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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Monday, April 12, 2010

Senator Pearce responds to critics.

Senator Pearce's response to my weekend email volley. All the fonts, colors, etc. below are his, directly from the email. The content is intact and unaltered.

I respect him enough to let his comments speak for themselves, and not editorialize further on this post - I appreciate that he took the time to reply to my concerns, even though we deeply disagree.


From: Russell K. Pearce <>
Date: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 10:43 AM
Subject: RE: [Prison Abolitionist] Racist, Fascist SB 1070 "Illegal is not a race..."
To: Margaret Plews <>

Illegal is not a race, it is a crime.  What disrespect you have for the law and for the damage to Americans.  This legislation simply takes the handcuffs off from law enforcement.   50% of homicides in Phoenix involve illegal aliens.  Enough is enough. 
“If it be asked, what is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be an inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws” — Alexander Hamilton.

A Congressional report indicates that 9,000 Americans are killed every year by illegal aliens.  25 per day, 12 by stabbings and shootings and 13 by DUI and related crimes.  That is just collateral damage to the deceptive, treasonous, open border crowd.  Enough is enough. 

Today the only reasons our immigration laws are not enforced are Political, not a lack of Authority.

The last four (4) Propositions I placed on the ballot in '06 passed by an average of 75% of our citizens. 

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 1400 PC's present in support of our citizens Constitutional right to have our laws enforced and recognizing the damage in cost in crime and dollars to Arizona citizens and taxpayers.  No more Catch & Release.  We the legal and lawful citizens demand the enforcement of our laws. 


1. Illegal Sanctuary Policies: Eliminates ALL sanctuary cities in this state and allows 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.  Combined while committing a criminal act, 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.  With 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!!!!! 

 My personal background in law enforcement has given me a unique and in-touch perspective with the needs and hazards experienced by rank-and-file police officers and the threats to our citizens.
In this effort I am proud and delighted to have the support of: 

 (9 of 15 Arizona Sheriffs have endorsed   this legislation
ENDORSED BY:  Polls show 75/80% of Arizonans 
Arizona State Republican Party (by Resolution) 
Maricopa County Republican Party ( unanimous with over 1400 PC's present ) 
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 
Arizona Police Association 
Phoenix Law Enforcement Association 
Glendale Police Association (87% of officers in support)
Chandler Police Association
Scottsdale Police Association
Tempe Police Association
Mesa Police Association
Maricopa Deputy's Law Enforcement 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 
NAILEM, American Citizens United 
F.A.I.R., Team America 
9-11 Families For a Secure America 
ALIPAC, Sheet Metal Workers Union 
Cement & Plasters Unio 
Sheet Metal Union
and many more.

I cannot stand by and be a spectator to the death, maiming or damage to another police officer, citizen or taxpayer by an illegal alien because we refuse to enforce our laws and fail to put America and Americans First.

Simply enforce our laws and you will see less crime, lower taxes, smaller class sizes, shorter lines in our emergency rooms and reduce deaths, murders, maimings, drugs, home invasions, car jackings, kidnappings, jobs taken from Americans, reduced wages, an ultimately save the taxpayer billions of dollars. We cannot afford to "NOT" enforce our laws. Attrition by Enforcement.

This is the “only” law we allow our elected officials to put conditions on before our police officers can do their job. The only criminals that get conditional protection from our elected and appointed officials that dictate under what circumstances an officer may ask.  In many cities it requires another crime and another victim before action can be taken.

Citizens have a constitutional right to expect the protection of federal laws which prohibit unauthorized activities by non-citizens and are denied equal protection by law enforcement, police departments or magistrates when they fail to enforce those laws.

Many of our Politicians and Police Chiefs are in complete violation of their Oaths of Office while citizens and taxpayers pay the price.
As former Chief Deputy of Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, former Judge and now a lawmaker, I witnessed a day that I couldn’t imagine: Police chiefs throughout the Valley stood together and proclaimed their opposition to enforcing the law in complete Violation of their Oath of Office, just days after Phoenix Officer Erfle was murdered by an illegal alien.

 I sat ashen as I watched the news reports.  The chiefs of police, including Phoenix’s Harris, former Mesa’s Gascon, stood at a Press Conference and publicly refused to enforce the law. Less than a month after the brutal murder of officer Erfle at the hands of an illegal alien, they snub the opportunity to make necessary changes, all for the sake of political correctness.

 Death and maimings of police officers & citizens by illegal aliens:
 Rob Krentz,  Officer’s Figueroa, Erfle, Atkinson, Sitek, Eggle, Collins, Epling, Deputy’s Pearce & Argetsinger, Sgt. Tapia, Martin, Fass, Kirpnick, Schechterle, Gilbert mother killed, Jason Iraq veteran, Mother a "legal immigrant" killed, triple homicide, 3 illegals beat pregnant woman, 5 illegals kill principal, Feds arrest 2,100 violent criminal aliens, deputy in hit and run, Trooper Shot to Death, Day laborer killed girlfriend's baby, Muslim from Bosnia - Killed 5 in crowded shopping mall, Sniper, John Lee Malvo, required by law to be immediately deported. Instead, released Malvo and his cohort killed 10 people, two disabled teenage daughters raped Salvadoran street gang, Dep. March killed, Tricia Taylor lost both her legs, 10 year old Walter Valenzuela murdered, Kimberley Hope murdered, 5 year old Ana Cerna murdered, Joseph Crummy murdered, Amber Merkle only 8, killed, Vinessa, 23, brutally raped & murdered, and the list goes on.

9,000 Americans killed each year, 25 each day, 12 by stabbings and shootings, 13 by DUI and related crimes (Congressional Report; Drawing a Line in the Sand).
Study: 1 million sex crimes by illegals; More than 100 sex offenders crossing border daily Deborah Schurman-Kauflin: Based on a one-year in-depth study, a researcher estimates there are about 240,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders in the United States who have had an average of four victims each.

 Police officers have the inherent authority to uphold city, state and federal law (the law is clear and the courts have codified that authority and the Constitutional authority is clear). These officers witness the harm done to innocent Arizonans on a daily basis while their superiors instruct them to ignore their oath of office. Officers on the street have the legal authority, will and desire to enforce the law but the hierarchy stands against them, more interested in PC and harboring illegal aliens, rather than doing their job of protecting lawful citizens and that of “Public Safety”.

 The more than 800,000 state and local law enforcement officers in the United States constitute a vital force multiplier. Most importantly, state and local police officers represent a critical line of defense in the war against terrorism. In the six months before 9/11, there were four tragic missed opportunities to arrest the leaders and pilots of the 9/11 terrorists. Had the federal government acquired & disseminated information about basic civil immigration violations to local law enforcement through the NCIC system, several terrorists might have been arrested, and the 9/11 plot might have unraveled. The 4 ring leaders all had been stopped by law enforcement just prior to 9/11 and all in violation of immigration law. As George Santayana reminded us: “Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. . . . Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

 While “We the People” debate the action or lack thereof from the federal government, our cities, neighborhoods, our streets have turned into war zones. Legions of illegal alien gangs fight for the right to smuggle drugs and people. An illegal alien pulled over by police for a traffic offense has no worries about facing anything more than a small fine, many of our Chiefs prefer to wait until they kill someone of commit a serious felony. A congressional Homeland Security Committee report estimates that illegals kill over 9,000 Americans a year; annually they kill twice the number of Americans than the brave soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq to date.
Many of these have prior contacts or arrests and still remain in the U.S. Enough is enough. Had our laws been enforced 9-11 probably would have been averted.  4 of the 5 pilots and main conspirators in the 9-11 terrorist attack had contact with law enforcement and were released, all in violation of our immigration laws.
After years of witnessing the increase in crime, it is inexcusable for our Valley’s police chiefs to maintain their sanctuary policies. We can not stand by and tolerate them putting the rights of non-citizens above citizens.

 Every day the cost of ignoring the border increases tax fraud, identity theft, and property crimes, a burden on Arizona residents; billions to educate, medicate and incarcerate; but the irreversible cost of violent crimes can not be endured any more.

 Police chiefs in this state are more interested in putting handcuffs on their officers than illegal aliens.
Arizonans have spoken loudly and yet they refuse to listen:

 In '04 I put a Citizens Initiative on the ballot, requiring proof of citizenship & ID at the polls to vote (a terrible blow to ACORN in their registration drives), and denying public benefits to illegal aliens; in '06 I put 4 Referendums on the ballot, and in Nov. by a 75% average citizens passed Propositions 100, denying bail to illegals who commit serious felonies; 102, denying punitive damages to illegals; 103, making English Arizona's Official Language; and 300, denying public benefits to those in our country illegally.
We also passed at the legislature the toughest Worksite Enforcement bill in the nation, "The Fair and Legal Employment Act".
I am not sure what part of "illegal" they don't understand, but finally the citizens are standing up and demanding we tackle the problem of illegal immigration. Let's take the handcuffs off from our police officers; Arizona will finally be able to give away its title as a crime capital of the United States.
By allowing our cops on the beat to do their jobs, they could be responsible for the one of the largest crime reduction programs in state history.
Those that refuse to follow their constitutional duty or live up to their oath of office should be forced to step aside and make way for honest, hard-working law enforcement officers that know their job and cost of not doing it. Your Mayor and City Council would have to do their job first.

 If we must, let’s take it to the voters by initiative in states that have a citizen’s initiative process. I trust the voters to have the final say.

Resolution to Enforce Our Immigration laws and Secure Our Border:
Whereas, The Arizona Republican Party recognizes, “If it be asked, what is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be an inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws” — Alexander Hamilton.
Therefore, be it resolved by the Arizona Republican Party of the State of Arizona:
1. Establishes that there is a significant public interest in the effective enforcement of immigration law & the states are bound by the Supremacy Clause of the United ‘States Constitution to enforce violations of the federal immigration laws:
2. The illegal alien invasion has a corresponding increase in violent crimes, gangs, threat to public health, billions in cost to the taxpayer, jobs taken from Americans; and
3. Demands the elimination of all sanctuary policies in the state of Arizona and require the enforcement of our immigration laws & require law enforcement to turn over to federal authorities for removal from the United States all illegal aliens & where necessary tried and punished for criminal activity before removal.
4. Require state officials to take action that would secure the Arizona – Mexico border including putting the National Guard in a primary role on the border.
5. That all agencies and employers ensure compliance with all federal and state laws and regulations related to the immigration status of all employees.
Opposed to these rationalizations are the facts: (Gilbert Office after arresting an illegal alien on a traffic stop found him to be wanted on a homicide warrant, yet he had his Matricular card)
  •     We spend about $1 billion annually in K-12 on illegal aliens
  •     Arizona #2 in the World in kidnappings
·         Illegal alien abuse of our medical facilities has forced many to close
·         Illegal aliens use our deserts to dump their non-degradable garbage
·         Through increases in taxation, our representatives are stealing our property in order to redistribute our wealth to illegal aliens.
·         In the U.S., 26 citizens a day are killed by the actions of illegal aliens
·         Services we are required to provide to illegals are bankrupting our states and lowering our quality of life and quality of education
·         Tucson public schools use race based ethnic study courses to denigrate the U.S., inculcating loyalty to Mexico
·         Abetting illegals enables the culture of corruption they bring to grow: Kidnapping, ID theft, drug wars, murder, vehicular manslaughter, gangs, graffiti, drop houses, hostage taking, blackmail, rape and death during transport of illegals, home invasions
·         voting for sanctuary cities allows potential terrorists, who are illegals, to walk our streets with impunity (4 of the 5 leaders and pilots of the 9-11 terrorist were stopped by law enforcement and released and were in violation of our immigration laws.  Had they been arrested 9-11 would have been averted.

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