9th Sept 04

Latest on Sheriff Joe

Yesterday, Sheriff Joe Arpaio won in the primary. So now we have to concentrate on defeating him in the general election in November. His opponent is a Democrat, which will make things difficult, as most registered voters in Arizona are Republicans. Arpaio has a lock on the votes of the senior citizens of Arizona, and there are thousands of them in Sun City and Greater Phoenix. They won’t hear a bad word said about Joe. The fact that crime stats show that Phoenix has a higher than the national average rate for practically all offences (Phoenix Crime Statistics and Crime Data (Phoenix, AZ) cuts no ice with the gated community dwellers and all those folks who are too far removed from life to care.

Dan Saban did give him a good run for his money, though, with a much stronger showing than any other candidate against Arpaio so far. He will try again, he says, in two years.

Not quite fine dining

Since the veggie diet started coming the prison keeps serving me delicious rice and bean dishes that I’ve never seen before. The veggie chili reminds me of Indian food. After starvation under Sheriff Joe’s regime, I feel so full now, all day long. It’s not quite fine dining, but, bloody hell, this is prison. I imagine I’ll be back to 170 lbs in no time. I hope I don’t get fat. Also, I am now officially Hindu.


Fuchsia said...

Hi Jon. I'm glad you're getting decent food now. I was disappointed to hear that Joe Arpaio won in the Primary. Amnesty International ran a letter-writing campaign in 1997 to protect about inmate treatment in Maricopa jail and it sounds as though it is still horrific. If US nationals imprisoned in other countries were treated like this, there would be an outcry. I doubt whether it does anything to stop re-offending anyway, probably just the opposite.

Anonymous said...

I've just read the latest installment in Jon's blog, and it's getting even more fascinating... I sent an email to Jon straight after the Guardian article and I was just wondering if it will get to him or if it would be more effective to use normal post to communicate? I understand that there may be more interesting people he wants to reply to so I'm not holding my breath. Although after reading the nature of Jon's offences and his (appalling) conviction I feel as though I have quite a lot in common with him so am quite eager to be in communication. I was interested to see he's converted to Hinduism - I've studied it for a few years and will be in India in a few months.
Jamo Boggins

Anonymous said...

I don't see how people could vote for this Arpaio guy. He sounds like a sadistic bastard. Don't they have any common decency?


Anonymous said...

>Dear Jon,
>I am curious if your Journals and other writings are going to be published... I would love to read them in there entirety. Your suffering does not fall upon deaf ears... if there is any way I might help with your campaign against the injustices in the ADC or with your daily struggle to maintain please don't hesitate to ask. I am taken a back by your resume and would like to commend you on all you have achieved especially in such a dismal place. I could not help but notice the numerous biblical/spiritual/religious activities you partake in... your spirituality is a ray of light in your dark circumstance you use it wisely... and faith my friend used wisely can make the Blind-man see. Your faith is what has and always will guide you...

Anonymous said...

>Mark 10:46-52
>Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight

46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging.
47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
49 Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you." 50Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51"What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see."
52"Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.


Anonymous said...

Date: Sat, 18 Sep 2004 14:45:39 EDT

I'm a defence solicitor in Central London so spend a bit of time in & around prisons & I must say my guys don't have many complaints - most of them see
Brixton/the Scrubs/wherever as a welcome respite from the streets, especially in cold weather.. But they don't know how lucky they are! I read the Guardian article on the Docklands Light Railway going through Canary Wharf (at the time I thought this was strangely ironic & maybe you'd been a City broker)
It's a surreal place at the best of times but reading about your experiences...
It's the best, most immediate, gripping thing I've read for a long time, with horrified fascination & appalled laughter...

I am gobsmacked by your resilience & fantastic sense of humour & of the absurd in such surroundings. But I guess if you've got it, you've got it... & I
do hope it's keeping you going & that things are better for you now.. Can't believe those Americans... I've always taken James Lee Burke's tales of
correctional facilities with a pinch of salt, but he's clearly not exaggerating..
>Take care. Never give up.
>xx Caro McAdam

mega said...

haVe your read this book?
you got nothing coming by jimmy a lerner
You Got Nothing Coming, Jimmy A. Lerner's memoir of his first year (of a possible 12) as an inmate in a Nevada state prison, is a shocking, hilarious, and heartbreaking narrative of a world both parallel to and absolutely alien from the one most readers inhabit. With deft, economical prose, Lerner, a middle-aged former marketing director for a major corporation, introduces us to his fellow inmates--swastika-tattooed skinheads, Wiccans, methamphetamine addicts, and fashion-conscious prostitutes, among others--as well as a multitude of prisoner scams, nonexistent but on-the-books rehab programs, and the life-or-death intricacies of the convict code of etiquette. Lerner's ear for prison language is pitch-perfect, and much of what we learn comes directly from the mouths of the incarcerated. Lerner has, in effect, written a nonfiction novel, one artfully laced with mordant humor and by turns tender, caustic, insightful, and relentlessly candid.

Anonymous said...

I don’t know quite how I’d stumbled across your website but it is an eloquently written and fascinating account - thanks…I’ve been distracted here at work by going back and reading all your posts in order. As you can probably tell by my job description (below), I’m really concerned about your diet and those who refuse to give you access to vegetarian food! I do hope your dietary situation improves - at the vegetarian society we provide loads of recipe booklets etc – and have designed some for catering institutions (schools, hospitals, and yes, we have sent a few to prisons) – with the idea that its quick easy and cheap to make decent veggie food. If you would like me to send some catering ideas to your chosen institution - or even you would like me to send you some of our other literature (vegetarian news & lifestyle magazine, health info etc) to keep you mildly entertained then please contact me with an address and guidelines on what I can send.

Best wishes
Scott Clouder
Information Officer
The Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom

Anonymous said...

........it's so harsh that a non-violent intelligent person like Jon finds himself in such a situation, but I hope he has no regrets about living life to the full prior to being in prison. I find it quite heartening that through today's methods of contact it is possible for such a meeting of minds to take place and I hope that fact allows Jon to retain a degree of optimism about tomorrow's world.
>Jamo Boggins

Anonymous said...

Reading your letters Shaun, it sounds like your spirit is in good form. Glad that you diet is back on track, and you are getting a good response to your website.
You seem to be able to find the write words to say.
In times of difficulty, I always try to remember the prayer about footprints in the sand.
A man was walking along the sand with Christ by his side, leaving two sets of footprints in the sand.
Hard times fell on the man, and he looked behind and saw one set of footprints. He said to Christ, "Why when I need you most, do you desert me" Christ replied, "It was when you needed me most, that I carried you on my shoulders". (Hence the one set of footprints).
Also, I always try to remember that the light of a candle can be seen a mile away in the dark.
Keep up the good work. Terry Bates