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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AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hospice for dying prisoners.

This is the first time I recall seeing in ADC death notices that terminally ill prisoners are dying in hospice...I hope this represents a trend towards more hospice placements and compassionate releases being granted for prisoners not expected to outlive their sentences. Whatever the nature of a person's crime may be, knowing you will die of a terminal illness in prison before your sentence expires must be a frightening, isolating experience - especially when it occurs at a young age.

I hope the short bit of time these prisoners had in hospice helped facilitate some measure of comfort at a time of great suffering, spiritual healing as they came to terms with the end of life, and a path to making peace with themselves and amends to victims wherever it may have been needed and possible.

Thank you, Hospice of the Valley, for your gracious embrace. That seems to be a politically courageous move. Thank you, as well, to whomever at the AZ Department of Corrections facilitated their placement there. I've given the ADC nothing but grief on this issue, about which I clearly know very little.

Condolences to Lopez' and Davenport's surviving loved ones.


1601 W. JEFFERSON PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85007 (602) 542-3133

For more information contact:

Barrett Marson

Bill Lamoreaux

August 9, 2010
Inmate Death Notification

Florence, Ariz. – Inmate Angel Lopez, 23, ADC #214893, died Saturday at Hospice of the Valley from apparent natural causes. Lopez was transported to the hospice on May 27.

Lopez, sentenced out of Maricopa County, was serving 10.5 years for a drive by shooting. He came to ADC March 6, 2007, and was housed at the Central Unit of ASPC-Florence.


August 9, 2010
Inmate Death Notification

Goodyear, Ariz. – Inmate Dora Davenport, 47, ADC #88860, died Friday at Hospice of the Valley from apparent natural causes. Davenport was transported to the hospice on Aug. 3.

Davenport, sentenced out of Maricopa County, was serving 20 years for child prostitution. She came to ADC Jan. 3, 1992, and was housed at ASPC-Perryville.


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