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. collective@phoenixabc.org

until all are free -

MARGARET J PLEWS (June 1, 2015)

AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cornell's Great Plains: The Suicide of Patrick Ross

-------------From the Arizona Department of Corrections' website------------

(602) 542-3133


NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release

For more information contact:

Barrett Marson
Bill Lamoreaux

September 1, 2010

Inmate Death Notification

Phoenix, Az- Inmate Patrick Ross, ADC#168595, died while in Arizona Department of Corrections custody Tuesday after apparently committing suicide.

Medical responders attempted life saving measures in his cell but Ross was pronounced dead at 7:53 a.m.

Ross, 28, came to ADC on Dec. 3, 2009 after a conviction from Maricopa County for armed robbery. He was serving 13 years and housed at the Great Plains Correctional Facility in Hinton, Ok. The facility is owned and operated by Cornell Companies.

The death is under investigation by the Department.


Our condolences to Ross' loved ones.


Anonymous said...

some reports say he took the easy way out instead of serving his sentence. He was already dying from a genetic disease and was in more physical and emotional pain then anyone could imagine. He is greatly missed and loved.

Anonymous said...

I love and miss Patrick so much, i met him when i was 15 and he was 13. he always had a smile on his face and was one of the most polite, caring, and loyal guys i knew. He made some dumb decisions in life but he made a lot more smart ones. I love you patrick , you're buddy Anthony!