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

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Suicide Awareness Day 2011.

While this isn't one of those global UN days, a Facebook group has identified this day to recognize the victims and survivors of suicide and educate the public about prevention. Given the high rate of suicide among both prisoners and corrections officers, it seemed appropriate to spend some time today on the issue.

Here are some links to relevant past posts, as well as to current resources.

High Rate of Suicide Among Corrections Officers

Suicide/Homicide Rates Skyrocket at AZ Department of Corrections

Despair Behind Bars: Suicide in Arizona Prisons

Suicide in American Jails

Toersbijns: Burying us Alive: Mentally Ill in Supermax

Below are the standard signs and symptoms of suicidal thinking/behavior from the Arizona Suicide Prevention Coalition. Given the extraordinary stress of prosecution and incarceration, and the seemingly insurmountable hurdles for some to succeed on parole or probation, keep an eye on your friends at whatever point they may be in the criminal justice system. As a general rule, those most likely to have explosive temperaments and/or histories of violence are at higher risk to kill themselves in prison than those with no history of violent crime.


Arizona Suicide Prevention Coalition
Be Aware of the Warning Signs

There is no typical suicide victim. It happens to young and old, rich and poor. Fortunately there are some common warning signs which, when acted upon, can save lives. Here are some signs to look for:

A suicidal person might be suicidal if he or she:

What To Do

Here are some ways to be helpful to someone who is threatening suicide:

Be Aware of Feelings

Many people at some time in their lives think about committing suicide. Most decide to live, because they eventually come to realize that the crisis is temporary and death is permanent. On other hand, people having a crisis sometimes perceive their dilemma as inescapable and feel an utter loss of control. These are some of the feelings and things they experience:

If you experience these feelings, get help!

If someone you know exhibits these symptoms, offer help!


The purpose of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) is to understand and prevent suicide. AAS promotes research, public awareness programs, and education and training for professionals, survivors, and interested laypersons. AAS serves as a national clearinghouse for information on suicide. It has many resources and publications which are available to the general public and to its members. For membership, publications and resource information, contact:

American Association Of Suicidology
4201 Connecticut, Ave., NW. Suite 408
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 237-2280


Remember: if someone is trying to get your attention - even if it's annoying or manipulative - it may be because they desperately need attention. Ignoring despair or desperation doesn't make it go away.

Finally, if you are a survivor of suicide, don't do it alone -
if your loved one died in prison, it's all the more reason to get support and shed the stigma or shame that often comes with that. The Survivors of Suicide website has some good links. Below are the support groups they list for Arizona:

Glendale Survivors of Suicide Group
EMPACT Suicide Prevention Center
1232 E. Broadway Road, Suite 120
Tempe, AZ 85282
Contact Person: BeAnne Lane, MA,
(480) 784-1514 Ext. 1108
Meeting Place: Glendale Family Development Center 7800 N. 59th Avenue, Glendale
(1 block south of Northern Ave. on 59th Ave.)
Meetings/Month: 2 - 2nd and 4th Tuesday each month 7:30 - 9:30 PM
Facilitated by: Peer (Lola DeMaris, Sharyl Moen)
Charge: No. Donations are accepted.
Newsletter: Yes

Lake Havasu City Heartbeat-Survivors After Suicide
100 Park Ave., Room 152 Lake Havasu City, AZ 86406
Contact: Dan or Judy Hoppes
928 854-0113 or 928 208-0129
Leadership- Peer
Meetings- First & Third Tuesday of each month, 7-9 pm, Oct. - May Charge: No
Newsletter- No

Mesa East Mesa Survivors of Suicide Group
EMPACT Suicide Prevention Center
1232 E. Broadway Road, Suite 120
Tempe, AZ 85282
Contact Person: BeAnne Lane, MA
(480) 784-1514 Ext. 1108
Meeting Place: Red Mountain Multigenerational Center 7550 E. Adobe St. Mesa, AZ 85207-4702
Meetings/Month: 2- 1st and 3rd Tuesdays from 1 to 3 PM
Facilitated by: Prof
Charge: No. Donations are accepted.
Newsletter: Yes
Counties Served: Maricopa

Paradise Valley
Paradise Valley S.O.S. Group
EMPACT Suicide Prevention Center
1232 E. Broadway Road, Suite 120
Tempe, AZ 85282
Contact Person: BeAnne Lane, MA
(480) 784-1514 Ext. 1108
Meeting Place: Paradise Valley Christian Church 16201 N. 22nd St. Phoenix, AZ
Meetings/Month: 2 - 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month from 7 to 9 PM

Group Name & Mailing Address:
EMPACT Suicide Prevention Center
1232 E. Broadway Road, Suite 120
Tempe, AZ 85282
Contact: BeAnne Lane, MA, (480) 784-1514 Ext. 1108
Meeting Place:
Prince of Peace Church 3641 N. 56th St. Scottsdale, AZ 85257
Meetings/Month: 2 - 2nd and 4th Wednesday from 7-9 p.m.
Facilitated by:

Tempe EMPACT - Suicide Prevention Center 1232 E. Broadway Road Suite #120 Tempe, AZ 85282
Group Name: Survivors of Suicide
Contact Person: Jill McMahon
(480) 784-1514 ext 1108
Leadership Type: P/P
Meetings/Month: 12 for adults
Charge: No
Newsletter: No
Additional Information: Please call for specific times and dates. Meetings held in various locations around the Phoenix metro area. Donations are appreciated. One-on-one support and grief counseling services are also available.

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