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:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

CCA prison murders: Another Hawaiian faces capital punishment

Hey Director Frank - you seem to think that murder is just a given in prison, since CCA doesn't need to change anything. That's kind of disturbing. As for your assessment of the relationship between the murderer and his victim: I'd call choking someone to death a good indication of "bad blood".

Since you seem to lack any ideas, here's a procedural change I can think of that needs to be made at all the prisons: stop putting the folks in for fraud and drug-related crime in cells and yards with the real bad guys (murderers, gang members, etc.). How about increasing staffing and surveillance, too? We just pack people into these prisons to warehouse them now, putting two and three into cells designed for one, and stuffing hundreds into huge gyms converted into dorm rooms, too. There can't possibly be adequate supervision or protection for those guys. They just keep getting killed that way.

Better yet, if you care enough about their lives to kill the people who end them, then
maybe you should find something else to do with your non-violent offenders than send them off to an expensive prison with the worst-of-the-worst thousands of miles from home. These prisoners families should be marching in the streets demanding that the rest be brought back home. Putting them on a tether and enrolling them in school would be cheaper and more effective towards rehabilitating them than what you're doing now.

Of course, Arizona won't even make sure our youth can succeed in school before they get criminalized, so I don't think we're about to entertain that one here. We're pretty invested in keeping a certain portion of our population uneducated enough to fill those low-wage jobs we just chased all our migrants out of...


Third Hawaii inmate faces death penalty in Arizona

By Gregg K. Kakesako

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 04, 2010

Honolulu Star Observer

A third Hawaii inmate serving time in an Arizona prison faces the death penalty after allegedly killing a fellow inmate during an argument in June.

Mahina Uli Silva, 21, was indicted by a Pinal County grand jury yesterday for allegedly strangling his cellmate from Hawaii, Clifford Medina, 23, on June 8. Medina was found unresponsive in the cell he shared with Silva at Saguarao Correctional Center in Eloy, Ariz.

Clayton Frank, director of the state Department of Public Safety, said his office was informed of the indictment yesterday.

Frank said Silva was sent to prison in 2006 after being convicted for burglary, theft and robbery. He is eligible for parole in October 2011.

Silva is the third inmate from Hawaii facing capital crime charges.

The other two are Miti Maugaotega Jr., 24, who is serving a life sentence for first-degree attempted murder for the June 2003 shooting of Punchbowl resident Eric Kawamoto; and Micah Kanahele, 29, who is serving two 20-year sentences for the October 2003 shooting deaths of Greg Morishima at his Aiea home and Guylan Nuuhiwa in a Pearl City parking lot a week later.

Maugaotega and Kanahele were indicted earlier this year for the stabbing death of fellow inmate Bronson Nunuha, 26, who died Feb. 18.

Frank said the two are expected to stand trial in Arizona this month.

The three are the first to face capital punishment for a crime committed in a private prison on the mainland since Hawaii started housing inmates out of state in 1995.

Hawaii, which abolished capital punishment in 1957, is one of 11 states and the District of Columbia that do not have the death penalty.

Maugaotega, Kanahele and Silva are among the 1,871 male Hawaii inmates at Saguaro, a 1,897-bed prison owned by Corrections Corp. of America.

Frank said an internal investigation into Medina's death by his staff hasn't turned up any major problems or procedures that need to be changed at the private prison.

He said that Medina and Silva are both from the Pahoa area on the Big Island.

"There is no indication of bad blood between the two," Frank said.

No comments: