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)


ANTICOLONIAL zines, stickers, actions, power

Taala Hooghan Infoshop

Kinlani/Flagstaff Mutual AID


The group for direct action against the prison state!

Black Lives Matter PHOENIX METRO

Black Lives Matter PHOENIX METRO
(accept no substitutions)



PHOENIX: Trans Queer Pueblo


AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mohave County Jail: When is a rape victim not a crime victim?

According to the AZ Constitution's Victim's Bill of Rights, if you are victimized "in custody for an offense", you do not have the rights of any other crime victims. That means that when prosecuting shoplifters, Walmart can claim all the rights of a victim, inculding the right to give input on plea offers and give an impact statement at sentencing. But when a prisoner is sexually abused or assaulted in custody, they are denied the constitutional rights we afford every other victim. Why?

Ask Steve Twist, and help us change this...

From the AZ Constitution VICTIMS' BILL OF RIGHTS, these are the rights these women don't have, if they were considered to be "in custody" when these crimes were perpetrated against them:

Section 2.1. (A) To preserve and protect victims' rights to justice and due process, a victim of crime has a right:

1. To be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment, or abuse, throughout the criminal justice process.

2. To be informed, upon request, when the accused or convicted person is released from custody or has escaped.

3. To be present at and, upon request, to be informed of all criminal proceedings where the defendant has the right to be present.

4. To be heard at any proceeding involving a post-arrest release decision, a negotiated plea, and sentencing.

5. To refuse an interview, deposition, or other discovery request by the defendant, the defendant's attorney, or other person acting on behalf of the defendant.

6. To confer with the prosecution, after the crime against the victim has been charged, before trial or before any disposition of the case and to be informed of the disposition.

7. To read pre-sentence reports relating to the crime against the victim when they are available to the defendant.

8. To receive prompt restitution from the person or persons convicted of the criminal conduct that caused the victim's loss or injury.

9. To be heard at any proceeding when any post-conviction release from confinement is being considered.

10. To a speedy trial or disposition and prompt and final conclusion of the case after the conviction and sentence.

11. To have all rules governing criminal procedure and the admissibility of evidence in all criminal proceedings protect victims' rights and to have these rules be subject to amendment or repeal by the legislature to ensure the protection of these rights.

12. To be informed of victims' constitutional rights.

(B) A victim's exercise of any right granted by this section shall not be grounds for dismissing any criminal proceeding or setting aside any conviction or sentence.

(C) "Victim" means a person against whom the criminal offense has been committed or, if the person is killed or incapacitated, the person's spouse, parent, child or other lawful representative, except if the person is in custody for an offense or is the accused.

(D) The legislature, or the people by initiative or referendum, have the authority to enact substantive and procedural laws to define, implement, preserve and protect the rights guaranteed to victims by this section, including the authority to extend any of these rights to juvenile proceedings.

(E) The enumeration in the constitution of certain rights for victims shall not be construed to deny or disparage others granted by the legislature or retained by victims. 

--------------------from Courthouse News---------------
Courthouse News
August 8, 2013

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (CN) - An Arizona jail guard in remote Mohave County strip-searched and sexually assaulted detainees, two women claim in court.

     In a federal lawsuit, Cristi Tutty and Tina Artiglio claim they were assaulted in 2012 by former Mohave County Sheriff's Department detention officer Shannon Correll at the Mohave County Vanderslice Jail Substation.

     Mohave County is northwest Arizona. It borders Utah and Nevada. Its seat is Kingman.

     The women sued the county, its Sheriff Tom Sheahan, jail commander Bruce Brown, and Shannon Michael Correll. They sued Brown and Correll individually and in their official capacity, the sheriff only in his official capacity.

     The women claim the defendants failed to supervise 25-year-old Correll and that the substation jail is inappropriate for female detainees.

     Correll pleaded guilty in November 2012 to unlawful sexual conduct with Tutty; three other felony charges were dismissed as part of the plea agreement, according to the complaint.

     Correll, of Bullhead City, later pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual conduct with Artiglio, and was sentenced to prison, the complaint states.

     The Kingman Daily Miner reported this year that Correll's sentencing in the first case was postponed after he was indicted a second time.

     Correll was charged with unlawful sexual conduct and false imprisonment in Tutty's case, and with kidnapping and unlawful sexual intercourse with Artiglio, according to the newspaper.

     In the lawsuit, Tutty claims that while she was being detained overnight for a domestic disturbance in August 2012, Correll took her to a storage shed at the substation, forced her to strip naked and propositioned her several times.

     Correll had taken Artiglio to the same shed about a month earlier, according the to complaint.

     "On July 6, 2012, Ms. Artiglio was arrested for an alleged traffic warrant and transported to the Mohave County Sheriff Department's Vanderslice Substation in Mohave Valley," the lawsuit states. "When Ms. Artiglio was being booked into the jail Detention Officer Correll began telling her how 'sexy' she was, that she had the 'hottest body' he had ever seen, and he asked her if she 'wanted to play and have some fun'. Ms. Artiglio tried to ignore Correll but she could not get him to stop harassing her. Officer Correll then instructed Ms. Artiglio to go with him to the laundry room to get some jail clothes. Ms. Artiglio began to get suspicious and feel uncomfortable, telling him that there were a lot of cameras and someone might see; however, he told her that no one watches the cameras and there were no cameras past the smoking area. Officer Correll told her that he could also erase the video from the cameras and if anyone asked, he would just say he was on a smoke break. Ms. Artiglio then acquiesced to Officer Correll's authority and went with him.

     "When the two entered the laundry room, which is located in the storage shed outside of the main station where Officer Correll later took plaintiff Tutty, Officer Correll told Ms. Artiglio to sit on the washing machine and she complied. Correll undid his pants and proceeded to masturbate. He ejaculated towards Ms. Artiglio and then approached her and pushed her backwards onto the washing machine, lifted up her dress and began to have sexual intercourse with her, which was forceful and lasted approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
No protection was used. She did not perform oral sex on him, but believes he performed oral sex on her.
Although Ms. Artiglio never said, 'No' and did not yell out for help, she was scared and felt like she had no choice but to endure the assault as she did not know what he would do to her if she denied his advances. Ms. Artiglio refused to talk dirty to Correll when he asked her to. Moreover, Ms. Artiglio refused to show Officer Correll her breasts when he asked to see them. He did, though, end up taking off her bra, which he placed with her other clothing items after the assault."

     Both women reported Correll to the authorities. He was fired, and eventually pleaded guilty to the assaults, according to the complaint. The investigation revealed that Correll had bragged about his exploits.
     "Inmates also told the detective(s) that they had witnessed Officer Correll make sexual advances towards at least two other female detainees on other nights and that he had bragged to the male inmates about having had sexual intercourse in the shed with at least one of those female inmates," the complaint states.
(Parentheses in complaint.)

     Tutty and Artiglio seeks damages for unreasonable search and seizure, unlawful sexual conduct, assault and battery, infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy. They also want an injunction to prohibit the sheriff from detaining women in the substation jail.

     Mohave County Sheriff's spokeswoman Trish Carter told Courthouse News the department does not comment on pending litigation.

     The women are represented by Lee Phillips of Flagstaff.