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:

Monday, January 24, 2011

AZ prisoner and immigrant support needed...

Just got tipped off to this meeting tonight. Though most of us will miss the chance to attend, there's a contact name, number and email address for more info on getting involved in supporting immigrant prisoners and detention releasees.

You can also contact me for info about support for folks warehoused in our state prisons. I'll be parking myself at Conspire (901 N. 5th St., PHX) every Thursday at 5pm (before the 6:30 pm Phoenix Anarchist Coalition meeting) for anyone interested in volunteering with AZ Prison Watch. Call me for more on that (480-580-6807). Prisoners' friends and family members who themselves need support in their efforts are also welcome.


From: dorien ediger-seto
Subject: Florence Visitation/Hosting Project info session

Hi all,

I know this is super last minute, but I wanted to invite all of you to an informational meeting hosted by the Florence Project and the Tucson Restoration Project on a brand-new, very exciting visitation and hospitality program that we are coordinating. The goal is to build a network of people willing to either host people being released from immigration detention (including my clients), or participate in writing letters and visiting people in immigration detention in Florence, AZ.

At the meeting, we'll be going through basic information about the program, as well as coordinating times for a training that will happen next month.


Visitation/Hosting Project Information Session
7pm, Monday January 24th
1203 W Polk Street, Phoenix, AZ
For information or directions you can call me at 480-291-2203

Hope to see you there! And please forward to anyone you think might be interested.

Thanks so much,

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