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 11, 2011

Support HB2664: Arizona Sentencing Commission

URGENT! Arizona needs
Sentencing Commission

Call and fax:

House Rules Chairman Jerry Weiers,
Tel: (602) 926-5894
Fax: (602) 417-3012


Subject: HB2664 Arizona Sentencing Commission
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2011 17:22:30 -0700

To all our friends who are interested in seeing the Sentencing Commission bill, HB2664, move forward:

We still have not seen this bill appear on the Rules agenda, and it cannot move forward through the House until it has gone through the House Rules Committee. Deadlines are fast approaching where both the House and the Senate have to be FINISHED hearing bills from the other chamber. The last week of hearing bills for both chambers is the week of March 21 - two weeks away.

HB2664 has not come out of Rules in the House; when it comes out of House Rules, it still has to to be caucused and then calendared for Committee of the Whole and Third Read before it can even go over to the Senate. This bill is way behind schedule to get over to the Senate because it has not come out of Rules yet. In fact, it has not even been set on the Rules Agenda.

As mentioned in previous emails, the committee chairman has complete control over which bills will be heard in committee. We would encourage you to email the House Rules Committee chairman to let him know that you support this bill, why it is important, and why it is urgent that this bill appear on the Rules agenda so that it has a chance to move through the House and get over to the Senate next week.

The House Rules Chairman is Jerry Weiers,

Thank you for your support.

Cecil Ash
State Representative
District 18

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