in cost in crime and dollars to Arizona citizens and taxpayers;  We demand the end to all "Catch and Release" policies in the state of Arizona and further we will be filing a Citizens Initiative to remove/end all sanctuary policies in the state of Arizona.  No more Catch & Release.  We the legal and lawful citizens demand the enforcement of our laws.

I will introduce this legislation and hope to get it out of the legislature within the first two weeks of Session:  I believe I have the commitments from legislators and the Governor to make this happen.  I will need everyone's help.  We need to contact every single legislator and encourage them to support this legislation. You can use to contact all the Legislators at once.

If the legislature will not support our law enforcement and citizens we will file The Citizens Initiative, to make sure the people have the last say.  So let us put most of our energy in this effort in getting the bill passed out of the legislature and signed by the Governor.   This is critical legislation for Arizona and the nation as we lead the nation in our efforts and over 30 states are modeling legislation after us.  Let's Take Back America One State at a Time!!!!! 

The burden of blind-eye police department policies and open-border philosophies were paid for with the lives of not only our police officers throughout our state. The danger clearly spread beyond law enforcement into our communities with more lives being lost. The quality of life in our state is being sacrificed for political correctness.


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