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, January 18, 2010

SOS: Arizona State Prisons. Send Help.

Anyone else hear about these prison units selling already? And the state hospital? This is from the Perryville CO's underground blog, the Lumley Vampire. That's the yard Marcia Powell was on when she died. The lead-in below is just the beginning - hit back there for the rest. The description of conditions is pretty frank and deplorable. I want the DOJ in here. Sounds like the guy who does this blog does, too.  

I'm sure the state figures they can avoid their responsibility for these facilities - and prisoners - by just selling them, and we're going to have a hard time holding those people accountable. We can't even seem to hold the state responsible when they do the job themselves.

Isn't there someone else we can call for help? I'm not very impressed with the DOJ. Every prisoner and family I hear from these days is sending an SOS.


"Six Arizona State Prison Units sold to SLUM LORDS
The Lumley Vampire Newsletter 1/15/2010

    Six state prison units at Florence/Eyman have been sold to Slum Lords and leased back to the state. The state pocketed $736 million dollars and will be repaying investors 1.1 billion dollars over the next 20 years for the deal. Death Row was not sold. The state hospital was also sold to investors. Privatization of ADOC is rapidly becoming a reality.

ASPC-Florence is seriously outdated and unsafe for officer's and offenders. The plumbing chases at CB-1, 3, 2 & 4 are caked with dozens of decades of animal urine & feces, which vent directly into offenders cells.  Electrical and plumbing problems including filthy staff bathrooms and unsafe drinking water which exceed federal guidelines for Niacin are just a few of the problems passed on to investors. Some staff bathrooms are so filthy with years of human feces and urine officers are forced to squat on filthy toilet rims to use them. Swamp coolers are still in use at most of the large Florence cell blocks wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. 

    The DOJ has looked the other way for decades as offenders are forced to live in tiny cells from the 1940's and 50's standards. Officer's still are required to conduct safety and security checks on dozens of isolation cells in CB-3 & 4 that have not been used or housed offenders since the 1970's wasting more money by the state...."

No comments: