The 'Friends of Marcia Powell' are autonomous groups and individuals engaging in prisoner outreach, informal advocacy, and organized protest and direct actions in a sustained campaign to: promote prisoner rights and welfare in America; engage the Arizona public in a creative and thoughtful critique of our system of "justice;” deconstruct the prison industrial complex; and dismantle this racist, classist patriarchy...

Retiring "Free Marcia Powell"

As of December 2, 2010 (with occasional exceptions) I'm retiring this blog to direct more of my time and energy into prisoner rights and my other blogs; I just can't do anyone justice when spread so thin. I'll keep the site open so folks can search the archives and use the links, but won't be updating it with new posts. If you're looking for the latest, try Arizona Prison Watch. Most of the pieces posted here were cross-posted to one or both of those sites already.

Thanks for visiting. Peace out - Peg.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Julie Acklin: Tenacious advocate for prisoner's rights.

Julie Acklin (holding photo of son Davon)
with the Arizona Liver Foundation staff/volunteers.

Anyone who's read more than just a few blurbs on this blog should know who Julie and Davon Acklin are, by now. What follows is just one story of how Julie's touched others' lives for the better. I pulled it off of her Facebook - her friend Verena posted it there to remind her of how much she means to those of us who know her, and to ignore the skeptics and haters who occasionally land on her pages and try to sabotage her efforts to assure decent medical care for her son. I've met Verena and her daughter, and know this story to be true.

Sunday, September 6, 2010

Hey Julie,

We love you, and the ones that truly know you know what you are capable of.

Here is my story of my beautiful daughter who almost died at the hands of Texas Prisons. My daughter was 21 and on 9/9/09, first let me tell you she suffers from a mental illness. She had been on suicide watch numerous times; she was in the treatment part of the prison for substance abuse and behavioral health issues. She stands only maximum of 5 foot 2in, and very petite.

A couple of weeks before I received a call, my daughter called me from her counselor's office. I asked my daughter if I could speak to her counselor, my daughter handed the counselor the phone, I tried to give the counselor the information on what my daughter needed to work on and the counselor hid behind the HIPPA law stating that she could not take any information from me regarding my daughter. I informed her I wasn’t seeking information but felt it necessary so my daughter could be treated for these issues. Remember HIPPA Laws state that you can receive information, but the professional can not give it with out a written Release of Information, or verbal permission from the patient. My daughter handed her the phone that was a verbal.

I received a call from the Warden, a few weeks later telling me my daughter is on life support, when I asked what happened she told me she hung herself. I lost it. Now I’ve lost control, and going insane it felt like, the warden told me I needed to get to Texas, ASAP. So I contacted my Mother and we left for Texas. I had to see my daughter on what they call a High Five ventilator. I guess it shoots 300 breaths in to the patient; my understanding was they said it’s the most intense ventilator they had.

While at the hospital the Dr. told me that my daughter had a 9 % chance to live. I had to leave Tx and come back home. I had not heard of Julie until I got back - I think one of my friends called her or knew of her. When I got back from Tx, I received a call from Julie telling me she is a prisoner rights advocate for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). She asked me what happened and all I could do is cry.

Julie was so patient with me, and so understanding with me, she provided me with hope, which I lost in Tx. Julie kept in touch to see how I’m doing on a daily bases. Julie jumped in to action and started calling everybody, God only knows who, Julie did something and the charges were dropped on my daughter and she got better and was sent to the prison psych ward, while being released.

The prison told Julie that I could call and talk to my daughter, so I tried to, but the prison would not let me talk to her. They stated that she was still in custody, I explain to them she has been released, needless to say I was not successful, so I called Julie and was crying again and explained to her what happened.Julie got back on the phone and next thing you know I received a phone call the staff at the prison, and they put my daughter on the phone. She didn’t sound like she was all there yet, she wasn’t fully back to being her.

When I went back to Texas to get my daughter and bring her home to AZ, we had to pick her up from the psych prison ward. My daughter had MERSA (staph infection) on the back of her head, she couldn’t walk, she over enunciated her speech, and had traumatic brain injury. She had memory loss, too. My daughter had not had a bath in 4 days, was left to defecate and urinate on herself. She was unable to walk or stand; she needed help with every thing. My daughter would still be there in prison or dead if it hadn’t been for Julie.

Julie fought day and night for my family; she is a blessing to have. If Julie went to bat for you she fights with all she has. Not all situations will turn out the way this one did, but it’s not from a lack of trying on her part. Julie is my friend and she has a heart for justice for our loved ones in prison.

If you all don’t believe me I have pictures of my daughter on life support , and you can meet my daughter get a hold of me on Facebook and leave me your # and I will be more than happy to meet you in public. Julie saved my daughter's life. Thank God my daughter turned 22 this yr.

Verena and her daughter, with Julie's daughter Kirsten, at the 2010 Liver Life Walk raising awareness about prisoners with Hepatitis C. They're holding up a birthday card for Davon, Julie's imprisoned son, for whom we were all walking that day.

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