Book Title Needed

My publisher and parents feel the title of my jail memoir, Green Baloney and Pink Boxers, is too difficult to understand. So now the book needs a new title. My suggestion is Surviving Sheriff Joe's Jail. If you have a better title, something so brilliant that me and my publisher and parents won't be able to resist it, please post it in the comments section below. If it's used, you'll be getting a free signed copy.

Here's the blurb to help you put your book-title thinking caps on:

This book is an account of the 26 months Shaun Attwood spent in the jail system run by the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Phoenix, Arizona. It begins with a SWAT team knocking Shaun’s door down, and his arrest for heading an organisation that threw raves and distributed club drugs. Initially, Shaun goes into shock as he’s submerged into a nightmarish world of gang violence, insect-infested cells and food unfit for animals. But with the love and support of his family and fiancée, Claudia, he slowly adapts. Other prisoners Shaun meets on his journey tell their stories. His large and fearless friend since childhood, Wild Man, pops up all over the place with his unique brand of chaos. Shaun’s situation devastates his loved ones, and his mother has a nervous breakdown. The prosecutor and Detective Reid are out to get Shaun a life sentence, and the legal developments cause many emotional ups and downs. Over time, Shaun tries to avoid getting smashed by forming various alliances, including with the Italian Mafia and the independent tough guy, Joe. Shaun increasingly uses jail time for learning and introspection. He takes up yoga, and ponders the big questions in philosophy. The letters he writes home, which make his family both laugh and cry, tell such a graphic tale that his parents encourage him to write more in order to document his incarceration. Towards the end of his stay and with the help of his family, he starts the blog, Jon’s Jail Journal, to expose the conditions and human rights violations. The book ends with his family flying over from England for a sentencing hearing that has everyone on the verge of mental collapse.

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

Shaun P. Attwood


Anonymous said...

i don't like surviving sheriff's joe's jails as it sounds like a guide book not a literary memoir...


Andromède said...

I like the expression "Orwellian Unperson" you use to comment on your blog. It might also be used in the title of your book.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had something better to suggest but "Surviving Sheriff Joe's Jail" is too difficult to say with too much alliteration. It's awkward. "Green Bologna and Pink Boxers" is a little obscure, but I like that better of the two. Maybe try a tagline after it. "How I survived and found new life in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails."

Anonymous said...

1) The AZ Tyranny
2) Shanks and Crumplets
3) Jon in Jail
-Jose in San Diego

Anonymous said...

"Raves to the cage, Jon's Jail Journey"

Cityboy said...

Hows about:

1) From Pheonix, with love
2) From Arizona, with love
3) From Widnes, with love
4) From Hammy, with love

you getting the theme here.....


Anonymous said...

Dear Jon,

I'm a long-time reader of your blog so first off long overdue kudos for telling two very interesting stories (jail and the life after)!

For some reason I started thinking about the movie "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?". I saw it a long time ago, it impressed me (although details have slipped from memory). Maybe it was the obeying "technically correct" rules creating a situation where the contestants are de facto expendable that created the association.

I don't know if you could get away with calling the book "They Shank Horses, Don't They?", but thought I'd mention the idea.

Good luck with the book and all the best!


Anonymous said...

Like Dr Strangelove.

Green Baloney and Pink Boxers or How I plead guilty to a crime I didn't commit just to get out of the Maricopa Jail system.


Have fun mate.

Tony PHX

bioengineered said...

"To Hell & Back" -an orwellian tale of one mans struggle to stay sane and alive in the united states most notorious jail system...

cover shot -pink boxers , green bologna, roaches , shank etc...

big jason

jeff said...

The Bloke is Broke

The Broke Bloke

Or, you could just keep in simple.
"My Time in an Arizona Prison"

"Seven Years in the Arizona State Pen"

syncopated eyeball said...

I like 'Green Bologna, Pink Boxers' (no 'and') nice rhythm and intriguing. As anonymous above says, though, it is a bit obscure, so I agree with him that a short sub-title could add further information for those not caught by a catchy title.

Anonymous said...

Doing Time with Sherriff Joe Arpaio
Doing Time with Sherriff Joe
Doing Time under Joe Arpaio
Hard Time Under Sherriff Joe
Hard Time in Sherriff Joe's Jail

Rita Abraham

Jon said...

I think we're onto something, Rita, with Hard Time in Sheriff Joe's Jail.

dletarte said...

I understand the Green Balogna & the Pink Boxers. I am an attorney in CA working with the LIFER inmates represnting them at the Parole Suitability Hearings.
you can ADD this blog to your list:

BOOK NAME: simple & to the point

"LIFE after State Prison Incarceration"

p.s. I assume you were in Prison and NOT Jail.

Ms Fit said...

Caught! - doing time in Arizona notorious jail.

Matt said...

I think Green Baloney and Pink Boxers is spot on!
So what if it is "confusing" - if someone doesn't get it, they will be intrigued to learn more.

Of course, I live in Phoenix, so the title is instantly recognizable to me.

Suzanne said...

Beyond the Pink: Inside the Arpaio System

leigh said...

i have a ridiculous fondness for puns and word play so forgive me if these are downright horrid:

Raving Arizona (like the movie Raising Arizona)

Arpaio's Arizona

From Manchester to Maricopa: Trading, Raving and ___

Survival in Arpaio's Arizona

My Time in Arpaio's Arizona

An Englishman in Arizona: Living with America's Toughest Sheriff

or maybe something using the myth of the Phoenix?

Jinger said...

Personally I love Green Bologna and Pink Boxers! I agree that maybe a tagline after it might be good though.

I can't wait to read it!

Avuncular Floyd said...

Cruel and Unusual

Anonymous said...

Jon's Jail Journal - The first hand account of survival inside one of America's harshest prisons

- TonyRob

Anonymous said...

"Shaun Attwood VS the State of Arizona"

Great blog man!

Anonymous said...

Time With Sheriff Joe

What do you think of this for a title? It's got the jail reference 'Time' and Arpio reference 'Sheriff Joe'. Time also has a double meaning ie spending time with someone. I thought your Ronson talk was very good.


Jon said...

Thanks for all of the title suggestions. I've forwarded the link to all of these comments to the publisher. You're certainly helping generate new ideas.

The reason I like Rita's suggestion, Hard Time in Sheriff Joe's Jail, is because anyone who came to Joe's Jail from the prison system always said, "This is hard time, dawg!" And this is from prisoners who'd been in prisons and jails across America. These guys recognised Joe's Jail as the hardest time. "Hard time" was their common expression.

Anyway, please keep the suggestions coming. Nothing has been decided yet.

Appreciatively yours,


Anonymous said...

Underground, untold, TRUTH, Pain, Death Row needs a voice, Keep a voice from dieing , HELP from the last man that wanted to kill us!! But i thinK ,,,,,,,, I am Dead and speaking to people. MAYBE

Michaela Smith

Anonymous said...

Lend me a hand and finding a tiltle..... Truth be told

Michaela Smith

Anonymous said...

Your original is no longer an option?

Stephanie Senn

Anonymous said...

How about ... "Me, Wild Man and an American Jail" ?

Sophie Jongman

Anonymous said...

I like the original title, but maybe because I know its origin? Surviving Sherriff Joe's Jail is apropos, but seems a bit bland compared to your story itself.

Michelle Ayers Dittrich

Paul said...

Tales of the Sheriff Of Rotting Ham?

Anonymous said...

Just a few thoughts before I take off for the day. How about "Madness on Madison Street" or "Madison Street Madness"? You could explain the Madison Street reference in the first sentence of the book. This, believe it or not, is an excerpt from one of my legal pleadings against Arpaio. I can't remember it exactly but it went something like this. The hallowed halls of the now empty Madison Street Jail ring out loudly at night with the voices of the tormented lost souls who needlessly died under the tutelage of the self proclaimed worlds toughest sheriff. They cry out for the justice Arpaio denied them and which the Constitution of the United States promised them. That is, and always will be, Sheriff Arpaio's only true and lasting legacy.

Weird Al

Jon said...

weird al,

i know you're the man for this title job as you have the greatest understanding of my situation and have suffered in arpaio's jail system

2 things:

i was in towers for my first year till they reclassed me to max and to madison

having joe in the title should help the book attract joe arpaio's supporters and detractors worldwide

Anonymous said...


You are absolutely right. I'll put my brain into motion. Go to go. I'll get back with you later today or in the morning.

Have some fun,

Weird Al

AZBlogMasterT said...

The last thing you want to do is support Arpaio's "brand." So that means staying away from anything that includes the words "Sheriff Joe." All he'll do is use it to promote himself. He's going to call the book "garbage" anyway.

I like the Hard Time notion, too. Something like "Hard Time: A True Story of Terror and Tyranny in America's worst run jail." Or "Hard Time: A Tale of Terror and Tyranny in America's worst run jail system."

Anonymous said...

I like 'Hard Time' reminds of Dickens 'Hard Times'.

Anonymous said...

602|Cells…Keeping Inmates Inmates the Arpaio System

The Corrupted Cells, true accounts of the Arpaio System

The Joe Arpaio Experience, a journal of accounts from the inside

Memoirs from the 602|Cells…Arpaio capitalizing on keeping inmates inmates

The Joe Arpaio Experience, The Darkside of a Perfect System

If you would like more Shaun let me know. mp

M2 said...

Pink Purgatory

Sounds very fitting.

Anonymous said...

602|Cells…Keeping Inmates Inmates the Arpaio System

The Corrupted Cells, true accounts of the Arpaio System

The Joe Arpaio Experience, a journal of accounts from the inside

Memoirs from the 602|Cells…Arpaio capitalizing on keeping inmates inmates

The Joe Arpaio Experience, The Dark side of a Perfect System

If you would like more I could do this all day. Thanks Shaun!

I look forward to seeing your book on shelves.


Jon said...


The Joe Arpaio Experience

that's a good one for the US market

AndrewM said...

How about 'Inside Out'.

Think about it.

Anonymous said...

And then make it personal with your sub title i.e. journal, memoir, perspective, product of the environment…

Just some thoughts for you.


Tanya said...

I like "Green Baloney and Pink Boxers". Plus it would make for a great cover image! ;)

Anonymous said...

How about Wanking myself across america

Jez of London

Crazy Cracker Girl said...

I think you should call it:
"Down With Sheriff Joe"

Anonymous said...

UNSENTENCED: Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Maricopa Madness.

leigh said...

oooh, the Dickens references are nice!

maybe you could toss in something about the roaches and bed sores?

Vanessa said...

I'd say that having Sheriff Joe's name in the title is important. His "brand" needs to be exposed more and of course he will discredit you, but even negative publicity is publicity and will sell books.

What was your prisoner number? How about something like Sheriff Joe Called Me Prisoner XXXX?

How many people statistically get out of an Arizona prison and actually become successful? I know it is too few. Maybe you can do something with that? It is way past time for me to hit the sack, so I am afraid you are not getting my best brain cells. I'll keep pondering and let you know if I come up with anything better.

Be well!

Anonymous said...


These titles came to me as I was playing golf so I wrote them down lest my poor old mind forget them. "Publicity Stunt Man" or "Myth or Legend" followed by "The True Story of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, The Self Proclaimed Toughest Sheriff in America."

What would be perfect is a title that would force Arpaio to make some kind of public statement and maybe get him to go on a talk show with you. I think you could pull this off if you goad him a little bit and, more importantly, he thinks he can get some publicity out of the deal.


Weird Al

Jon said...

All of your suggestions are under review by my publisher. He's leaning towards "Hard Time: A Brit In America's Toughest Jail" so Rita may be getting a copy of the book. However the US title is probably going to be different from the UK title, or at least the subtitle, and I think Arpaio's name is a must in the US title or subtitle.

Sue O. (aka Joannie, SS) said...

Is there a way you could keep the pink boxers and green baloney as a secondary title? Everyone I tell that to immediately wants the book-they laugh and are so intrigued.

Jon said...

My publisher just made his decision. The book is going to be called:

Hard Time: A Brit in America's Toughest Jail

I think it's cool that one of my readers, Rita, has been instrumental in this. You readers have really been an intergral part of the development of this book.



Jon said...

Rita Abraham,

Please email me with an address I can get you a signed copy of the book to, thanking you for coming up with "Hard Time."


Anonymous said...


Okay I couldn't resist, you set a task so I have to have a go at it! Name the book hmm, as much as I tried I couldn't not keep thinking about it!!!!

So here's my offerings for what they are worth, all five of them-

1 A Stain On Society- (in an attempt to make it punchy whilst copying the same idea as 'In cold blood' by Capote with a twist in its meaning with Joe being the stain!

2 Nickle Bag Justice (a play on the fact that Joe's nickname is Nickle Bag Joe)

3 Down With The Pigs (again using the word pigs to mean Police officials and the conditions the inmates are living in)


4 Chow For Now. I don't think I need to expalin the double meaning here.

5 ...Another Mans Heaven (based on the public supporty Sheriff Joe receives for his hard line system that he is so proud of)

I was gouing to incorporate Bologna Sandwices into a title but found it tough.

I can rest now as I have at least submitted!!!

Best of luck with the book, I want a signed copy anyway!


dm said...

"Seven Years in the Hole: One man's story of Jail, Survival, and the Cult of Xena"

(I like the Humble Pie reference!)

Be well,


Anonymous said...

Send my copy to the pub mate.

Tony PHX

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about your book title or a book title and I thought the title "The forgoten Falen ( Life on the inside )". It is a thought.

John W. Velsor

Gareth said...

Hey Shaun

"Inside Out"

Simple and to the point.



Anonymous said...

I think Hard Time: A Brit in America's toughest jail works best for both countries.I like the hard and tough and with all the publicity everyone will know its about Sheriffe Joe.

It's really good.


Anonymous said...

I was a guest of Sherriff Joe Arpaio - the 'tough guy' myth exposed.
Writing Jon's Jail Journal - finding sanity in the insane Arpaioc system.
Remember that this book is about much more than Shaun's survival alone, because his experience has inspired others. The simple fact is that the positive energy shared by Shaun received no help whatsoever from Arpaio's system, because Arpaio cannot afford the truth to be known. This book should be the first volume in a series, with other ex-prisoners writing of their experiences. And what about people like Shaun's mother, who suffered a great deal? Let their story be told!

Only a primitive fear-based society incapable of controling it's 'leaders' could allow such appalling things to continue. People are like small saplings - you can snap branches off, and it will still grow, but it will never become a good tree. When we nurture people we see as failures with all the care taken of the very best Japanese Bonsai trees, our society may step forward. Until then, our society merely repeats again and again it's mistakes, as those in power siphon vast resources for their enjoyment alone, leaving a growing underclass. Zen

Anonymous said...

Thanks Zen, there's so much more to Shaun's story than than his very powerful jail tales. One day all will be told.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm glad I stumbled across this blog. I actually did spend some time in tent city, but now live in Texas. I was following the blog of an inmate in Texas, but this one is interesting too. Good work! Sheriff Joe needs to go!

And so do many of the people running Texas prisons.

For a title, how about Sheriff Joe: Rehabilitate or Violate?

One Eyed Josh said...

"No sundaes in the valley" is what I came up with.

Anonymous said...

"Cruel and Unusual Punishment:
Life Inside Sheriff Arpaio's Jail"

"Shelter Dogs Are Treated More Humanely:
The Truth About Sheriff Arpaio's Jail"


Anonymous said...

Hi john...

big time,hard time,Arpaio time!

Anonymous said...


You did survive-kinda like the Phoenix-
you too rose from the ashes of Arpio's hell!
You know who this is!!

Phoenix Rising

Anonymous said...

Hey Jon - was wondering whether you had considered taking a well-known western movie title(such as 'The good, the bad and the ugly')and giving it a slight twist?

Anonymous said...

I think that the title should be No Justice for All.


james.eichelberger said...

Green Bologna in Can.
With a Dr Suess design.

Anonymous said...


If you are still wanting to read title suggestions for the book..

Here are some titles that got my attention of existent work (book or film) that I like the catchy ring to it and work my idea towards that feel :

.The Diamond Cutter: The Buddha on Strategies for Managing Your Business and Your Life

. Bangkok Hilton (film)

. Brokedown Palace (film)


. Hotel Cockroach : Living Under Sherif Joe Arpaio's Jail Regime

Cat Eyes