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:

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Arpaio's Jail: Deliberate Indifference Kills...again.


Soon, the family of yet another Maricopa County Sheriff's Office prisoner will be Googling his name for answers as to why he died on the floor of their jail cell begging for medical care...that on the same day prisoners around the country were raising their voices for justice.

His crime, by the way? Driving on a suspended license. Nothing anywhere as bad as what the state did to him, but no one will spend even two days in jail for the Deliberate Indifference that killed him. They never do.

The state will post his mugshot everywhere as they announce his death - that's to make people forget he was human when they killed him. So this is his FB pic, CR Snead.

To CR's family: I hear he was a pretty decent guy; I'm so sorry for your loss. I really wish I had answers for you. Those will come with time (and a good lawyer). 

You won't get justice from the system that killed your child, though: it is simply not a just system, never will be. Sue the MCSO for all you can, and call as much public attention to the conditions that led to Coval's death as possible.

If you want real justice, you'll have to be the ones to help create the more kind and free world that won't let the next kid die that way. Unfortunately, your grief now gives you much power; I hope you use it. Clearly, we need all the help we can get. 

For those of you not grieving today, if you're in the Downtown Phoenix area, hit this event from 1pm-3pm, and come together to figure out how to help prisoners fight back for more than just a day...

Folks who miss the chance to connect with each other this weekend, you can also catch up with the Campaign to fight toxic prisons here, Phoenix Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee here, the Phoenix Anarchist Black Cross here, or the Tucson Anarchist Black Cross here. They all do good stuff.