A female imprisoned at Perryville State Prison in Arizona has died from excessive heat-related medical issues. Marcia Powell, 48, had been a long-standing player in the system for prostitution. Powell, who was most recently sentenced to twenty-seven months for prostitution this past August, had been awaiting a transfer to nearby detention unit. She was left alone in an outdoor holding cell awaiting her transport, while the blazing sun raged on and had been kept outdoors for over three hours in 100+ degree heat in the uncovered holding “pen.”
Powell collapsed at approximately 2:40 PM and was pronounced dead shortly after midnight at a local hospital.
As per Arizona Department of Corrections Director, Charles L. Ryan, a criminal investigation is pending to determine whether negligence was a factor in the woman’s death. Sounds like Sheriff Joe’s at it again with his wicked inhumane treatment of prisoners. Of course it starts off “innocently” enough; dyeing male inmates’ boxers pink to “shame” them in public (oh, Lord, because there’s nothing as embarrassing as a man in pink, especially if you’re a “man’s man,” right?), creating tent-cities to house massive amounts of criminals who have do endure desert temperatures 365 days a year — totally humane, no?
I don’t give a rat’s ass what you’re imprisoned for (to the exception of child abuse cases, because I feel quite strongly on those particular cases). This woman was a human being. To practically tie her up to the side of a fenced-in shed and leave her to stew in hundred-degree temperatures is a serious violation of human rights. It’s completely appalling that something of this caliber could occur in a relatively up-to-date state prison. On the same note, it’s no different than the various women who were forced to give birth in jail cells, with no outside help from physicians, nurses or even simple staff. The most recent case of notoriety occurring just yesterday to Dubuque, Iowa resident, Terra Keil, who gave birth (alone) in jail on a metal toilet, for Christ’s sake. The asshole in charge in this particular incident, Greg Egan, who is Dubuque County Jail Administrator, stated that Keil had never notified the staff that she was pregnant. The swollen belly didn’t give it away? The girl’s cries for help didn’t set something off in someone’s mind that something just may not be right? Must have been the bloody mess and wailing child that really gave it away.
I understand that people end up in prison for a reason. I understand that it’s the taxpayers money that fund these mini-vacations. I also understand that a lot of people imprisoned for various law-breaking wouldn’t give another human being the time of day when it came to common courtesy. However; lives are still lives and to allow such negligence to occur on such a frequent, careless basis is frigging mind-blowing.
“When a man’s life is destroyed or damaged by some wound or privation of soul or body, which is due to other men’s actions or negligence, it is not only his sensibility that suffers but also his aspiration toward the good. Therefore, there has been sacrilege towards that which is sacred in him.”