8th Sept 04 Jon’s parents wrote

Thank you to everybody at The Guardian for the brilliant article in the G2 today highlighting Jon’s blog and enabling people from across the globe to visit this site. It was very well done and we’re sure when Jon sees it he’ll be delighted that someone has given him a conduit for his writings. (It takes about a week for mail to get to him) Non-Guardian readers, the link for this article is below:

Since the article, we have received hundreds of emails and comments in support of Jon. People have reached out to him for all sorts of reasons and we are deeply humbled by the numbers of people across the globe who have felt the need to respond.

As you are aware, he has no access to computers, and he writes the blogs with a short pencil (a long pencil could be considered a weapon) until his hand aches too much to continue. We will send copies of all your comments and emails to Jon, who we know will be overcome by your responses. He will reply but it may take a few weeks due to the volume of support. Jon has said that the highlight of the day is receiving mail. Thank you supporters keep the correspondence coming.

If you want your comments to be seen in the blog, click on ‘comments’ at the end of each blog, then ‘post comments’ link. If you don’t want the world to see your comment email Jon on writeinside@hotmail.com Below are a few extracts from the many emails we have received:

"... ...I am a crime journalist working for BBC News Online in London, with a long-time interest in US jails . I just read the article about you in today's Guardian and I sympathise with your predicament, particularly the barbaric conditions I have read about on your weblog."

"... ...I am very interested about how an ordinary white-collar Brit ends up in such a place. It must be quite a tale."

"... ...Keep your chin up Jon (is that a yoga position?) I hope you're sent to Arizona (better still that your sentence is cut - maybe GW will pull a few strings). Your diary is in the Guardian so you'll be getting a lot of support from Guardian readers. Anyway, best wishes from Hebden Bridge."

"I read your story Jon in this evenings Liverpool Echo ... ..."

"... ...I wish you all the very best, if there is anything I can do to help, even if its just adding my voice, don't hesitate to get in touch ... ..."

"All the very best mate : HeF"

"I just read the extracts of your blog published in The Guardian today. I imagine you get a lot of people saying 'I don't know what to say', so I'm sorry to add to their number. No sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that your writing made me laugh, despite the loathing generated by your descriptions of the conditions. But it did. Don't let the bastards get you down, pet." Anna

"... ...Hi Jon,
Are conditions any better in the penitentiary? I certainly hope so as your Jail diary was a nauseating account of the dark side of Americans who appear to be able to go to church and sing of heaven while actively encouraging hell on earth."
John Williams

"... ...More power to you. You really made me laugh/cry today when I read your weblog in the Guardian and then went to look at the whole thing on the net. It's fabulous. I once got arrested in the States and I am now eternally grateful that I didn't end up where you are. I always wondered what vegetarians do in prison (being one) although from what myfriends in the military have said the vegetarian food there is pretty much the same. Cockroaches don't like tea tree oil, but I reckon your mates back in the jail have v little chance of getting any of that delivered. No doubt it would be classed as a weapon.
So, just wanted to say hi, tell you persons around the world are reading you and to say nice one."
"Take care"
Lorna, Kuala Lumpur

"Your diary in today's Guardian is the best thing I've read in ages. And now I'm reading your web-site. I'm curious to know if you're going to be inundated by your fellow Brits all offering their support and commiserations at your plight. The Guardian must have countless worthy types, willing to have a good hand-wring with you about the barabarism of the US penal system??

I however, am evil and right-wing and have merely had a day off from the Daily Mail. [nah - just have to read all the papers every day for my job. But not the Sport. Or the Star. There is not much knowledge to be gleaned from t*ts and a photo of Jordan's g-string disappearing completely up her backside... ..."

"... ...I have a phobia of cockroaches so you can imagine.... One of the little critters crawled over me in a really smart London restaurant, and l damn near screamed the place down. The other diners thought it was a terrorist attack until I careered, in true comedy fashion, into the desert trolley."

"What the f*ck did you do to get nine years inside??? something financial I know, but nine years??? Jesus Christ, you poor bastard."

"... ...anyway, The Guardian gave its readers a happy ending (lest it put them off their morning muesli and soya milk) saying that you've moved somewhere better. Even I, Daily Mail reader, really hope that's the case. If I can send any toothpaste to any of your mates left in that hellhole, let me know."

"... ...great diary anyway."

"Take care"
Katie x


Anonymous said...

I was truly moved by your piece in The Guardian and can empahise with your experience of cockroachs. I used to live in a squat in Peckham and the neighbours either side of us had major infestations leading us on a merry dance of building light traps all around the flat with fluorescent tubes which we then spent most of the time continually tripping over whilst simultaneously scanning all about us for that sudden scuttle out of the corner of ones eye. They have the effect of entering a mental space which is hard to shift. I can't say we ever slept very well in the place.

Yeah, finding the female eggs was always the scary bit. Shit, I'm starting to relive the whole experience.

I now live just across from the City at Bankside, behind the Tate; cockroach free. You've made me look again at 'city types', alas despite being a Guardian reader I've always had problems seeing 'em as nothing more than wankers, but as no doubt you yourself have come to know that behind the faces we are the same Man.

If you need anything let me know; piece of crap from the Thames, a snapshot of the City or some other curio and I'd be more than happy to oblige.

Keep focused Jon.

P.S. The name's Tony not 'Anonymous'. Couldn't get round Blogger

tomshepherd said...

jon, thank you for your writing that i read in the guardian today. my london tube journey every day can be sweaty and really unpleasant sometimes. it can really get you down. reading your diaries, i tried to imagine your jail experience, helped by the humour and almost loving detail that you used to describe las cucarachas and the big kahuna. the intensity of the physical and psychological assault is amazing. but what made my day better was your reaction to it. thanks again, and good luck. it would be great if you could reply to this message, so i've made a blog account and hopefully you can get my email address from it and send me a note back if you want.

Anonymous said...

If anyone cares to read the Times article Jon (AKA English Shaun) refers to you can find it here:

Evil Empire

Anonymous said...

Allow me to also add that, however barbarous the living conditions in "Jon's" prison, we shouldn't go around making him a martyr for the cause. He was tried and convicted of some serious crimes and will pay his debt.

Having said that, I think Sheriff Arpaio is one misguided, sordid little prick and should be stripped of office.

Anonymous said...

Damn, that shit's fucked up. I thought we had laws in this country against cruel and unusual punishment...but I guess that whole "8th amendment" thing was just one of those things the "liberal media" makes up. My bad.


Anonymous said...

well widnes is still shite shaun...your not missing much...sean is now working for royal mail!! how mad is that? have u heard from p!!

Anonymous said...

Shaun, what a startling blog you have. I first read about it on Metafilter.com, and it is making waves on various discussion boards on the internet.

Despite your crimes (the New Times article did seem sensationalist), I'm sorry you were chosen to show the rest of us exactly what goes on over there. Get through it, thanks for having the courage to share your story, and keep on writing.


Anonymous said...

Jon, after reading the New Times article, the words 'trial by media' immediately sprung to my mind. How could you possibly have gotten a fair hearing when the minds of the Arizona public were being poisoned against you by the scurrilous article. I've looked at past issues of the paper on the net and its obviously a 'rag'.
There must be some truth in the article, but an intelligent reader would only need to look at the cartoon like caricature of you on the front page to see where the paper is coming from.
You were obviously stitched up by this article. The printed word is very powerful and the masses believe whatever they read in the papers is true. Whatever you did in those, crazy, wild days you are paying for dearly and I can tell from your writing how suffering has made you a better person. I admire your courage. Very few people could endure what you are suffering and stay sane enough to write about it. I belive your sense of humour has seen you through.
Keep positive, Jon, I will follow your journal and I hope that things improve for you when you are sent to the state prison.

Helen McGrath

Anonymous said...

To find a 12 page article on "Jon" you can go here.


It would be interesting to have this article addressed in Jon's next blog.

Anonymous said...