THIS BLOG is NOW RETIRED

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

David Rovics: We Are Everywhere

To my fellow activists now struggling through life - let this be a reminder that you are not alone and that we desperately need you here. All the injustice, grief, war, and human suffering calls for us to stay and do everything we can about it - you can't help us anymore when you're gone. Don't give up the fight - your last shred of hope may just keep someone else alive, too.
BLOG POSTS

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Abolish the Arizona Revised Statutes.

Just for the record, here are the shortcuts to the Arizona Revised Statutes - it's a pretty interesting read; troubling, though. I think I have a few years yet of research to catch up with some of the folks here who have been around awhile.

This is the architecture of crime and punishment, and thus, this is what needs to be taken apart. Can't do that until we've read it. Once we all know what we're dealing with (read the sentencing committee stuff, too), we can put our heads together and figure out how to dismantle the beast piece by bloody piece.
The Privileged Few in this state are pretty brutal to The People, and have been maneuvering everything to their advantage since European settlers and their descendants first arrived and began raping the land and her daughters. In so many ways, the odds are overwhelmingly against the Resistance here - always have been.

And yet, despite centuries of enslavement, genocidal policies, and other mechanisms of mass oppression (such as incarceration), informed, articulate communities of resistance have continued to emerge, engage, and endure - always pressing on our collective conscience, our sense of duty to fulfill our promise to promote "liberty and justice for all". What would Arizona's rule-book look like if the indigenous (Indian and Latino alike) had written it? Or if more radical women of color were in the legislature, kicking Russ Pearce's a$* for all his racist BS? What kind of rules would we have if we didn't have a State at all - just communities and collectives?


Okay; just dreaming. That's necessary once in awhile - it does us all some good to reach for more than what usually we're willing to just settle for. Otherwise, nothing changes.

Read on:

--------------------------from Justia.com----------------------

Justia> Law> Arizona Law> Arizona Code

Prison Health News: Get It.

Dear friends and colleagues,

After a few years break, Prison Health News is back and better than ever -- with four extra pages of health care and advocacy information in each issue, and a network of over 2,000 subscribers and contributors in prisons and jails across the country.


In 2001, Prison Health News was launched to meet a critical need for information written by and for people who have been in prison or are currently behind the walls. Our readers are living inside a system that denies them prevention tools and treatment information about HIV, hepatitis, and other health issues. They are dealing with medical neglect, daily humiliations driven by intense stigma, and the destruction of their communities by mass imprisonment. Prison Health News works to build community across the prison walls that divide us.


Now a joint project of the Institute for Community Justice and Reaching Out: A Support Group with Action, each Prison Health News issue is produced by a Philadelphia-based collective of writers and editors, most of whom have been in prison and are living with HIV. Through our collaboration with the Philadelphia FIGHT AIDS Library, we are able to answer the many letters to us from people in prisons and jails asking for resources and health information. We also work in partnership with organizations across the country who assist with distribution, support and advocacy for people incarcerated in their cities and states. Contact one of our Resource Partners to get involved in your local area!


Our relaunch issue features:



  • From the Crack House to the White House – on the inspirational journey of one PHN writing collective member from her incarceration to her involvement in national and international advocacy work

  • Hearts on a Wire – on the work of a Philadelphia-based collective fighting alongside trans folks in the prison system and those coming home for justice, dignity and respect.


  • Staying Safe and Healthy in Prison – on the basics of HIV prevention in correctional settings, based on a Roll Call presentation conducted every June in the Philadelphia Prison System

You can view Issue 8 online. You can also download a printable version of Issue 8, formatted for double-sided photocopying.

Texas:The Execution of Claude Jones.

From the Innocence Project

Did Texas Execute an Innocent Man?


Claude Jones and his mother

DNA testing is moving forward in the case of Claude Jones, who was executed in 2000 in Texas for a murder he always said he didn’t commit. The Innocence Project has sought DNA testing in the case for years, and this month a Texas judge ordered the state to preserve the evidence so testing can proceed. The tests, on a hair from the crime scene, could prove whether the perpetrator was Jones or another man.(Above: Jones and his mother two years before he was executed.)

A recent feature in Time Magazine explored the Jones case, which could potentially be the first time a person has been proven innocent through DNA after being executed. Prosecutors had sought to dismiss the case and destroy the evidence, but the court decision means it could be tested within 60 days.

"We have said all along that this case is about a search for the truth and the public’s right to know. We are very pleased that the court agrees with this objective," Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck said following the court’s ruling.

Read more about Jones’ case.

Friends of Marilyn Buck update: June 2010.

Here's an update on Marilyn Buck's battle with cancer, from The Friends of Marilyn Buck via the Rag Blog. Her report on her health care experience is heartening, and her friends seem to have a good grip on how best to help. Here's the bottom line (literally) from the Rag Blog about how to donate even if you missed the benefit.

"To make a contribution to Marilyn Buck’s support, please send your check or money order to YES, Inc; PO Box 13549, Austin, TX 78711, with a note that it is for this purpose. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by applicable tax law."

Blessings to Marilyn, and thanks to the folks at the Rag Blog.

- Peg


-------from the Rag Blog-----------

(visit link for full story on the benefit held for Marilyn in June)


See Warrior-Poet Marilyn Buck: No Wall Too Tall by Mariann G. Wizard / The Rag Blog / May 19, 2010 (great article!)


And listen to Thorne Dreyer's interview with Robert King and Mariann Wizard on Rag Radio / June 22, 2010

The Rag Blog's Mariann Wizard (left) with Marilyn Buck at Dublin FCI in 1996.
Marilyn Buck's bout with cancer

[The following update on Marilyn Buck's condition comes to us from Friends of Marilyn Buck.]

Marilyn has received her last chemo treatment at the hospital and is now back at the prison, receiving palliative care. She has undergone as much chemo as her body can tolerate. She feels that her medical care has been similar to what she would be getting in the free world, and that her doctors have been both competent and respectful of her. She is also receiving support from her sister-prisoners who are able to visit with her.

She's been having very good visits with her family, and continues to feel the love and support of so many people who are meditating with her, sending her cards and generally keeping her in their thoughts.

Every effort is being made by her attorney to secure an early release. Marilyn asks that people not initiate their own letter-writing or phone campaigns for her release, as these are likely to be counterproductive. Should the situation change and such a campaign be deemed helpful, we'll let everyone know right away.

In spite of the serious situation she faces, Marilyn's spirits remain incredibly strong and her energy is focused on coming home to be with the people who love her.

Eric Holder: Stop Prison Rape.

Here's Just Detention International's most recent Press Release on protecting prisoners against rape, which provides many useful links on the subject:

---------------------------

ATTORNEY GENERAL'S FAILURE TO MEET DEADLINE FOR RULES TO STOP PRISONER RAPE A SIGNIFICANT DISAPPOINTMENT

Congressional Leaders, Advocates, and Survivors Call for Urgent Action A Year After Bipartisan Commission Proposed Federal Blueprint to Stop Sexual Abuse Behind Bar

Washington, DC, June 23, 2010. One year after the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission released national standards aimed at ending sexual violence in detention, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, advocates, and prisoner rape survivors called for urgent action as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder missed the statutory deadline to formalize the measures.

"It is inexcusable that the Justice Department would miss the deadline to implement these important regulations," said Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), a leading advocate for strong national standards. "After years of careful study and vetting by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, the department is wasting time and taxpayer money on costly, duplicative reviews while the president's budget actually proposes cutting funds to implement these regulations."

The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 -- passed by a unanimous Congress and signed by President George W. Bush -- created the bipartisan Commission to develop standards addressing sexual abuse behind bars. Led by U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton, the Commission released its final recommendations on June 23, 2009. By law, Attorney General Holder was to promulgate a set of "zero tolerance" national standards within one year of that date.

Federal studies estimate that some 100,000 detainees are sexually abused each year in prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities. The Commission's research revealed that these attacks are not inevitable but the result of failures in facility management. The recommended standards outline the necessary policies and practices for stopping this violence, including regular audits to hold agencies accountable for mistreatment.

"I repeatedly reported the abuse I experienced, but officials took no real actions to protect me," said Scott Howard-Smith, a prisoner rape survivor. "People in prison constantly face the same horrible situation I faced. The Attorney General has it in his power to keep this from happening to others."

Just Detention International assembled and leads the Raising the Bar Coalition, a partnership of more than 60 organizations, from all points on the political spectrum, including leading progressive advocacy organizations and conservative faith-based groups, united in support of strong national standards to address sexual assault in detention.

Once the Attorney General issues final standards, the regulations will immediately be binding on facilities run by the Bureau of Prisons and other federal agencies. States will have one year to establish their compliance or risk losing five percent of their corrections-related federal funding.

"Every day that the Attorney General fails to implement these recommendations, men, women, and youth in detention will continue to get raped, even though we know how to end this type of abuse," said Lovisa Stannow, Executive Director of Just Detention International.

Fischer v Lynch: AZ House Committee on Sentencing

I had a family emergency on the morning of this meeting and was unable to attend to give my own testimony, which I'll mail to them and post as soon as I have time (if I still have time). The administrative contact person for the committee appears to be his assistant, Maureen WIlliams, at mwilliams@azleg.gov or 602-926-3695 - I'd suggest sending any additional remarks you have for the committee to her. Please do so, if you have anything constructive to add at all - but read the whole set of meeting minutes at the Legs website first - we need to respond directly to Fischer's report; Mona Lynch did a lot towards that end.

This comes to us from Camille Tilley, by the way - she's on top of all of this better than I am most days.

--------------------------

HOUSE STUDY COMMITTEE ON SENTENCING

Minutes of Meeting

Friday, May 14, 2010

House Hearing Room 5 -- 10:00 a.m.

Chairman Ash called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m. and attendance was noted by the secretary.

Members Present

Representative Goodale Representative Ash, Chairman

Representative Hendrix

Members Absent

Representative Konopnicki (excused) Representative Tovar (excused)

Representative Sinema (excused)

Opening Remarks

Chairman Ash remarked that the state’s financial situation has compelled legislators to re-evaluate state government and this seems like a good opportunity to review the state’s sentencing structure. There have been 30 years for evaluation since the Sentencing Code was reenacted in 1978; there have been some good results, but some things need to be looked at in light of technological advances and other methods of incarceration, sentencing and rehabilitation.

Mrs. Goodale welcomed everyone and said she is excited about the opportunity to look at new research and what has been working in other states. She served as a probation officer in
Mohave County for 33 years where she interacted with many people in the criminal justice system from the judiciary to the prisons. She believes it will be possible to develop a better product that will serve everyone while preserving public safety, which is first and foremost, and fiscally watching taxpayer dollars.

Mr. Hendrix stated that he appreciates Chairman Ash taking a lead on this issue and he looks forward to being involved.

Testimony and remaining document here.

Please Read it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

¡YA BASTA! Tucson: Join the struggle against racism.

--------from Communities Uniting to Resist (Tucson)---------

¡YA BASTA!/ENOUGH!

Comunidades Uniéndose a La Resistencia
Communities Uniting To Resist

Coalicion de Derechos Humanos

No More Deaths

Tucson Samaritans

UA Students Against SB 1070

Tucson May 1st Coalition

International Action Center of Tucson

Tierra Y Libertad Organization - TYLO

We Reject Racism Campaign


For the next 4 Fridays, our Tucson community will mobilize from 4 PM to 7 PM in front of the State building in Tucson, Northwest Corner of Congress and Granada. (I think that's here:
Arizona Governors Office 400 West Congress Street, Tucson, AZ 85701-1363(520) 628-6580‎)

We will with the hundreds of actions across the country demanding a repeal or nullification of this dangerous and racist law. From youth to labor to faith and community-based organizations, our commitment to social, economic, and political justice commands us to act in defiance of this and any other law that violates basic human rights. We act on the principle that if a law is unjust, our duty is RESISTANCE!

Our actions come from our acknowledgment that we are all one community and that our foremost responsibility is to care for one another. SB1070 is totally contrary to our basic duty to act to protect each another, and so we MUST resist any enforcement of this law.

¡YA BASTA!/ENOUGH!

Comunidades Uniéndose a La Resistencia
Communities Uniting To Resist

more info kat@derechoshumanosaz.net

Coalicion de Derechos Humanos | P.O. Box 1286 | Tucson | AZ | 85702

Arpaio the Vexatious Litigant.

Vexatious litigation: A legal action or proceeding initiated maliciously and without Probable Cause by an individual who is not acting in Good Faith for the purpose of annoying or embarrassing an opponent.

When perpetrated by those in public office, it's a huge waste of tax dollars, too...


-----------------------from Courthouse News Service-------------------

By JAMIE ROSS
June 28, 2010

PHOENIX (CN) - Sheriff Joe Arpaio has sued his bosses again, claiming the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has a conflict of interest in choosing his lawyers. It's at least the ninth time the self-described "America's toughest sheriff" has sued his bosses in the past 3 years.

The board established its own "in-house law firms" in December 2008 after it decided that "then-County Attorney Andrew P. Thomas allegedly had ethical conflicts of interest with the board that prevented him from performing his statutory duties as legal advisor," Arpaio claims in Maricopa County Court.

Arpaio claims the board has taken steps against him "to consolidate the powers of county government" and diminish his power.

The in-house attorneys "are the very people choosing and controlling the sheriff's lawyers," and are violating the Arizona Constitution, Arpaio says.

Board members have lodged multiple claims against Arpaio, but the in-house law firms refuse to appoint independent lawyers to defend him because they "have an obvious interest in managing the notices of claim filed by the members of the board," Arpaio says.

Supervisor Don Stapley filed a notice of claim on Arpaio in March, demanding $5 million for false arrest and emotional distress.

Arpaio's office arrested Stapley twice, for "alleged financial improprieties," in December 2008 and September 2009.

Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox also filed a claim on May 27, demanding $4.75 million, claiming Arpaio had investigated her "in retaliation for her opposition to their stance on illegal immigration."

The board "spent some $14,000 to sweep for hidden electronic devices purported to be planted by the Sheriff's Office," Arpaio says. Those sweeps were conducted in December 2008 and in March 2009.

Arpaio sued the county in February 2009, claiming it had "unlawfully encumbered and transferred funds that it did not have the authority to encumber."

He sued his bosses again in April 2009, claiming that the county had "unlawfully enacted a public records policy limiting county officers from making public records requests" and had "exerted management control over a criminal justice information system which must be under the management control of a criminal justice agency."

Arpaio seeks declaratory judgment that the Board of Supervisors has a conflict of interest preventing it from assigning him lawyers, and that he is entitled to select his own counsel.

Arpaio is represented by L. Eric Dowell and F. David Harlow with Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart.

Grief and guilt: When love forgets.

This seems to me to be a tragedy, not a crime, and an example of where transformative justice might be more appropriate than the legal system...no one meant to kill that little girl - and they sure didn't ignore her beg for help until she lost consciousness, like Marcia Powell's guards did...Why compound this family's grief any further by threatening to take their father from them? This is not really the kind of mistake - "crime" - people tend to repeat.

-------------------

by Alicia E. Barrón and Catherine Holland

Fox 11

Posted on June 28, 2010 at 12:47 PM

PHOENIX -- Phoenix police said charges will be filed with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office in connection with the death of a Phoenix toddler who was left in a hot car for over two hours on a day when the temperature soared over 100 degrees.

Detective James Holmes of the Phoenix Police Department said those charges of negligence will be filed against the father.

"At some point, as horrible as this is for that family ... someone has to speak for the child," Holmes said. "Ultimately [the father] was responsible for ensuring Zipporah was out of that car when the rest of the family got out yesterday afternoon."

Zipporah Johnson's parents had gone to church with their six children and traveled in two vehicles, one of which was a minivan. They returned home at about 2:30 p.m.

When Zipporah's dad got inside the minivan to run errands at about 5 p.m., he reportedly found his baby girl in the back seat.

Police said the family was trying to administer first aid to the 21-month-old when paramedics arrived at the scene near 35th and Southern avenues.

The girl was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital where she died. Police do suspect her death was caused by heat-related injuries.

There were five other kids and a couple of adults, but nobody noticed that Zipporah was not there.

A neighbor, who chose not to provide his name, says this case involves a great family.

"She's always a nice person. I go to church with her. Everybody keeps on making mistakes. It's just that this one right here is a mistake that you can't bring back that kid."

The neighbor also told 3TV that the child's mother operates a day-care center but it is not open on Sundays.

It was 108 degrees Sunday. On a hot day, the temperature inside a closed car can jump to more than 140 degrees in less than 15 minutes.


Sound Strike: Artists Boycott Arizona.



Fortunately, AZ already has some pretty good home-grown musicians and bands, and Zach seems mindful that the Revolution not be cut off from our music and culture and sense of larger radical community...at least, that's what I read into it.

---------------------from Billboard Magazine--------------------

Zack de la Rocha Ups the Rage Against Arizona Immigration Law
David J. Prince, N.Y.
Billboard
June 28, 2010 2:30 EDT


Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha is stepping up his campaign to compel the state of Arizona to repeal its controversial immigration law. In addition to adding Ry Cooder, Nine Inch Nails, and comedian Chris Rock to the growing list of artists who are refusing to perform there as part of The Sound Strike boycott effort, de la Rocha tells Billboard.com that plans are in the works for a series of protest concerts in July.


"In the coming weeks we are going to be organizing a series of concerts that are respectful of the nature of the boycott in its attempts to isolate the Arizona government but not isolate the people, and especially the organizations that are fighting this on the ground," de la Rocha said in a telephone interview. "Many of us have begun to plan concerts that include bands that have signed on the Sound Strike, and make tickets available so that people within Arizona can come and see these concerts as they roll out. These are things that are being set into motion right now - a series of concerts or maybe even one giant concert in late July."

De la Rocha says that "there's a strong chance" Rage Against the Machine will play one or more of the concerts.

The law passed by the Arizona state legislature, SB1070, requires local authorities to determine a person's immigration status if he or she is suspected of being undocumented. The law is set to be enacted on July 29.

Maroon 5, Gogol Bordello, My Morning Jacket, Ben Harper and Pitbull are among the dozens of artists who today (June 28) announced their support for the Sound Strike effort and have pledged to boycott Arizona, refusing to perform in the state until the law is repealed. Steve Earle, Billy Bragg, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Anti-Flag, Throwing Muses, State Radio, Aztlan Underground and DJ Spooky also announced support for the effort in a posting on thesoundstrike.net today.

In addition to the dozens of artists announced today, the first in a series of video PSAs were released, featuring de la Rocha, Conor Oberst and Ozomatli. Additional PSAs will be posted to the site every Monday in the weeks leading up to the law's scheduled enactment.

The Sound Strike was launched in late May by de la Rocha to mobilize fellow musicians to participate in the boycott effort, to educate the musicians' fans about the law, and to gather signatures on a petition calling for its repeal. Cypress Hill, Juanes, Conor Oberst, Los Tigres del Norte, Rage Against the Machine, Cafe Tacvba, Kanye West, Calle 13 as well as Oscar winning filmmaker and activist Michael Moore were among the artists who signed on to the campaign at its launch.

"Its been a collaborative effort that started with a letter I sent out, which was passed on to all the guys in Rage Against the Machine, and to various friends I've made while playing in Mexico," de la Rocha said. It spread organically that way. And I've definitely been pooling through everyone I know to continue to push before this law is enacted in just over a month. We're still getting letter in and we have a lot more artists joining on that we'll be announcing in the next few weeks."

While many artists and musicians are supporting the boycott, some in the Arizona music community have questioned the approach, insisting that fans and promoters alike are being unjustly punished. In an open letter to the participating artists, Arizona-based concert promoter Charlie Levy of Stateside Presents urged them to reconsider. "By not performing in Arizona, artists are harming the very people and places that foster free speech and the open exchange of ideas that serve to counter the closed-mindedness recently displayed by the new law," he wrote. "The people who will feel the negative effects of the boycott the deepest are local concert venues, including non-profit art house theatres, independent promoters, motivated fans, and the hundreds of people employed in the local music business. If the boycott continues, it is all but guaranteed that some of these venues will be forced to close their doors."

But de la Rocha disagrees, and promises musicians will return to Arizona in force if their effort is successful.

"Governor Jan Brewer and the Arizona legislature have created an environment in Arizona where performing is no longer a neutral act," he said. "They have created an environment where they can convert the the normal commercial interaction between artists and their fans into the means to apply this racist law. The relationship between musicians and artists and fans can best be served by standing for human rights and when we prevent this law from coming into action and continue to fight it even if it is enacted, when its removed from the books we're going to have an unbelievable concert - it will be the celebration to end all celebrations."


---------------------------------------------

Anyway, check out the link to the rest of the list of artists boycotting this state. If you patronize them, tell them you support their boycott. If you have tickets to a show that hasn't canceled here in protest, please contact them and ask them to support the boycott - just to postpone the show for now, out of respect for our struggle.

Artist Boycotting SB 1070


Sunday, June 27, 2010

The dying, prison, and Adam Montoya.

For those who still think that prisoners get great medical care, think again. This is not an unusual story...sounds like Marcia Powell's.

If you wish you could have helped this guy - or Marcia Powell, for that matter - and want to know how to make a difference here: please take a minute and help someone still living. Free Davon Acklin. That will take you straight to the petition his mom has going supporting her request that he be pardoned by Governor Brewer so she can bring him home for medical care.

He's only
23, and he has hep C and needs a liver biopsy. He's not getting treatment at the ADC, either, so your time and good name for the cause would be appreciated.

------------------from Salon.com-----------------------

Ill. inmate died in agony while pleading for help

For days before he died in a federal prison, Adam Montoya pleaded with guards to be taken to a doctor, pressing a panic button in his cell over and over to summon help that never came.

An autopsy concluded that the 36-year-old inmate suffered from no fewer than three serious illnesses -- cancer, hepatitis and HIV. The cancer ultimately killed him, causing his spleen to burst. Montoya bled to death internally.

But the coroner and a pathologist were more stunned by another finding: The only medication in his system was a trace of over-the-counter pain reliever.

That means Montoya, imprisoned for a passing counterfeit checks, had been given nothing to ease the excruciating pain that no doubt wracked his body for days or weeks before death.

"He shouldn't have died in agony like that," Coroner Dennis Conover said. "He had been out there long enough that he should have at least died in the hospital."

The FBI recently completed an investigation into Montoya's death and gave its findings to the Justice Department, which is reviewing the case. If federal prosecutors conclude that Montoya's civil rights were violated, they could take action against the prison, its guards, or both. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment, saying that the matter was still being investigated.

The coroner said guards should have been aware that something was seriously wrong with the inmate. And outside experts agree that the symptoms of cancer and hepatitis would have been hard to miss: dramatic weight loss, a swollen abdomen, yellow eyes.

During Montoya's final days, he "consistently made requests to the prison for medical attention, and they wouldn't give it to him," said his father, Juan Montoya, who described how his son repeatedly punched the panic button. Three inmates corroborated that account in interviews with The Associated Press.

The younger Montoya was taken to the prison clinic one day for "maybe five, 10 minutes," his father said. "And they gave him Tylenol, and that was it. He suffered a lot."

The federal prison in Pekin will not discuss Montoya's death. Prison spokesman Jay Henderson referred questions to the Bureau of Prisons, which denied an AP request for information on Montoya's medical condition, citing privacy laws.

It isn't clear whether the prison system, relatives or even Montoya himself knew the full extent of his illness. Montoya's father had no idea his son had cancer or hepatitis. Inmates who knew him said he told them he had cancer, but they knew nothing of his HIV.

According to its website, the Bureau of Prisons tries to screen the health of new inmates within 24 hours of their arrival. A closer examination within two weeks is required for prisoners with serious, long-term illnesses. But officials have not said whether Montoya was given any kind of exam or whether his medical records made it to Pekin.

Montoya pleaded guilty in May 2009 to counterfeiting commercial checks, credit cards and gift cards. Prosecutors will not say how much money was involved in the scheme, but Montoya was ordered to pay a little over $2,000 in restitution.

Montoya, who had a history of methamphetamine abuse, was released while awaiting sentencing and was ordered not to use drugs. At the time, he was living with his father and working for his father's process-serving business, which delivers legal documents. His father said he was paying Montoya's bills and paying him about $300 a week.

Then in mid-June, Adam Montoya was diagnosed with HIV.

"It hit him like a ton of bricks," his father said.

After the diagnosis, Montoya retreated back into methamphetamine. Following a urine test, he admitted using the drug three times in a month, and he was locked up.

Montoya began taking antiviral drugs, so his father still had hope and tried to give his son a sense of the same. "I thought, 'You'll get out. You'll get your probation, and you'll have years of life," the elder Montoya said.

In mid-October, Montoya was sentenced to two years and three months in prison. When he arrived at a federal prison transfer center in Oklahoma City, his medication was waiting for him. His father took that to mean that the prison system knew Montoya suffered from HIV.

Montoya arrived at the Pekin prison on Oct. 26. He lived just 18 more days. The inmates around him say he spent much of that time pleading for help from his cell.

Prison staff told Montoya he had the flu, according to Randy Rader, an inmate in the next cell who wrote letters to his mother about Montoya and discussed him in an e-mail interview with the AP.

"That man begged these people for nine days locked behind these doors," Rader wrote to his mother on Nov. 14. The letter was first obtained by The Pekin Daily Times, which wrote about Montoya's death earlier this year.

Rader has since been moved to a prison in California -- far from his family in Michigan. He suspects the move was retaliation for speaking out about Montoya.

The last time a staff member visited Montoya, about 10 p.m. on Nov. 12, he reported having trouble breathing and complained that he could no longer feel his fingers, Rader said in the e-mail interview. The staff member told Montoya that he would try to get help the next day.

Around 6:30 a.m., prison officials found Montoya's body in his cell.

The autopsy showed that Montoya's spleen was almost 10 times the normal weight because it had been engulfed by a cancerous tumor, which was on its way to doing the same with his liver.

The pathologist who examined Montoya's body said his eyes were also yellow -- an unmistakable sign of hepatitis. Dr. John Ralston is reluctant to speculate whether treatment could have saved Montoya's life by the time he reached Pekin. The doctor suspects he would have needed a liver transplant to have a chance.

That said, "You would think that he would have been feeling bad enough and complaining enough that somebody should have tried to get to the bottom of this," Ralston said.

The AP sought opinions about Montoya's condition from other doctors who did not examine him but were familiar with his diseases. They agreed he probably displayed obvious signs of distress.

Montoya would have had a swollen abdomen because of his spleen. At the same time, he probably was losing weight rapidly because the large tumor would have left little room in his belly for food, according to Dr. Krishna Rao, an assistant professor of oncology at Southern Illinois University Medical School in Springfield.

Someone in Montoya's condition should have been taking heavy doses of chemotherapy for his cancer or receiving stem cell transplants, if he were healthy enough, said Dr. James Egner, an oncologist with the Carle Foundation Hospital in Champaign.

If the cancer was too advanced, Montoya should have at least been treated for pain with powerful drugs, possibly in a hospice, Egner said.

The president of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Prison Project said it isn't uncommon for medical records not to arrive with a federal inmate.

"Sometimes it arrives late, and sometimes it doesn't happen at all," said David Fathi, who has spent 15 years studying prison conditions. "That's why it's so critical that the new facilities do a medical screening" of new inmates.

Fahti said Montoya's death "is really an egregious failure, of the kind that you wouldn't expect from even a small county jail, let alone the largest prison system in the United States."

After his son's death, Juan Montoya wrote to the prison complaining about its medical care. Warden Richard Rios wrote back to defend his institution.

"I must respectfully disagree with your characterization of the medical care Adam received and want to assure you that we carefully monitored you son's medical condition," wrote Rios, who was not hired for the job until months after the death. He did not elaborate, writing that privacy laws limited what he could say.

The elder Montoya is now waiting for his son's medical records, but he doubts they will offer many clues. The family has hired lawyers but has not decided whether to file a lawsuit.

Montoya thinks a lot now about the assurances he offered his son as he headed for prison.

"Your time will go by fast, and you'll get out, and we'll get you a job and be part of the family," Montoya recalls telling his son. "It never happened."




Saturday, June 26, 2010

Picketing Pei Wei: June 25, 2010.

Photos from the picket outside of Pei Wei's
(7th Avenue and McDowell, Phoenix)
June 25, 2010.

The guy in the lower right photo who looks like a cop is Detective Al Ramirez
of the Phoenix PD; look for him at protests.

Everyone else is my comrade: Wobblies, anarchists, and civil rights activists all...









Friday, June 25, 2010

SB 1070 Resistance: Solidarity with Pei Wei Workers.



Boycott Pei Wei & PF Chang's!

This in from the Phoenix IWW. This is an important piece of our larger struggle - please don't neglect it if you have the time. You can even just drive by and wave and honk (then go write a quick letter to the AZ Republic expressing your plan to boycott!). Just show these folks some kind of support tonight; we can make it fun - and beautiful. I'll bring the chalk (I'll probably be at a Phoenix location just because I know the "criminal damage" laws better there...).

- Peg


--------------
from Phoenix IWW------------

Friends, Companeros, y Companeras,

Just a reminder to come and show your support for the 12 Pei Wei workers who were unjustly fired for skipping a day of work to march for their survival in this country. These brave workers attended the historic May 29th Demonstration against SB 1070 and were immediately fired by PF Chang's management. Workers have a right to protest and we will stand with these workers.

Boycott Pei Wei & PF Chang's!

Sólo un recordatorio para venir y mostrar su apoyo a los 12 trabajadores de Pei Wei que fueron despedidos injustamente por saltarse un día de trabajo para marchar para su supervivencia en este país. Estos trabajadores valientes asistieron a la histórica 29 de mayo Manifestación en contra de la SB 1070 y fueron despedidos de inmediato por la gestión de PF Chang's. Los trabajadores tienen derecho a protestar y tenemos que respaldar a estos trabajadores.

Boicot Pei Wei y PF Chang's!

Today - Hoy

Friday June 25 6pm

Viernes 25 junio 6pm

Pickets at 4 locations! - Piquetes en 4 puntos!

Pei Wei Central Phoenix
Pei Wei Chandler
Pei Wei Tempe
Bring your water bottle, your friends & family, and your spirit!

Also - The police and PF Chang's are aware of the pickets so stay safe!


Traiga su botella de agua, sus amigos y familia, y tu espíritu!

También - La policía y PF Chang's son conscientes de los piquetes entonces mantenerse a salvo!


Solidaridad,
J. Pierce
Phoenix IWW

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bullying and suicide at Adobe Mountain School: Update.

I was sure I'd already posted this update, but it appears not. So, here it is for the record, and for anyone who still hasn't seen it yet. I've also updated some links on Arizona Prison Watch to include relevant resources.

My condolences to the families of both the child and the staff member from Adobe Mountain who died last month.

------------------------------

Suicide at the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections

By Amy Silverman

published: June 17, 2010

Current and former staff at Adobe Mountain School in North Phoenix tell New Times the May 25 death of a boy in custody was a suicide — breaking a seven-year, suicide-free streak for the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections. And a former ADJC inmate who roomed briefly with the boy who died says he's not at all surprised that his acquaintance took his own life, given both his behavior and the conditions in which he was placed.

Last week, an ADJC spokeswoman said the agency was not commenting on the case beyond what little was said the day after the boy's death, but she said that Director Michael Branham may release more information in the next few days.

New Times is not releasing the name of the boy who died because ADJC has not confirmed whether his family has been informed. The 17-year-old boy who knew him is also not named in this story because he still is on parole and fears that giving his name would hurt his chances with work and school. Juvenile court records are not public.

According to a staff member in the Adobe Mountain housing unit Crossroads, the boy was found dead by the unit's morning staff with a plastic bag over his head and a blanket over that. The staff member and other Adobe Mountain personnel say the boy had been dead for quite some time, leading to questions about whether department policy requiring frequent welfare checks was followed.

The former roommate describes the deceased boy as overweight with "hair to his nose," lots of bumps and cuts on his arms, and a high-pitched voice. Staffers say the boy was moved to Crossroads, a unit for violent kids, from Triumph, the mental health unit, after he assaulted a teacher.

That could have led to his suicide, the former inmate says.

"I have a very strong reason why [he] had killed himself. Because he was moved to unit Crossroads. You can't put a kid who was in Triumph into an assault unit . . . There are kids who will bully you. They will beat you up," he says.

The former inmate, who was released from ADJC late last year, says it was clear that the boy was seriously mentally ill — something more aggressive kids tend to make fun of.

"You kind of look down upon Triumph because it's a mental health unit; you're like, these kids are retards."

The former inmate recalls that he first encountered the boy last July.

"When I first seen him, I seen him in the cafeteria," he says. "He would freak out and hit the floor and start screaming . . . The staff would restrain him, and he would say, 'Yeah, hurt me.' It was weird. I just thought he was kind of crazy."

Kids threaten suicide all the time, the former inmate says (he admits he did, too, so he could get a break from school), but he says he knew this kid meant it. The two were roommates for a week.

"Me and him used to talk; we would talk. He would tell me things about his mom and things when he was little. His dad lost his job, and then his mom didn't have a job, and his brother was the only one working. He would tell me, like, he couldn't deal with life."

The former inmate says cutting was common when he was at Adobe Mountain. Not at Durango, the county juvenile facility, where he'd been previously — there, you couldn't find anything to cut with. But kids at Adobe Mountain had easy access, he says, to staples and pieces of Plexiglas. The boy made bloody streaks on his arms with a paper clip, the former inmate says.

And one day, "I came back to my room — I was in the Boy Scouts in there; I had come back to the unit — my room was all trashed. Everything was thrown everywhere."

The boy was sitting with his head on his knees, crying. The former inmate called for staff, and the boy told them to "fuck off," and they took him to Separation, the solitary confinement unit.

After that, the boy was placed with a new roommate.

But the former inmate kept watching.

"There are a lot of blind spots in the units that the cameras don't catch," he says, so staff never saw the boy getting hit in the bathroom while he was trying to brush his teeth or getting "punked" for his snack.

"I could see how stressful he was already and how scared he was . . . All he wanted to do was get away from everything."

Anyone watching the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections knew it was only a matter of time before tragedy struck. Trouble is, no one's really watching.

The agency is under-funded and overwhelmed. Its own officials estimate that as many as 30 percent of its inmates are seriously mentally ill, and last year, New Times wrote extensively about suicidal behavior among the teenage population.

This is not a new challenge. In the past three decades, ADJC has twice been under federal scrutiny for human rights abuses. Most recently, in 2003, the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation under CRIPA, the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, after a New Times investigative series and a string of suicides drew attention to an agency few in the state even know exists.

Lately, ADJC has been in daily headlines, as Governor Jan Brewer and the state Legislature tried to move financial responsibility for these kids (most of whom are not violent — the most violent juvenile offenders wind up in adult court) to the counties. That didn't happen; the counties and state are still negotiating about what will take place next year.

One thing's for sure: Someone had better increase funding for mental health treatment for these kids.

The federal government washed its hands of Arizona years ago, wrapping up its investigation and subsequent oversight. In early 2009, the Arizona Republic reported on the findings of a state audit, which found that there had been no successful suicide attempts at an ADJC facility since 2003.

But no one bothered to report how close some of the calls were. That was the subject of New Times' December story.

The May 25 death is under joint investigation by the Department of Public Safety, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, and the Department of Juvenile Corrections, ADJC spokeswoman Laura Dillingham told New Times on May 26.

Dillingham refused to respond to questions regarding whether the incident was possibly a suicide. She said department policy calls for welfare checks every 15 minutes through the night and said the checks were, in fact, completed in this situation. She said the children's faces cannot be kept covered, raising questions about whether the checks were done correctly.

Several days before the boy's death, a youth corrections officer at Adobe Mountain School took his own life. Staff report that the agency tried to keep the news "hush, hush" and did not offer counseling to the kids, who ultimately heard through the grapevine what had happened. It's unknown whether the officer's death had anything to do with the boy's death.

Following the boy's death, Dillingham said, counseling was provided to staff and inmates at Adobe Mountain.

Freeing Davon Acklin: How to Help

Here's the official campaign strategy, folks. It should take 10-20 minutes of your time, tops.

------------------reprinted from hopeworkscommunity------------------------

On Helping Davon Acklin

Many of you read the original post on Davon Acklin. If you would like to help him there are several things you can do.

  1. Let as many people know about his case if possible. If you are from Arizona or know people in Arizona in particular let them know.
  2. Contact the governor directly and ask that he be considered for compassionate release. There is no reason or nothing to be gained by him staying in prison. In your contact explain the facts as you know them. Her phone number is 1-(800) 253-0883. It will only take a couple of minutes. Also email the governors office. The website is http://azgovernor.gov/. Just follow directions on the site to make the email. And then and this is so important- do it again next week. And again the week after that. Persistence pays. It will only take a few minutes.
  3. Contact at least 5 other people about Davon. Tell them about the case. Tell them what you are doing to help and ask them to do the same thing. Ask each of them to also contact 5 other people and ask each of those 5 to do the same thing. If we do this and carry through soon the Governors office will be receiving thousands of contacts asking for Davon’s release. It makes a difference.
  4. If you live in Arizona write a letter to the editor of your paper about Davon. If you are outside the state write one to a paper in one of the major cities like Tuscon.
  5. The contact information on Davon is in the previous post (see below). Contact him directly and let him know you care. This might be the most important thing.
  6. There is a cause on Facebook called Free Davon Acklin (http://www.causes.com/causes/498647?). If you are on Facebook please join. Be part of a unified and committed effort to help Davon.

Please act now. What you do as an individual makes a difference.

Politics of Compassion: TX to AZ.

Kudos to this reporter for caring about this story. We have some compassionate release hang-ups in Arizona that need some journalistic help, too...maybe there's even a student out there who would want to make it an investigative journalism or research project? Let us know. Time is running out for Davon and his fellow prisoners; even he suggests that there are men far more ill than him who need to be going home before they die. Terminal illness was not included in their sentencing; perhaps sentencing judges should be reviewing such things when people apply for compassionate release.

So, keep hounding the governor - we need to let these folks find decent treatment in order to survive their sentences, or release them so they can die at home. Let her know that more than just a few of us care about this - she doesn't strike me much as the "compassionate" type, after all this with SB 1070.

But if she's really into helping the people of Arizona, then this is one small way she can make a huge difference in the lives of folks who have otherwise been disposed of and forgotten by all but their families - if they even still have connections with them, then the suffering generated by denying medical releases to terminally or chronically, severely ill prisoners is exponentially magnified. Everyone, including the state and our communities, hurts from our inability to embrace our own humanity, and find within ourselves the qualities of Mercy and Grace.


And the effects of the ease with which we detach from the pain of our fellow beings trickle down to the next generation...it is not a kind thing to bestow on them, or much of a gift to leave the world: a callous heart.

And it's all politics. Challenge Brewer to have the courage to step up to this issue and do it right. Word is that too many people since Janet have been approved by the Board of Executive Clemency only to die while sitting on the Governor's desk. Is this governor any less a coward than Napolitano was? I hope so.

- Peg

----------------------

Few Texas Inmates Get Released on Medical Parole
by Emily Ramshaw
Texas Tribune
June 3, 2010


A gaunt old man, thick with whiskers and stricken with dementia, writhes under the covers of his bed. Down the hall, doctors monitor elderly diabetics with recently amputated limbs, medicate terminal cancer patients shuffling by with walkers and tether shivering dialysis patients to blood-cleaning machines.


Despite the pacing guards, the handcuffs and the bars on the windows, the geriatric and medical wing at the Estelle Unit in Huntsville looks more like a nursing home than a maximum-security prison.


Prison doctors routinely offer up the oldest and sickest of these inmates for medical parole, a way to get those who are too incapacitated to be a public threat and have just months to live out of medical beds that Texas’ quickly aging prison population needs. They’ve recommended parole for 4,000 such inmates within the last decade. But the state parole board, which makes the final decision on “medically recommended intensive supervision,” has only agreed in a quarter of these cases, leaving the others to die in prison — and on the state’s dime.


Texas’ “geriatric” inmates, classified as those 55 and older, make up just 7.3 percent of Texas’ 160,000-offender prison population. But they account for nearly a third of the system’s hospital costs and make three times as many visits to prison medical departments as younger inmates. Elderly inmates have average annual hospitalization costs of $4,700, compared to $765 for inmates under 55. In total, providing inmate medical care costs the state correctional health care system — already facing hundreds of employee layoffs amid a budget shortfall — nearly half a billion dollars a year.


Parole board members say they’re faced with the difficult task of determining whether an inmate is still dangerous and must err on the side of public safety. “You can be sick, have an illness or a disease, and still be a threat,” said board chair Rissie Owens. “Our decisions aren’t based on numbers, on quotas. And we feel like we’re making good decisions.”


But criminal justice and prison funding experts say leaving elderly, terminally ill inmates to waste away behind bars is often unnecessary and exorbitantly expensive. Those costs would be shared with the federal government if the offenders weren’t in state custody.


“These are totally incapacitated inmates, terminally ill inmates, inmates on respirators, who are not paroled at a huge expense to the state and hardship to the inmate’s family because of the nature of a crime they may have committed 20 or 30 years ago,” said Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, who chairs the state Senate’s Criminal Justice Committee. “I think it’s largely for political reasons.”


The cost of care


While the total prison population in Texas isn’t growing, it’s quickly aging. The ranks of geriatric inmates are rising by about 6 percent every year, frightening the budget writers who have to figure out how to pay for them. Health care costs are rising too: The average daily medical bill for Texas inmates grows about 4 percent every year — which is low, compared to some states.


The sickest inmates can each cost the state up to $1 million a year in health care costs. If these same inmates were living in nursing homes or hospice facilities, the federal government — through Medicaid — would pay two-thirds of the cost and save Texas taxpayers up to $50 million a year, according to state projections. If the offenders are eligible for Medicare, the feds would pick up the full tab. “We could be transitioning them to some other facility where state taxpayers wouldn’t have to bear the full health care cost,” said Marc Levin, the director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center For Effective Justice Director, who suggested special nursing homes or hospice centers monitored by parole officers. “It’s a real opportunity to identify some savings without doing anything to endanger public safety.”


But despite the fact that the national one-year recidivism rate for older offenders is miniscule compared to that of younger offenders — 3.2 percent for inmates over 55, compared to 45 percent for inmates between 18 and 29 — an April report by the VERA Institute of Justice, a nonprofit criminal justice policy group, found that the 15 states that allow medical release rarely use it. What stands in the way? Political repercussions, complicated review processes and limited eligibility, the researchers found.


Getting Texas inmates released on medical parole is no easy task. To be eligible for it, an offender can’t be on death row or be serving life without parole, and must be either terminally ill (six months or less to live) or require intensive long-term care, said Dee Wilson, director of the Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments. Sex offenders must effectively be in a vegetative state for consideration.


If inmates qualify, the office, in conjunction with the Correctional Managed Health Care Committee, recommends them for medical parole, then submits them to the seven-member Board of Pardons and Paroles for a decision. “It’s all about how long you have to live, and what your prognosis is,” Wilson said. “You can have a terminal illness but still be fully functioning.”


Dying behind bars


The parole board, in turn, relies on a pre-existing condition threshold of sorts. If an inmate with a particular illness commits a crime, Owens said, it’s unlikely he or she will get medical release for that same diagnosis. Some inmates with multiple amputated limbs may look incapacitated, Owens said, but managed to commit their crimes that way. Of the roughly 4,000 inmates prison health officials recommended for medical release in the last decade, the parole board turned down nearly 3,000.


In the last fiscal year alone, more than 440 Texas inmates died in prison. Thirty-one inmates who’d been recommended by medical staff for release died while awaiting the parole board to take up their case; another 26 died after the parole board rejected them for release. Twelve inmates were approved for medical parole but died before they could be sent home.


“There are documented cases where individuals had days or weeks left to live” and were rejected for medical parole, Whitmire said. “I saw no reason why they shouldn’t be paroled so the family could make plans for their funeral.”


Texas is not the only state struggling with skyrocketing prison health care costs and concerns around medical release. Between 1999 and 2007, the number of inmates 55 or older in state and federal prisons grew by more than 75 percent, to 76,000. To date, more than a dozen states have units set aside for elderly inmates; eight have dedicated hospice facilities. Estelle has an impressive medical facility, with a bustling emergency room, high-tech telemedicine equipment and a team of nephrologists that perform 1,800 dialysis treatments a month — sometimes on aggressive or unstable inmates.


“From a medical perspective, I’m comforted that [offenders are] getting a level of care they may not be getting on the street. On the other hand, we’re about to un-employ 363 people,” said Dr. Owen Murray, the chief physician for the University of Texas Medical Branch’s correctional managed care program, which oversees health care for the majority of Texas’ prisoners — and is facing layoffs this summer. “Are there other strategies to reduce our costs? And how do we prevent having to build more expensive units in the future?”


Charles Dill, a 71-year-old offender who started a 20-year sentence in 2000, has been hospitalized multiple times himself for costly heart problems, including getting stents for his carotid arteries. He’s befriended several elderly inmates in Estelle’s geriatric unit, only to watch them die on the ward.


“I’ve seen several of these guys drop over dead,” Dill said, gesturing across a prison dorm room of prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs, adult incontinence products and white-haired men in Coke-bottle glasses. “I guess they completed their sentence.”

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Free Davon Acklin.


Davon's in a no-win situation: this can't be the way we all intended for things to work out for kids like him - first prison, now Hep C. He's pretty ill, too; Julie's been getting the run-around from some of the folks at the ADC, but she has his medical records now and knows better what she's dealing with. Davon's getting sicker, fast, and there's no more time to mess around with these people.

Anyway, I'm posting the Hopeworks Community write-up on Davon because I'm so close to him that I've been having a hard time blogging about him; this really breaks my heart. But he's easy to write to (here are the ADC mail policies), and he usually draws something awesome on his letters and envelopes for me. So, as the author of this post suggests, drop him a line.

I don't think Julie or Davon would mind me saying that he can always use a few bucks, too, for medical co-pays, stamps, and food/vitamins if you can spare it - the ADC doesn't exactly have healthy menus (they just replaced tomatoes with pickles as an equivalent). Even cancer patients have to worry about paying for their own nutritional supplements in Arizona's prison; "special diets" that actually have any improved nutritional value are considered "special" to prisoners mainly because they're so hard to get. Everything "extra" (like health care) has to be paid for, and if you're poor - as in the "real world" - you're SOL.

Here's Davon's story. Writing a note or sending a postcard to him will be time well-spent. If you send a money order or certified check, make it out to the "Arizona Department of Corrections for Davon Acklin (223880)", then tuck it in the envelope. No need to be extravagant - $10 is a lot of money when you have none. It will be deeply appreciated.

Drop
Governor Brewer's office a line in the meantime, too, letting her know you want to see this kid treated or home ASAP. Follow emails up with snail mail on your letterhead. You guys work on her for now; we'll work on the Board of Executive Clemency and the ADC. If we need help with them, as well, we'll let you know.

----------------------from Hopeworks Community------------------

Free Davon Acklin

By hopeworkscommunity

Davon Acklin didn't just fall between the cracks. He lives there.

He is 23 years old and an inmate of the Arizona prison system. Like many people with severe mental illness he found out that a system which offers inadequate or no services at all to people with serious emotional problems leaves many of them in prison and too many of them in a hell which ultimately destroys their chances for recovery and any kind of life worth having.

He may be dying. He has hepatitis C courtesy of the prison environment he lives in. His liver has been affected and without serious medical attention his chances of making it much longer are virtually nil. He has 10 months left to release. His mother has appealed to the authorities to give him compassionate release. She only wants to be with her son and if he must die she doesn't want it to be in a hell hole with people who look upon him as only a number and less than a person. She wants him home. She just wants him home.

He was convicted originally of assault with a deadly weapon. He was psychotic, had stolen a battery. Two security guards ran after him. In a panic he brandished a box cutter at them. His first year was spent in solitary confinement in a Super Max prison. He found out that his punishment for being sick, being scared, and being psychotic was to have a planned, brutal attack on the tattered shreds of his sanity. Imagine what one year in solitary confinement would be for you. Now imagine if you were already emotionally ill.

There is some treatment available in the prison, but the state of Arizona has a protocol to decide who should get it are not. Davon doesn't meet the criteria.

He “committed” a crime, but he is not a criminal. His family was trying to find placement for him before anything happened. His illness struck first.

His mother tells me he has given up. He sees himself as being alone and powerless against a system which seems determined to get its pound of flesh. But you can help.

Take a few minutes out of your day and write him. Let him know you care. Let him know he is not alone. His contact information is ….


Davon Acklin (223880)

ASPC-Tucson/ Manzanita

PO Box 24401

Tuscon, AZ 87345.


It will be the best few minutes you spend tomorrow. Please act.

Please spread the word and tell others. Share this post with as many people as you can. This is a horrible injustice. Mental illness should not be a capital crime. There are many, too many Davon’s. Please stand for him.

In the next couple of days I will have additional posts telling about other concrete things you can do. Please spread the word…. And please, please, please HELP FREE DAVON ACKLIN!!!!!