30 Jan 08

Greetings from the Abyss by Jack

Before leaving Tucson prison, I asked Jack, a 49-year-old lifer, if he would be willing to write for Jon’s Jail Journal on a regular basis so we can keep abreast of developments there. Jack agreed and I just received his first blog. I enjoy Jack’s writing style and I hope you do to.

13 Jan 08

Many of Jon’s faithful readers have asked how they will find out what has happened in hell now that he has been released. Cue the semiliterate stand-in reporter. I will attempt to bring you the same insight into the macabre and twisted world in which I reside, and that Jon was able to do so eloquently. I realize that these are some mighty big shoes I must fill, but I will try in my own stumbling way.

Since Jon’s release we have been moved from Santa Rita To Manzanita. The move itself was a comic opera of epic proportion. Between the overloaded pallets of property tumbling across the asphalt to the miserable cold drizzle that soaked everything we own, we managed to uproot ourselves from one location and plant ourselves in the other. Our new residence was originally designed for half the number that we moved in – 48 men living in a 45 x 60 foot box, cozy! You can’t begin to imagine my joy with the sights, sounds, and smells of my new abode and roommates. At least some of my roommates are paper trained, so I guess that’s something to be thankful for.

Here are some excerpts from a letter I received from Jack. In a letter to Jack that I wrote around New Year’s, I stated that I felt lonely in England and I’d had a few days of the blues. Jack periodically suffers severe depressions.

The issue of you having the blues is something I can relate to without any problem. In my slightly askew opinion, you miss us. Consider for the moment that over the years you have bonded with our miscreant tribe. Even with all of our foibles and defects there remain a few traits that make us endearing (for the life of me I can’t think of a single one right now, but you know what I mean). You mention the culture shock of not having been in England for 16 ½ years as a possible cause. I agree that would contribute, but consider the culture shock of going from a prison environment to the free world. Being able to come and go as you please, eat what you want when you want to, see who you please without them going through the hassle of a prison screening. All of that combined together can be overwhelming. Add to that the sense of dependence on your parents because of your temporary financial situation, is it any wonder that you felt down or blue? Your situation will get better quickly. You will adapt to the changes and become acclimatized soon. I know it may sound trite, but it will get better before you realize it. Soon you will have your own income from speaking engagements and writing. You will find a flat to your liking and you will furnish it to your taste – why is it that I see tatami mats, futons and red paisley lamp shades in your future. The thing to remember is that you’ve got everything you need to succeed right there in that shiny head of yours.

A friend of mine, that you may or may not know, died. Everyone called him Scrappy because he would fight at the slightest provocation. Like so many others he died due to a combination of DOC neglect and self-medication. I have worked with this man for seven years to manage his temper and adjust his attitude. He had made great strides forward and was actually looking to reunite with his daughter. He only had a few more months until his release. To add insult to injury, the on-duty-lieutenant had his body pulled from the cell, and left him laying on the run, in the rain, for three-and-a-half hours.

Slope asked me to tell you that he “misses your Limey ass” and he hopes that your “skip across the pond was peaceful.”

Today has been rather eventful. I started this letter around 0930 hours and it’s now 1900 hours. It wouldn’t normally take this long to write a letter but we’ve had a bit of excitement today. Earlier one of the sergeants snatched a cap off one of the guys. This led to a pushing match and eventually the use of gas. The next thing you know windows are being blocked and the cops are suited up in their ninja-turtle costumes. It has all fizzled out now but for a minute things were tense. It was a typical DOC kneejerk overreaction but that doesn’t change the fact that we were teetering on the brink. Part of the problem came from the guys shouting insults and threats, for some reason this didn’t seem to help the overall problem.

Xena finally became so fed up with everything that he pulled the plug and went back to Buckeye prison.

As you requested, I’ve been trying to find out the status of Slingblade’s release. It was more difficult to get information than than you would think. First I spoke to Slope, and he said that Slingblade had been denied again for the same reason – no release address. Slope then mentioned to Slingblade that I had been asking, which prompted the big man himself to confront me. I explained to him that you wanted to help get him out. This in turn led to a running three-day diatribe from Slingblade. He actually sat down with me at lunch yesterday and talked the whole time. Afterwards several of the guys came by and commented that it was the longest conversation anyone had ever seen Slingblade participate in. The conversation was disjointed but interesting. He talked about you, the Queen Mary II and the Queen. I believe there is a common thread running through this and it’s not that you are all queens. He talked about working on the Queen Mary and where it’s currently anchored. He said that he wrote a letter to Queen Elizabeth but hasn’t gotten a response. He talked about your release and asked if you were back in England. Just as quickly as the conversation began it ended. Slingblade picked up his tray and stomped off toward the disposal chute. After I wiped the spray of detritus off my clothing, I decided I wasn’t hungry after all. It’s amazing how quickly one can change one’s mind when dining with the likes of Slingblade. The long and short of it is that he hasn’t been released, doesn’t look like he’s going to be released anytime soon, and quite frankly, I don’t think he cares one way or the other.

Slingblade is a mentally-ill Vietnam vet who needs outside help to facilitate his release. Any organisation or attorney willing to help Slingblade, please email writeinside@hotmail.com

I spoke with Shane the other day and he said you’ve been out drinking and partying since you’ve gotten home. Take it a little easy, you don’t need to make up for all of those missed years in a couple of weeks. Between the malnutrition of prison food and the sudden impact of all that alcohol your body is probably begging for mercy right about now. Oh, and let’s not forget the large quantities of heavily-spiced Indian food that I’m sure you’ve consumed since arriving home. Your body isn’t begging for mercy, it’s screaming surrender.

Well, my friend, I hope this finds you well and less depressed. Hopefully you will have waded through the backlog of blogs that needed to be edited and you have moved on to your next masterpiece. I’m sure that once the newness of your situation wears off you’ll get back into your routine, or you’ll create another routine that provides a sufficient amount of time for your creative side. Keep at it and keep me informed of your progress.

All my best.


As this is Jack’s first attempt at writing for Jon’s Jail Journal I would appreciate any comments you may have for him. I’m also hoping that through this blog Jack obtains a literary agent. Jack is never getting out of prison, and he has an amazing life story to tell.

Email comments to
writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
28 Jan 08

Podcast from Desert Politics Show

Last Saturday I was on a talk radio show out of Phoenix. To listen to the podcast click here.
28 Jan 08

Two Tonys on Jesus Christ (Part 2)

I asked Two Tonys to comment, with an emphasis on prison life, on some quotes of Jesus Christ.

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you….

Howthafuck can a guy love his enemies or bless them in prison? I mean think about it. You’ve gotta bloke over here layin’ awake at night, sharpenin’ his shiv [shank], plannin’ on harmin’ you or robbin’ you or rapin’ you or takin’ what’s yours. How can you love him or bless him? C’mon! You’ve gotta take care of business. You’ve gotta do what needs to be done. Do you honestly think that motherfuckers claimin’ Christianity – like George Bush and Tony Blair – are lovin’ and blessin’ Osama Bin Laden? Or even that the pope is doin’ that? Are they fuck!

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I’m not sure about this one. JC’s speakin’ in metaphors; so, by treasure he’s not referrin’ to gold, Mercedes, or hedge funds. What is treasure? Think about it. It could be sittin’ down at tea time with Mom and Pop and Sis and her new hubby, and enjoyin’ the conversation, everyone’s good health and overall well-being. That’s treasure that you feel inside – where your heart is. Do you think some bloke drivin’ down the Vegas Strip in his five-grand Armani suit, coked-up, with a five-hundred-dollar-an-hour hooker next to him in his Caddy with the top down is rich in the treasure JC’s talkin’ about? Do you think his heart is there? No! His dick is there. His ego is there. His lust is there. He’s havin’ fun and enjoyin’ the moment, but his heart ain’t there. This scripture can be reversed to read: where your heart is, there your treasure will be also.

Judge not, that you not be judged.

Fuck that! I judged and still do so. I don’t wanna hang out with any pieces of shit who’ve harmed kids, beat their wives, raped old ladies, or did any shit like that. I knew of a prisoner who was in for fuckin’ a calf to death. And I’m not supposed to judge him! No. I judge and I can be judged. I can handle my judgement. I’m not perfect. I’ve done bad things. But I can sleep at night and I can look any motherfucker alive in the eye – yeah!

For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

This is a silly one. Whothafuck receives what they ask for? We get shit on so much in prison, there’s a sayin’: ‘You ain’t got nothin’ comin’’ Do you get everythin’ you ask for? Who does? Does Billy Graham? This quote was put together for control of the masses – the great unwashed – years ago, by the priests, the monks, the kings. I’ve read about it. They had what was called scriptoriums, rooms in monastries where they had scribes and monks who wrote shit to keep the mooches and masses in line. The priests thought, Hey, let’s tell this mooch he can come back from the dead and live forever in a mansion in the clouds or maybe have eighty-three virgins. That’s one of the major themes of all these religions: keepin’ the masses in line ’cause we don’t want motherfuckers pickin’ up their pitchforks and tryin’ to jack our shit. Some used Zeus, some Jesus, some Buddha, some Muhammad, some Shiva, some Thor – and we can go on and on since the dawn of early societies. When they were crawlin’ up in those caves at night, somewhere, one of those dudes thought, Hey, maybe I can con some mooches to go hunt today, and I’ll stay back and eat and fuck and lay in the sun. I know, I’ll tell ’em the gods want ’em out there wrestlin’ saber-toothed tigers, and bustin’ their asses while I get to kick it and fuck around with everybody’s daughters. That’s it in a nutshell. It’s nothin’ new. And it’s not gonna end as long as people exist. The strong will take from the weak, but the smart will take from the strong, and the poor unwashed masses will get fucked over. But it don’t matter. Let’s enjoy this ol’ life. I laugh every day. Make the most of it ’cause you’re not here for but a quick minute – and then you die.

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
Iron Man v Snake Eyes (Part 2)

“…I screamed at Snake Eyes,” Iron Man said, “‘No, no, man! Not like that! One on one, motherfucker! Me and you.’ I knew he would have no choice but to go for it ’cause I’d called him out in front of all of his friends. He goes, ‘Yeah. Come on then. You ain’t shit.’ I’ll never forget him saying that and thinking to myself, This guy is fucked.
I advanced toward him with my hands in the low-guard position ’cause I knew he was itching to throw the first punch, and from watching him before I knew he was right handed and that would be the hand he would swing with. I could see his body tense. I yelled,‘Swing, motherfucker, swing.’ I had my hands held low so he would feel comfortable swinging. I let his punch come in unblocked and just before it would have broke my nose I lowered my head and his fist smashed into the top of my skull breaking his hand. I heard him cry out in pain. I’d lured him into the whole thing and by then I was right up on him.
Remember how I taught you there’s a tipping point in every fight when you land that one punch that resonates deep in your soul, and you know the fight is yours?”
“Yes,” I said.
“When I hit Snake Eyes with a right hook square in the chin, I felt that feeling. I felt his will crumble. I knew this guy was fucked. I hit him nine more times – hook after hook in the head.
I heard my friend say, ‘Iron Man, that’s enough,’ and he grabbed me by the shoulder, and pulled me back. But not in time to prevent me from hitting Snake Eyes one more time with an uppercut. As he fell to the ground at the feet of the Mexicans, he mumbled, ‘Get him. Get him,’ and passed out.
So he’s laying on the ground. There’s ten Mexicans standing behind him with their eyes bugging out, and here’s me in the fighting stance saying, ‘Yeah, motherfuckers, get me. Who’s next? Come on!’ I was just getting warmed up. The fucking rage was boiling through me – it was like a living thing inside of me – and I wanted nothing more in the world than to fight every single one of them dudes one after the other. They backed off.
Next thing you hear, ‘Lockdown, lockdown!’ and here come the cops.
My celly’s all excited ’cause I’d smashed Snake Eyes. He was tripping, saying, ‘Dude, you’ve really got it going on,’ over and over again. Saying, ‘Dude, wassup!’ with his eyes really big.
The cops came for knuckle checks. One said, ‘You guys on your feet. Let’s see your knuckles.’ My knuckles weren’t messed up at all. I just smiled and held my hands out. It was a smile that said, It wasn’t me, officer. He looked, said, ‘Yeah, right,’ walked out, and slammed our door.

Click here for Iron Man v Snake Eyes Part 1

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun Attwood
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23 Jan 08

On Shanks (Part 4)

“How common are shankings in the prison system?” I asked.
“Common and taken for granted. I seen a guy get stuck in the chow hall. He was hit three times in the back before he even realized what was happening. He got up, ran out of the door, and the guy with the blade was chasing him. As the guy ran away, the guy that was sitting across from him reached over to his tray, said, ‘I guess he’s not gonna be eating that,’ picked up his hamburger and ate it.”
“That’s cold. What about disposing of shanks and bodies?”
“There’s no disposing of bodies because everybody’s accounted for. They can hide the bodies for a little while, but come count time they realize something’s wrong. There was a body at Cimmarron Unit they didn’t find right away. The reason they found him was he was in the bathroom and the blood ran out from under the door.”
“And disposing of shanks?”
“They usually try to throw them on a roof, or bury them, or throw them over a fence.”
“I’ve heard about people leaving the shank inside the victim.”
“Yeah, especially if it’s made out of Plexiglas and the blade part of it breaks off.”
“Where on a prison yard are you most likely to get shanked at?”
“In your cell. They’ll kill you and stuff you under the bottom bunk.”
“Do the murderers usually get caught?”
“Most of them have to brag about it. Sometimes someone will see you do it, or you’ll get caught on camera.”
“Is that why gangs like the Aryan Brotherhood, the Mexican Mafia, and the Mau Maus send torpedoes in? To take the fall for the higher-ups?”
“The problem with that is when the prison starts threatening the torpedoes with the needle, they start talking. To get out of the death penalty the torpedoes will give the shotcallers up.”

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
21 Jan 08

My First Month Home

It took a month for my unemployment benefit to arrive. I receive £59.15 a week. The first cheque was calculated from my arrival in England, so I received £245.05. Immediately, I spent some of it on Bic pens and pads of paper.

I’ve been writing for about six hours a day. I’ve almost finished editing the blog. I am about to reread everything I wrote about my life, and then I intend to write a detailed account of what happened in America.

On the weekends I’ve been going out with Hammy, mostly to the Ring O’ Bells. The Ring O’ Bells has two sides: there’s a respectable side, and what the locals call “the cage.” In the cage men jump on the pool table while pool games are being played. The bar is often shaken causing the lights to go out. And bar staff brave enough to venture into the cage to collect glasses are often grabbed.
“You haven’t seen the cage at it’s finest yet,” Hammy said. “You get pissheads completely off their heads taking their clothes off standing at the bar naked ordering drinks.”
In two-weeks’ time Hammy intends taking me out to Liverpool. He said, "The pubs there are crawling with fit birds we can chat up.”

My cousin, Iain, took me to Cronton to play pool. The game in the Black Horse was going well until the small bar filled with so many old men there was no room for us to take a shot. I knew we were in trouble when Iain crouched down to take a shot and his chin ended up resting on the beer belly of a particularly large old man. Every few minutes another old man squeezed into the bar, and bought a pint of beer. We were gradually pushed out of the bar, so we returned to our hometown and played pool in the Griffin.

Some nights I relax and watch movies with my parents. In order to detach me from the computer they keep suggesting we watch movies with literary themes. So far we’ve watched The Hours, The Trial, Women in Love, and Capote. They also continue to spoil me with home-cooked meals. Everything from Indian curries to Sunday roast. All vegetarian of course. I converted to vegetarianism after receiving the mystery-meat slop known as red death at the jail, but now I’m free I have no desire to eat meat.

I’ve done a few more interviews with the media, and I’m scheduled to be on talk radio in America this Saturday. The programme is for one hour and the public can call in and ask questions. Also, I was contacted by a man who books people to speak in public.

I’ve written to most of my prisoner friends, and I’ll post the latest on them when I receive their responses.

I’d like to thank Barry for the hats, gloves, scarf, and thermal socks. They’re keeping me warm – especially the Russian hat.

My MySpace page has been updated with an anti-Arpaio slant. And you can now hear one of my BBC radio interviews playing there.


Up for reelection this year is Sheriff Joe Arpaio whose policies are costing the taxpayers of Maricopa County a fortune. According to Wilkipedia, over $50 million in lawsuits have been filed against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. $2 million were recently awarded to the family of Brian Crenshaw, a shoplifter who was beaten to death by the guards at Tent City - they broke his neck and perforated his intestine. Arpaio is losing support, and pushing his office's finances nearer to a crisis. Let's do what we can to get rid of him this year.

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
Iron Man v Snake Eyes (Part 1)

“At Graham County jail up in Safford,” Iron Man said, “they threw me in with the hardcore federal prisoners. It’s a pod-type setting. There’s one big TV at the top of a long hallway. Everyone’s always arguing over the TV. The whites had it every third day, then the blacks, then the Mexicans and Indians.
This one guy showed up. A big dude. Six-one. About two-hundred-and-twenty-five pounds. Half Indian, half Mexican. They called him Snake Eyes. He was always running his mouth about how tough he was and how he could kick so many peoples asses.
I had my own issues. My marriage was crumbling. My business was crumbling. All my equipment and tools were being stolen by fucking tweakers! So I was stressed. The first plea bargain they offered me was twenty years – and I couldn’t believe it ’cause all I did was knock some asshole’s door in that owed me five-hundred dollars, and he’d been dodging me for a month and a half!
Snake Eyes started saying he was gonna watch TV whenever he wanted, and he didn’t care who wanted to watch it, that there were more Mexicans and Indians in the pod than white boys, so they could control the TV any time they wanted. Well, the Superbowl was coming up, so I told him,‘We’re watching the Superbowl on Superbowl Sunday and that’s that.’”
“Was Sunday the white’s TV day?” I asked.
“It was the black’s day and we had an agreement with them.
Snake Eyes said,‘You’ll watch the Superbowl if we let you watch the Superbowl.’ I said,‘No. We will be watching the Superbowl, and that’s that.’
I went and worked out with two buddies I’d made. A white guy comes out and says,‘Hey, Iron Man, I think the Mexicans are gonna jump us when we go back into the pod.’ And I said,‘Let’s go find out right now.’
We go in. Snake Eyes is standing there with ten Mexicans. He says,‘We’re gonna settle this shit right now. We’re gonna fuck you guys up right now.’ He’s trying to pump up all the Mexicans saying,‘Let’s get these white boys.’
Right then I realized it would not turn out well if the four of us had to fight these eleven guys. I felt rage well up in me. Every single bit of rage that had come from everything happening in my life welled up in an instant – the plea bargain, the marriage, my business, all my fucking equipment that I’d invested every single penny I’d saved and could borrow was being stolen by tweakers and now I’ve got this loudmouth blowhard wannabe tough guy trying to get ten Mexicans to beat me and my friends up, so I….”

What would you do next if you were Iron Man?

Click here for Iron Man v Snake Eyes Part 2

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
06 Sep 07

Xena Influences a Youngster

“I’ve been working out,” Xena said, showing off long legs tattooed with trails of ants.
“Still doing dick-lifts?” I asked.
“I quit those ’cause my prostate hurts. I just need to have my nuts cut off then all my problems will be over with – other than what wheelbarrow to carry my breasts in.”
A member of the American Indian people of northeastern Wisconsin joined Xena, causing Xena to sing,“Menominee doop do de do do, Menominee doop do de do. He’s a cutie pie, like a Menominee doll. That’s just like a China doll except much darker.”
“My sister’s boyfriend,” I said, “almost got shot by the Taliban. I wonder if he questioned his life.”
“I got shot and stabbed and questioned my life,” Xena said.
“What did you ask yourself?”
“Why the fuck am I here? Can anyone see the wet spot between my legs? My God, why does blood smell a lot like shit?”
“Xena,” a passer-by yelled,“don’t forget your hood.”
“What hood?” I asked.
“The Gay Triad Hood,” Xena said. “It’s all over the world. We don’t need a street number. It’s like South Side Posse Bloods – we let everyone join.”
A youngster was brought to Xena.
Whoowhee,” Xena said. “He new booty!”
“He’s twenty-one. First time in prison. Only got two in.”
Filled with awe, the youngster looked up at Xena.. His face turned red. He tried to speak but no words came out.
With mischief radiating from his face, Xena said,“We’ll turn him out, tear him up, and send him back to the hood – then, maybe, it’ll be his last time inside!”
The youngster’s eyes widened with horror. He looked over his shoulders, and hastened away.
The onlookers laughed.
“Xena, I have to go back to Yard 1,” I said.
“When you dream about me tonight,” Xena said, “just say good things and feed me Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses while I’m layin’ on my bed – a queensize bed of course – and tell the flower boys, ‘Rose petals. Red and purple,’ ’cause the cosmos make me sneeze.”

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
15 Jan 08

On Shanks (Part 3)

“What kinds of circumstances lead to prisoners getting shanked and what’s your advice to a new prisoner?”
“The circumstances include drug debts, plain stupidity, disrespect, or trying to get in the mix with the gangs. My advice is: do your best to stay out of the gangs and things that bring problems, especially drugs.”
“If things have developed to the point where a prisoner suspects he’s about to get shanked, what defensive measures can he take?”
“You take magazines (preferably National Geographic, that’s the best one) and you strap them around your waist using either Saran Wrap or garbage bags, and you tie it on with clothes or whatever works. Saran Wrap out of the kitchen is best. You have to tie it up to cover your middle-torso area. The magazines act like body armour. Then, if you haven’t got big fists, get a big stick, a rock, batteries or a padlock in a sock, or anything else like that you can lay your hands on.”
“Say someone catches you offguard and shanks you in the heart, how long have you got left to live?”
“It’s just a matter of minutes.”
“You touched on how slow it is for the prison to get a prisoner to a hospital. Exactly how slow is it?”
“If they life flight you out, it’s usually at least half an hour. It takes time for them to figure out what’s going on. Then they gotta call for the helicopter. The helicopter has to fly in, land, pick you up, fly out. If they wait for an ambulance it takes a lot longer. Plenty leave on the helicopter and don’t come back. I’ve seen cops leave on the helicopter and not come back, and they get the helicopter here a whole lot faster for the cops.”
“How common are shankings in the prison system?”

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
12 Jan 08

Question Time With A Crip

Trixare4kids wrote:

To both the Blood and the Crip: Do you believe that the gang lifestyle was the only one available to you due to your upbringing in a particular neighborhood or your particular circumstances? Does race play a part? What about the people in your neighborhoods who don’t join gangs? What did they do or think differently? Without going into specific details, of course, did you ever feel bad about any of your actions or crimes? If you could rewind your life and go back, would you still join the gang? Why or why not? If you had a little brother about to get “jumped in” - knowing what you know now, would you want him to join? If not, what would you tell him to do instead? What would you tell him to dissuade him?

The Crip wrote:

This is C-Ducc the Savage.

I was exposed to numerous gangs because I’ve got family from different hoods. I was more comfortable with 99 Mafia Crip because they always looked out for me and my brother is from there. Race does not play a part. Look at me. I’m an Oglala Lakota from Pine Ridge, South Dakota. I’m 6ft 3in tall, 240 pounds, tattoos from my neck to my stomach. I’ve got native and gang tattoos. I don’t act like a black man, cuz I’m very into my native traditional ways. However my teenage years have led me to the life of Crips. It’s not just a gang, it’s a way of life. In order for anyone to understand they’d have to walk those blue chucc shoes.

The people from the hood that don’t claim the hood are usually connected to us anyway. We grew up with them and looked out for them. To an enemy, they’d be guilty by association anyway. But if they cross over and bang another hood then they would be in trouble. If he’s got a lot going for him like school, college or going to the army or something, we’d be proud cuz he is one from the hood that is becoming somebody and we’d respect that. Just cuz we are bangers don’t mean we ain’t patriotic.

As far as feeling bad for the crimes we’ve done, I can only speak for myself. They say if you kill a man, you have to be his servant in the afterlife. Don’t know who came up with that saying but I’m nobody’s servant. I only feel bad for not protecting the people in my hood the way we were supposed to. A gang, a true gang, would help out their hood. If someone is in need of school clothes or rent money. If we are the ones claiming the hood it’s our responsibility to help and protect it.

If I could rewind and go back to the past I would not have shot my best friend I grew up with. My brother was shot by some people and my best friend had family from the people who did it. He decided to side with his family, ain’t no wrong in that but my anger and pride set in so I had to do what I was told. The homies from the hood labeled him as a traitor and since I was closest to him I had to delete him. I would’ve still joined 99 Mafia Crip cuz I was grown into it so I am very knowledgable to the lifestyle.

If my little brother wanted to join the hood I wouldn’t stop him. He grew up watching me so he knows what to expect. I’m not trying to sound like I’m hard or anything but I’m only being honest. The more people who join, the more powerful we get. We are out here in Phoenix, Arizona. Don’t get it twisted, we bang out here for real.

I have some shout outs to my fellow comrades who bang the true blue, Cane & Baby dub from West Side City Crips, Maniac from C-C live, Dopey & Grumpy & lil Johnny from East Side Crip XV3 Street, my homeboys from Mountain Top Crip Gang, Dope Man Association Crip Mob, Head Hunter Crip. All my Crip family if you see another Crip, shake his hand with pride cuz we bangin the same thing. We all family like it or not.

R.I.P. Gumby VHHB, Playboy WSC’s LXIV, Nino WBP XXI
Pirros WBP XV3, Smoker VSPL XXII, Crazy C ESC XV3,
Carlos Makil South Side Chandler

99 Mafia Crip Gang Phoenix, Arizona Chapter
much love to all my nationwide rip ridaz
Big OG C-Ducc tha Savage locc’d out till I die
Crips 4 life

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
11 Jan 08

From Weird Al (Letter 1)

Dear Jon,

I hope this letter finds you safely nestled back amongst your loving family.

You did not get to say “toodle-oo” the day you left. As fate would have it, someone at Santa Rita was found dead sometime during the night, prior to your departure that morning, so we were locked down for a day or so. I believe it was some type of a drug overdose. A sad but unfortunate fact of life here, been one more since then.

Hopefully you are now on the dole, and ensconced in the garage (en suite of course!)

Take good care of your parents – time robs us of those we love, sometimes with no warning. Be good to them, Jon

Not much new here but I will tell you this: your timing was good – dorm living is not something you would likely care for.

I know this little note is not up to my usual sarcastic standards – I’ll save that for another time.

My prediction – in not too much time, all you went through here will seem like nothing more than a long, bad dream. In truth, that’s all it was.

Remember this, we seldom grow in the ways we need to during good times. It most often takes adversity to spur this needed growth. That’s always been the case with me.

I’ve not heard a thing from the governor here (clemency). Please contact the Queen and have Her Majesty put in a good word for me. Absent that, it looks like I’ll go home on July 10, 2008.

Anyway, Philosophical Al will sign off for now. Weird Al will garner his wits and make a magnanimous return.

Write if ya get a chance – if not, don’t worry about it. Get on with your life. I’ll be in touch once my fan club members storm the bastille here, free me, and place me in a position of importance equal to my prominent place within the community of intelligentsia, my stunning good looks and physical prowess, and of course my incommensurate modesty.

Take care of yourself!



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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
09 Jan 08

New Clothes

When I first lived in America in 1991 I went to a gym wearing clothes from England and people looked at me as if I’d committed the crime of the century. The unwanted attention, explained a friend, was due to my black socks. So, I got rid of the black socks and for sixteen-and-a-half years wore white. Upon returning to England last month, I met various friends who were horrified to see my white socks.
“In England, we wear black socks,” Hammy said.
“Even with sneakers?” I asked.
“Yes, even with white trainers. Don’t worry we’ll soon cure you of that habit.”
Now I’m back to black again.

My aunt Sue took one look at my clothes – prison blues and sportswear fashionable in America over half a decade ago – and said, “We’re going shopping for clothes. We’ll take my son Mike. He knows all the latest fashions.”
Mike guided me through three stores: Barometer, Blueprint, and Burton. The shoes in Blueprint were narrow and curled up at the toes.
Mike recommended a pair, and said, “They’re dead trendy them.”
Trying them on, I felt like one of Santa’s elves. I opted for two pairs not so heavy on the curl.
As far as tops go, stripes are popular here. I chose three striped tops including a Lacoste shirt. Lacoste was popular when I was a teenager and according to Mike it is back in fashion.
I replaced my prison blues with a pair of VOI jeans, and Sue picked out some dress pants. I traded in my Alien Workshop beanie for a reversible beanie from Burton that is black on one side and striped on the other.

Thanks, Sue, for decking me out, and Mike for the sound advice. I feel swanky in the pointy shoes. Thanks also to Barry in Tonopah for the jacket filled with white down feathers - it is like wearing a sleeping bag in this cold weather.

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
07 Jan 08

On Shanks (Part 2)

“To make a shank using paper, you soak the paper in glue, roll it up real tight, and make a long thin pointed stabbing implement. Some will put a needle at the point of it, or some kind of pushpin, so it has a sharp metal point. Once the metal point breaks the skin it goes right in.”
“With one hit?” I asked.
“It’s a one-hit deal.”
“Aiming for the heart?”
“They aim just below the breast bone, and the shank goes in and up. Once it’s in they move it from side to side, and either break it off or pull it out. The thing is, ’cause going in it makes such a small-diameter wound, if you pull it out there’s not a lot of blood. With a small diameter the skin will close in, but because they wiggle it, it’s done damage to the heart or aorta, and you bleed internally.”
“And die?”
“Yeah. You die a long time before the prison can get you to a hospital.”
“You mentioned stabbing shanks and slicing shanks, what’s the deal with slicing shanks?”
“With a slicing shank they’ll go for the neck if they’re intending to kill you. If they can slice either the jugular or the carotid, odds are you’re gonna bleed out and die. They may go for the inner thigh. If the femoral artery is cut with a slicing blade, it’ll cause you to bleed out. Anyone shanked there should put pressure on it and get to the hospital.”
“If you’ve been shanked in the neck, what are the chances of the prison getting you to a hospital in time to save your life?”
“Slim – but it can happen.”
“Slicing shanks are made out of what?”
“Any kind of flat metal or round metal.”
“I’ve heard about people making shanks from fence.”
“Yeah, just straighten it out and sharpen the end of it – make it into an ice pick.”
“Can we talk for a little bit about how to reduce your chances of getting shanked?”

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood

Prisoner Updates

30 Oct 07

For man is a man and master of his fate.
-Alfred, 1st Lord Tennyson “The Marriage of Geraint”

O fortune, fortune, thou art a bitch!-Sir John Vanbrugh The Relapse

Here’s what’s going on with most of the prisoners written about in this blog.

Repo is facing the death penalty for the recent murder of a prisoner on Yard 3. He is in the hole.

Iron Man is working toward his goal of becoming a fitness trainer. His earliest release is in March, 2010. He hopes to open an athletic center, and to become more proficient in mixed martial arts.

Xena is in the hole. Acting in self defense, Xena’s cellmate, Savage, was sent to the hole for breaking the jaw of an Aryan Brother (whose teeth had to be wired together and had to be fed through a straw). With Savage gone, Xena received threats of a sexual nature and was moved to the hole.

T-Bone is staying focused on the Bible and working out. His earliest release is in November, 2009. He hopes to become a construction manager.

Shane is receiving Interferon treatment for hepatitis C. His viral load is undetectable, and he hopes to be completely cured. His earliest release is in April, 2012, but he has asked the U.S. District Court to overturn one of his sentences, which, if successful, would get him out in 2010. He was recently moved back to Yard 4 after refusing to work in Yard 1’s kitchen.

Max is living in Las Vegas. He is working as an office coordinator for AppleOne.

Slingblade has been eligible for parole for the past three years, but he doesn’t have the competency or outside help to facilitate his release. He has written numerous letters to John McCain requesting help getting out of prison, and he recently wrote to Queen Elizabeth.

Kenny recently arrived at Yard 1, had his life threatened over unpaid drug debts, and was moved to the hole for his own safety. In the hole he had a seizure, which the nurse, Cornrows, accused him of faking.

Junior Bull Gravano had a fight with Duke, was sent to the hole, and is now on Yard 2. He is hoping to be moved to a federal prison to serve the remainder of his sentence for the Ecstasy case.

Duke is living with his wife in Phoenix.

Gina was moved to Buckeye prison after receiving sexual threats at Yard 4. Gina is fighting for hormone therapy and would eventually like vaginoplasty.

Weird Al has applied for clemency on the grounds that if he doesn’t get a liver transplant soon he may die. His earliest release is in June, 2008.

Long Island was set free and is rumoured by the inmates to have fallen in with the Russian Mafia.

Two Tonys was sent to the hole for refusing to share a cell with a certain murderer. From the hole he was transported to a maximum-security unit at Buckeye prison.

Ogre is at the same prison as his nemesis, Two Tonys. Ogre was moved after receiving multiple tickets, including testing positive for drugs.

Midnight was accepted by a halfway house in Tucson (Old Pueblo Community Foundation’s Casa Santa Clara http://www.oldpueblofoundation.org/ ). He hopes to be living there in January, 2008. He was recently diagnosed as SMI (Severely Mentally Impaired).

Frankie is still at a supermaximum prison due to the numerous violations he committed on Yard 4, including heroin possession and trying to incite a riot in the kitchen. When he gets out, he wants to establish himself as a leading pimp in England.

Kat’s earliest release is in March, 2009. He intends to live in Phoenix and to own and operate a greeting-card business.

Slope sees the parole board in September, 2008. He would like to work as a maintenanceperson at a hospital. Further out, he hopes to own a handyman business and to do tattooing on the side.

As for me, I’d like to express how I’m feeling by quoting from Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

‘Everybody says that adversity means suffering,’ said Pierre.‘But if you asked me now, at this moment, whether I wanted to stay as I was before I was taken prisoner, or go through it all again, my God, I’d sooner be a prisoner and eat horse-meat again. We all think we only have to be knocked a little bit off course and we’ve lost everything, but it’s only the start of something new and good. Where there is life, there is happiness. There is a huge amount yet to come…’

Let’s take a look at what else is going on here. An inmate on Yard 4 was recently gang raped and moved to the hole. A guard shot himself in the hand while holstering his gun. Getting high on cough syrup (sold at the inmate store) is all the rage. Heroin and crystal meth continue to flood this place and the prisoners remain far from rehabilitated. The taxpayers continue to be fleeced by prison contractors whose political contributions guarantee them contracts to provide shoddy or nonexistant goods and services at top-dollar prices. When and how will it all end?

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
02 Jan 08

Happy New Year!

I've been in London for three days. My sister, Karen, had a New Year's Eve party at her flat. About twenty people showed up. We watched the fireworks over London, and sipped champagne into the small hours.

On New Year's Day, in an attempt to shake off our hangovers, Karen, her husband and I walked along the Thames Pathway. There wasn't much river to look at, just plenty of mud, moored boats and seagulls. We stopped at The Dove, an old-fashioned pub. The thought of alcohol made me feel ill, so I drank sparkling water.
"My New Year's resolution," Karen said,"is not to drink alcohol for one month. But I don't know if it is possible as the longest I've ever gone before was three days."

I'm returning home on the train tomorrow. I intend to post some prison blogs including an update on most of the inmates I've covered in this blog.