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:

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Deaths in Custody: ADC January 2011.

Arizona State Capitol/Wes Bolin Memorial Plaza, Phoenix. February 22, 2011.

It is inevitable that some people will die in prison, even given the best of care. Not every death behind bars is due to negligence - some prisoners receive extremely compassionate and capable end-of-life care from the Arizona Department of Corrections, regardless of their crime. The past two years have seen skyrocketing homicide and suicide rates in the state prisons, however, as program resources have been cut, violence has escalated, and the quality of medical services has deteriorated. Look at how young these folks are.

Therefore, we're compiling as much documentation as possible to strengthen our call for a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the ADC, and are developing a list of attorneys to refer survivors of prisoners seeking to file claims against the state for their loss.
Please contact me if you have evidence that any of these prisoner deaths were preventable (including the "natural causes") and/or serve to illustrate systemic problems with access to appropriate health care, psychiatric treatment, and emergency services in Arizona's state prisons.

Peggy Plews
Arizona Prison Watch
PO Box 20494
Phoenix, AZ 85036


According to the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) website, the following prisoners died in custody in January, 2011:

Delbert Carr, 61
David Bandstra, 64

John Zimmerman, 44

David Moreno, 40

Fred Myers, 59

Brenda Todd, 44
Andre Hutchins, 59

Jose Lopez-Hernandez, 46

Timothy Lewis, 54

Jeffrey Ortiz, 55

Our condolences to their loved ones.

No comments: