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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Friday, December 10, 2010

Future Organ Donor Against Brewercare

Today is International Human Rights Day. This would be the perfect time for Brewer to call a special session of the legislature to pass a bill that would restore the cuts to AHCCCS funding for transplant patients - including liver transplants for people with Hepatitis C.

I find it deeply disturbing that as an Arizona citizen living in poverty, my own organs would be harvested by this state only to be doled out to the privileged few. Clearly the poor are still good enough to be preyed upon, but not worthy enough to be saved...

Is that really what Republicans stand for here?

On that note,
I'm dropping this $7 check off at the Capitol Executive Building for the Governor today. Read the article below for an explanation...


Patients Desperately Needing Transplants Share Stories

They call on governor to restore AHCCCS cuts

Published : Tuesday, 07 Dec 2010, 5:16 PM MST

PHOENIX - Doctors, transplant patients and Democratic lawmakers blasted what they refer to as "BrewerCare" Tuesday, calling for Governor Jan Brewer to restore the money slashed from the state's Medicaid program AHCCCS.

A news conference was held at the state Capital. Among those in attendance were four people waiting for transplants for themselves or their loved ones, and called for Brewer to do something now before its too late.

Four Arizona families in need of transplants issued an emotional plea. A woman with cystic fibrosis, a father of 3 who needs a heart transplant, a man with hepatitis C and cancer, and another man who needs a heart transplant, had their stories told.

Surrounded by several Democratic lawmakers, they called for Jan Brewer to restore the money slashed from the state's transplant program.

"If the state budget were the average American salary, the cost to restore the funding would be $7. $7 to save people's lives," says Democratic Rep. David Schapira.

House Republican Jon Kavanagh says the decision to cut certain transplants was based on incomplete data that showed low success rates. He says he's still waiting for a report.

"I have the data summary here from the group of doctors including Mayo, saying significant survival rates, but they never gave us the number, they never gave us the data, we need facts," he says.

Democrats want the governor to call a special session, or use federal stimulus funds to cover the cost. However, a spokesperson for the governor's office tells me that funds were used already for job creation, education and public safety. He says even if the funds were available, they wouldn't cover the costs necessary.

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