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:

Monday, May 13, 2013

CCA Eloy Death Center: SHUT IT DOWN!!!

“Gang of 8” Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake: 
Release Immigrants from Eloy Detention Center 
and Close It Down!

Over a span of three days, Elsa Guadalupe-Gonzales and Jorge Garcia-Mejia committed suicide inside Eloy Detention Center in Arizona, a private facility operated by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). Eloy Detention Center currently operates under outdated 2008 detention standards, has no independent oversight, and passed its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) inspection despite having nine other known immigrant fatalities since 2004.

Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake, this is happening under your watch. We urge you to exercise your authority and demand that ICE immediately terminate its contract with the Eloy Detention Center. Immigrants in these facilities should be released and returned to their families and communities.

This is just one more example of the ongoing crisis in the U.S. immigration detention system: immigrants detained under the custody of the U.S. government are languishing in a system so massive and mismanaged that it has led to rampant due process violations and human rights abuses.

Congress and the Obama Administration have acknowledged that our immigration detention system is plagued with injustice and inefficiency. Meanwhile, ICE continues to detain more than 400,000 immigrants a year in prisons and jails, most of whom have no right to a hearing and no access to counsel.

Detention Watch Network urges Congress to repeal mandatory detention of immigrants and cut ties between the federal government and the private prison industry.

Senator John McCain, a member of the “Gang of 8” has received $127,725 over his career from the private prison industry.

Call Senator McCain and ask him to demand that ICE immediately terminate its contract with Eloy Detention Center, release immigrants from this facility and repeal mandatory detention.

Phoenix Office: (602) 952-2410 / DC Office: (202) 224-223

Senator Jeff Flake, a member of the “Gang of 8”

Call Senator Jeff Flake and ask him to demand that ICE immediately terminate its contract with Eloy Detention Center, release immigrants from this facility and repeal mandatory detention.

Phoenix Office: (602) 840-1891 / DC Office: (202) 224-4521