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Margaret Jean Plews

PO Box 20494
Phoenix, AZ 85036

"Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to

lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock
it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness,
our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness, and our
ability to tell our own stories..."
chalk art on sidewalk: margaret jean plews
photograph: PJ Starr (phoenix 2011)
- Arundhati Roy

June 7, 2014

The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.

Attorney General, US Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Attorney General Holder;

I am writing to provide a citizens rebuttal of Governor Jan Brewers statements of May 1, 2014 in her letter to
you regarding the Prison Rape Elimination Act, which grossly misrepresented conditions in the state
prison system during her reign . I am also intending this letter to serve as a formal request for a CRIPA
Investigation into the pervasive patterns and practices at the Arizona Department of Corrections that place
prisoners at exceptionally high risk for sexual victimization and complications from unresolved trauma,
especially women, the mentally and otherwise-impaired, and LGBT prisoners.

I am emailing this letter with relevant links embedded, but will also be snail- mailing a copy to you with
supporting documents (as well as some of my artwork, memorializing the ghosts of Jan Brewer and Chuck

By way of introduction, I am the author/editor of the blog ARIZONAPRISONWATCH.ORG , which I began

writing five years ago after the
death of prisoner Marcia Powell revealed disturbing practices and attitudes
at the Arizona Department of Corrections. My particular concern was the mentally ill women at ASPC-Perryville,
at first. I recognised in Marcias life story the same elements of the numerous women I had come to know and
love in my many years working with people who were trying to survive while homeless, addicted
and severely mentally ill in Ann Arbor . I also identified with her - I myself am a recovering alcoholic and
addict, and could have landed in prison under draconian drug war and repeat-offender sentencing had I been
caught at any number of things earlier in my life, especially if it was in Arizona (what but a repeat offender is
an addict, anyway?). I also have bi-polar disorder and a bad attitude when it comes to authority, and could have
easily been in Marcias cage that day myself.

If you are unfamiliar with the case, Marcia was doing 27 months for a $20 blow job she agreed to give an
undercover Phoenix cop one fateful day, and died in a cage in the Arizona sun in May of 2009, at
ASPC-Perryville. That was after an extended suicide watch in the 107 degree heat, during which time a prisoner
is supposed to be checked on every 10 minutes. After ignoring Marcias pleas for relief for four hours (one guard
walked away offering no aid knowing she had even defecated on herself) - officers eventually noticed she had
collapsed from the elements with second degree burns on her body and her organs failing; her core temperature
at the hospital still exceeded the ability of thermometers to read it, which only went as high as 108 degrees. Not
realizing she had a legal guardian and an adoptive mother, Ryan pulled the plug on her life support before the
stroke of midnight - she died shortly thereafter.

DOC officers never expected that Marcia Powell

would die out there because they had just left
another woman in that cage for 20 hours 3
days earlier , and she didnt die. See, Marcias death
was horrific, but its not really shocking that it
happened - the only wonder was that the DOC got
away with punishing prisoners in the heat that way
for so long.

That was less than five months into Charles Ryans

tenure as Interim Director at the Arizona Department
of Corrections, but he had begun disassembling the
more rehabilitative and empowering programs his
predecessor had implemented and imposing new
policies immediately upon taking office. A former DW of Ryans alleged to the AZ Attorney General that
the change the new director made about how to house cellies resulted in at least two homicides within the first 18
months of his rise to power there. But Ryan had moved up through the ranks under the more brutal directors
whose bullying style of management he appears to have emulated, and thus played a large role for decades in
cultivating the policies and ethos at the AZ DOC that are so deeply hostile towards prisoners who exercise their
right to not be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. That tendency to resolve issues with violence or the
threat of it trickles down from admin to officers to prisoner, and eventually ignites the flames that can bring a
prison to its knees.

The good governor talked about Arizonas long traditions of protecting citizens in custody - wow, is she out of
touch. She hasnt read Prof. Mona Lynchs SUNBELT JUSTICE yet, about the trailblazing role the state has
played in implementing draconian sentencing and correctional practices over the past 3 decades - the increase in
criminalization for politics and profit that the rest of the country has seen the folly of and begun to abandon.

Its actually because of this states long tradition of depriving prisoners both of their rights as well as the most
basic tools they need in order to fight for them that the AZ DOC is in such shameful condition now. Arizonas
1990 constitutional amendment excluding prisoners from the definition of crime victim (and
related rights and resources), the Lewis v Casey
decision in 1996 eliminating the right of prisoners to access a
law library among other things ,and the Clinton-era PLRA (heavily lobbied for by then DOC Director
Terry Stewart ) were collectively devastating.

I have volumes of letters that will lead you to both victims and perpetrators of countless civil rights abuses
precisely because the grievance procedure on most yards is a sham and the DOC obstructs efforts by prisoners to
file suit by creating obstacles - especially for illiterate, spanish-speaking, and mentally ill or developmentally
disabled prisoners. In fact, the DOC has NO POLICIES translated into Spanish , despite nearly 20% of their
population being foreign nationals, mostly from Spanish-speaking countries. Ive been recruiting people to do
the translations myself, as this is not a concern of the DOCs so long as no Spanish-speaking prisoners grieve the
lack of Spanish-language policies.

This means that Spanish-speaking prisoners (and other non-english-speakers) apparently need to rely on the
skills of untrained staff and fellow prisoners who happen to speak some dialect of Spanish when they need to
speak to medical, for example, or appeal a disciplinary action, or grieve their housing assignment. Most just
suffer their time in silence.

If prisoners could fight abuse and neglect more effectively themselves, the DOJ and ACLU wouldnt have to do it
for them, and you know it as well as I do, Mr Holder. So does the AZ DOC - they put an extraordinary
amount of energy into preventing prisoners from learning to articulate their grievances and use
persuasion, negotiation and civil law to effectively change their world. Theres a
prisoner petition , of sorts,
going around that expresses well the barriers they encounter on their way to the courts while trying to exhaust
administrative remedies, and offers some proposed solutions, as I recall. It is worth a look by your people.

As a result of a disempowered prisoner population (and, some argue, extremely weak correctional officers unions
in AZ), the
state prisons are fire traps , and prisoners
often complain they are in decaying facilities
with mold growing freely in corners, rats and roaches competing for space with the people, feces and blood
smeared on the wall in suicide watch cells, inoperable hot water heaters in the winter and non-existent air
conditioning in the summer, and scarcely enough food in the sack-lunch sedentary diets given to those in
detention, administrative segregation and maximum security to keep them from starving to death. More
prisoners are fleeing the violence on the yards than are being punished for perpetrating it.

AZ DOCs medical and psychiatric care is not just deplorable in its negligence, its outright abusive, and the DOC
has as much to do with that as any of the other parties involved: Parsons v Ryan was filed before the system was
even privatized, after all. When I started blogging on the prisons the only thing one could find about AZ DOC on
the internet was pretty much what the state wanted you to see. Now you can easily Google arizona prison health
care to see how much things got worse when Wexford and
Corizon came in to feed off of the sick and dying;
Director Ryan has lost control over the departments squeaky clean public image, among other things. His own
well-funded propaganda machine is failing him, as are all levels of management and administration, apparently.

I met with director Ryan and his classification staff in December of 2013, along with Dianne Post from the
NAACP here, the primary author of a lengthy letter to him about gay and trans prisoner safety based on my
correspondents. I dont think he realized how much of what he and his people had to say was disturbing to the
outside observer;
some of the documents from that meeting - detailing how serious the need for safety is
in the AZ DOC - are in the packet.

According to the DOC, 75% of detention cells are full of guys who are unacceptable to or just plain uncooperative
with the racialized gangs running the yards - those are the prisoners I hear the most from. The guys pass my
name and addy around the detention cells as they do the 805 dance from prison to prison, because I send them
the info they need to fight the DOC - stuff like the Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook. It costs me a few hundred bucks
a month in printing and postage to keep up with the need for assistance...but, some people spend their time and
money on their gardens or pets or kids - I just happen to be a little eccentric about helping the underdog. I think
its a worthy investment, helping people help themselves.

Those prisoners filling the detention cells while fleeing the violence are either seeking Protective Custody (PC) or
being punished for refusing their General Population (GP) housing assignments (with refusal to house tickets )
after being denied PC. The guys complaining about the assaults extortion and murders, in fact, are
overwhelmingly being denied PC and maxed out (ie their good time and privileges are lost and their
classification scores zoom up) on major disciplinary tickets for notdoing anything to hurt anyone, while the ones
behind the extortion, assaults and murders, drug trade and other evils are still free to dominate the prison yards
and dictate the culture - often empowered by corrupt officers who want the gangs to help keep the grievances
down on the yard, or to keep the assaults just between prisoners, or who just want to line their pockets to buy a
new gun or truck.

I have read the

Does v Stewart proposed settlement , by the way, and am well-familiarized with DOC policy
- I can assure you that both the Does v Stewart agreement and the DO805 policy are routinely being blatantly
violated by administrative staff at Central Office. I can say that with certainty after receiving hundreds of letters
from prisoners and half as many more calls from family members over getting folks into safe housing since last
winter. I have ample evidence the DOC is denying PC to almost ALL prisoners who seek it without the aid of an
attorney or the very expensive assistance of Donna Hamm from Middle Ground Prison Reform .

(Shes done a lot of good work, dont get me wrong - she just costs a pretty penny.)

Interestingly, Ms. Hamm, who charges a flat fee of $2500 to advocate for PC housing for a prisoner, claims a
85- 90% success rate for her clients , while about that same percentage of all PC requests each month are
denied, according to the DOC, leaving hundreds of guys in detention each month awaiting the PC verdict. That
alone should raise red flags that the DOC isnt really using any real criteria when they decide who goes to PC and
who goes back to the hole in the next GP yard to try again(or get killed), other than that prisoners or their
familys ability to litigate them.

And they dont do the mental health checks theyre required

to do on each guy who is turned down for PC to make sure he
doesnt kill himself out of terror. They cant possibly meet that
demand - Corizon isnt even meeting its minimum mental
health care mandates. Thus, I believe guys are still probably
killing themselves in the wake of PC denials, like Rosario
Rodriguez-Boroquez did in the fall of 2010. A
victim in the hole on the same MAX unit in Florence
followed in his footsteps a week later. That second prisoner
might have been saved had the DOC debriefed affected
prisoners, they way they do with staff after suicides,
homicides and traumatic deaths of prisoners or staff;
correctional best practices would suggest they should.

Over the course of the past 12 months Ive corresponded with approximately 35 gay and transgender prisoners
alone, some of whom the Navajo Nations Human Rights Commission and the NAACP of Maricopa County have
already contacted the DOJ about (and have heard nothing back). In the fall of 2013 a collective of concerned
community members convened to study the data from my queer correspondents and draft a letter to Charles
Ryan with concerns about the LGBT population being routinely denied PC by his staff when they seek it, even
after reporting to the DOC that they had been sexually assaulted or exploited, extorted or beaten because of their
sexual orientation or gender identity (the AZ DOC houses transgender women on GP yards in all-male prisons,
FYI). In fact, right now there are several gay and transgender prisoners still in GP who have been trying to get
into PC for up to and over a year now, unsuccessfully.

Most recently, one gay prisoner who I had intervened personally for to advocate that he receive PC was denied
PC and subsequently raped by his cellie, only to be denied PC again and placed in another GP yard. He had
initially sought PC because his crime was widely publicized and the media indicated that his male lover was an
accomplice - he was marked man on the yards, no matter what prison they put him in, and they knew it. That
was not only deliberate indifference to his safety, I believe endangering that vulnerable prisoner -repeatedly -
was an act of malice and spite in retaliation for my criticisms of the DOCs staff who make those decisions. And
that, sir, is a federal crime, I believe, for a state agent to do. Mr Ryan cannot be trusted to hold those staff
responsible for harming that victim, the only party to his rape - to my knowledge - who sits in a detention cell
tonight. My correspondence with Director Ryan and his staff about that case is enclosed in the packet.

Even though the victim in the above case had to be taken to a hospital and rape kit was done, theres no reason to
think the perpetrator will actually be held responsible or that further rapes will be discouraged by how this one
will be handled. According to the AZ DOCs current PREA report as posted on their website , out of 54
alleged inmate-on-inmate unwanted sexual acts and 30 alleged inmate-on-inmate abusive sexual contacts (I
think they mean RAPE!) reported to them in 2012, absolutely none could be substantiated by the DOCs CIU.
Either the entire DOC prisoner population lies about rape and it never really happens in our state, or the DOC
has no sincere commitment to either preventing it or responding effectively to it when it occurs.

Why should anyone even report their sexual victimization to

the DOC, Im asked? They end up being labeled as a snitch
and sitting in the hole for months on end seeking PC, while
the perpetrator gets off scott free to rape again. Its
especially disturbing to prisoners when the perp is a gang
leader or enforcer, too - which is too often the case,
particularly in re: the exploitation and abuse of transgender
prisoners. PREA reporting has become a sick joke at the
AZ DOC - it only stigmatizes the victim, who too often gets
no counseling, nor are they very often placed in protective
custody or mental health programs beyond the term of the
rape investigation, even though research shows that most
prisoners are at exquisite risk for even further victimization
and deterioration of their mental status once they are raped the first time.

In addition to the recent example of the prisoner who was deliberately placed at risk by DOC staff with a bone to
pick with me, I know of one gay prisoner who was verbally abused expressly for being gay after he reported rape
(along the lines of you deserved it you fucking fag), in an incident in which he ended up biting staff while being
taken down when he refused to sit on the floor to take more of the abuse. The rape victim got an extra year and
half added onto his sentence as a result, and had to beg his judge to tell the DOC to place him in PC before they
finally relented and did so. I believe he was more traumatized and harmed (by way of being charged with
assaulting the staff) by the DOCs response to his rape report and request for PC than he was by the actual sexual
assault on him in the first place. He is more than willing to make a statement if you will interview him.

Im also wondering if the DOC ever reported the suicide of Forrest Day as a potential PREA issue. She had
reported to her sister before she died that she was being sexually pressured/propositioned by an officer which
she found disturbing, but his identity wasnt revealed to anyone before she was found hanging in her cell, so he
couldnt be investigated. It no doubt never would have been substantiated anyway - you know how it is, when it
comes down to the word of a prisoner against a crooked cop: the bad guys in power always win. So, again, why
bother reporting rape in Arizonas DOC even if PREA was implemented, the prisoners want to know. What
would be any different than it is now, in practice, even if the DOC did say they were on board with the feds? The
culture is so misogynistic and transphobic that it will take not only re-training, but years of just cleaning house -
all those good old boys of Chuck Ryans and Terry Stewarts need to go in order to turn this Titanic around.

That isnt about to happen if Jan Brewer is left to her own devices here, though, because she has been unmoved
by the needless tragic deaths, the abysmal medical care, or the DOCs brutal response to those trying to simply
flee the violence - and its not like I havent been emailing her staff my blog posts all this time - they know, at
least, even if she doesnt. No matter what new atrocity is perpetrated on prisoners at the AZ DOC, Jan stands by
her man, and so is either completely fooled by him and sheltered from public opinion, or she is fully aware of all
that Ive told you about, and is flat out lying to you in that May letter. If thats the case, Id like to know why
theyre so damned determined to keep the DOJ out of their prisons.

Either way, be it due to ignorance or complicity with evil, Jan Brewer has consistently failed to provide any
leadership around protecting prisoners - not even the children. She says that Arizona is a leader in protecting
our most vulnerable people, especially kids and the mentally ill. After all, everything shes done to improve
mental health care and child protection is going to be her legacy - which is truly sad, because she hasnt done
much on those fronts short of the medicaid expansion, which was to save the hospitals from going under as
much as it was for the good of the poor here.

I dont know if she recalls - or ever even knew - that the

last kid to suicide at the Adobe Mountain
Detention Center run by the AZ Department of Juvenile Corrections did so after some of the other kids
relentlessly bullied him for being gay and mentally ill. It seems the staff didnt know how to deal with either
queer kids or serious mental illness. I hope they do now. Charles Flanagan who took over the AZDJC several
years ago, has not invited nearly the scrutiny of his department by me that Ryan has, so he might be doing
something right there - or at least not so horribly wrong as his former boss. Ill be terribly disappointed if he
advised the Governor not to comply with PREA as well, though.

What Im saying here is that Jan Brewer is either deliberately whitewashing the prison picture here, or she just
doesnt know what shes talking about when it comes to prison rape, plain and simple. I can verify myself that
Chuck Ryan knows everything Ive told you of and more because most of what was reported to me along those
lines I passed on to him, personally. I have lots of emails documenting it all.

The problem is that Ryan doesnt tell the truth about any of this, either - he even
insists to the legislature
that theres NO SOLITARY CONFINEMENT practiced at the AZ DOC (thats just semantics, but the
legs accept his answer as evidence that the ACLU is hysterical and over-reacting) - so you cant count on him to

give you an accurate assessment of whether or not the AZ DOC is doing its job when it comes to protecting
prisoners from violence, exploitation, and rape.

No, Mr. Holder, you really need to come talk to me and the families I work with- not just have the FBI spy on me
and my buddies in black. Look at my files and analyze my data yourselves. Visit my correspondents. Chat with
former employees like former Eyman DW Carl Toersbijns or
former Perryville officer Gary Bullock ,
former ASPC-Lewis Lieutenant Chuck Bauer , or
former Corizon employee, Teresa Short , AZ State
Representative Chad Campbell, who has called for Ryans resignation , or any number of other parties to this
disaster who I could introduce you to so you can verify mine and the the prisoners accounts of prison conditions
and the many assaults on their safety - including sexual assaults and exploitation - in the AZ DOC.

While youre at it, subpoena the records from the AZ Corrections and Peace Officers Association - they had
thousands of DOC employees sign onto a letter of no confidence in Chuck Ryan to Jan Brewer not two
years into his tenure. That letter alleged that, among other things:

...There exists, within ADOC administration, a well-known pattern of obstructing the disclosure of hazards in
time to prevent accidents, injury, illness, and deaths. Tragically, in these instances, danger is not "imminent" -
it is past, and too late to respond. Employees are routinely ordered to falsify documents and when they
proactively seek to report identified hazards, they face punishment and retaliation. Obtaining an accurate
account of the range and extent of violations will be difficult from records alone. It is unlikely that ADOC will
disclose information without well-planned intervention by authorities.

These are strikingly similar to the allegations that prisoners make, which are often dismissed as
unsubstantiated. The Governor completely ignored the unions letter, by the way, so its not the credibility of
the source thats really the issue - its simply a critique she doesnt want to hear.

In addition to the letters I get from current AZ DOC prisoners, Ive reviewed hundreds of death reports since the
the start of the current administration. I call tell you that prisoners routinely die of both indifference and
outright abuse here, and Charles Ryans DOC sometimes uses their Criminal Investigations Unit to cover up
homicides they didnt feel like pursuing or listing for the feds as such. Like (PC) and (SP). The AZ DOCs
inspector generals office didnt even have the decency to tell PCs mother that his death was more likely than not
a homicide, instead of a suicide. They just left her believing her child had taken his life. Fortunately, PCs mom
never bought it and had her own autopsy done - which revealed that there was plenty of evidence he was
murdered the DOC never even bothered to look at once they heard from witnesses that it was no suicide.

I dont know if the CUI is corrupt or just has an irresponsible ethos that has no regard for the survivors of victims
of violence in their custody. Maybe they are all just lazy - though I suspect the Ryan administration calculated
that they would be more liable to a mother whose child was murdered instead of one whose child committed
suicide in custody, and decided that if she wasnt going to sue over a suicide, they better not tell her it was
murder, or someone will start to dig.

Of PCs four alleged killers, by the way, one was soon after released and disappeared with a clean kill under his
belt, violating probation.
Another went on to assault both a prisoner and a guard. A third is now a medium
security prisoner at Kingman, where the DOC promised they would no longer house murderers since the
McCluskey escape and Haas killings. The fourth suspect who actually choked him to death - the... gang leader
who Pete apparently didnt pay enough of the drug revenues to - went on his merry way continuing to run his
business without a single disciplinary ticket, knowing he could get away with murder again if he wanted to. And
he probably has since then. The DOC has consistently lowered his internal risk score since that murder, in fact,
rewarding him for his good behavior. The prisoners say there have been more (gang) murders than just PCs that
were staged to look like a suicide, by the way - his is only one of two murders I know about that the DOC allowed
to remain covered up.

In any case, the DOC cant be trusted to investigate themselves and be forthright with their discoveries, and the
ACLU is already busy with the health care and psychiatric concerns, including the abuse of solitary confinement
for mentally ill prisoners. Thats why we need the feds in on this matter of prisoner safety and prison rape now.
Charles Ryans Criminal Investigations Unit has no credibility with the prisoners, the staff, or the advocates who
know whats going on in there. Nor do his media and legislative liaisons - they outright lie to the public and
elected officials about the heinous behavior of their employees and the corporate jackals who feed off the
imprisoned population. Just ask the journalists who have been covering the DOC under Ryans tenure - like
KPNXs Wendy Halloran , who won an Emmy for pursuing the truth about the suicide of Tony Lester, or the
AZ Republics Bob Ortega , who did a fantastic series on
Arizonas Other Death Row - that is, the
mainstream prison population, which he noticed was dying by suicide, drug overdose, and homicide at unusually
high rates after Ryan had been in charge for awhile.

Community effort with sidewalk chalk: 40-foot mural for DOCs dead
Firehouse Gallery, Phoenix
July 2012

I once had a contact at the DOJs Special Litigation Section... I even sent him all the death records my mother
bought from the AZ DOC for me to analyze. But I think Special Litigation abandoned AZ awhile ago, perhaps
thinking the ACLU et al have it covered. Not hardly. And Ryan knows no one will hold him accountable for
prison rape if the feds dont - just look at his annual reports. For the past
years in the Five-Year Plans,
Director Ryan has managed to invisibilize rape victims in his custody - its not even an institutional goal to reduce
the incidence of sexual assaults in the prisons anymore, much less a priority.

Do you understand where Im coming from here, Mr Holder?

...By the way, Arizonas sole Protection & Advocacy authority, the AZ Center for Disability Law , wont help or
visit or investigate abuse reports from SMI prisoners under any circumstances. It appears that they only joined
Parsons v Ryan in name because they were coerced into doing so. Now, they are the only ones in this state with
the authority to get into those prisons on demand to see disabled individuals reporting abuse, and yet they
adamantly refuse to exercise it. Is that legal, for a P&A agency to flat out discriminate against an entire
population of disabled people solely because the institution housing and abusing them is a prison or jail, instead
of a school or a nursing home? If they refuse to exercise that authority, another agency should be identified that
will do so, and should be funded to do so. Thats got to be unconstitutional.

Along those lines, I want to quote from a letter I received from the womens prison just yesterday - this is from...
Death Row, in a building where other maximum security prisoners - like the mentally ill - are held as well. She
told me... she is so troubled by what shes hearing and is afraid the women who cry and plead all day and night
are too mentally impaired, traumatized, and intimidated to know how to get help themselves via the grievance
process and courts

They have watch cells below us and Im very concerned about our mentally ill being pepper-sprayed and drug
around naked by male guards and videoed by male guards over the simplest issue. They yell at the mentally ill,
scare them. then when they dont comply (usually strip out) they spray them. They are forced to strip out 3-4
times a day with male guards walking all over. I hear some of them crying I dont want to get naked. I
understand security, but not these measures on the mentally ill

That sounds like a violation of the agreement the DOC made with the AZDOC some 15 or so years ago to keep a
sexual harassment/abuse CRIPA complaint from proceeding to trial, is it not? Let me remind you that I myself
have a major mood disorder and PTSD - is this the kind of treatment I can expect as an American citizen in our
womens prisons, should I ever find myself there?

The Death Row prisoner also reports the male officers dont announce themselves on Lumley. That comes as no
surprise - as indicated by the good governors letter to you, the DOC doesnt think its necessary for them to do
so, even though they are citing women for sexual offenses if they accidentally expose themselves while changing,
or toileting, or showering. You know as well as I that most women in prison - especially the severely mentally ill -
are already traumatized. Best practices would not say that security demands the male guards come through
without announcing themselves. Best practices in corrections now would look at trauma-informed care more
closely than the security aspect of that and say those women are being routinely retraumatized and violated by
the AZ DOCs policies and practices for no good penological reason. They are just not wanting to make sure
female staff are available at all times for the women prisoners, though they are quite plentiful in the mens

Well, Ive covered a lot of ground, and there still so much more. I wish we could meet to discuss PREA and
CRIPA matters further in person, but I know you have a lot on your hands already, so please have the
appropriate staff contact me as soon as possible about this matter - I and the prisoners are requesting a DOJ
CRIPA Investigation into these patterns and practices of violating prisoners civil rights, as well as the Governors
decision to not bother with PREA mandates anymore. At the very least, you should call her out on that.

Thank you so much for reading this through, Mr Holder, if youve made it this far. I will be eagerly anticipating
your reply. So will the prisoners and their loved ones.


Margaret Jean Plews

June 22, 2014

AZ DOC prisoners:

The US Attorney Generals office needs to hear from those of you who have been most affected by prison
rape or gang violence in AZ DOC, and now is the time. In fact, if you send your letters to AG Holder to
me first, Ill copy it for myself, you, and the ACLU then pass it on to the DOJ, certified, and send a copy
back to you. If I have copies of what you send Holder I can better hold the DOJ accountable for
responding to all of us.

What Ive asked the DOJ to do is a CRIPA Investigation under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized
Persons Act. They only do it if a system is really pervasively screwed up, like the AZ DOC is. So if you
write to them as well, please emphasize where you think what you have experienced or observed is a
chronic pattern or practice of the AZ DOC that denies prisoners of their constitutional rights. Include
locations, dates, names, and as much other specific detail that will lead them to the proper DOC records
to verify your account of an incident or pattern/practice. Tell them what records to look for, if you know.

Please help me kick the AZ DOCs ass all the way to Washington and back. it really is up to you to
make this happen now.

From wikipedia: The Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) of 1980 is a United States
federal law intended to protect the rights of people in state or local correctional facilities, nursing
homes, mental health facilities and institutions for people with intellectual and developmental

CRIPA is enforced by the Special Litigation Section in the United States Department of Justice Civil
Rights Division, which investigates and prosecutes complaints in terms of this legislation. The Special
Litigation Section is allowed to investigate state or locally operated institutions in order to ascertain if
there is a pattern or a practice of violations of a residents' federal rights.
The section is not allowed to

investigate private facilities. They are also not allowed to represent individuals or address specific
individual cases, but they are able to file lawsuits against facilities as a whole.

The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.

Attorney General, US Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

If you have been the victim of a sexual assault in jail or prison and need counseling support, contact
Just Detention International for support and information. From their site:

In the wake of a sexual assault, the lack of mental health counseling services, legal assistance, and
even physical safety, leaves survivors at high risk for developing serious, long-term psychological
problems. One of JDIs top priorities is to mobilize mental health service providers and legal aid
organizations across the country to assist prisoner rape survivors. Some 500 groups that are willing
to do so form part of JDIs nationwide Resource Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse Behind Bars.

Every day, JDI communicates with survivors of sexual abuse in detention. Frequently, they emphasize
the healing effect of receiving one of JDIs Survivor Packets, which includes self-help materials, a letter
of hope from another survivor, and geographically relevant sections of the Resource Guide. One
survivor in New York said:

I have thought it was my fault that these things were done to me, but since writing to JDI and reading
their literature I have realized it was not my fault and I will make it through with help from JDI, my
family and friends.

If you or someone you know has been sexually abused behind bars and would like support or
information, including JDI's Survivor Packet, please contact Leelyn Aquino, Operations Manager, at, by phone at 213-384-1400 x110, or via confidential, legal mail
at the
following address:
Cynthia Totten, Esq.
CA Attorney Reg. #199266
3325 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 340
Los Angeles, CA 90010

PO Box 20494 /Phoenix, AZ 85036 /480-580-6807