15 Oct 04

A solution to prison overcrowding?

Per capita, the US prison population is the largest in the world. Is this because our American cousins are bent on committing more crimes than people in other countries? Hardly!

In America a policy of stiff prison sentences has been adopted, purportedly to reduce crime. Has it worked? No: crime and incarceration statistics do not support the rationale. So what is really going on and why are the illogical policies being continued? Probably, because billions of dollars of taxpayers’ contributions are being transferred to the beneficiaries of the mass-incarceration program.

There is now more money being spent on housing inmates in America than there is being spent on education. It costs taxpayers over $500,000 to house an inmate for 20 years. The attorney gold rush (which I will deal with in a future blog) is systematically vacuuming up increasing portions of the wealth of society. These parasites are not protecting society from hardened criminals: according to the book ‘You Are Being Lied To’, there are more people serving time in US prisons for marijuana charges alone than the entire prison population of Europe. According to Department of Justice figures in the Wall Street Journal, 1 in 75 men – an all time high – are now in prison and the inmate population increased 2.9% to a new record. Not only are the desired effects not being achieved, but the reverse is happening: the prisons are tantamount to schools for unlawfulness, where young men are hardened and criminally come of age.

The purpose of me emphasising this situation is not purely a fault-finding one. It is easy to knock a bad situation, but it is more difficult to come up with workable suggestions, especially for this complex problem. However, with my limited knowledge and experience on the subject, I will endeavour to offer an alternative to mass imprisonment.

Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world and only 5% of people convicted of crimes serve time versus 30% in America. The Japanese use a policy called reintegrative shaming. This involves the criminal appearing in court with family members, friends, bosses, and coworkers, etc who condemn the individual’s behaviour. The people forming this community-support structure then accept responsibility for reintegrating the offender back into society. This way, social bonds are rebuilt and further criminal acts are deterred. A voluntary network of over 500,000 local crime prevention associations help the reintegration process and the
criminal-justice system is encouraged to be lenient for this purpose. This policy has worked.

The American public, who are footing the bill for ineffective policies, should consider demanding a shift towards a system that works. The Japanese gave the American auto manufacturers a wakeup call. It seems that they have another successful idea with reintegrative shaming.

The captains of the various industries profiteering from this disguised modern-day slavery ought to be ashamed of themselves: they have reduced the land of the free to a police state. If the public does not take a stand, then soon, every single one of us will have a family member or a friend gobbled up by this system.

“Building more prisons to address crime is like building more graveyards to address a fatal disease."

Quote from:
Robert Gangi, director of the Correctional Association of New York (source: Jill Molowe, ‘Time’ Feb 7th, 1994) article ‘…and throw away the key’.

Note: Unfortunately, we have had to block the comments on the blog for the time being, due to inappropriate material being posted in a comment, which has nothing whatsoever to do with Jon. If you have a comment on the above please send it to Jon's email address, in his favourites at the top of the Home Page and we will post it for you. Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks again for your continued support.
10th Oct 04

Put the gun down son!

There are not many people who have shot their own fathers, but Penguin is one of them. This week Penguin, in his peculiar high-pitched voice, talked about the incident.

Penguin’s dad, Bill, had severely beaten Penguin’s mum, Jen. This abuse had been going on for as long as Penguin could remember. One night in 1988, when Penguin was just fourteen, Bill assaulted both Jen and Penguin, almost beating Penguin to death. His entire body from the groin upwards was black and blue. His chin was pulverised so badly that he required reconstructive surgery for his lower face. He still has a two-inch scar where his lip was split open.

After Bill had used Penguin as a punching bag for thirty minutes, Jen, who was somewhat recovered from her beating, intervened. Penguin managed to raise himself up from the pool of blood that he lay in, and made his way to his bedroom. He loaded nine rounds into the ten-round clip of his Ruger rifle, and returned to the living room.
“Don’t you ever threaten me again!” he yelled at Bill.
“Put the gun down son!” Bill said, approaching Penguin menacingly.

With no time to deliberate, Penguin pulled the trigger one time. The bullet entered Bill’s left armpit, tore through his chest muscle, collapsed his lung, passed by his heart and just missed his spinal column, before exiting through his back. The bullet then hit a metal post and shattered. Bill survived.

Penguin was arrested and charged with third-degree aggravated assault, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace, He was housed in the juvenile detention facility at Durango jail. Neither dad nor mum nor son pressed charges. Jen’s fingers were paralysed for the next thirteen months, caused by blocking so many of Bill’s blows. Penguin was released after spending six-and-a-half days in jail. After 30 days the State concluded that he had acted in self-defence and the charges were dropped. Bill never attacked his son again. He died last year aged 61.
9th Oct 04


In 1999, twelve inmates attacked another inmate in a packed chow hall. The target, a 6’ 6” 265-pound cage fighter, repelled the assailants. The clash became legendary. Whilst listening to inmates tell stories, I had previously heard about the fight and I was recently delighted to find out that the well-respected gladiator is my neighbour Barbarian.

Barbarian rarely talks to anyone. Even the guards are intimidated by him. He has to be double-handcuffed when they allow him out of his cell. On Friday I plucked up the courage to ask him about the attack. Approaching him wasn't easy for me. At first he shot me down, and, discouraged, I shrunk back to my bunk. Moments later he called me back to my cell door and he revealed not only the details of the conflict, but also, background information explaining how he came to be one of the most feared and respected men in Arizona's prison system. It is a sad story. It shows how a promising young man’s life and career were permanently changed by the Fates.

Barbarian’s fighting skills germinated during many years of scrapping with his two older brothers. During high school, he became involved in wrestling. He eventually channelled his physical abilities into American football. He was signed up by Boise State where he set two college records, and a brilliant future as a quarterback looked like a sure thing.

In 1994, in north Phoenix, Barbarian was trying to park his distinctive 1988 Corvette outside of a bank. Barbarian honked his horn at a vehicle that had blocked him in. The driver of the other vehicle refused to move, and suddenly threats were exchanged. Nothing else bad happened that day, but Barbarian started to notice the other vehicle around Phoenix. threats were swapped again during a few more chance meetings, and eventually a showdown happened at a gas station.

Barbarian and his friend Frank were pumping gas, minding their own business, when Barbarian’s enemy, travelling with three fellow gang members, spotted the Corvette. Frank owned a bar and he had just made a large cash deposit and for protection he was carrying a fully loaded sawn-off shotgun. Barbarian noticed his enemy’s vehicle pull into the other side of the gas station and he had a premonition that he was about to be killed. He asked Frank for the shotgun and he hurriedly tucked it into his pants. In an instant the foursome were upon him with weapons drawn. A shootout commenced during which Barbarian was hit twice, but he also managed to discharge the shotgun twice before collapsing. His assailants had used hollow-point bullets that are extremely destructive to human tissue and organs. Barbarian’s lungs were punctured but fortunately the bullets had missed his heart and kidneys - but only just.

Barbarian lost consciousness and underwent a near death experience, which he described as seeing the flames of hell. The discharged buckshot had killed one of the attackers and a second assailant was touch and go but he survived and is now blind.

Barbarian was charged with seven crimes including first-degree murder, attempted murder, misconduct with a weapon and aggravated assault. Barbarian believed that he had acted in self-defence so he refused to sign a plea bargain. The case went to trial, and although he managed to beat the more serious charges, he was still found guilty on the aggravated assault, which is a class three felony, and categorized as a dangerous crime. He was sentenced to seven years. His football career was over.

In the prison system Barbarian was well-respected by most people, but, unfortunately, in 1999, a group of "woods" (white inmates, comes from the word "peckerwood") who were housed with Barbarian became paranoid, fearing that he might turn his fighting skills upon them. A preemptive strike was plotted. The individuals decided that they would attack Barbarian in the chow hall. Due to the large number of woods in the attack posse it was decided that shanks (sharpened instruments used to stab and kill people) would not be needed.

The leaders of the woods were the first to strike Barbarian. With lightening speed the big man’s combat instincts kicked in. He quickly disabled the first three attackers: in a second, one of them was gouged in the eyeball; another’s testicles were crushed; another's feet were hooked, causing him to trip and smash his head. The others, upon witnessing their leaders get beat up, lost their enthusiasm, and after throwing some token blows, they retreated, leaving Barbarian victorious in front of an amazed audience.

Upon completing his sentence Barbarian entered professional cagefighting matches, with prize money ranging for $5,000 to $15,000. He won 31 out of 34 fights. He pocketed a considerable amount of loot, but he suffered eleven concussions, a broken hand, a fractured eye socket, a broken nose and knee damage. He won the Rawhide Toughman Contest and took home $15,000. He obtained one victory in 47 seconds by fracturing his opponent’s jawbone, but he broke his own hand in the process.

Whilst employed as a bouncer, Barbarian was instructed to forcefully eject an unruly customer who refused to wear a formal shirt. The sloshed fellow was a fullback from the ASU football team. Barbarian decided to use minimal force because a drunk did not usually pose a serious threat to him. What occurred next was a comical wrestling match in the men’s restroom that resulted in a urinal being ripped off the wall, a lavatory tank being cracked, and the toilet divides toppling down as the combatants fell against them. The fullback was finally subdued in the corner of the demolished restroom and held until the police arrived to arrest him.

Barbarian is now a born-again Christian and he hopes that his past actions have not put him in a bad light. He has good family values and he wants to join a religious ministry when he gets out of prison. He longs to go to Colorado where he can “take care o’ Mom 'n' Pops.”
3rd Oct 04

Odds & Ends

I am enjoying the vegetarian chow. I’ve been receiving rice, beans, lentils, potatoes, onions, and apples. My gauntness is disappearing.

Manny met his nemesis in the form of a young guard.
“Fuck you, toots [derogatory or pet name used for a woman]," Manny yelled at Officer Schill.
“You think yer fuckin’ crazy! Well, I’m fuckin’ crazy as well! Only difference is I’m wearing this fuckin’ uniform!”
“I love you, toots,” Manny said.
“You wanna fuck with me do ya? Oh, you’ll see.”
And Manny did see. Manny and his cellmate, Scooby, were stripped-searched - including a foreskin search for Manny - and their property was confiscated for three days, much to the delight of my neighbours who enjoyed the spectacle.

Timmy the Wood was released on probation and Daniel was moved to a part of SMU that houses higher-classification inmates.

After much goading, my neighbour, Barbarian, revealed the details of a legendary fight that he was in against multiple assailants in a prison chow hall. The battle will be detailed in an upcoming blog.

The recent thunderstorms caused a variety of insects to take refuge in our cell this week, including tiny metallic-coloured wasp-looking things, black moths, black and brown earwigs, a winged ant, a cricket and several unidentifiable others. Penguin pinched the ant to demonstrate that it wouldn’t sting him. He was right. The ant promptly bit him instead causing a
centimetre-wide blister. The cricket was on its back and looking deathly, so I placed it next to a slice of orange. I watched its mouth go to work on the orange and it came back to life. It then proceeded to straighten out its bent and twisted antennae for the next four hours, until they were as good as new. Finally, it did something I can't do, it freed itself from this cell, jumping and chirping happily as it made its exit.

I am awaiting a letter from Frankie, to find out if his trial proceeded as scheduled and what the outcome was.
2nd Oct 04

Jon’s Interests/Favourites/Aspirations


Reading nonfiction, especially ancient history, biographies, corporate shenanigans, economics, geopolitics, Greek classics and most of all political philosophy

Studying forensic accountancy, financial economics, political philosophy and the stock market

Yoga & Vegetarianism my daily routine consists of asanas (postures), meditation and pranayana (breathing exercises)

Music electronica especially British trance and German techno

All time favourite DJs Sven Vath, Commander Tom, Pete Tong. In the USA Moby, Frankie Bones, the beautiful Sandra Collins, Mike Hotwheels, and Keoki

Favourite CDs the Gatecrasher series

Roller-skating I miss zooming along Venice Beach on my old-school roller boots.

Keeping fit and eating healthy

Languages studying Spanish and Mandarin


Books 1984 G. Orwell, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire E. Gibbon, A Study of History A. Toynbee, Republic Plato, The Story of O Pauline Reage

Fashion Shows Victoria's Secret annual fashion show, the most watched program by inmates at the jail

Food Indian and Thai cuisine

Movies Pulp Fiction, The Gladiator, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Silence of the Lambs, Casino, Heat

Movie Stars Brad Pitt in Snatch, Denise Richards in Wild Things Divine in his early movies, Riff-Raff (Richard O’Brien)and Franken Furter (Tim Curry) in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Christopher Lee in Dracula

Night Out a romantic dinner for two with some German white wine and then lots of cuddling.

Philosophers Marcus Aurelius, Friedrich Nietzsche, Plato, Socrates


  • To be happily married to a golden-hearted woman and to have a large family.
    To spend time with my family and friends (without whose support none of this would be possible).
  • To ease global suffering
  • To support prison reform in any way possible.
  • To eventually earn a Ph.D. The more I study, the more I realise how much there is to learn and how little I know.
  • To visit remote parts of the world and to experience other cultures.
  • To be an author.
  • To resume trading the financial markets.
1st Oct 04


How do inmates trade goods at SMU when they are never allowed out of their cells? The answer is by "fishing".

A fishing line consists of a long piece of string with a weight attached to one end. The string is usually obtained from bed sheets or prison attire. Weights can be made from combs, soap, plastic bags containing toothpaste, or the flat end of a toothpaste tube snapped off from the rest of the tube, the latter option being the most popular due to its efficiency. Using these items an adept fisherman can assemble a fishing line in excess of twenty-feet long.

To exchange goods with someone housed on the same floor, two inmates will first ascertain whether each of them have sufficient lengths of fishing line to meet each other. Every cell door has a two-centimeter gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. The possessor of the longest fishing line will slide his weight under his door in the direction of the room that he wishes to trade with. Depending upon his fishing skills, it may take several attempts to get the weight into the desired area. Following a failed attempt, the fisherman simply yanks the line back into his cell and tries again. When the weight is in a good spot, the second fisherman will slide his weight out, aiming to catch his weight on his trading partners line. Upon snagging the line, the second fisherman will then reel in both lines. The lines are then securely tied and store items can be transferred to and fro by attaching a large Manila envelope to the joint line, and filling it with the desired goods.

Passing flat items such as stamps, envelopes, newspapers, pen refills, and paper is easy. Larger items such as chips (crisps) or candy bars have to be squashed flat or crushed into fine particles. Coffee and stamps are the two most heavily-traded items.

How do inmates housed upstairs trade with inmates housed below them? This requires lengthy fishing lines and considerable talent. The upstairs inmate slides his weight directly out from under his cell door and over the balcony in the direction of the inmatel downstairs who he wishes to trade with. It may take several attempts to get the weight positioned in a good spot downstairs. The downstairs inmate then slides his weight out and when the two are connected he reels them both in. Items can be passed up and down, between the two floors, via the two joined lines using envelopes or plastic bags.

Sometimes, mishaps occur, lines may snap and loads may get stuck on the run. Fishing rods made out of newspaper can be used to retrieve lost items or lines when such accidents happen.

Fishing is banned and opportunistic guards will snatch fishing lines. Getting caught fishing after receiving a warning can result in a fisherman getter stripped out. Being stripped out consists of an invasive strip search followed by a rigorous cell search. Master fishermen will generally fish after the hourly guard walks, to minimise their chances of losing their lines.

When fishing traffic is in full flow, the run takes on a life of its own. Envelopes are rapidly sliding across the floor and plastic bags can be seen floating upwards as if they were balloons. Fishing lines are barely visible, so to an observer it looks as if ghosts are moving objects around. It is an amazing sight to first lay eyes on, and a credit to inmate ingenuity.
30th Sept 04

Frankie & Mark

In Frankie’s latest letter he wrote that his double-murder trial is coming up: “Ding! Ding! Let’s get ready to rumble...I’m going for a knockout punch hopefully before the bell rings.”

As usual, Frankie ended his letter on a romantic note: “Tu sabes que eres mi esposa. Yo soy el camote grande.” Which means, I know that I am his wife and that he is a great lover. He has drawn a winking face with its tongue hanging out next to the sexy comment.

Mark reported that the guards at the county jail have not distributed toilet rolls for an entire week: “…their excuse was they forgot to order some. Ha! Ha!” Mark’s hopes for probation were squashed. A new judge was assigned to his homicide conspiracy case; so, he is back at square one. Having one's hopes raised and dashed seems to be part of the psychological warfare tactics employed by prosecutors designed to break one's spirit before one is finally bludgeoned into signing a plea bargain. Mark also revealed that his mum has joined M.A.A. (Mothers Against Arpaio, see link in Jon’s Favourite Links).

I received a letter from a lady named Linda who is one of the founding members of M.A.A.. Linda’s brother James spent four years in the Madison Street jail. He was charged with plotting to bomb Sheriff Joe.

James courageously took the case to trial and not only did the jury find him innocent but they also announced that the sheriff had used young James as a pawn in a sick publicity stunt. Apparently, Joe Arpaio was trying to justify certain lavish expenditures, including his own $80,000 armoured car. James is now 23. He lost four years of his life imprisoned in that hellhole for something he did not do.

Good luck with the civil suit James!
28th Sept 04

The Biblio Files

Some of you have asked what I am reading.

From the library I received a book by Seumas MacManus titled The Story of the Irish Race.
I also read Stan Goff's Full Spectrum Disorder, a hard-hitting polemic about war and geopolitics. He fused his Special Ops experiences into a powerful read. I strongly recommend it. I purchased it from http://www.akpress.org/, an outfit that stocks books you will not find in your average bookstore. The staff at the Madison Street jail mail officer would not allow their books inside the jail. Fortunately, the state prisons do not censure reading material. I’ve been scouring the akpress catalogue, which contains such unwholesome titles as A Hand in the Bush: The Fine Art of Vaginal Fisting, definitely not a book to be read around Frankie!

My brain seems to work better in the mornings, so I’ve been commencing each day with little assaults on Joseph Schumpeter’s History of Economic Analysis (thanks Surrah). This
1200-page book details the progression of economics since the Greeks. It was a good choice for my study needs.

After being worn down by Schumpeter, I usually study some of Yong Ho’s Intermediate Chinese (thanks Dad). I am slowly trying to learn the most spoken language in the world, with almost one billion Mandarin Chinese users according to Mr. Ho.

As the day progresses, I switch to lighter reading. I have just completed Thomas Malthus’s An Essay on the Principle of Population. I recently received Sigmund Freud by Richard Wollheim and Extreme Yoga by Jessie Chapman (thanks Mum). I have also recently ordered some books by Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean Jacques Rouseau, and the Marquis de Sade. After digesting those, Jeremy Bentham and Edmund Burke are next on my list.

Whilst reading Malthus’s book, I came across a quote that reminded me of a question I was recently asked: has incarceration broke you? Here's the quote:

That the difficulties of life contribute to generate talents; every day’s experience must convince us. The exertions that men find it necessary to make…frequently awaken faculties that might otherwise have lain forever dormant, and it has been commonly remarked that new and extraordinary situations generally create minds adequate to grapple with the difficulties in which they
are involved.
26th Sept 04

Jon’s replies to the most common readership questions:

Q. What do you think about Sheriff Joe Arpaio?

A. I have never met Joe Arpaio. I feel that I cannot express an accurate opinion about him. I have been judged negatively by a small number of people that I’ve never met, and I realize how hurtful that can be, so my preference is not to do that to another person. However, the conditions at the jail do reflect badly on him. He should consider how he would feel if he lost a loved one there.

Q. What changes would you like to see made at the jail?

A. I would like the jail administration to obey the laws that establish minimum conditions for presentence detainees. Inmates have the right not to live in an insect-infested environment. Inmates have the right to eat food fit for human consumption. Inmates have the right to receive adequate cooling and ventilation. Inmates have the right to be periodically taken to a recreation area to receive some fresh air and sunshine. None of these laws is being observed at the Madison Street Jail.

Q. Is the warehousing of inmates in thugocractic fiefdoms reducing crime?

A. Absolutely not. I overhead a renowned prosecutor boasting that 2% of the population of Maricopa County have now been indicted, an all time high. The taxpayers have paid the bill for the construction of a much larger jail, which is due to be opened anytime. The grim conditions in the existing jails have not proven to be a deterrent.

The jail environment encourages more crime. It is a meeting place where inmates can share war stories and tactics whilst engaging in rampant intravenous drug use. Dozens of men are sharing single needles. Most people who have been subject to jail conditions (especially the violence and the diseases) tend not to emerge from captivity with good intentions.

I am most alarmed at the deadly disease epidemic. It seems as though it is being allowed to happen. Surely some inexpensive preventative measures would be cheaper than footing the medical bills for the infected inmates for the rest of their lives? It is so blatant that I sometimes wonder if the inmates are being used as guinea pigs by the medical-industrial complex.

Improvements don't appear to be too difficult to implement; have the inmates spend some of their time in educational and training programmes, remove the drugs and the corrupt officers** who are selling the drugs. Upon my own volition, I taught an English class in a cell for a group of paisanos (Mexican nationals), they were enthusiastic and they proved to be quick and keen learners. The majority of the inmates would like to acquire better job skills, but no opportunities are provided in the jails.

‘O slaughterers, jailers, and imbeciles of all regimes and governments, when will you come to prefer the science of understanding man to that of imprisoning and killing him?’
Marquis de Sade’

Among de Sade's numerous incarcerations, he once served eleven years, first at Vincennes and then in the Bastille, during which time he became a brilliant writer.

**(Corrupt officers are a minority, but it only takes a few people to flood a single institution with drugs. Most of the officers that I met were well-meaning men and women working long hours in hazardous environments, for little pay. About one third of the officers were friendly and would joke with the inmates. Respect is a two-way street, most guards only take exception when an inmate provokes them first. But there are some who provoke trouble.)

Q. Did your timeworn wheelchair-bound grandmother really assist in laundering your hidden millions through airport security in the frame of her wheelchair?

Poppycock! My octogenarian nan has recently achieved cult status (thanks to the New Times article). Unfortunately, I must put the kibosh on this bunkum. My nan lives in Widnes, Cheshire, England. She is partially sighted, but she still manages to walk to church each morning. As the people of Widnes know, Nan has never had a wheelchair, nor has she ever required one. Until recently, she baked endless apple pies for our family in England. Nan has been my lifelong Scrabble partner. As far as I know, she has never been anybody’s partner in crime.

Q. What do you write with? Do you have access to a computer?

A. No, I do not have access to a computer (I wish). At the jail I wrote with a four-inch golf pencil, which I would sharpen by rubbing it against a rough section of the cell wall. As I used the pencil and it shortened, my fingers became more uncomfortable. (My mum fears I may develop arthritis or something.)

The same pencils are available here at the prison, but I have opted to write with pen refills. Pen refills cost 30 cents each. They bend and are almost as awkward to write with as golf pencils. My right index finger and thumb are permanently callused. The refills are no good for lengthy writing, but the redrafting of my book is coming along slowly. It’s only mild suffering though.

Q. What type of yoga do you do?

A. I do not practice a particular style of yoga. I have formulated a routine, which consists of asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises) and dhyana (meditation).

I warm up with a vinyasa-style sequence of flowing postures. Then I perform some pranayama, followed by a lengthy asana routine. Some of the more challenging asanas, which I have recently incorporated into my program include the crane, peacock, archer, upward bow and one-legged bridge. After each workout I meditate before I go to sleep. I started practising yoga when my sister, Karen, sent me a beginner’s book shortly after I was arrested. I have become committed to yoga for life and I would love to hear from more yoga practitioners out there, especially anyone who can perform scorpion pose or lotus tail feather peacock. How many years of practice does it take for a healthy person to achieve such positions?

I thoroughly enjoy reading your emails and letters. If you keep the questions coming I will do my best to provide answers. I greatly appreciate your interest in my plight. Thanks, Jon.
25th Sept 04

Penguin the sausage-dog snatcher

Last week, David was notified that he was about to be moved to a regular prison. As this is his first imprisonment, he was nervous. Perhaps it was the added stress that caused his usual peculiar behaviour to become more bizarre. He would approach the toilet (about five feet from my bunk), drop his boxer shorts so that his behind was facing me, clench his cheeks so he could manipulate his behind crack as if it were a mouth, and say over and over again in a woman's voice, “I love you.”

His wind became so loud it would wake me up in the middle of the night. Even the residents of the upstairs run complained about it. On Tuesday, after a little verbal resistance, the guards extracted a terrified David from our cell.

It seems David was suffering from PTSD due to all of the deaths in his family. Before his departure from SMU he revealed more details of how his father, Jeff, had been murdered. Jeff had been a member of the Hells Angels. In the 80s the Hells Angels had became involved in a dispute with a rival biker gang called the Dirty Dozen. Jeff, in his truck, had driven over a number of Harley Davidsons that were parked outside of a Dirty Dozen bar in Sunnyslope ( in north-central Phoenix). Unfortunately, his truck got caught on one of the bikes, and as Jeff was trying to free his vehicle, a large number of Dirty Dozen members surrounded him and shot him to death. There were no murder convictions because the defence successfully argued that Jeff’s truck had been used as a deadly weapon. The incident was on the national news.

The inmates are calling my new cellmate Penguin, because he resembles the Batman comic-book character. Penguin is 32-years old and he has a pentagram tattooed on his forehead. In the last two months, I have been housed with two inmates both with pentagrams tattooed on their foreheads. At least Penguin is not a blood drinker, like Loney, my first pentagrammed cellmate.

Penguin is mentally and physically handicapped. His ailments include acid reflux, diabetes and high blood pressure. He has suffered seven head traumas and his IQ is 72. He was sentenced to two years for burglarizing a sausage dog. Some young lads goaded Penguin into rescuing a supposedly abused dog. Penguin inspected the thin canine in a neighbour’s yard and determined it was a worthy cause. Unbeknownst to Penguin however, the dog was naturally decrepit from old age. The youths had played a prank on Penguin. Penguin rescued the dog. He was then charged with burglary in the third degree, and held on a $1530 bond.

I was told that I will be moved to a medium-security prison in two to three months time. I am reading, writing and studying as much as possible while I am still locked down. The vegetarian diet is the best chow I have tasted since being arrested. I rank it just below Denny's food. I am slowly but surely gaining back my weight. I’ve had a smile on my face since the Guardian article, due to the continued letters of support I am receiving from all over the world. Your letters have eased my woes. Thank you all, ever so much!