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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Friday, February 12, 2010

Pearce Alert: next Week's Committee

Well, he's telling us how to vote but doesn't have time to say what's really buried in those bills, so I guess I'll dig around and report back what I find. AZ CDL is the Arizona Citizens Defense League, by the way - 2nd amendment, pro-life, etc. They apparently spend a lot of time helping craft legislation...


Greetings ,

Senator Pearce is so busy fighting hard for our Liberties at the capitol that he has very little time to put together newsletters or alerts. The status of Bills at the capitol are "fluid", meaning a bills status can changes at a moments notice. But we will do the best we can to keep you updated. Just be aware things move fast and change quickly.

Legislative Alert:

The following is from the AzCDL and I don't think they will mind the Senator spreading the word out about these Bills.

SB 1168 will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee at 1:30 PM on Monday, February 15, 2010.  To send a message to the committee members, urging them to support SB 1168, go here:
    If you are available, we also urge you come down to the Capitol and testify on these bills.  If you are interested, please contact Dave Kopp at
(this link only for supporters of his bill).

HB 2543 will be heard in the House Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, February 17, 2010.  To send a message to the committee members, urging them to support HB 2543, go here:
.   (this link only for supporters of bill)

We thank everyone who took the time to contact their Representatives and Senator about HB 2305, SB 1021, and SB 1172, which were debated in Committee of the Whole (COW) hearings on February 11, 2010.  Despite an extremely short notice, hundreds of messages were sent out by dedicated activists to most of the Legislature.  All 3 bills passed out of COW.  Well done!

Both bills strengthen state firearms preemption laws, add firearms storage and accessories to the list of things political subdivisions cannot regulate, and remove the prohibition on carrying a firearm in public parks without a CCW permit. 

Your participation is critical for the success of this pro-rights legislation.  It boils down to getting involved and making a difference or letting others determine the future of YOUR rights.  It only takes a minute to click on the link to the Action Center, fill-in your name and address and send a message to the committee members.  Make history!  Get involved:


Here's the link to the committees:

 Senate Judiciary Committee 

 House Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee

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