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.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Marcia Powell Vrij!

The Arizona Department of Corrections believes they have done what they need to do in order to assure that prisoners don't end up like Marcia did again. I remain skeptical, but have very little influence over what they think and do. But, in order for Marcia to have gained her freedom, she would have had to survive prison, first. So, part of this campaign will still involve promoting those prison reforms which are most likely to support the goal of abolition, rather than strengthening and entrenching the prison system even further.

The other important thing to do when people want to know what "Free Marcia Powell" means, is to ask: What would it take for our community to be the kind of place in which Marcia Powell could have lived both safe and free? And are we willing to do to what it takes for the prisoners - and potential prisoners - still alive today to have the options we didn't give her? That may be where we can do the most pushing - on the governor, legislature, and courts for comprehensive system reform.

Nothing should be planned or decided without the active involvement of prisoners and their families, though. The only thing worse than no reform is bad reform that is passed without being informed by those affected the most.

We know a lot of the answers to our dilemmas about our bulging jails and prisons already - most states have begun moving in a progressive direction with legislative and administrative reforms.We're just so fixated on hurting people as punishment; we have nothing left for rehabilitation, recovery, job placement, public health care, or anything to address some of the more personal or individual issues that prisoners are grappling with. Will we be willing to change what it is we pay for, knowing that it will pay off? Or will we continue to seek retribution and cause pain even though we know it doesn't work?

The link below is from my good abolitionist friend in the Netherlands, the first FREE MARCIA POWELL post other than mine.

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