8: State of Shame

This is the story of a woman who was cooked in a cage in an Arizona prison – and the journey I went on to discover who she really was.


This is what the women who are put on the chain-gang in Arizona – just for being drug addicts – are forced to chant:

This is Gabba, one of the prisoners, explaining why she became addicted. (For the prisoners in Tent City, I am not posting their surnames, because I don’t want this to be one of the first google hits for their names: it will be hard enough for them to find work as it is. Also present during my recording in Tent City was the documentary film-maker Rachel Siefert.)

This is Candice, another prisoner, explaining her drug addiction:

This is Michelle explaining what life is like in Arizona’s prisons:

This is Sheriff Joe Arpaio, expressing his delight that I know who his old mentor Harry Anslinger was:


This is another one of the chants the chain-gang is forced to ‘sing’:

And this is another (this was the most disturbing for me)

This is one of the prisoners telling me it is hell:

This is a prisoner discussing the sadism of it:

This is a prisoner talking about the brutality:

This is the note I was handed by a prisoner, silently, on my second visit, to explain why they were afraid to talk to me:


This is a prisoner saying she thinks maybe the toughness of prison is an effective deterrent:

These are prisoners in ‘the Hole’ – isolation – explaining the attempted suicide there the night before:

This is Jorge De La Torre, the psychologist in the prison, describing the prisoners’ backgrounds:

This is him continuing:

This is Juliana Philips, a former prisoner at Tent City, who shared a cell with Marcia Powell, who was later cooked:

This is Juliana Philip describing how she witnessed the killing from her cell window:

This is Richard Husman, Marcia Powell’s former partner and the father of her children, describing Marcia’s childhood:

This is Richard explaining Marcia’s period of homelessness and probable child prostitution:

This is Richard Husman’s female friend, present at the same interview (she asked me not to use her name), describing life as a biker chick with the Hell’s Angels:

This is Richard Husman explaining why Marcia went with the Hell’s Angels:

This is Richard explaining what Marcia’s previous boyfriend, Conrad, was like:

This is Richard elaborating on Conrad’s Nazism:

This is Richard remembering why Marcia went with him:

This is Richard remembering their good times:

This is more of that:

This is more still:

This is Richard describing her addiction:

This is Richard explaining how Marcia needed help, not punishment:

This is Richard explaining that more:

This is Richard saying he misses her:

This is Juliana Philips describing Marcia’s beliefs:

This is Richard saying Marcia’s conviction for marijuana is what ruined her life:

This is Richard describing how the guards mocked her as she was being cooked:

This is Richard asking me to place his dead child’s picture where Marcia is buried:

Comments are closed.