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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Monday, August 29, 2011

Deaths in Custody: Joshua Haynes

Another death under investigation -

Condolences to Joshua's loved ones.

To the rest of you guys inside: please hang in there and look out for each other...I'm sure that help is on the way, I just don't know who it will be or how they'll help, but you need to outlive your sentences, in the meantime, if you can. This fellow was only doing six years (which seems a lot for burglary...)

I'll post an update on the cause of death once I get it. If anyone knows this prisoner and can fill in the blanks so we can know him better - and find out what really happened to him - please feel free to contact me at 480-580-6807 or

- Peggy Plews

UPDATE (9/28/2011): Joshua's obituary came in today from a reader. Our condolences, again, to his loved ones.

Joshua Michael Haynes

Phoenix, AZ - Joshua Michael Haynes, 38, formerly of Springfield, lost his battle with cancer on August 25, 2011...
A celebration of Josh's life is planned for a future date.


Unknown said...

I am an ex of Joshua Michael Haynes. Even though we had our problems and bouts with drugs, we were important to each other. but it startles me to look him up and find that he is dead... shocking....
what the heck why ??? OMG I have a lot to say about him.. be it bad or good; plus I wish I could say one more time, "have a good life and I will always remember you and the severe life lessons you taught me. hope you can finally find some peace, love bunny from your ex bumpkin

Unknown said...

I miss you very much...