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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Thursday, August 21, 2014

ALABAMA's DOC chief : Corrupt profiteer CORIZON isn't "bad" - they're just misunderstood.

This guy must be buddies with Arizona DOC's director Chuck Ryan: neither of them give a damn about the horrendous neglect of their seriously ill and disabled prisoners by Corizon. Guess this guy is getting sued, too.

Fortunately, Alabama prisoners and their supporters are organized. Here's a good model for folks in AZ to look at. If you love a prisoner, don't wait for me to organize something like this - chat with others at visitation, join prison talk, organize, and put up a blog too. I'm not going to be around here forever, after all...

(also on FACEBOOK)

---------from AL.COM----------

Alabama prison boss gives vote of confidence to embattled inmate health care firm

Brendan Kirby | By Brendan Kirby |

on August 20, 2014 at 6:51 PM, 
updated August 20, 2014 at 6:56 PM
Corrections Commissioner Kim Thomas 
Alabama Corrections Commissioner Kim Thomas supports Corizon Health Inc.
ORANGE BEACH, Alabama – Alabama Corrections Commissioner Kim Thomas on Wednesday gave a vote of confidence to Corizon Health Inc., which has been accused in lawsuits across the country of providing inadequate health care to prisoners.

One of those lawsuits is pending in federal court in Montgomery, where the Southern Poverty Law Center accuses the company of failing to provide adequate health care to prisoners with disabilities.

The company's performance has been an issue in suits filed in Arizona and New York.

Thomas, who appeared at the annual convention of the Alabama Association of County Commissions on Wednesday, said in an interview that lawsuits are common in corrections. He said Corizon's competitors also have been sued.

"This is a litigious business, whether it's on the inmate side or the health care side," he said.

Thomas noted that in the Arizona case, Corizon took over the prison health contract for another company, Wexford, shortly before the lawsuit was filed in March 2013.

"The idea that Corizon is the bad guy in Arizona is just disregarding the facts," he said.

Corizon was the sole bidder to provide health care to Alabama's inmates after other companies dropped out of the competition. It signed a 34-month, $224 million contract with Alabama prison system in 2012.

Thomas said the company has done a good job under difficult circumstances. He said prisoners are a difficult population to treat, for a variety of reasons.

"It's the same standard of care in the prison as in the community," he said. "Inmates are the only subset of our society that have a constitutional right to health care."