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.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Brewer's sick, dying, and innocent prisoners: Letter to the Governor.

My note to the Governor today via her website; posting it here, too, just to make sure it isn't lost:

First Name: * Margaret J
Last Name: * Plews
Phone: 480-580-6807
Email: *
Street: PO Box 20494
City: Phoenix
County: Maricopa
State: AZ
Zip: * 85036
Subject: legal/law *
Topic: Sick, dying, and innocent prisoners, and the Board of Executive Clemency

My friends and I at Arizona Prison Watch are gravely concerned about the number of state prisoners who are dying inside from medical neglect, from homicide, and from their own hand due to the despair of mental illness and incarceration - as well as those succumbing to terminal illness while awaiting compassionate release petitions which we suspect she has no intention of approving, just as Janet didn't. We find that totally unacceptable.

We are particularly concerned right now about the fates of prisoners William Macumber and Davon Acklin. The Board of Executive Clemency recommended Macumber for immediate release last year because they believed him to be innocent: the governor denied his petition, giving no reason. This is incomprehensible, and we'll be initiating a public campaign for his freedom if the governor doesn't take responsibility for acting on the Board of Clemency's recommendations in his case.

You may already be quite familiar with Davon Acklin's mom Julie, who has been trying to save her son's life - also going through the Board of Executive Clemency now. He's sick from hepatitis C and the ADC is refusing to treat him, we believe largely because of his serious mental illness, which appears to be the standard MO. This despite the stipulations of the Americans With Disabilities Act, which we intend to file a complaint about if appropriate care isn't provided to that child, or if he isn't sent home so his mother can get it for him.

We will also be seeking a new CRIPA investigation into the ADC - and possibly the AZDJC - if the other concerns we've raised aren't promptly addressed, and prisoners continue to die at present rates from neglect, abuse, and despair. The one poor child at Adobe Mountain appears to have been bullied to death; there's no excuse for that. Director Branham has, however, been quite gracious in trying to work with us given the limitations of confidentiality laws, so he may have bought some time. The ADC is out of time, however. As far as we're concerned, all of Chuck Ryan's prisoners are her prisoners too, and she bears a great deal of responsibility for their welfare. Criminalized or not, they are still real human beings with loved ones, hopes, and dreams. The state has a duty to protect them while they are in your care.

I do expect a response on these matters by Friday afternoon - our campaign to address them with the community and media will otherwise begin first thing Monday morning. We hear from these families and prisoners all the time - often we receive copies of letters sent to Governor Brewer pleading for assistance. We'll have them crying on the news every night and we'll be coming to her campaign events until the governor either steps in and steps up, or gets voted out. We can be extremely creative about these kinds of things, as can our friends - thousands of whom are already pretty outraged by SB 1070.

I will be looking forward to a reply from your office.

Thank you.

Margaret J Plews,
Arizona Prison Watch
Arizona Juvenile Prison Watch
Hard Time Alliance (Hep C in AZ Prisons)

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