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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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Signs of Resistance at TUSD: VIVA LA RAZA!!!

The post is from the Tucson Citizen Three Sonorans Blog, written, I believe, by David Abie Morales.

The photos are mine, from the TUSD H
Q protest yesterday afternoon. What an amazing crowd was there - hundreds and hundreds of young people, old people, hippies, queers, Brown Berets (in uniform)...and over 100 cops.

This is a good account of the public highlights...I'm just too exhausted to write my own right now.

-----------The Tucson Citizen:
Three Sonorans Blog---------

What happened Tuesday at the TUSD meeting?

May 4, 2011
David Abie Morales

To begin with, my phone battery died at around 5:30, as the meeting was starting.

No email/text/facebook until now, 8 hours later. 60 text messages and 66 facebook alerts. So to all my friends, no I was not arrested, and yes I’m alright.

I was inside the TUSD board room capturing video and didn’t know what was going on outside until I was debriefed afterwards. Well, I knew a little bit from those around me who still had juice on their phones. In addition, I went through two camcorder batteries.

Why does the Southern Arizona Leadership Council have leaders that compromise on justice and racist attacks on Mexican-Americans in Tucson?

Preliminary thoughts: John Pedicone royally messed up tonight. There was about a hundred cops there, all armed, some in riot gear, and one would think they were at a G8 meeting, not a local school board meeting.

Not even top elected officials like Richard Elias could get inside. Full pat-downs, metal detectors, and cops after cops after cops.

There was cops in the back board room, a wall of cops of about 5 in front of the board, another wall of cops at the back, more cops in the lobby, and more cops outside to get in, and several dozen outside protecting a barricade of the building.

Helicopters, riot gear, and police everywhere you looked.

This is what a leader from Oro Valley, where John Pedicone lives, thinks of Tucsonans. All a bunch of thugs and criminals. The cops were not there to protect and serve us the community, they were there to arrest us the community.

There were arrests, there was police brutality, and there were other extreme violations of rights.

All of this I will cover more in depth tomorrow. It is still surreal to me. John Pedicone actually ordered the arrest of Lupe Castillo, one of our most loved professors, elderly and disabled. The cops brought her to the ground. Her crime?

Free speech.

This is an example of how Pedicone and Stegeman do not understand the community. Treating her like they did was like beating up our abuelita, our loved grandmother.

Pedicone crossed the line tonight. Lots of veteranos were there tonight that were involved in the student walkouts in the 1960s. They said this is the worse they have ever seen it, even worse that the civil rights movement of the 60s.

And all of this conflict of Ethnic Studies is created by Mark Stegeman and John Pedicone.

It is a crisis that need not exist, but exists solely through the stubbornness of Mark Stegeman and the racially insensitive (or just flat out racist) leadership of the Vice President of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. For myself, SALC’s reputation has been forever tarnished, and I want nothing at all to do with anything they do. From urban renewal and destroying La Calle, to destroying Mexican-American Studies today, this is not the kind of “leadership” I want leading us.

I have many thoughts, and I will explore them in more detail tomorrow, but I will leave this with one final thought for tonight.

John Pedicone needs to resign.

--------------finally,from Panleft's youtube channel, the Tucson PD at it's best--------

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