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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Sunday, June 15, 2014

ASPC-Eyman's TSU break bones, spew hate speech at Cook prisoners.

The excerpt from the email below comes from a family member of a prisoner at ASPC-Eyman/Cook Unit, which recently experienced an excessively violent shake-down by the troubled Tactical Support Unit (TSU).

  Apparently Eyman Warden Ron Credio and his brave and noble Tactical Support Unit didn't see my blog post about how disgraceful this kind of conduct is from last week. Or maybe they did, and that's what set them off on Cook. Or perhaps they're just jacked up on steroids or meth. In any case, they're still behaving like bullies and cowards, as evidenced by this most recent assault on prisoners - about 100 were hurt, according to this source.

This is so unacceptable - but clearly it's the way Ryan likes his prisons to be run. That, or the TSU at Eyman is just running amok - in which case, Credio has lost all control out there.
Eyman Warden Ron Credio
Really now -  how much courage and skill does it take to beat up a bunch of helpless prisoners (probably stripped to their boxer shorts) while you possess the sole authority to use violence, are decked out in body armor, and are wielding canisters of pepper spray? And who are all these criminals supposed to learn non-violent conflict resolution skills from when the officers act out like this all the time, anyway?  

"My (loved one) is on the Cook unit in  Florence's Eyman complex. Earlier this week--Tuesday, I think--about 10 TSU officers came onto the yard and terrorized the inmates, seemingly randomly. They broke one man's arm, smashed another's guy's face in, broke someone's finger, did violence on a guy with a prosthetic leg, etc. They slammed my loved one onto the concrete and gravel several times on his knees and hog-tied him and kept him  face down in the dirt like that for an hour. They called him faggot, and much worse. They randomly took people's property, too. For instance, they smashed around his TV, then took it, his calculator, and other items.

My loved one said family members have complained to the warden. I'd like to be connected to some of those folks so I could add my voice. Have you heard about what happened, or do you happen to know where online I find more info?"

If there are other families out there from Cook Unit, please contact me so I can put you all in touch with each other. I'd also appreciate as many accounts of this incident as possible so I can add it to my DOJ complaint about the incident on Meadows - especially in light of the hate speech used, yet again

Peggy Plews 
PO Box 20494 
PHX AZ 85036