Hard Time Reviews by Prisoners No. 7: Troy on Death Row

As someone who has spent nearly three-quarters of his life incarcerated in maximum-security facilities, I don’t normally bother with reading about other people’s experiences with judicial systems and prisons. After all I could simply ask my neighbours about theirs and get days and days worth of that stuff. 

However, Shaun Attwood’s book Hard Time came to me from a dear friend with a request for my thoughts on it. Now that I’ve read it, I’m so glad I did and grateful to my friend for giving me the chance to do so. 

Mr. Attwood has captured and conveys with his words the many aspects that compose an experience within the system with such exact accuracy and frank realism that it’s almost spooky. I truly thought that no one could ever convey through writing a picture of the culture of jail/prison guards, nor the culture of prisoners, and the many ways in which we not only interact one group to another, but also amongst ourselves within the groups. 

Shaun gives his readers who’ve never been caught up in the lifestyle and system a chance to experience them without having to lose their freedom, nor damage their souls to do so.  

I wish every kid, boy and girl alike could read this book before they get to the point at which they’re making the decision to take drugs and/or embrace a criminal life. I’m sure it would convince many not to make those mistakes. 

Union Correctional Institution
7819 NW 228th Street

Shaun Attwood


Anonymous said...

My lad is 11 now will take that advice and encourage him to read it as he gets a bit older. Just maybe it will make him think before making the wrong choices

Sarah x

Jon said...

good idea, Sarah, maybe i'll come and talk at his school some day too

Anonymous said...

great review...


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

I agree with the "exact accuracy and frank realism". That's what drew me to the blog in the first place. Very few books capture surreal experience of prison, and I have always firmly felt it is because most readers can completely identify with Shaun and see things through his eyes, the eyes of a white middle class educated person with a heart.

Anonymous said...

I cannot wait to read your books! You're an absolutely brilliant writer and your blog is extroidinarily powerful. I'm fascinated by the criminal justice system and follow many high profile trials here in AZ (I'm in Scottsdale/Tempe). It will be a freezing cold July day in Phoenix before I will ever knowingly get involved in the court system here! I'm almost obsessively cautious about obeying the law, but just randomly mentioned your book in a large group recently. Someone spoke up who knew you quite well...what a small world it is :-)

Thank you so much for sharing your amazing story. The corruption within the system here is absolutely frightening. I wish you nothing but the best! Sending many healing thoughts and well wishes to your niece and family.