Christmas in Prison

Merry Xmas 2014! A big thank you for your support and for supporting my prison friends. I hope to publish the life story of Two Tonys in 2015, a Mafia associate who protected me in prison. Here's my last Xmas conversation with Two Tonys in prison:
Two Tonys taught me to appreciate life and the small things:

Download my jail book, Hard Time, for FREE
Shaun Attwood


Today I was delighted to wake up to this email from a guy who credits reading Hard Time for helping him recover from drugs: 

Hi Shaun, 
I just wanted to send you a message to say thank you. I was in a pretty dark place with drugs a few years ago and u came to visit my girlfriends school in bath. She got a signed book from u and have it to me for my birthday (she didn't quite know the extent of the hole I was in, I'd all but shut her out my life to keep her from it). I read hard time and it changed my life. Your books were the help I was too scared to ask anyone else for. I am terrified to even think we're I would be without u. What ur doing is amazing and u are the strongest man I know Shaun. I gave the book to my friends who were in the same situation as me and nearly all of them have pulled through and we are now doing absolutely brilliantly. 
So once again thank you, I will never be able to say it enough. 
Shaun xx

Download my jail book, Hard Time, for FREE, using any of the 5 links below:
UKKindle USAKindle iTunes Kobo Smashwords (download to any computer, phone or device) 
Shaun Attwood

Importance of Books in Prison

In the spirit of what I've said in this video, I'm now donating all of the proceeds from my books to help prisoners, prison charities and students in state schools get free books. 

Download my jail book, Hard Time, for FREE, using the 5 links below:
UKKindle USAKindle iTunes Kobo Smashwords (download to any computer, phone or device) 
Shaun Attwood

From T-Bone (Letter 36)

T-Bone is a massively-built spiritual ex-Marine, who uses fighting skills to stop prison rape. T-Bone’s latest letter:

There’s a guy in here called Ted, who got himself some crystal meth, and, man, is that stuff poison. He was walking around with his jaw going from side to side, and when he did sit, he couldn’t keep his legs still.

“Why are you doing that stuff?” I asked Ted.
“I have nothing else to do,” he said.
“You have a fleshly mind-set,” I said. “I know because I’ve been there.”

Ted wanted to buy pain medication to snort. He sent a youngster to sick call to try to obtain some. The youngster managed to get the meds, but kept them to himself.

“T-Bone, I need your help with the youngster,” Ted said. He had seen me stand up for the weaker guys who were trying to change.
“Duh,” I said.
“Everyone is ripping me off,” Ted said.
“Stop what?”
“Doing dope, you dummy. If you make the effort to change, God will take care of the rest.” 

He didn’t listen. Some guys went into his cell and beat Ted up and took his dope.

Download my jail book, Hard Time, for FREE, using the 5 links below:
UK Kindle USA Kindle iTunes KoboSmashwords (download to any computer, phone or device) 

My book Prison Time includes how I met T-Bone

From T-Bone (Letter 35)

T-Bone is a massively-built spiritual ex-Marine, who uses fighting skills to stop prison rape. T-Bone’s latest letter:

This is for all of the people out there who think drugs are cool. They put a guy in with me who was thin-in-the-wind skinny, as thin as an AIDS patient who is about to die. He was extremely sick coming off heroin, which in here has various names such as boy, black, Mexican mud and China white. I call it poison.

Right in front of me, the guy jumped up and started to puke. He pulled down his pants and crapped as he was puking. It was nasty. I couldn’t believe that I was looking at a man’s guts hanging out of his butt hole.

I told him I was getting him some help.
“They won’t do anything,” he said.
“I am a man of God,” I said.
I told the guards. They came and got him out of here.

There’s a big surge of heroin here in the States that has people sick all over the place. What heroin does to people is unreal. Him and people like him are hurting in a way that is inhuman. It takes an empty person to sell heroin to anyone. Heroin had reduced him to resembling a poor soul in a World War II death camp.

Steel embrace,


My book Prison Time includes how I met T-Bone

How I Survived Prison by Shaun Attwood

From T-Bone (Letter 34)

T-Bone is a massively-built spiritual ex-Marine, who uses fighting skills to stop prison rape. T-Bone’s latest letter:

I’d like to detail how things really are here in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jail. It all starts with being let out of our cells at 7 AM. Then, the guards lock us down to feed us hard old bread that has been left in a freezer (for weeks we’ve been told). When we bite into it or try to pull a piece off it, it falls apart like dry leaves on a tree that has had no water. It just crumbles. The peanut butter is all oil or water when it too thaws out.

People walk around hungry all of the time, begging the guards for food or trying to steal from each other or the guards. Grown men walk around in circles all day in the dayroom, or they try to play games or work out to take advantage of the weaker guys. There is a lot of pain in this place, a lot of fear and doubt, and a lot of hope has been crushed by the lack of compassion and the absence of a good meal and because we are never allowed to go outside to receive fresh air and sunshine.

I had to intervene in a dispute because of the conditions here. A guy was taking out his frustrations on another guy who could barely walk. He was blaming him for all of the bad food and the lack of fresh air. Another guy started to blame Obama for the ills of this place. Another said it’s the Mexicans fault. Another said it’s the whites. Then everyone went to their respective racial gangs and looked angrily at each other all day.

This place is always ready to explode for any reason. If a guard is having a bad day, he’ll find any reason to lock us down for the eight hours we are supposed to have access to the dayroom. Some guys cannot wait to go to court, so that they can move around and not breathe in the pink fibres that come through the ventilation system. They have a problem with mice in here, which carry all kinds of disease.

It’s remarkable how the human mind works under stress. A lot of men sit around and hate and dwell on evil things or things from their past. That’s how some get comfort of solace. Others turn to God. God has given me peace and has done so much for me that people here come to me for advice and direction. I know it’s him who is at work in me and through me. You, Shaun, and all of my readers out there on the Internet are a godsend. I thank him and you all.

In the evening, we get our other meal, dinner, which even the guards and the people who cook it call slop. It is something to behold. Sometimes it has rocks in it, a lot of times hair. It has recently tasted like soap. They won’t give us anything else. It’s like a game to old Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his underlings. The beans aren’t even cooked. They are hard and they too have rocks in them at times. It’s so bad that the guards won’t eat it. They shake their heads at it. They give us a pad of fake butter to put on the old bread and we drink water.

When we complain, the guards say to put in a grievance form or they threaten to put us in lockdown for causing a disruption when the only thing we did was tell them that the food is nasty.

Just the other day, another guy was found dead in this place because of the conditions. That’s two dead in 3½ weeks. It’s unreal at times.

There’s so much hate and emptiness because a lot of the guards assume everyone is guilty even though we are unsentenced. Yes, there are plenty of guys in here who are guilty, but no one should be forced to eat food like this in the United States of America, which I fought for as a Marine. I’m starting to think that Arizona is no longer in the United States. Although many of us have committed crimes, treating us like this is inhuman. Men act like animals because of the subhuman conditions. I fear my words really don’t express the depth and horror of the situation here. It’s absolutely sickening.

One of the ways they manage the prisoners is they have hundreds of men locked up on psychiatric medication. It’s all a moneymaking operation for Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the drug companies at the tax payers’ expense.

Most of the guys who are not on psychiatric medication are on heroin and crystal meth. A guy had some dope, heroin and speed, hid up his butt, which the guards had brought in for him. You should have saw how the guys who are addicted to it acted. They were like a bunch of hungry dogs who haven’t eaten in days. The guards know when this place is flooded with dope. They sit back and watch as people try to kill themselves.

If they obeyed basic human rights and allowed us sunshine, fresh air and reasonable food, they wouldn’t have a lot of the trouble that happens here. People wouldn’t want to lose what they have by causing enough trouble to go to lockdown.

I will soon write more about other things that have happened here.

Steel embrace,


My book Prison Time includes how I met T-Bone

Shaun Attwood  

Book Giveaway

Here are six ways to get a free copy of my latest book, Hard Time 2nd Edition.

1 Enter this Goodreads Giveaway to win a signed copy.

2 Answer this question at Total Crime to win a signed copy: Competition now closed

3 Prisoners Abroad in this article have launched a competition to win signed copies of Hard Time 2nd Edition. Details are on their Facebook wallCompetition now closed

4 One For Ten - a wonderful group of death-penalty activists out of London, who I have met and know personally - are offering signed copies of Hard Time 2nd Edition as a perk to anyone who donates £50 to their latest kickstarter campaign.

5 If you are in the UK and you buy books on Amazon UK, you may be able to qualify for a free signed copy of Hard Time 2nd Edition if you are willing to spend a few minutes posting some reviews. Please email me for more details:

6 If you are satisfied with a digital copy, please use any of the links below to get a free version of Hard Time 2nd Edition, which you can download to any device, Kindle, phone, PC...
  FREE DOWNLOAD AVAILABLE: UK Kindle USA Kindle iTunes Kobo Smashwords (download to any computer, phone or device) 
If you do read Hard Time 2nd Edition, please keep me posted on what you think of it.

Shaun Attwood

Greetings from the Abyss by Jack (Part 21)

Jack is serving life without parole, and has terminal cancer. Throughout my incarceration, Jack was a positive influence. He encouraged me to keep writing, to enter short-story competitions, and we proofread each other’s chapters. 

While at work, I began experiencing bouts of dizziness, confusion, slurred speech, and intense throbbing pain on the right side of my head. The left side of my face and left arm went numb, and to a lesser extent, my left leg. Once again, I was taken and hooked up to an IV, but this time I was given several medications, both orally and intravenously.

After the pain had somewhat subsided, I was kept there for a few hours for observation. One of the male nurses that I have known for about 10 years came over and spent some time with me to help alleviate some of my concerns, and to just keep an eye on me in case my condition took a turn for the worse. He said that I would probably be told something different, but the general opinion was that I had experienced a transient ischemic attack (TIA). He said that this was not unusual when considered in context with the type of cancer I have.

I asked why I wasn’t taken to the hospital if this was a TIA. Evidently, the underwritten policy with Corizon Health is that unless the inmate suffers a massive stroke or does not respond to the anticoagulant drugs and beta blockers, he is kept on site and under observation.

After a few more hours of laying there, watching the IV drip and contemplating the fragility of the human body and the obvious damage that I have caused through neglect and abuse, the doctor showed up to enlighten me on my condition. The official diagnoses: severe migraine and dehydration.

He lectured me on staying properly hydrated and indicated that the dehydration had caused the migraine; consequently, I had caused this problem due to my inability to maintain proper hydration in a desert environment. What a joke.

I was so disgusted with his obvious attempt to shift responsibility onto me that I just lay there and ignored him. At one point during his diatribe, I did interrupt him when he stated that I needed to consume 60 to 80 ounces of water each day. Fed up with his sanctimonious attitude, I laid into him with my personal consumption habits.

It was ridiculous of me to do so knowing that it would have absolutely no effect on my current situation, but it was satisfying getting him to shut up for a moment. The incredulous look on his face when I told him that I don’t drink soda or Kool-Aid and that I only consume 20 ounces of coffee or tea each day, and the remaining 120 ounces of fluid I consume every day is water. I told him that I was tired and no longer wanted to hear him bleat out the Corizon party line to justify their refusal to provide the nationally recognised standard of healthcare. I’m sure I came across as surly, but I didn’t really care.

Although I hate to admit it, over the last couple of months, I have found that I tire easily. It has become progressively more difficult for me to work more than a few hours each day. I recently discussed this issue with my boss and we have decided that it would be best if I only work the morning class.

Shaun, thank you for setting up the page so that your readers may donate if they are so inclined. I guess I am still cynical that anyone would want to donate anything because of my background and crimes, but then again I am always being amazed at the generosity of strangers and the level of compassion and understanding that at times seems to spring forth in very bleak and barren environments.   

Shaun Attwood  

Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 16)

Pics taking delivery of 5,500 copies of Hard Time 2nd Edition at my warehouse space. The majority are being donated to prison charities and state schools. Please like my publishing company, Gadfly Press UK, on Facebook and Twitter.

Hard Time 2 is now available worldwide on Amazon, UK paperback, UK Kindle, USA paperback, USA Kindle

Shaun Attwood

From T-Bone (Letter 33)

T-Bone is a massively-built spiritual ex-Marine, who uses fighting skills to stop prison rape. T-Bone’s latest letter:

Would you believe a guard read about me at Jon’s Jail Journal! The guard turned the other way while I dealt with the guys who were out to hurt me. I went right in and hit the smallest one with a right hand. His head hit the wall. Down he went. The others just stood there for a second and that was their mistake. On a mission for God and country, I laid into them as US Marine.

These other black punks came to the door and said, “Hey, man. It’s your pod now. It’s your pod.”
“Now hear this,” I said. “Attention on deck, you jokers. If the Army and Navy ever look on heaven’s scenes, they will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.”

Now they think I am going to run the place, but I am not going to lower myself to their standards. I am not a hero. Those men and women out there working and taking care of their families and serving God are the real heroes.

Each one teach one.
Strength and honour.
Steel embrace.


Shaun Attwood  

From T-Bone (Letter 32)

T-Bone is a massively-built spiritual ex-Marine, who uses fighting skills to stop prison rape. T-Bone’s latest letter:

They brought a guy in from lockdown, who thought he was the stuff. He zeroed in on a young kid. He actually walked up to the kid, gave him some food, and started to horseplay with him.

The kid was hungry because they don’t feed us worth a damn in here. The kid was thinking, Wow! This guy is cool.

I was hoping the kid wouldn’t eat any of the stuff, but he did. He went into cell 2 out of view, and the guy was on him. It was so damn sick.

The guy hadn’t thought about God. I walked over there with no fear. Several other sickos were telling me to mind my own business. They were about to jump me. Man, it got real and I mean real. I realised that I was being set up, and I started to pray.

The guards came in to do a security walk. They saw the kid all red-faced and bleeding. They hauled the kid and the guy out of here real fast. They locked us down to investigate what had happened. They let us back out 40 minutes later.

I knew it was on, and I had a better idea of who had stolen my store. I thought I knew before, but I realized it was three of them. I had underestimated their desire and passion to hurt me.

I am going to clamp down on these guys before I write more, and I won’t be taking them lightly.

Shaun Attwood  

Your Life as an Inmate (Guest Blog by Tommy Chandler)

Tommy Chandler went to the Denver Detention Center two times this year for 54 and 55 days. One was a theft charge and the other was urinating in public. He is 44 years old and 93 days sober after using meth and marijuana for 33 years. He wrote this in jail:
The bricks have no warmth here, nothing but the cold reality surrounding you. Caged in like the mighty lion that got caught, his instincts slowly fading away. Your aching back is begging for freedom again. Until then nothing but a cold metal bunk bed with a two-inch-thick broken-down mat is all you get. The loud snoring in both cells on each side has you sandwiched into never-ending sleepless nights.
Once a week, most look forward to commissary day. Some will be smiling like kids on Christmas, others just sitting enviously like kids in the corner that Santa forgot, wishing they would have heard their name called to go get their bag of goodies.
Loneliness constantly creeps into your mind and heart. But you’re never alone as you’re constantly surrounded by other inmates and guards. Most of whom couldn’t care whether you existed or not.
Few inmates can remember phone numbers of contacts in their cell phones. Those that can need their friends or family to prepay phone time to accept collect calls. Unfortunately, most have burned everyone outside due to drugs, bad behavior and bad decisions. So phone calls and visits are rare.
The food is repetitive and lacks in so many ways they just call it chow. It is served three times a day. There is a twelve-hour span between your last meal that day and breakfast the next morning. So your options are to starve, save and hide food for a snack later or eat commissary. Some pitch in together and combine items to make spreads, giving them something that tastes good and fills stomachs until the next meal. The hungry ones sit watching and wishing they could join in, almost like that little fat kid who didn’t get picked to play ball.
Once a week, you get a clean uniform and linens. First you turn in your dirty ones. Then before being given clean ones, everyone is put out into the courtyard. Then the guards search the entire place. They rummage through everyone’s belongings, making a mess to clean up, confiscating items not issued to you or bought through commissary, removing anything extra that might provide comfort, individuality, or a sense of home until your release.
This wasn’t written to complain or condemn the system, jails or prisons in any way. Reform and retraining grown adults is not easy to do. I commend all you officers trying to do your best to enforce our laws and protect our rights. What I am saying is if you have ever done drugs, domestic violence, been abusive, or if you just plain keep making bad choices and bad decisions, then please change or this will be your life as an inmate.

Prisoner Art Exhibition in London

For the next two months, the annual Koestler Trust exhibition of prisoner art is in the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre, London. Entrance is free, so please come along. Here are some photos, mainly from the space I curated. I chose mostly portraits and my theme ended up being "faces," including the clock-face painting. I made a brief appearance on BBC Vietnam. Unless you speak Vietnamese, you won't be able to understand it, but you get a good view of the prisoner art at the exhibition. Here's the clip. 

With Tim Robertson, CEO Koestler Trust

Paul Denham's winning entry

With Molly Denham, mother of the blind artist Paul Denham

Shaun Attwood