Jan Brewer, Charles Ryan, and Private Prison Industry on Blast by Prison Legal News Writer, ADC Prisoner Joe Watson

jwatsonADC.JPG
ADC
In July's Prison Legal News, Watson lambastes Brewer and Ryan . . .

Who better than a prisoner to criticize Arizona's prison system?

The most recent issue of Prison Legal News, a monthly magazine largely written for prisoners by prisoners, features a long, detailed overview of what's wrong with the Arizona Department of Corrections, including ADC's alarming suicide rate, its excessive use of solitary confinement, the push for privatization by Governor Jan Brewer and ADC Director Charles Ryan, Brewer's "stingy" clemency policy, and the ACLU's current lawsuit over the ADC's failure to provide adequate medical care to the incarcerated.

The piece draws liberally from information already published in various media outlets and reports by watchdog groups. Much of it is familiar, but the article does put it all in one place and punctuates it with stinging commentary provided by a prisoner currently serving a 12-year sentence in ADC for a string of armed robberies.

In fact, his name may be familiar to readers of this paper: Joe Watson, the so-called "Salon Bandit."

See Also:
Chad Campbell Seeks Charles Ryan's Hide, as Female Corrections Officer Brutally Beaten in Winslow Prison
Joe Watson -- Salon Bandit, Jail Poet and Former New Times Writer -- Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison

Watson worked for New Times for several years before being axed for disappearing on deadline -- the worst possible offense for any journalist.

He also wrote for Phoenix Magazine under the assumed name of "Zachary Best" and did some editorial work for the now-defunct 944 magazine.

A selfish and self-destructive obsession with gambling led him down a path of scuzzy and ultimately criminal behavior. He was arrested in 2007 for a string of armed robberies, during which he coerced young female employees of tanning salons into turning over the contents of cash registers by implying that he had a gun.

Watson did all this with his face exposed to security cameras while wearing his favorite Boston Red Sox baseball cap. His fiancée recognized him in footage shown on the local news and called the cops.

He was taken into custody while playing poker at Casino Arizona, which seemed appropriate, as he once told me that his favorite movie was Rounders and that he idolized the character of a degenerate gambler played in the film by Ed Norton.

I haven't thought about Watson in a while. Then I read his recent piece in PLN after it was forwarded to me by a lawyer.


My Voice Nation Help
30 comments
ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

http://prisonlaw.wordpress.com/2010/01/21/sunbelt-justice/



Sunbelt Justice: Arizona and the Transformation of American Punishment


"I am reading a new history of the Arizona prison system entitled Sunbelt Justice: Arizona and the Transformation of American Punishment, by Mona Lynch (Stanford UP, 2009). Like many states, Arizona has experienced exponential growth in its prison population in recent decades. However, Arizona’s penal history is also unique in a few ways. For one thing, Arizona was relatively late both to statehood (1912) and to having a centralized statewide department of corrections (1968), so its penal system offered policymakers something of a clean slate (in contrast to the Eastern and Midwestern states, and even to some extent California, where the penitentiary model and rehabilitative ideal had deeper institutional and philosophical roots). Also, Arizona did not start out as a high-incarceration state. Rather, within 20 years or so, Arizona leapfrogged from a state with “a modest and stable level of imprisonment” into “a national trend-setting leader in delivering harsh punishment” (p. 3). Thus, it offers an interesting case study in how and why the prison population exploded in the late twentieth century."

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Mr. Lemons, Excellent article. We do give Joe Watson credit for having the courage to speak out in a place where retaliation reigns big.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Arizona human rights record is shameful and they call themselves "compassionate conservatives" and "fiscal conservatives?"

Isn't Arizona going to learn from the California's ongoing  prison crisis making headlines?

http://www.aclu.org/prisoners-rights/lawsuit-charges-arizona-prison-officials-failing-provide-adequate-health-care


Lawsuit Charges Arizona Prison Officials with Failing to Provide Adequate Health Care, Inhumane Use of Solitary Confinement


March 6, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.or


GIVE N

PHOENIX – "Prisoners in the custody of the Arizona Department of Corrections receive such grossly inadequate medical, mental health and dental care that they are in grave danger of suffering serious and preventable injury, amputation, disfigurement and even death, according to a federal class-action lawsuit filed today by a legal team led by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Prison Law Office.

The lawsuit also charges that thousands of prisoners are routinely subjected to solitary confinement in windowless cells behind solid steel doors, in conditions of extreme social isolation and sensory deprivation, leading to serious physical and psychological harm.Some prisoners in solitary receive no outdoor exercise for months or years on end, and some receive only two meals a day.

“The prison conditions in Arizona are among the worst I’ve ever seen,” said Donald Specter, executive director of the Berkeley, Calif.-based Prison Law Office. “Prisoners have a constitutional right to receive adequate health care, and it is unconscionable for them to be left to suffer and die in the face of neglect and deliberate indifference.”

Specter was the lead counsel in Brown v. Plata, a similar case from California in which the Supreme Court last year reaffirmed that prisoners have a constitutional right to adequate health care.

“Courts have consistently ruled that solitary confinement of people with mental illness is unconstitutional because it aggravates their illness and prevents them from getting proper treatment,” said David Fathi, director of the ACLU National Prison Project. “Even for those with no prior history of mental illness, solitary confinement can inflict extraordinary suffering and lead to catastrophic psychiatric deterioration.” 

Critically ill prisoners have begged prison officials for medical treatment, according to the lawsuit, only to be told to “be patient,” that “it’s all in your head,” or that they should “pray” to be cured. Arizona prison officials have repeatedly been warned by their own medical staff of the inadequacy of the care, echoing complaints from prisoner advocates and families that prisoners face a substantial risk of serious harm and death. Yet, they have failed to ensure that minimally adequate health care is provided as required by the Constitution.  "

Keith Showalter
Keith Showalter

Wow @Arizona Luke is so cool. How's the view from up there buddy?

kelly5882000
kelly5882000

Governor Pence of Indiana is trying to change the marijuana laws of the state to make possession of a small amount a felony. Why? Because he signed with a for profit prison and promised them 90 percent occupancy. All these assholes are in each others pockets and it's sickening that they get away with it.

dennis20
dennis20 topcommenter

The USA is only 5% of the worlds population yet holds 25% of the worlds prisoiners.  No, we aren't importing them from other countries. 

The private prision industry has lobbyed for harsher and longer sentences, harsher penalties for drug possesion etc.  Private prisions for profit are simply wrong. 

cugagcmu80
cugagcmu80

Contrary to what many Americans think, privatizing prisons is not a good idea because the owners and shareholders don't give a flip about whether the facilities are well-run but about their bottom line, making a profit.  I've read many articles about private prisons that note that many of them are under-staffed, rampant prisoner-on-prisoner violence is common, employees fail to protect mentally ill prisoners and to provide proper medical care for sick prisoners, among other things.  I can't help but remember the judge who was sentenced to prison last week for providing a court-to-for profit prison pipeline for adolescents.  The guy was paid well by the prison to sentence young males to its facility.  For-profit prisons are just another way to make a lot of money for the CEOs, shareholders, and politicians who own stock in them, imo.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Mr. Watson wrote a courageous piece. Prison Legal News is an outstanding resource for all whose lives are impacted by the broken criminal justice system, which is everyone in America, #1 Jailer in the world. Taxpayers can no longer sustain this boondoggle making the profiteers in human misery obscenely rich.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Arizona's "business model", the mass incarceration of its people. $$$'s off human misery. Unethical and immoral. 

"THE HOUSE I LIVE IN" Sundance award-winning documentary by Eugene Jarecki. Four decades of failed government policy that is addicted to drugs itself and the $$$'s. Official Trailer #1 (2012) YouTube. The full documentary is available on itunes, netflix, etc.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0atL1HSwi8

FRONTERA
FRONTERA

Prison   population stayed low and level till RONALD REGAN  let WALL STREET privatize it. Since 1980, prison  population  is   up 800  % . PRIVATE Prison  have  turned  minorities , the poor , minor  drug  offenders, and unemployed into a  money making  venture....And their  new  hot item is WORKING IMMIGRANTS.

Arizona Luke
Arizona Luke

Incorrect. The data-collection program called PRISM was not created until the Democrats controlled the House & Senate in 2007. And when initially authorized, the data-collection must be of a US contact interacting with someone outside the USA... Today it's ALL information on the web regardless of origin and without being part of an active investigation. With that being said, you DO realize the PRISM program expanded since Bush and continues today under Obama, right? Fyi Obama voted for the program in 2007. Thank you, drive through, you just got served.

Kerry Wright
Kerry Wright

Umm Arizona Luke you do realise that the NSA spent the 4 billion dollars, and had DOJ authorise, and research the law for the spying, all done in 2005-2006 thats under little georgies regeime. No one is happy with what the President is doing, but were a lot less happy with jan's antics, theft, and traiding in influence just to name a few. Have a Nice day!

Arizona Luke
Arizona Luke

Still deflecting from Obama spying on Americans without a warrant, huh? Yeah, you guys are pathetic.

Nichols
Nichols

If you do the crime, do the time.

However Arizona Justice seems to be very selective?!

 Jan  Brewer's Knife Piont Rapist Son Ron never had to do "Real Time" Mommy was able to have him declared criminally insane which no doubt saved Rapist Ron Brewer from facing Real Prison Time/ True Justice for his Heinous Knife Point Rape.

While Ron served out his sentence in a Mental Facility costing Az.Tax Payers $600.00/Day Mommy Brewer pulled Government strings to reward her Rapist Son with $75,000.00 Defruaded from Social Security.

The Feds investigated Slippery Jan for her involvement regarding the Social Security Dollars, and last I heard the Feds chose to give now Governor Brewer "Amnesty" for her Felony, and simply allowed her to return the money?!

I think Jan and Her Knife Point Rapist Son should both be doing "Real Time".

I guess my point is if you choose to be a Criminal in Arizona it certainly helps keep you out of Arizona's "Draconian " Prisons if you have a Mommy working in a powerful Government Position.

To: Liberty, and Selective Justice for all?!

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Disgraced and disbarred ex-MCAO Andrew Thomas and his "chief charging" prosecutor, ex-DCA Lisa Aubuchon, also disbarred, and sanctioned ex-DCA Rachel Alexander, Thomas' blogging queen"-for-"easy"-convictions, added over 200,000 FELONY CASES in one term in office which will cost Arizona taxpayers for decades with years of litigation in the courts and increased prison costs, wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars. Why are the MCAO and AG mum on that?

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Arizona's former Wardens were sent to Abu Ghraib to set up prisons.

Wake up folks -- it's your tax dollars at work!


HaddieNuff
HaddieNuff

@dennis20 No, we don't import prisoners from other countries, but we do import them from other states.  I often wonder just how many of those imported from other states are released into our state after time served or parole is met. 

There was a law passed in the 90's requiring private prisons to release imported  inmates into the state they came from, but there are no penalties for not doing so.  Do the private prisons corporations really go to the expense of shipping those prisoners back to their state of origin when it costs nothing to ignore that law?

We already know from the Kingman prison break a few years back that the money for training and salaries of private prison guards are done as cheaply as possible, there's a serious lack of maintenance, etc. 

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/08/22/20100822arizona-private-prisons.html

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@FRONTERA  

Did you really expect anything different.....

Nichols
Nichols

@Frontera: Hard Working Good Parents of Legal Citizen Children Immigrants.

January 2008 began the start of the I.C.E. Deportation/Incarceration Programs which would make Adolph Hitler proud!

January 2008 also began the "Vacated Housing Crisis", the Foreclosure Crisis", the many "Bail Out Programs" ,the "Great Recession", and our new "Ballooning National Deficit", which for the twenty-five years Prior to January 2008 was the "Most Prosperous Period in Total U.S. History."

We all worked HARD Together.

It is all related, and all of the Bail Outs/Stimulus Packages since January 2008 have only been "Treating the Symptoms" of the Deportation/Incarceration Damage Done to our Nation.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@Nichols  

It just proves all you have to be a politician in Arizona and you can commit all the crimes you want in Arizona and never be held accountable like normal people are daily in this cesspool of corruption.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

@Nichols Mommy Dearest Jan didn't give a flying fuck weather Ron went to prison. Her only motive in getting him into the mental health system was because then, his records would be considered off limits because of patient privacy laws.

Her only concern was how his crime would affect her political career.

Nichols
Nichols

@shadeeaux14

Well said, however I think "Real Prison Time" would have been far more appropriate for a Damn Knife Point Rapist, and I bet it would have been a little rougher than doing arts, and crafts, playing in the orange trees, and having top notch Medical Care!

And if the Feds made Jan Brewer pay back the illgotton $75,000.00 of Social Security she got for her Rapist Son, that means she was found "Guilty" and was granted "Amnesty" for the Jail Time she deserves!

Arizona /Federal Justice is very selective when Dirty Politicians or their Families are Facing Justice?!

I think Politicians being able to seal their Dirty, possibly Criminal Doings is Bull Shit.

The scales seem very Tilted?!

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...