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:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

No ICE MDs: Stop SB 1405.

No matter what you do in your profession folks, if you work for any government entity in Arizona and have a sliver of sympathy in you for migrants, you will be criminalized this legislative session. Shame on any legislator who would vote for a law which would frighten even more people away from seeking medical care for themselves or a sick parent or child in this state. I hope the Arizona medical profession comes out soundly against this measure.

Hit BAN's website and sign up for their listserve - you'll be astonished to see how fascist some of the stuff the AZ LEGS have fast-tracked through committees in this session. They're making more laws and regulations to twist justice even further their way, bending the wire back towards the rest of us as they sell us to prison profiteers when we put up resistance or show up as a public nuisance in the dying tourist district or excess labor in their lagging economy.

I don't know about the rest of you these days, but every time I hear about the mass uprising in Egypt, I find myself wondering: when will we finally be ready for that here? Sometimes, it even makes me weep.


Border Action Network
Urgent State Action Alert!

Hospital Care is for EVERYONE!

On Monday, February 14, the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on SB 1405, a bill that would turn hospital admissions into immigration officers.

SB 1405: Hospital Admissions; Restrictions.
Sponsor: Senator Steve Smith, R-23.

If passed, this bill will require hospital admissions staff to confirm that a person is lawfully present in the US prior to admitting the person for non-emergency care. If the admissions staff cannot determine the person’s legal status, s/he must report the person to the federal immigration officials. Furthermore, if the hospital is providing emergency medical care to a person whose status cannot be determined, the admissions officer must report them to the federal immigration office after treatment.

To read the bill’s full text, go to:

Please Take 30 Seconds and tell the Senate Judiciary Committee to Vote NO on SB1405!

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