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:

Friday, March 18, 2011

AZ Prison Rape: Survivor Resources.

From Just Detention International, some resources for survivors of prison rape in Arizona. Hit their site for a sample letter to AG Holder about the problems with the Prison Rape Elimination Act standards before the April 4, 2011 deadline. They need to be much stronger than the AG is proposing.



Arizona Sexual Assault Network
1949 E. Calle de Arcos
Tempe, AZ 85284
Office: (480) 831-1986

Arizona Sexual Assault Network (AzSAN) works to identify and address sexual violence issues through a collaborative statewide public/private network of professionals, individuals, and organizations who are committed to the fight against sexual violence. AzSAN promotes an understanding of the dynamics of sexual violence and the strategies that will be successful in combating the issue. At local, state, and national levels, AzSAN works to encourage new and effective responses to sexual violence. AzSAN can provide information and referrals to survivors and direct them to member agencies or service providers in their geographic area.

Catholic Community Services in Western Arizona
690 E. 32nd Street
Yuma, AZ 85356
24-hour Hotline: (877) 440-0550

Catholic Community Services (CCS) in Western Arizona serves survivors of sexual assault in Yuma and La Paz Counties. CCS provides crisis intervention and information and referrals to survivors of sexual assault behind bars who contact the 24-hour hotline, but due to funding restrictions, CCS cannot offer ongoing support such as counseling or case management to survivors with felony convictions. All services are free and confidential.

Catholic Social Services Counseling Program
140 West Speedway, #130
Tucson, AZ 85705
Office: (520) 623-0344

Catholic Social Services is a division of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, Inc. The Catholic Social Services Counseling Program provides individual, couples, family, and group mental health counseling to adults and children in the office or in clients' homes. Most services are provided out of the main office near downtown Tucson, but services are also available from a satellite office in South Tucson and a branch office in Nogales, Arizona. Support groups are formed and arranged based on the needs of the community. The CSS Counseling Program staff includes bilingual Spanish/English counselors as well as counselors who specialize in post-traumatic stress disorder. Counseling fees are based on a sliding scale. The $10.00 registration fee can be waived for clients in financial need.

Kingman Aid to Abused People
P.O. Box 1046
Kingman, AZ 86402
Office: (928) 753-6222
24-hour Hotline: (928) 753-4242

Kingman Aid to Abused People (KAAP) provides comprehensive services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence and other crimes in Kingman, Mohave County, and adjacent areas in the Northwestern corner of Arizona. Supportive services include a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency shelter, residential program, crisis counseling, legal advocacy, case management, and a children’s program. All services are free and confidential.

North Country HealthCare/Northern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault
2920 N. 4th Street
Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Office: (928) 213-6112

North Country HealthCare provides healthcare, including counseling and support groups, to the residents of Flagstaff, Seligman, Ash Fork, Grand Canyon, Winslow, St. Johns, Springerville/Eager, Holbrook, and Kingman. NACASA does not operate a 24-hour hotline, but local law enforcement contact the Northern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault (NACASA) to administer medical/forensic examinations (Code R Kits) by specially trained sexual assault nurse examiners. Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) and pregnancy prevention medications are provided to survivors as part of the exam. North Country also offers crisis counseling as well as other behavioral health services to survivors of sexual assault. North Country offers a sliding scale fee for services and will provide healthcare to survivors of sexual assault regardless of their ability to pay.

Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation
375 S. Euclid Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85719
Office: (520) 628-7223
Toll-free: (800) 771-9054

The Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) provides direct services to people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. These services include: case management, peer counseling, support groups, wellness and complementary therapies, emergency financial assistance, medications assistance, transportation, dental services for those who qualify, and advocacy. SAAF works with and provides these direct services to prisoners with HIV/AIDS in the Arizona State system prior to discharge and after their incarceration.

Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault
1600 North Country Club Road
Tucson, AZ 85716
Office: (520) 327-1171
24-hour Bilingual Crisis Line: (520) 327-7273
Toll-free 24-hour Bilingual Crisis Line: (800) 400-1001
TTY Hotline: (520) 327-1721
TTY Hotline Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm

The Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault (SACASA) is the oldest and largest sexual assault service provider in the state of Arizona and the only agency serving Tucson, Pima County, and southern Arizona. SACA offers comprehensive, specialized services to children, youth, adults, and families who have been affected by any type of sexual violence, including rape, incest, molestation, and sexual abuse. SACASA’s services for survivors of sexual assault include: advocacy, crisis intervention, specialized mental health services, prevention education, and professional training. The Crisis Services Program provides immediate and comprehensive intervention, care, advocacy, education, and referral services to survivors, secondary victims, and community members throughout southern Arizona. SACASA provides long-term, comprehensive mental health services for primary and secondary victims and survivors of recent and past sexual trauma who are eligible. All services are free and confidential.

425 East Seventh Street
Tucson, AZ 85705
Office: (520) 624-1779
TDD: (520) 884-0450
24-hour Anti-Violence Crisis Line (English/Spanish): (520) 624-0348
Toll-free 24-hour Anti-Violence Crisis Line (English/Spanish): (800) 553-9387

The Wingspan Anti-Violence Project (AVP) is a social change and social service program that works to address and end violence in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The AVP provides free and confidential 24-hour crisis intervention, information, support, referrals, emergency shelter, and advocacy to LGBT victims/survivors of sexual assault and other types of violence. Additionally, Wingspan offers extensive outreach and education programs. All AVP services are available in English and Spanish. Se ofrecen todos los servicios de AVP en español.


Human Rights Advocate Service
P.O. Box 5842
Tucson, AZ 85703
Office: (520) 358-4685

Human Rights Advocate Services provides services to inmates in Arizona who are victims of sexual assault while incarcerated. Services provided free of charge include: basic legal research, investigative services, public records searches, federal freedom of information act requests, Arizona public records act requests, and attorney referrals. Inmates should send a short letter stating their concern and what help is requested. Supporting documents should not be sent.

Lambda Legal: Western Regional Office
3325 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1300
Los Angeles, CA 90010-1729
Phone: (213) 382-7600
Fax: (213) 351-6050

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work. Western Regional Office provides services for those who are located in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Help Desk Hours (Pacific Standard Time):
Mondays: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Tuesdays: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Wednesdays: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Thursdays: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

If Help Desk staff are busy helping other callers, your call will be routed to the Legal Help Desk voicemail. Please leave the following information: name, state, contact info, best time to reach you, and a brief message outlining your legal inquiry. A Help Desk staff person will return your call.

It is usually most efficient for Help Desk callers to contact Lambda Legal by phone. If you are in a place where you are not able to make long distance calls, Lambda can make an appointment to call you. If you are absolutely unable to call, you may e-mail the organization at or write to the addresses above.

State Bar of Arizona: Lawyer Locator and Referral Resources
4201 N. 24th St., Suite 200
Phoenix, AZ 850166288
Office (Maricopa County): (602) 252-4804
Toll Free (OUtside of Maricop County): (866) 482-9227

Southern Regional Office:
270 N. Church Ave., Suite 100
Tuscon, AZ 857012215
Office: (520) 623-9944

The State Bar of Arizona is a non-profit organization that operates under the supervision of the Arizona Supreme Court. The Bar regulates approximately 13,000 active attorneys in Arizona and provides education and development programs for the legal profession and the public. The Bar and its members are committed to serving the public by making sure the voices of all people in Arizona are heard in our justice system. To search for at attorney in the state of Arizona, use the Lawyer Locator on the State Bar of Arizona website or contact the State Bar via mail

Maricopa County Bar Association
Office: (602) 257-4434

Pima County Bar Association
177 N. Church Avenue, #101 Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 623-4625

Both the Maricopa and Pima County Bar Associations provide information on lawyers or legal service providers who offer low-cost, no-cost, or self-help services. Some low-cost and no-cost resources require you to meet certain income or other qualifications before services can be provided.

Self-Service Center, Maricopa County Superior Court
101 West Jefferson, 4th Floor
Phoenix, AZ
Office: (602) 506-7353

The Self-Service Center provides citizens with plain-English instructions, forms, and assistance for a variety of legal procedures. The Center also maintains a list of lawyers willing to advise self-represented individuals on a per-hour, non-retained basis.


Criminal Investigation Unit, Office of the Inspector General
Arizona Department of Corrections
1601 W. Jefferson
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Office: (602) 542-1160

The Arizona Department of Corrections, Office of the Inspector General is comprised of various units responsible for the overall policing of the prison system through criminal, administrative, and background investigations; intelligence gathering; prison audits and policy; and maintenance of fire and safety standards. The Criminal Investigations Unit is responsible for investigation of all crimes that occur within the state’s prisons, as well as investigations of inmate protective segregation cases.

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