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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Women Behind the Wall

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

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.