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

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Deaths in Custody: Legal Eagles needed to Smash the State.

Arizona Department of C0rrections - Central Office
1601 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix
June 6, 2011

This goes out to all you attorneys out there: wrongful death, civil rights, health care, criminal defense and appeals - we need all the help we can get. I hear regularly from the surviving family members of prisoners who were victims of homicide, suicide, and gross indifference to their lives.

I know most of the names and stories of the dead from the past two years. Since Jan Brewer and Chuck Ryan took over, the homicide and suicide rates have skyrocketed, doubling almost overnight, and the deaths from medical neglect - from deliberate indifference to human life - continue to occur, despite the promises made after the death of Marcia Powell.

I'm in touch with prisoner witnesses, former corrections staff and administrators, and survivors of the prison violence - there are specific policies Ryan implemented that have contributed to these statistics, and he cultivates a climate in which prisoners are treated with much disdain, hostility, and humiliation by guards. That is not an environment conducive to rehabilitation; it's not even one conducive to survival. The gangs appear to be more in control of some of the prisons - like Lewis - than the ADC is, too.

Any good discovery process will likely turn up ADC employees or former ones willing to testify to that, as well as the institutional patterns, policies and practices which seem most to be contributing to the high violence and death rates of late. When prisoners die, the ADC tends to blame it on individual CO's - if they hold anyone responsible at all - not on their faulty policies and systems.

Thus nothing has really changed since the bodies began piling up - except that they're putting out a dog and pony show on their mental health treatment programs...well, on a small model program. It doesn't address that 25% of prisoners who actually need some kind of mental health care, and still isn't stemming the tide of suicides.

What follows is the most complete list of victims I have who died in the custody of the State of Arizona since January 2009 from homicide, suicide, and institutional indifference. Please contact me if you are or know an attorney willing to help pick up some of these cases, as well as those of prisoners who are still living but being terribly abused or neglected. We really need legal help these days - for the most part, on
contingency only - we're all pretty poor.

I'm Peggy Plews, and can be reached at 480-580-6807 or I hope you have the courage and experience to join us in trying to promote human rights protections in the state prisons. If there are any families out there I haven't heard from yet, please contact me as well. I'm organizing the survivors to provide support to each other, to demonstrate together, to get on pertinent boards/committees dealing with these issues, can be as in or out of all that as you want, but please at least just let me know you're out there and got the message that the ADC needs to be sued. Those of you who are family with standing to do so, please do. It is not greed, it's the only way to force the state to re-evaluate its priorities such that it prevents these deaths instead of reacts to them all the time.

"CRIPA the ADC!"
AZ Department of Corrections - Central Office
1601 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix 85007
June 6, 2011


Brenda Todd, Marcia Powell, Tom Reed, Edgar Vega, Huberta Parlee


Pete Childs, William Engelbert, Santana Aqualais, Carl Cresong, Christopher Francis -


Pete Calleros, Mando Lugo, Dana Seawright, Shannon Palmer, Alex Usurelu, William Gray, Ulises Rodriguez, Albert Tsosie, Sean Pierce, Michael Pompeneo


Susan Lopez, Tony Lester, Duron Cunningham, Lasasha Cherry, Geshell Fernandez, Patricia Velez, Angela Soto, Hernan Cuevas, Jerry Kulp, Robert Medina, Eric Bybee, Erick Cervantes, Rosario Bojorquez-Rodriguez, Douglas Nunn, Monte McCarty, James Adams, Patrick Lee Ross, James Jennings, Caesar Bojorquez, Angel Torres, Harvey Rymer, Dung Ung, Ronald Richie, Michael Tovar, Carey Wheatley, Michael Pellicer


David Moreno, Gilberto Lopez, Luis Moscoso Hernandez

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