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. firstname.lastname@example.org
until all are free -
MARGARET J PLEWS (June 1, 2015)
AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Brewercare is killing us! DREAM of LIFE Walk!!!
Saturday's DREAM of LIFE Walk for the surviving patients on the AHCCCS transplant list was amazing - these are my photos with a brief news piece from ABC15.com at the bottom. Here are the video clips.
Along those same lines, here's the article from Russ Pearce's Me Party Senate Appropriations Committee this week, which voted 8-5 to eliminate the MEDICAID for Arizonans altogether, so our friends awaiting transplants will soon have much more company among the people the state has decided to allow to withhold life-saving medical care for.
Ironically, no matter how ill or disabled a person is in this state, we still end up paying the government a hell of a lot through the very sales taxes that are supposed to be spent on the welfare of the people....and I want my taxes to go to AHCCCS before anyone else needlessly dies. I'm sick of the legislature extorting me for their salaries while they kill my people by pissing away my money on suing the feds over immigration and setting up committees to pick and choose which federal laws Arizona wants to nullify because they give too many people rights and health care and other essential things.
No wonder people are talking about seceeding from the state. What ignorant, self-righteous dolts we have running this show. If I knew it was that easy to nullify laws, I would have written my own constitution and criminal code a long time ago and told the feds and state where to go myself.
'Dream of Life Walk' aimed to raise awareness about AHCCCS funding cuts
Posted: 5:55 PM
March 5, 2011
* By: Mike Pelton
PHOENIX - A Valley man who needs a new liver, along with dozens of others, marched to the state capitol Saturday, in hopes of raising awareness about the importance of funding the state’s Medicaid program, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).
Francisco Felix has cancer and needs a liver transplant. He is one of the 98 people who lost coverage when Governor Jan Brewer approved cuts to AHCCCS, a move that aimed to help solve the state’s massive budget deficit.
“We are asking for the funds for the transplants,” said Felix, whose cousin, Lulu translated for him.
People from all across the Valley gathered at a Phoenix church this morning for a ‘Dream of Life Walk’. They marched to the capitol in hopes of raising awareness about the issue. Governor Brewer, however, isn’t in Arizona. She sent out a message on Twitter late Friday night that said she is in Alaska on vacation.
The cuts to AHCCCS were made last year as part of the new budget. It left 98 people who needed transplants without funding from the program. Two have died since the cuts were made.
“By subtracting this funding from them, these 96 remaining people will die,” said Dr. Richard Darling, who attended Saturday’s march. “It won't be that long either because some of them are very, very ill.”
State leaders have said the cuts were necessary because of the dire budget issues.
But for Felix, he and his family have resorted to selling food at local events to help raise money. They sell hot dogs, chips and drinks, in hope of getting enough money to pay for the transplant. They said they need about $500,000 and including donations, have raised about $100,000.
“I’m going to be fighting, I’m not going to give up,” Felix said.