Oversight for the Win!
Gov. Ducey’s stay-at-home order is expiring today for those of us on the outside, but it looks like the fight against further spread of COVID-19 inside Arizona’s state prisons is just beginning.
Earlier this week, Ducey and Dr. Cara Christ, the director of the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), announced in response to pressure from AFSC-AZ and our coalition partners that testing capacity for the virus would be expanded inside the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation & Reentry (ADCRR). Also, per our request for ADHS oversight of state prisons, Dr. Christ announced that the agency will have “epidemiologists go out and provide on-site technical assistance on infection control and to make sure the CDC guidelines are being implemented”.
AFSC-AZ welcomes the news that Ducey and Dr. Christ recognize the need for oversight of ADCRR facilities and personnel, and we’re now that much closer to achieving the citizens’ oversight of ADCRR that has long been needed. We will continue to communicate with Dr. Christ and her administration as this oversight is implemented and push for a concrete plan on treating those who have tested positive and preventing further spread of COVID-19.
Dream Different Dreams
Our #ReFramingJustice Mutual Aid campaign truly highlighted the generosity and compassion of our supporters and our efforts to build community among directly-impacted people.
We delivered your donations the past four weeks to three ADCRR facilities – ASPC-Perryville, ASPC-Phoenix & the Pima Reentry Center – for distribution to incarcerated people across the state. We will continue to hold ADCRR accountable to help ensure delivery of these items and make it simpler in the future to donate needed hygiene and other supplies to those inside who need them most.
It should also be said that, while your contributions have been astounding and inspiring, “the outcome of the struggle doesn’t matter as much as the decision to struggle,” noted AFSC-AZ Program Coordinator Dr. Grace Gámez. “We are practicing ‘unthinkable politics,’ which is a politics that acknowledges the battle may not elicit change. That is not the same as hopelessness, but rather opening the door to dream different dreams of what makes living life valuable.”
Thank you to all who contributed to the #RFJMutualAid campaign for opening the door and choosing the struggle. ❤️ 💙 💚
AFSC-AZ will continue to focus on how to best help those impacted in our state prisons. You can contribute to the RFJ Mutual Aid project, amplify our work via social media, or TAKE ACTION with organizations from here in Tucson, around the state, and across the country.
Right now, you can help FAMM tell Gov. Ducey to grant clemency to the most vulnerable people in prison!
Tell Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel to get people out of dangerous jail conditions now, by sending her a message via the ACLU of Arizona!
And you can join The S.T.A.R.T. Project for a “drive around protest” on Thursday, April 23, from 1p-1:30p outside the Pima County Adult Detention Center in Tucson!
In The News…
Mother Worried for Daughter She Says Tested Positive for COVID-19 in Prison (Paywall)
May 15th, 2020 by Lauren Castle, via The Arizona Republic
Arizona Sees Doubling of Incarcerated People Testing Positive for Virus
May 14th, 2020 by the Associated Press, via Fox 10-Phoenix
Food Service Workers in AZ Prisons Test Positive for COVID-19
May 13th, 2020 by Jimmy Jenkins, via KJZZ-Phoenix NPR
Detained People at Federal CoreCivic Facility Forced to Use Shampoo, Menstrual Pads as Cleaning Supplies
May 12th, 2020 by Meg O’Connor, via The Appeal
A Prison Sentence Should Not Mean Death by COVID-19
May 8th, 2020 by the AACCC’s Dr. Warren Stewart & Pastor Reginald Walton, via Arizona Capitol Times
Incarcerated People At Federal Private AZ Prison Sue Over Unconstitutional Conditions
May 8th, 2020 by Jimmy Jenkins, via KJZZ-Phoenix NPR
Categories: Weekly Update