DBA Press/Center for Media and Democracy Report (May 20, 2013)
PHOTO: PHX PD riot cop motorcycles at an Occupy Phoenix protest of Freeport MacMoran, February 2012. Chalk art and digitally rendered image by suspected anarchist/possible terrorist Margaret J Plews.
Abolish the PRISONS!
PARSONS v RYAN is a certified CLASS ACTION!
Thank you not only to all the legal staff who brought it this far, but also to Wendy Halloran, KPNX, and the families who have survived the horrors of prison violence in this state with a resolve to make sure that the gross indifference to human life at the AZ DOC kills no more.
ABOLISH THE PRISONS!
May 22, 2013:
On Loving to Hate Jodi Arias...
This is to all you visitors “enjoying” reading about Jodi Arias' future in my blogs, which I write largely for those who have lost loved ones in az prisons or are fighting to keep them alive through their sentences:
It is clear that your desire for vengeance is far greater than any yearning for true justice to prevail in the world, for you are celebrating the suffering of others. Please remember how happy you were that Jodi Arias would be miserable next time a young women who was sexually abused by a guard hangs herself in that prison, and know you had something to do with creating the culture of dehumanization and vindictiveness that makes that so likely to happen these days.
Perryville prison has killed many women through abuse and neglect, sometimes quite hideously – Google Marcia Powell, for one. No one deserves that kind of death. Most women there are mentally ill and survivors of trauma and shouldn’t even be in prison but for Arizona’s grossly inadequate mental health system, the right wing's contempt of the poor and people of color, and this overall fascist police state we live under.
In any case, by saying that it’s okay for the killers among them to be condemned to less-than-constitutional conditions of confinement, you lower the chances of survival of other women warehoused at Perryville as well. So, to those of you who truly care about “justice” – please just think on that before you pat the AZ DOC on the back for hurting and killing their prisoners as they do.
Friday, February 22, 2013
Tony was sentenced to 12 years in prison in May 2010 for hurting two ex-girlfriends who tried to prevent him from cutting his own throat when suicidal and psychotic on his 23rd birthday. He had been struggling increasingly with symptoms of mental illness, which went untreated until the crisis that sent him to jail instead of a psychiatric hospital. There they found him to be so severely mentally ill that it took over a year to restore him sufficiently to sanity to prosecute him as if he'd been sane all along. Then it took another nine months for him to recover from the trial enough to be sentenced.
This state is exceptionally cruel.
Once sent off to prison, despite recommendations from the judge that he be placed in a special mental health treatment setting, Tony's illness still wasn't treated properly. He was left to suffer in prison without his anti-psychotic medications while his paranoia mounted. He was placed on a general population yard where he was soon confronted by the Warrior Society, a prison gang which informed him he wouldn't be allowed to live safely on the yard, in part, due to being a known bi-sexual. Tony's assault convictions had been tagged as domestic violence, which was another big strike against him...
Violating each other in our honor is not how to reduce violence against women, by the way, gentlemen. It diminishes us all.
Not surprisingly, facing 12 years like this, the next opportunity Tony had to cut his own throat - when handed a razor by DOC staff - he was sure to do the job right. He was no doubt fearful that what the other prisoners had in mind for him was far more traumatic than any death he could bring on himself.
When Tony was discovered by AZ DOC staff, they just stood by and watched him die...
Tonight Wendy Halloran will be following up on this story with some of the footage of the last minutes of Tony's life, while five corrections' officers stood around and watched him bleed out. Please watch KPNX Channel 12 PHX Friday Feb 22 at 10pm, then send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let Channel 12 know we need to see more of what's happening behind prison walls, because what happened to Tony isn't the exception - this kind of deliberate indifference to - rather, outright contempt for human life is all too common at the AZ DOC. The suicide and homicide rates in state prisons doubled once Chuck Ryan took over, and haven't abated yet. Something is seriously wrong in there.
Ask them to look into the other deaths in custody, the practicality of a new supermax prison, the problems with privatizing the health care services for prisoners, and so on. Le tthem know there's an audienc eout here or that stuff, or the tone they'll hear from the community when they cover a prisoner's suicide will be left at "good riddance - give them all rope!". Let's not let those kinds of people dominate the dialogue on life and death for the most vulnerable in prison. Please watch the show AND give feedback.