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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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Napolitano Sandwich. Thursday, MAR 25, ASU.


Celebrate the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave trade. Let our People Go.

I have a few words for Director Napolitano about the condition she left things in here - as well as what she's been up to lately - but so does everyone else, so I may just watch the Left and the Right protest her together Thursday night.

I'll be wearing black and a bright bandanna if I'm there. That's my show of support for the indigenous and "anglomigrant" anarchists and anti-authoritarians rising up from the desert in resistance to racial profiling, police brutality, mass incarceration, for-profit detention, and all the other attendant evils of imperialism here in the Land of the Free...


Community to protest
cooperation between Janet Napolitano and Sheriff Joe Arpaio!

When: 6:30pm Thursday March 25th, 2010

Where: Arizona State University (Tempe Campus)

50 E Gammage Pk Tempe Az


People from around the valley will gather to demonstrate and protest against Janet Napolitano and her continuing cooperation with the abuses of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Not only has the Obama administration failed to come through with the promised of immigration reform, but Napolitano and the Administration have Deported/Detained/Separated more families then the previous Bush Administration.

This Thursday, March 25th at ASU’s Tempe campus the community will take the opportunity to let Janet Napolitano and the Obama administration know that they disagree with their policies and the continuing cooperation with Arpaio’s civil and human rights violations in Maricopa County.

Janet Napolitano knows all about Sheriff Joe Arpaio and what he continues to do. She knows of the investigations and the congressional hearings, yet she continues to allow and aid Sheriff Joe Arpaio to constantly attack our communities.


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