Question Time with Shane

Shane - After being denied psychiatric medication by ValueOptions, Shane turned to illegal drugs financed by burglaries. For stealing a few hundred dollars worth of goods, he was sentenced by Judge Ron Reinstein to eleven years. Shane is the author of the blog Persevering Prison Pages.

Shane responds to the questions raised in the comments on his $115,000 court victory over the Arizona Department of Corrections.

In response to the anonymous disgruntled taxpayer who opposes my financial settlement:

I am well aware that trust and redemption will not come easy, and I will need to earn it. However, some in society will never allow me to earn it, for one reason or another, be it due to warped ideologies (tough on crime, ie. Lock ’em up and throw away the key) or some form of psychosis caused by being victimized. It’s those people I will unfortunately have to disregard as requiring to earn from. It’d be futile to continue to try, as well as counter-productive.

For anyone to suggest that I deserved or caused the injuries I suffered while in ADOC’s custody and care is simply warped thinking, hateful and incorrect. Furthermore, the “legally correct” term of what I was required to prove was “deliberate and/or callous disregard” for my “serious medical needs.” A far higher standard of proof than mere negligence or malpractice. I basically had to prove the each and every defendant 1) knew I had hepatitis C, 2) knew it was causing pain, 3) knew it was going to worsen, 4) knew it would cause me permanent physical injury if not treated, 5) knew it put my life in jeopardy and 6) still denied/delayed me the necessary medical care. I proved all of this, thus after years of costly litigation, they settled.

I find it shameful and a perfect reflection of some people in society’s double standard when it comes to the law.

Some people are all for locking up every person who breaks the law, for long sentences, at taxpayers’ expense. Yet many of those same people think it’s just fine to break the law against a prisoner when you’re an employee of the Corrections Dept. or Police Dept. without any reparation or repercussions. To those people, I say that you are the minority in these changing times and it’s time to evolve or silence yourself to save face.

Finally…I do not “rail” against the establishment. “Railing” implies that I use theatrical language. I simply state the facts as they occurred, my opinions, etc. If it was baseless rantings I’d have been silenced long ago by the Establishment. I’ve kept my blog for nearly FIVE YEARS!

I’ve tried, and succeeded, to better myself while in prison. I was paid $115,000, as reparation, by ADOC. If this is a problem for you, contact your legislator, Gov. Brewer, Director Ryan, or A.G. Goddard and complain to them. We all know how concerned they are about your (taxpayers) economic complaints. (That’s sarcasm for those of you who missed it! LOL)

P.S. Ironman, Red & a few others send their love & respect to Weird Al. Hello, Al!

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Email comments for Shane to or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood


Allan S. Mac Donald said...

Hi Shane,
LOL back at you, Eric, Red and the others. Good job.

Chris Phoenix said...

Shane, excellent point about people who are "tough on crime" except when it comes to treatment of prisoners.

Part of being human seems to be the ability to put people in a category of "subhuman - not owed rights, sympathy, or consideration." It seems to be related to self-interest - stepmothers sometimes do it to their stepchildren.

It frequently involves abusive behavior, and as such, it needs to be justified by the perpetrators so that they can continue to think of themselves as good people. In this case, the justification is that you were convicted of a crime.

Which is a long-winded way of saying: Ignore people who try to justify the way you were treated by DOC. They're allowing their selfishness to lead them into a vicious cycle of abusiveness and self-righteousness. It's unlikely that either logic or compassion can break them out of that cycle.

For my part, I say: Thanks for holding the criminals accountable. It's a shame that so much money was wasted on both sides, and that your health suffered. Maybe the courts' recognition that you were treated wrongly (by the system's own standards) will open the door to more lawful treatment of incarcerated people.


Pixie said...

Very well written, Shannon. Kudos!

Anonymous said...


When's the next installment of the Max story?

leigh said...

Shane! those of us with loved ones behind bars and suffering from correctional "health care" appreciate your win! it's hard to be on the outside unable to help those we care about on the inside when they are desperately in need of the most basic of treatments. every day that i fight for such basic treatment for a loved one ---sick with something so simple requiring just a quick trip to the pharmacy in the free world---it frustrates and angers me so! some people only see people in prison as costing tax payers and maybe through your winnings they'll really see the cost (monetary) of NOT providing even sub-adequate health care. how many cuts turn into staph infections that could have been prevented? how many illnesses are treated with general antibiotics that do nothing for the actual disease? will the money wasted by that practice FINALLY cause those who are so lucky, so very lucky as to not have a loved one incarcerated to become involved in the quest for health care----real, genuine and adequate medical treatment for the people in our prisons, jails and detention centers? i don't know but i hope it will. TOO TOO TOO many people don't realize that inmates aren't just numbers or things or items but rather are people who have feelings, families, friends, and basic needs. and but for the grace of god as they say we on the outside are not on the inside.

Shane! your win, no matter what these nasty folks say, gives those of us fighting the Prison Industrial System day in and day out a little bit of hope related to justice being served at some point in the criminal "justice" system. we fighting in GA and around the world for Troy Davis carry signs and wear shirts that read, "I Am Troy Davis" because if one person can be sentenced/ punished/ detained/ incarcerated for a crime they did not commit we all could endure the same. we, too, are Shane---if you can suffer from lack of treatment/ abuse/ neglect/ etc we all could face the same.

keep up the good fight! you inspire us! you inspired me to not give up on getting treatment even after fighting over six months. knowing you could have success having been stripped of your rights almost completely re-energized me and moved me to be creative in my endeavors.

Jon said...


I'll try and get one of the Max series up this week. I also have two fascinating long stories I'm probably going to run in parts in the next month or so. They're quite different from what we've had at Jon's Jail Journal so far.



Sweet Kitten said...

I find it shameful and a perfect reflection of some people in society’s double standard when it comes to the law.

What I find shameful and a perfect reflection of some people in society's double standard when it comes to the law is criminals who cared nothing for the law (which was why they were sent to prison in the first place) now talking about the importance of following the law. Hilarious.

What is even more funny are these stupid tags that Jon uses to introduce these characters, 'For stealing a few hundred dollars worth of goods, he was sentenced by Judge Ron Reinstein to eleven years'

Is that supposed to make us pity the under dog and revile the judge? What about the rights of the poor individual who was burgled? Not important you say? Why not add 'For stealing a few hundred dollars worth of goods, from an old woman living hand to mouth on social security he was sentenced by Judge Ron Reinstein to eleven years'? You will find a lot less sympathy than that Shane gets now or readers for this blog huh?

My recommendation to people like Leigh is spend all that effort that you seem to be expending on getting health care for prisoners to preventing them from going to prison in the first place. That might be a better investment.

Leigh said...

Sweet Kitten i hope that you will consider taking time out from your day to become educated about the issues your post addresses. certainly some of the folks who find themselves behind bars/ involved in the criminal justice system have broken laws. many people who are incarcerated have another path that has involved them in the criminal justice system. a significant amount of those behind bars in the US come from lower income homes, have lower levels of education, have mental health issues that have not been addressed and are overwhelmingly non-white. if you find that my time spent getting health care for people behind bars isn't the best way to go i hope you will spend some time working on preventative measures because contrary to your assumption, i do that as well. we can always use help. i have worked as a PO in fact though now i do social work.

please do remember that those being housed in jails await trial, having not been convicted----many of whom take plea deals after long periods of time waiting for trials that are repeatedly put off or rescheduled (Shaun waited 2 years, a friend of mine waited 5----having worked for a judge i know that much effort goes into avoiding a trial and encouraging a plea). the indigent need defense and public defenders in the US are constantly having their budgets cut. add to that the fact that prisons tend to have SOME programs which make the conditions a bit more tolerable ----the ability to have music, to go out into the sun, to be in the same room and even hug a family member, to participate in programs (anger management, GED, etc) and to have lunch on most days. these programs are being cut more often these days so many prisons are without chaplains and programs that do address the issues many have with resorting to violent behavior instead of being taught alternative methods of engagement. what do you think this might do for the recidivism rate? i can't see it having a positive effect. families take on the burden of much of the support of inmates. when prisons cut meals families and friends send in money (and are charged as much as $5 in GA for processing each contribution) to help their loved ones eat, keep warm, have the supplies to write letters, keep clean, and to barter for their safety. staying in touch with their outside support is important for re-entry, as well---- making the trip to the prison is costly so in addition to letters phone calls are something many prisoners' families spend as much as $10 for a 15 minute call. in short those incarcerated are not the only ones who suffer and that isn't right.

the criminal justice system is full of flaws so i hope that if you find my work getting medical treatment for a loved one (something i think we all ought do no matter where they are----behind bars or not) ineffective i hope you'll take from that more than just the motivation to post a comment on a blog. go out and work with marginalized/ low income people, volunteer with at risk youth, advocate for increased/ available mental health resources and start/ work with community programs that offer alternatives to those who might be attracted to criminal activity.

Sweet Kitten said...

Wasn't going to add any thing to this post or blog but had to say, "Well said Leigh!" Excellent thought provoking post, a lot better written and extremely well thought out, more so than the hypocritical self serving garbage you read here otherwise. As far as my contributions are concerned they are more targeted towards educating kids and cancer research but I can see your point of view. God bless you and hope things work out.

leigh said...

thank you Sweet Kitten being able to see another perspective. thank you also for your compliments on the composition of my argument. i'm glad that you work with education of children---- i hope you'll prevent them from engaging in dangerous or illegal behavior AND that you'll make sure they all know to speak to the police only with an atty present, to demand a warrant and to otherwise know their rights!

oh, and thank you for your support of cancer research----i've had it twice and am still in my twenties. people don't always think of cancer effecting people my age---- just like people don't think of how involvement in the criminal justice system will effect them (even if, like myself, they were already activists) until someone they love is incarcerated.

Anonymous said...

I have known this personfor a while now, and yes he did wrong, acccepted his punishment and whilst there improved his future for realise. Is this not what the justic system is all about. Turning people around who are unacceptable at present to society. So why should we treat them in such away to give them pain and increase there ability to live of the state afterward by living of benefit because there state of health is poor. Do wrong go o prson turn your life around thats what its about not treating them worse than dogs, anderrr note peeps people get prosecute everyday for treating dogs better than this ???? Hold treatment back form and animal and make them worse by doing so and your open to stand infront of a judge be fined and never allowed pets this not the same theroy for Shauns legal application. Food for thought guys from

Curry Girl