I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Women Behind the Wall

Women Behind the Wall, a Blog Talk Radio show by and for incarcerated women, featured Donna Hamm from Middle Ground Prison Reform last night discussing Marcia Powell's death. A link to the show is here and at the bottom of the page where the Blog Talk Radio icon is. Donna has access to AZ DOC administrators and knows how to obtain available records; both her information and insights are useful.

One of the hosts of the show, Gloria Killian, was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned in California for 17 1/2 years, and recounted an incident in California prisons in which two mentally ill prisoners died from heat-related illness, precipitated by the psychotropic medications they were on. Consequently California developed a policy of issuing ID cards to prisoners taking medications that disrupt their ability to regulate their body temperature so they could leave over-heated environments, have access to ice at certain temperatures, and receive a fan to cool their cell if they were indigent and unable to purchase their own. How Arizona failed to learn from California's mistake and corrections is beyond me.

Among other things, according to Donna Hamm the Department of Justice doesn't think they need to conduct an investigation into Marcia's death or the use of the "Tiger Cages" because her death was an isolated incident and prison policies changed such that it is unlikely to occur again - which I'm not entirely convinced of. So, the DOJ seems to be a fair target for protest on this issue.

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