29 May 08

Tales of Me Leaving Me Behind (by Otis)

Born into and raised by the Outlaw Biker Gang, Otis is an ex car thief, forger, and crystal-meth addict. The tattoo around his neck reads: SORRY NO GOOD RUTHLESS MOTHERFUCKER. Toward the tail end of my incarceration, we became good friends and I wrote several short stories based on his most disturbing prison experiences.
Here's his first story for Jon's Jail Journal.

After passing out all of the store I owed, I felt good, so I laid on my bunk and started reading Joel Osten’s new book, Become a Better You. This guy in our dorm who I don’t like and doesn’t like me – we have an agreement: keep each others names out of each others mouths – was visiting the guy in the bed next to me when I heard my name come out of his mouth.
I listened to the rest of his conversation, and with book in hand sat up and said, “I told you to keep my name out of your mouth.”
He looked at me and said, “Fuck you, Otis. If you don’t like it we can handle it in the bathroom, you piece of shit.”

So I got up, jumped over the locker, and commenced throwing rights and lefts rapidly to his face. I caught him off guard because he thought I wouldn’t fight there.
The officer was doing head count in the next pod.
After the punches, he tried to hit me and I caught his arm and pulled his momentum and weight to the floor hard, and kicked him in the face twice. The whole pod was speechless. The guy who lives in the cubicle next to me wanted the dude out of his cubicle to clean up the blood before the officer entered to do the count.

The dude ran to his bed, grabbed a towel, and wiped the blood off his face while covering his face. The officer entered. The blood had wiped off fast but his face was red enough for the officer to tell a fight had just happened. But the officer didn’t see it. He left and the dude, because of his embarrassment decided it was not over and came to settle the score. So he walked to the bathroom – I thought to wash his still bleeding face – but no, he got a broom handle, broke it over his knee, and walked toward me.

I grabbed my lock, closed it around my laundry bag and waited till he got up on me.
“This is gonna turn out bad for you,” I said, but he wouldn’t listen.
He jabbed me with the pointy end of the broom handle right above my heart. But I was moving backwards, so it only broke the skin, but I still bled a lot. I swung the lock over my head and hit him under the chin, then behind his ear and lastly in the mouth. He now had open cuts and missing teeth to deal with. I had blood on my shirt where he had stabbed me in the chest.

Everyone was looking at me due to the shock of what had just happened.
“Son of a bitch, we just watched Return to the Thunderdome,” someone said.
I took my shirt off, and said, “Anyone else care to step in the ring for round two?”
No takers.
“Damn, Otis, what are you thinking? You’re going home real soon. Dude’s gonna tell on you,” my neighbor said.
“No he ain’t,” I said and went to the shower, jerked open the curtain and scared the dude as he was rinsing the blood off him.
“Dead issue, right?” I said, holding out my hand for him to shake.
“Dead issue, Otis,” he said.
He wouldn’t shake my hand, so I slapped him in the face open handed, and said, “Who’s a bitch now?”
Everybody heard and started laughing.

I walked back to my bed, changed my shirt, combed my hair, took a seizure pill, rolled a smoke, lit it and laid on my bed reading my book again.
My neighbor was looking at me still with a weird face. I showed him the title of the book.
“Become a Better You,” he said, and we laughed.

It was still quiet when the dude got out of the shower bleeding and missing teeth. His face looked like Elephant Man’s.
So I screamed, “He’s got a knife!”
And everyone started laughing including the dude.

I had gained back all the respect I had lost for not fighting back five times prior to this event because I have a severe brain injury that can kill me any time and the doctor told me my next fight would be my last.
But on the inside of my brain, a small seizure was taking place, just like the doctor said would happen.
I had an abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation, which is normal behavior according to Viktor E. Frankl, a psychiatrist Shaun recommended I read.
I say at 43 years old, it takes two weeks to heal, win or lose.
And so far at least no one has ratted us out.

Excerpts from a letter Otis recently wrote:


Thanks for the pics of Amy Winehouse. I need her like she needs another fix.

I’m enrolled in a prisoner reentry program here and the lady in charge of the Tucson area has spoken to me on the services and responses available when I soon get out. They are looking for and working to create successful people. And I fill the qualification. I want to make it legally, prosperously and with great success. I do have a meaning and purpose in life. From what I was, I can feel what I’m transforming into. Yes, I still have some rough edges to smooth out, and the me I’m leaving behind does get his foot into the door of where I’m going, but not as much as he used to. Within is the battle of all battles. As you’ll read in Tales of Me Leaving Me Behind.

I see a psychologist. But I’m going to stop. She is always looking at her watch, and maybe it’s just me, but I think I freak her out with my pacing back and forth while I talk. I think better on my feet.

Question: Can a person try too hard to change into a better different person? I put so much effort into becoming different/better than before and sometimes it stresses me out more than not doing shit. Viktor Frankl caused me to see something I kind of thought was true, but didn’t realise it until I saw it with my own eyes. “An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.” So true. Prison is an abnormal situation. He also said, “There are things which must cause you to lose your reason or you have none to lose.” Man, do I know that feeling as you’ll see in the blog story.

Since I had brain surgery, I was told no more fighting ever, and I gave my word that I wouldn’t to someone. Well, that person found out about my eye-patch fight, the five stitches in my lip, and the other fights were I was hit and did not fight back or throw one punch, kick or even try to block. He told me he was proud of my restraint even though I lost. Then he said, I don’t have to keep my word any longer, avoid fighting at all cost, but if someone lays hands on me, show them what I’m capable of. What was frustrating was I couldn’t enjoy the victory ’cause I was hiding the fact I was having a seizure. If it was raining women, I’d get hit by a dick.

Could you look up some job possibilities for me? I’d like to get familiar with these companies.
OMI INC.com (Water and Wastewater) Tucson area
Find Water Jobs.com (Tucson area)
(Type) AZ., Wastewater Jobs (Tucson – Pima County) (Pinal County)
City of Tucson Human Resources Dept (Water, Wastewater, Collections, anything)

I hope I don’t ask for too much, but hell most of this stuff I would like to know before I get out. It seems I have a big enough wall to climb as it is.
And anything I can do for you in here and when I get out I will.

Thank you so much and I enjoy hearing from you. I don’t look forward to much in here but I do look forward to receiveing news from you a lot.

Your friend,

Son of a Biker,


ps) I kind of want to know if your readers have any comments or opinions on what sort of person I am. I am curious what freeworld people might think about me, good or bad.

As this is Otis’s first story for Jon's Jail Journal, your comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated and shall be forwarded to him. Your job advice is also welcome.

email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
28 May 08

From Two Tonys (Letter 6)

Two Tonys - A whacker of men and Mafia associate serving multiple life sentences for murders and violent crimes. Claims all his victims "had it coming."



I had to sit down and vent on this Kennedy motherfucker with the tumor on his brain. He’s got all these sorry bastards crying in their borscht. Poor Ted. Poor ol’ Teddy. I love him so much. He’s such a good guy. He fights for the poor and downtrodden. Poor Teddy Boy. He’s a real fighter.

Well he didn’t fight too hard for that little campaign worker who got all goo-goo eyed over the chance to bang and do the nasty not only with a U.S. senator but a Kennedy senator, and you don’t get much bigger banging than that. The great man drove her off a fucking bridge on Martha’s Vineyard and left her kicking and clawing at the windshield as the water rushed in while he swam off for a hot congnac and dry towel on the mainland. He didn’t even call the cops or call for help till his advisors told him he had to.

My point is all these sick phony bastard politicos do great things for the great unwashed until the shit flies their way then it’s every bloke for himself. Fuck what’s right and wrong. It’s survival of the fittest.

Now that karma has put a goiter on his potato head and all these politicos are giving him kudos, not one will stand up and mention poor old Mary Jo Kopechne. Not even her family, who let ol’ Ted Boy there off.

No, bro, I don’t wish cancer on anyone. But he ain’t Mr. Wonderful. He’s got warts and faults like all of us, but not according to CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, and probably the BBC. Now I can’t call what I would do in that situation. I like to think I would have helped the kid or at least called for a frogman or something, and not worried about my career.

Now you think there were crocodile tears and the tearing of clothes for Ray Charles or Jerry Ford or Johnny Lennon, then wait till this glutton of an Irish drunk passes onto the other side. We’ll have Kennedy for breakfast, lunch and dinner. CNN, wa-wa-wa poor Teddy. The great unwashed will roll in the streets. They’ll write songs and the chomo Catholic priests will break out their best cloaks and burn their best incense to background music of Danny Boy.

Now be honest, are you going to be all heartbroken and sad when this motherfucker croaks, or do you know anyone who will? Fuck no! Only if the CNN cameras are zeroed in on them.

Hey! It’s not personal but Two Tonys says, Fuck it! My biggest concern is what’s on the telly and what’s for chow. Teddy Kennedy never did a fucking thing for Two Tonys. Why should I wa-wa-wa. Hey, do I sound bitter? I hope not. I like people. I’m a people person.

Later, bro

Two Tonys

ps) Hey, I got your blog. It was T.N.T.. Your skills never cease to amaze me. Just don’t get your jockey shorts in a knot for one of these damsels. Or is it boxers? I’m a boxer guy myself, this way my balls can breath. But it’s all a matter of preference. Ain’t it?

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
26 May 08

Bucket of Blood (by Warrior)

Warrior - Serving fourteen years for kidnapping and aggravated assault. Half Hispanic and Scottish-Irish with family still in Mexico. Raised by a family heavily involved in drug commerce.

I was eighteen when I first stepped foot in prison. Thinking back I can only imagine to what degree I exuded fear and uncertainty. I’m sure it was transparent, like a cheap pair of Nike’s at the swap meet with the swoosh facing the wrong way. I was scared.

Late summer, I was stood in front of a fifteen-foot chain-link fence in an orange jumpsuit two sizes too large, waiting to be let onto my very first yard. The guard who escorted me off the bus was nowhere to be seen. He had stepped into a concrete bunker/tower to operate the opening and closing of the fence. All of a sudden, the fence clanged open about three foot. I looked at the officer and he waved at me to go in. Going through, the fence hit my shoulder as it closed shut. The officer approached the fence, gave me my cell and bed location and pointed to its direction. Clutching the standard-issue net bag with basic toiletries, and bedding underneath my arm, I set off with the bravest face I could muster.

The yard was out for recreation. Some guys playing basketball. Some working out. Others playing cards. Others pausing to observe the new addition to the population heading across the yard. If predatory stares could kill, I would have been dead twenty times.
I was approached by an older fellow, heavily tattoed, six-foot-two, fourtyish, smoking a rolled cigarette. “Hey kid, what’s your name?”
“Alex,” I said, watching him with a wary eye.
“The name’s Doc.” As he held his hand out to shake, many of the prisoners observing me went back about their business, which I took as a good sign. “Just off the bus are you?”
“What house they give ya?”
“Come on. I’ll take you over there.” He exhaled the last of his cigarette.
Following him, we exchanged small talk on the way. “Well, youngster, since it’s your first time down, there are a coupla things you should know. First, never get involved in anything that doesn’t concern you immediately. Do your time, never let the time do you. Second, stay away from the gangs, drugs and prison politics. They’re all dead ends. Lastly, never lose sight of the following: your word, your mind, your identity and your life. Remember these things and you’ll do just fine.”
“Thanks for the advice. How long you been down?”
“Twenty-eight. I go home next year,” he replied, all nonchalant.
I couldn’t even begin to imagine what that felt like. I felt ashamed for complaining about the measly three-and-a-half years I had back then.
“Let’s take a detour, youngster. You’ll need stamps, envelopes, a pen to get a hold of your people. And screw that state soap, it’ll mess your skin up. We’ll go by my cell. You don’t have to pay me back. Just pay the shit toward the next guy in your shoes.”
We arrived at Doc’s living quarters, but before entering the run we stopped by two men stood puffing on cigarettes.
“Let’s wait here a second,” Doc said. “We don’t want to be in there right now.”
After five minutes, a man in his late twenties with long blond hair in a ponytail, wearing a ball cap, wheeled out a mop bucket and a mop. “All clear, guys,” he said.
“Right on,” one of the smokers said.
“Wait here. I’ll be right back,” Doc said, and disappeared down the maze of doors and halls inside the building.
The man in the ball cap picked up the mop bucket and motioned me over. “Do me a favor.”
Wanting to be accepted and acting like I knew a thing, I said, “Sure.”
“Keep eyes for me. Let me know if a cop comes while I dump this bloody mop water. It’ll only take a second.”
Shocked and stunned as I became an accomplice to the first of many such instances, I focussed around me with a more heightened awareness of guard uniform than prisoner garb.
He dumped the bloody water over a patch of dirt outside the building. He ran back in, then back out with water to toss over the bloody water to dilute the evidence. “Thanks, youngster,” he said, then disappeared into the building, mop and bucket in hand, leaving me wondering who’s blood was in the bucket and what he had done to deserve what had occurred.
Just then, Doc appeared with envelopes, stamps and a bar of Irish Spring. “Here you go, kid,” he said, handing me everything. “You look a little pale.”
“Uh, dude just emptied a bucket of bloody mop water a second ago.”
“Well, if that’s the only thing you see in here, you’ll be lucky. It’s almost time for head count, we need to get you over to your new spot.”
He showed me to my run and bunk, shook my hand and said, “If you ever need any advice, you know where to find me.”
I settled in that night, but didn’t sleep. It’s tough to sleep in any new environment, let alone prison. All I could think of was that mop water.

Everything Doc imparted to me that day turned out to be true. I never realized how true until much later. He was right about the mop water too. I’d be the luckiest man in the system if that were all I’d ever seen.
Strangely enough, I’ve been on both sides of that bloody mop water in the course of my prison travels. I’ve grown in awareness because of it, and learned what is unneccesary and not at all desirable. Trying to develop strong moral character is where I’m at today.

As this is Warrior's first story for Jon's Jail Journal, your comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated and shall be forwarded to him.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood

From Warrior (Letter 1)


Hello Shaun,

I hope all is well as you receive this letter. I hope your spirits are thriving as you embrace a newfound perspective on freedom and enjoying life in its entirity. You’ve earned it.

Two Tonys mentions you all the time. He speaks highly of you and quite often. In some ways, you’re a surrogate son, or perhaps the subconscious eqivalent of Donny Brasco (you, minus the FBI element, of course) and Sonny Black (him). In any case he really digs you and mentions all of your achievements in the time you were here. He says, “Da kidz gonna beez sumbaudy!” and that you are a true and genuine person.

I met Two Tonys last year at the end of summer. I’d barely arrived here, and in the course of being mutually present on the rec field, we started small talk, and kept talking for several laps around the track – one of those six degrees of separation type deals as to who we know despite our age gap. Since then, we’ve shared our likes, dislikes, highs, lows, struggles and better days. I’m sure you agree, the next best blessing to being around this guy would be freedom.

One day he shared with me your blog. It caught my attention. In my down time, when I’m not at work or have my nose in a book, I toy with writing. It’s something I’m really trying to cultivate these days. I feel I have a lot to say so I’m working on the how to say it.

Allow me to share a little bit about myself. I am 31. I landed in prison with a 14 year sentence for kidnapping and aggravated assault. I come from a line of family that has been in some way, shape or form involved in drugs. I’m half Hispanic and Scottish-Irish with family still in Mexico. Unfortunately, I’ve also been incarcerated at various points in my life since I was a youth. Perhaps because male role models in my life were always from the criminal element. My family in Mexico were transporters/smugglers. From a young age I learned about the demand and commerce of narcotics.

Before incarceration, I was involved in martial arts. I’ve done martial arts off and on since I was young. An avenue of escape that enabled me to channel the warrior spirit I’ve always possessed. I was about to start competing in MMA (mixed martial arts). I was training in ’98 and ’99 as I recognized the popularity blossoming, and an opportunity for my life to take a positive turn. I caught my charges in 2000, and landed in prison in 2002.

Since prison, I struggled with the idea of what my life would be like for the next 14 years. Initially, I thought it was over. But once I met someone with 125 years, it didn’t seem all that bad. I’m sure you remember. I battled my demons, inner and outer, that this environment thrusts upon you or brings to the forefront. I’ve tried to become a better man from it. I’ve tried to nurture that renaissance quality that resides in all of us. I was almost murdered in 2004, an event that put a new sense of value and perspective on my life.

I hope to put forth some experiences that may touch your readers. Share an experience and see where it goes.
I thank you and Two Tonys for affording me an opportunity to explore the craft of writing deeper at your blog.

Live your life to the fullest and be fearless in all your endeavors.

Thanks again.



Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Shaun P. Attwood
21 May 08

From Two Tonys (Letter 5)

Two Tonys - A whacker of men and Mafia associate serving multiple life sentences for murders and violent crimes. Claims all his victims "had it coming."


Hey pal from across the pond,

I received your letter of 4-20-08. It’s always good to hear from you.

Hey! Thanks for the pics of your lady friends, Posh Bird and Cat Eyes. Good lookers both. You sly dog you. Playboy of the Misty Isles. You go boy, but make sure you hone your video picking skills so Posh Bird don’t slap you around. Love is strange. Start off right, not on shaky ground. Listen to me, I’m such a success at love and marriage. 3 exes, and I can’t count the bimbos. Yeah, I’m one to give advice on relationships. Ha. You do what you got to do. Just don’t let no lady whimp you out. (Enough said.)

Now to answer Floyd’s question. Once again, we all change. If I ever got out – which I won’t – I like to think I’d do the right thing and stay out of trouble. And I probably would not seek to harm no one. I fantasize about fishing trips and ball games and playing with my grandsons at the park. But that’s a nice normal fantasy. Reality is this. That ain’t going to happen. Neither is me getting out and putting my hack defense attorney’s (who sold me out) grey matter on the inside windshield of his car. Which is also a fantasy of mine. But I choose to fantasize about my grand kids. It’s easier on my hate goiter (which is shrinking by the way due to my reading of good books and thinking straight). Thanks to you. You’ve helped me. Along with my age, mellowing thoughts, and love for my family.

Look, Shaun, I’ve detected a few of your readers’ responses in your blog, a sort of, oh, poor old Two Tonys, he’s sad and never getting out, poor old Two Tonys. Well that sucks. I did my thing out there. It’s done. Like what my son-in-law said when I first met him in a prison visitation room, “Hey, it is what it is.” I can do this time but only what I’ll be alive to of it. I can’t do it all. But I’ve got to do what I can. And I like doing it feeling good.

Let me tell you about today. I just got back from breakfast. At 5:30am I went to rec. It was still dark out so I walked 15 laps. That’s 2 miles at a good fast clip. Now it was dark when we went out and the sun hadn’t come up yet, and as I’m walking my laps, here comes the sun over the landfill area garbage dump. Man was it nice. I stopped and just watched it rise. I can understand a rice farmer on the Nile Delta 5000 years ago, tending his fields in the dark and all at once here comes this bad fucking sun. No wonder they worshipped it. It was a natural high. So I got all inspired by myself. There was about 10 guys out that early but I exercised alone. I did a 9:30am workout. Push-ups. Squats. Back arms. I even sprinted 40 yards a couple of times.
Now get this. As I’m at my workout station, these two schmucks are walking laps and as they approach me, they’re having a discussion and talking so I can hear them. Now one has a 5 o’clock shadow with plucked eyebrows, thinks he’s Gidget with a ponytail. A real swisher. The other is a big lanky guy who years ago they put me in a cell with and he lasted 10 minutes and pushed the buzzer for the C.O. and told him he didn’t want to live with me, so they took him out. So anyway, he’s now a Christian. So he’s telling this Gidget freak how much he loves mankind, loud so I can hear.
“Yes, I love all people and I tell them. I don’t care who they are or what they did, I’ve got love for everyone.”
I said to myself, Don’t let these scumbags ruin your morning, and I got my head right and went on with my workout. My hate goiter subsided.
Look, you know I did 5 years in that fucking lockdown hole CB8-2. Cold chow. Roaches. Mice. Indifferent C.O.s. Feces throwers around you. No, now I consider my options. You, Shaun, taught me that.

I just left the chow hall. I had French toast, scrambled eggs, cold cereal, fried potatoes, 2 oranges, 1 biscuit, 1 milk, syrup, coffee. Good rap at the table discussing Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel and the pervert Pope Julius II.
I just got out of a hot shower. I’m writing you, then I’m going to the Wachovia golf tournament. I’ll bust open a rahmen beef soup a little later. Or maybe I’ll open a tuna and break out a bagel.
My daughter is happy and married to a great loving husband and father. My grandsons are healthy and loved. Hey, bro, there’s blokes laying up in cancer wards, burn wards.
Shaun, if I allow myself to get all sad and on the woe is me bullshit, then I’m a weakass motherfucker.

I got that graveyard shift sanitation job. I go out at 10pm and pick up trash with 4 other guys. I see this as part of my journey. It is what it is.
Yeah, you can let Avuncular Floyd know that if fate should move its huge hand and I got released I probably would not bother anyone. But then if a motherfucker really asks for it and he’s got it coming, fuck yeah, I’ll try to show him how the cow eats the cabbage. That option is always open. Options, that’s what it’s all about. Take nothing off the table. People respect that or at least they should.

Hey bro, this Obama lame can’t keep his fucking mouth shut. He’s fucking up. I thought this asshole had a shot but he’s making me think he’s only human. He’s got some fools for handlers like that whacked out preacher Wright. He needs to be smitten with the plague, or a good steady rainfall of frogs, or the Nile turn to blood, or how about a good locust invasion. Something to get this asshole’s attention that God is angry. I mean like pissed off enough to let Hillary or that hack McCain win. Only time will tell. But God and Ophry want Obama for prez and they know what’s best for the masses, the great unwashed. Maybe if Obama wins he would grant me a pardon, and I could get hooked up with a job as a greeter at Harrod’s or Wal-Mart’s. And perhaps work my way into the gun department, so I could show blokes the wonders of a 2 inch snub nose Colt. Hey! I can dream can’t I?

Give my L&R to Mums and Dad and Sis and you be a good guy. No wild parties.

Hey bro, don’t misconstrue what I just wrote. I don’t think I’m institutionalised. It’s just that I’m a realist. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere, so I’ve got to accept it and make the best of a bad situation. Much as a cancer patient does or a car wreck victim. Only my situation is self inflicted due to bad choices and not considering options and penalties. But so what. I should do this time sad and sniveling?
If you recall one time I told you about that asshole I took out down in Tucson, and after I was found guilty and called back to court for sentencing, the guy’s wife gets up acting like a loving victim and goes on about never wanting me to have a happy day again or to smell roses and all that bullshit, and that I should suffer. Well, if that dope dealing broad had a video camera on me today she’d be pissed. I ain’t got no roses to smell but fuck it. I’ll smell some aftershave and make believe it’s roses. Yeah, to quote our beloved asshole of a president, “Bring it on.”

Hey friend, seriously, how are you doing out there? Are you happy? Are you working? I know you’re staying out of trouble, you’re too smart not to. What about old friends? Is Wild Man around? I enjoyed your pics and I’m happy you’re gone from this shithole.
I talk about you to a lot of these guys. Some know you, some don’t. But when your name comes up it’s all in good recall. Believe me, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Besides, you did your time textbook style. No drama. I was and still am glad to say, Yeah, Shaun! Yeah, he’s a friend of mine.
So you stay strong out there. Watch for those curve balls life will throw at all of us. Just a little advice from an old lifer who was a tough guy for 20 seconds and an asshole for 112 years. Options, always consider your options.

Oh yeah, tell Richard I really enjoyed his books, specially Into Thin Air. Its’a mystery why people want to suffer on that mountain. I guess the answer to that mystery is because it’s there. He was very thoughtful in sending them to me. A good bloke as you Limeys say.

I enjoy your letters. You and your readers feel free to ask me questions about anything. Life’s journey. Religion. Pride. Prejudice. Politics.

Hey bro, enjoy yourself and don’t forget in the turmoil of life’s struggles it’s good to stop and smell the roses or in some cases – the aftershave.

“You’re my horse even if you never win a race.”

Two Tonys

Coming next: Two Tonys' friend, Warrior, introduces himself to us.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
19 May 08

From T-Bone (Letter 4)

T-Bone - A deeply-spiritual and massively-built African American. A prison gladiator with more stab wounds than Julius Caesar. A good man to have on your side.



My literati friend, how have you been, man? I’ve been hoping to hear from you these past weeks, and I must say it is good to know that you are applying yourself to doing what is right: writing.

I’ve been moved as you can see and it’s a blessing in a lot of ways.
Hey Shaun, do you remember that a-hole I had to put hands on? Well, when I got to Buckeye he sent this young chump to try me. I asked the guy to take it to shower 1 and I put it on him in about 17 seconds. He moved out that same night and tried to have his people send me some ends (money). I told him no.

My friend, I want to address this issue the person named Dirtos has with me because of my love and respect for you! As anyone knows who has ever done time or knows someone who has, it is essential to convey the truth and truth means facts! The fact of the matter is that we both have been down some extremely rough roads, and seen and heard some mighty nasty things, but we’ve also had some so called good times, or experiences and to whoever is reading this wake up! – when you care about someone you express your concerns, and from experience, going to bars and/or clubs leads to habits, and Shaun has just got out of the joint, and I am advising him to not get into drinking and/or people who want to hang out in places where there’s drinking and carousing. I consider Shaun more than just a friend and that bond I have with him has him in a position to where all he has to do is call me, and I’ll be there for him.
Case in point. On the yard I heard this big fat guy say Shaun’s a fag, and that he was going to Shaun’s cell to take his ass. I didn’t tell Shaun or anyone else. I reacted and caught the guy in a pod, and put the guy in a situation so to speak….
I didn’t have to hurt the guy but I would of if he didn’t understand, or should I say come to respect us.
In other words, when he disrespects Shaun he disrespects me. The fat guy is an addict, and the power of love is what sent me to deal with the asshole!
So Dirtos, I don’t have issues with dope, but I do with anyone who tries to harm my friend, and I’ll also have an issue with my friend if he tries to harm himself by doing dope or carousing. Honor is what makes friendships, along with love, and I honor my friends.

Things here are as usual, my friend, sitting, waiting, doing time, you know!

I am still waiting for you to hook me up with a 40ish or 50ish woman! Make sure to let her know that I am strong and not into playing games.

Thank you for sending the blogs!

Say hello to your people and you, you just stay strong and keep up the good work.

Strength & Honor – Each one, Teach one!


Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
16 May 08

From Frankie (Letter 4)

Frankie - A Mexican Mafia hitman and leader of prison "booty bandits" who has been proposing our gay marriage ever since he saw me applying antifungal ointment to the bedsores on my buttocks at the Madison Street jail, where he was held on murder charges he subsequently beat.



It’s about time that I heard from your hairy ass. I was really getting upset at you.

As for Cat Eyes, just being from Canada is a plus cuz I hear the women there are freaky and kinky….Yes! Yes! Yes! She’s got my approval. Can you imagine doing yoga with her naked? Mercy!

Now let’s talk about Noelle. Yes! She is my favotite cuz of the things she says, you can tell she’s gots a big heart and she’s beautiful people. I will answer anything she wants to know.
As for getting my life on track, yes, I’m going to and that alone means a lot to me. What I want for the rest of my life is to settle down and work and enjoy life. I’m a simple guy and easy to please.
My dream is to become a counselor and help the youth. My testimony would be straight facts about gangs and prison life and if I could help one kid then I did my job. A lot of people get second hand information from books but getting the real deal from someone that lived it will open these youngsters eyes.
Noelle, I hope you don’t mind me asking but I need a pen pal like you. I’m not a bad person and there’s a lot more to me that you’ll get to know if you want to write.

As for JL, I apologize for what I said. I have no right disrespecting you and I am sorry.

Frankie is becoming a softy. I’m tired of living the vida loca.

Chris. There’s so much that you don’t know but you have all the right to voice your opinion, but here’s some facts. Englandman is my friend. When Englandman wouldn’t give his booty up he broke my heart but now we have a good friendship. What I say now is nothing to do with intimidation, it’s just joking. Yes, I’m well respected in prison and I would never disrespect others. Me and Shaun met at the Madison Street jail in 2003. I was coming over to play chess through his window and he was rubbing cream on the sores on his hairy ass. Mercy! We became very good friends. I’m the kind of friend that protects my friends and I’m loyal to them. Yes, a lot of people look at me like I’m this big time dude but in reality I’m a nice caring dude. Personally Shaun knows me real well.
Chris, I also apologize to you for what I said last time.

Stay up Englandman, take care my friend,

My love, Mr. Frankie

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
14 May 08

From Shane (Letter 1)

Shane - After being denied psychiatric medication by ValueOptions, Shane self-medicated with illegal drugs financed from burglaries. The medication in prison caused him to suffer a period of spontaneous ejaculations.


Greetings from the land of saguaro cactuses and blue-haired snowbirds.

Speaking of Herr Arpaio, I watched a program called Crystal Darkness a while ago. It was on crystal meth in Arizona and aired on all of the network stations during prime time television. If not for Arpaio’s appearance in it, it would have been a good – but severely sugar-coated – look into meth. Once again, Lil Joe managed to get in the spotlight and come across as a pompous ass. Shoulda included the MCSO’s [Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office] more than ample torture and death stats on meth addict inmates. That’s a deterent!

Shane vs ValueOptions is still under the appeals court jurisdiction. Yeah, I continue to lay in wait. Like a mangy alley cat stalking a sewer cockroach!

Shane vs ADOC is turning into a monster. It has the potential to turn into a huge sticky mess of hep C all over ADOC. Will I break weak and settle? Hmmm…I’ll get back with you on that. Ha. I’ll tell ya this much…three words will help with my decision: attornies, mania, and MONEY (not to be confused with “money”).

Pixie [a lady who discovered Shane through his blog] and I are getting along great. She visits. I call. We write. Shaun, it’s nice. No, it’s perfect! We are great together. It’s love. She’s crazy about me and I’m just crazy. Ha.

As you’ve been encouraging me for years, I’m continuing to write. Mainly on my blog lately. ADOC [Arizona Department of Corrections] and MCSO have been snooping online and reading my entries. It became obvious that I had drawn attention to myself and what I've been writing on my blog when ADOC and Herr Arpaio (MCSO) IP addresses began to appear on my statcounter, yet they only read and read, leaving no comments or questions.

ADOC spent hours there. This troubles me. Not so much for my own safety, I'm used to the abuses of power and can fight back, but my friends and loved ones suffering any repercussions because of me scares me. Terrifies me! Arpaio is a powerful man with no qualms about directing those powers at anybody for any reason he dreams up. Ask anybody who has politically opped him. He's dangerous. He's a political terrorist. Take away his media coverage and financial backing, and what is he? He's simply an old man with a bitter outlook and extremist ideals. Other than religion, what's the difference between him and Bin Laden or the late Saddam? They all fight dirty and cruel.

As for ADOC, and their employees I've blogged about: well, my blogs speak for themselves. If I didn't believe it or consider it factual, it wouldn't be on my blog as such. Do I worry that the ADOC people I write about will retaliate? Sure, but if they do... they do. They had better only keep it against ME! (Not a threat, simply a notice of sorts - for future use if necessary.)

I won't change what or how I write, but I will be paying very close attention to my blog visitors and the behaviors of those I write about who work around me. I might also add that many regular readers of my blogs are media, attorneys, civil rights activists and prisoner rights organizations. It would be very stupid for anybody to retaliate and certainly would draw a large oppositional frenzy.

I have about 4 years left in here. Maybe two, if my criminal appeal is successful. I will have a new life waiting for me. I've spent far too much time behind bars, high, crazy and alone in this world. Now I'll just lay down and relax. With my own Pixie by my side...of course.

Weird Al, Iron Man, Kat and all of your other Orangemen friends are doing well and say “Hello.”



PS Posh Bird vs Cat Eyes? Just remember that a French-Canadian Pussycat will always beat an English Hen. Cat Eyes and Posh Bird. I saw the pics, and they both seem great prospects, but which one could you live without?

To read Shane’s blog, Persevering Prison Pages, click on this link: http://shannoninprison.blogspot.com/

Shane welcomes you comments and correspondence.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
12 May 08

The train to Manchester was shrinking in the distance when I arrived at the station. To avoid the sun I sat in the shelter. I was staring at the multitude of compressed bubblegum spots on the grey tarmac when two young Scousers (Liverpudlians) benched themselves next to me.
“’Scyuze me, mayte. Doo ya know what time the next train iz?”
“Ten to four,” I said.
“’Ey, mayte, where’er yer from?”
“I just got back from America.”
“Fuckin’ ’ell. Why’dya wanna do that?”
“They booted me out for raves and Ecstasy.”
“You musta done a lotta Ecstasy den. Me mayte ate three-hundred pills once, and he ended up shittin’ ’em out whole.”
“The’re gonna end up callin’ the bizzies [police] on them,” said the other Scouser, referring to the two high-schoolers sword-fencing with sections of drainpipe on the station roof. In blazers, shirts and ties, more high-schoolers invaded the platform opposite, and swore at each other or into cell phones.
An express train swooshed past, leaving a wave of swirling litter in its wake.

“Anyone just get on the train?” asked the blue-uniformed inspector.
“I did,” I said. “I need a return to Manchester.”
“Eight pounds ten, please.”
“I’ve got a tenner.”
“Do you have the ten pence?”
“I think so. Yes.”
During the forty-minute journey, I wrote a letter to Frankie.

In the café at the Cornerhouse waiting for Gemma, I sipped a Leffe Belgian Ale shandy and wrote letters to T-Bone and Slope.
“Would you like me to take your picture?” I asked the French party of four at the next table whose camera timer was misbehaving.
“Yes. Thank you.”

Blonde Gemma arrived in silver ballet pumps with bows. And in one pump, a broken toe.
“Nice shoes,” I said.
“Moda in Pelle.”
“How did you break your toe?”
“I went arse over tit in work. I felt like a right idiot. I couldn’t go to the gym last night, so I may be a lard arse next week.”
“You speak funny.”
“Everyone makes fun of me for it. Instead of mojo, I say morejore. I have double-u’s in the middle of words. Like schoowel and cowert.”
“A cowert of law.”
I laughed.
“For the blog, can we go over how you found out about me?”
“In Cosmo. Someone gave it me ’cause it had a pair of shoes in it she thought I’d like. I was just flickin’ through it ’cause I was bowerd – let’s be honest Cosmo is no Vogue is it? – and I read your article and I thought it was really sad. I logged onto your blog, then I sent you some books – like fower – and we started writing.”
“What’s your job title these days.”
“Media Research Executive for Bauer.”
“And you’re working toward a PhD in what?”
“Film theory.”
“Can I use Broken Toe as your blog name?”
“No! Call me The Girl With The Nice Hair And Nice Shoes.”
“That’s way too long. For the record, how many pairs of shoes do you own?”
“Loads. Like tonnes.”
“Over one-hundred?”
“Wow! My impression of you is you keep yourself really busy.”
“I’m nonstop doing things. I go to the gym, watch films. I like shopping – that relaxes me. I only sleep for about six to seven hours.”
“What about reading?”
“I like Jane Green, Marion Keyes, Sophie Kinsella, Adele Parks and Anna Maxted. Comedy and chick lit. I have all my geeky film books as well – film theory and criticism. Martin Scorsese, I love his films.”
“Me too. What about chick flicks?”
“Chick flicks are great because they replicate fairy tales, they require no thought you can just sit back and enjoy. They're full of hope and romance. Silly really but I think most girls love a bit of romance. Speaking of chick flicks, what’s happening with you and Posh Bird?”
“She dumped me for some guy she met at the gym.”
“I know that. But haven’t you got back together yet?”
“It’s irreconcilable. She got mad at me for posting about the gym guy.”
“Did you love her?”
“We’d only gone out for a few months.”
“How did it feel when she dumped you?”
“It hurt. One week she’s telling me she really likes me and mentioning when she wants kids and how many she wants, and next thing I call her to make sure we're still going to the pictures and she tells me she met someone at the gym. Iron Man’s going to have a good laugh at this. I promised him I’d sign up for the gym as soon as I got home. See what I get for being a slob?”
“If she didn’t want to see you then fair enough, but she should have had enough respect to come and see you about it rather than simply saying on the phone she’d met someone at the gym. I think she treated you with a total lack of respect. I bet if the shoe was on the other foot she wouldn’t like it.”
“I don’t think she disrespected me at all. It’s her prerogative to do what she feels will make her most happy. We’d only gone out for a short while and it was on again off again the whole time. She told me a boyfriend of hers was so in love with her he transferred university to be with her and she immediately dumped him and dropped out of that university.”
“Bloody hell!”
“I kind of respect that in a way though. She looks sweet, but she’s a toughie. I’ve had to outsmart some tough people in my time, but Posh Bird ran rings around me. Anyway, it’s a lesson learned. I now know the perfect time to tell a woman she’s beautiful is when she’s all sweaty at the gym. I had a run of bad luck after she dumped me. My literary agent was hospitalised and is fighting for her life, and Liverpool University rejected me because I have no credentials in literary analysis. Anyhow, it’s all better than being in prison."
"What's going on with Royo Girl?"
"She's trying to get to England in September. But isn’t it time for us to go and watch the movie you picked?” (My Brother is an Only Child. An Italian movie with subtitles.)

Counting the seats at the cinema in the Cornerhouse didn’t take long.
“I’ve never seen such a small cinema. Only fifty-seven seats, eh?” I said to the usher, a little man with a miserable face.
“Yeah,” he said, “but we don’t sell the seats for two of them.”
“Which two?” Gemma whispered. “Let’s sit in them and be naughty.”
“Which ones?” I asked.
Scrunching his face, he said, “The end ones, so you don’t strain your neck.”
Strain your neck in this miniscule theater? I thought.
“I think he’s making this up,” Gemma whispered. “He’s just messing with your mind.”
“He sounds serious, but you’re probably right.”
More people arrived. Three bespectacled professor types. A lady in black with a bulging backpack. A nodding and smiling hippy wearing a baseball cap, his dilated eyes radiating over-friendly vibes. A group of women; as the largest of them sat down, she displayed a dolphin’s smile of a buttock crack hanging out of the back of her pants workman style.
The commercials played and Gemma speed-texted.
“How do you do that so fast?”
“You’ve gotta be efficient when you’re as busy as me. I can text without looking.”
Set in late-Sixties provincial Italy, the movie was about the political and emotional development of two brothers: a fascist and a Communist. I enjoyed the action and conflict.

A portly Italian with slicked-back silver hair seated us at a candlelit table at Cocotoo, a restaurant built into a railway arch. Pink satin drapes belonging in an Ottoman’s harem quarters separated the restaurant into different sections. I could almost taste the basil, garlic and oregano in the aromas drifting from the open kitchen. Magnificent chandeliers were hanging from an arced ceiling painted with skyscapes and replicas of the Sistine chapel frescoes. Gemma ordered fillets of sea bass grilled and served with lemon juice and olive oil, plus rocket leaves and shavings of parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes and a balsamic dressing. I ordered margherita and patatine fritte, which loses all of its romantic flavour in the English translation: pizza and chunky chips. I even had the cheek to ask for brown sauce.
“I hope your guy put those frescoes up faster than Michelangelo did,” I said in a serious tone.
In an Italian accent and proud tones, the waiter said, “The guy working on it told us it’d take six months. Three years later he was still working on it.”
Apologizing for the lack of brown sauce, a waitress placed some green and black olives on the orange-copper-brown-black marble tabletop.
“Do you not eat fish?” Gemma asked. “Now there’s no rat parts in the food, can’t you try some fish?”
“I used to live off fish ’n’ chips, but I don’t even eat fish these days. It doesn’t appeal to me.”
Over dinner, prison questions flowed from Gemma.
“I don’t understand how there’s so much drugs in the prisons. How do they get it all in?”
“Mostly keystering.”
“What’s that?”
“It’s packed in balloons or condoms. The vistors insert them into their bodies, take them out during the visits and the prisoners insert them into their bodies at visitation. Women visitors have two places they can insert them, and men one. A prisoner who can store a lot inside himself is called a mule. He’ll get paid by the gangs to receive drugs through visitation. Sometimes the packages burst and the mule dies of an overdose or is hospitalised.”
“It’s such a different world.”
“Guards bring them in too.”
“It only takes one corrupt guard to flood a prison with drugs.”
“How do the prisoners arrange that with the guards?”
“Various ways. Sometimes they seduce female guards. I know of two instances at the Madison Street jail. One guard was having sex where they keep the cleaning supplies and bringing heroin and crystal meth in. A nurse there got arrested for it. Gangs organise sex and payments for male guards outside of the prison. Sometimes guards are seduced and blackmailed. If you think about it, the prison-industrial complex is a pyramid scheme, and the guards are only one tier up from the prisoners. They don’t make much money, they’re not the most qualified people in the world, so they’re easy prey for these crafty gang members. It’s so bad now, America’s prisons are basically dens for people who use drugs intravenously. For up to eighty, ninety percent of the prisoners I was housed with, each day revolved around injecting drugs or getting more drugs into the prison. If you don’t do drugs you’re considered lame and treated with great suspicion.”
“How do they pay for the drugs?”
“The dealer may be paid in store items, you may have someone put money on his books, or street-to-street.”
“What’s street-to-street?”
“Street-to-street means your friends on the street pay his friends on the street, so the money doesn’t even have to enter the prison system. You should hear some of the stories prisoners make up to their family members and friends as to why they need to pay some stranger hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. Which reminds me, another way prisoners get drugs in is they put up ads at writeaprisoner.com, get women writing to them, develop relationships, sometimes even marrying them, and then sweet-talk them into keystering drugs in to visitation. Books, legal mail, and food visits are also other ways.”

“Why don’t I drop you off at the Piccadilly station as there’s more trains go from there,” Gemma said later on.
“I’m going to prowl the night scene for a bit first.”
“Well, Chinatown and the gay area are right over there,” she said as we hugged goodbye.
The busiest area was Canal Street. Sandwiched between a row of bars and the canal was such a crowd I could only wend my way through in slow motion. Captivated by the atmosphere, I grabbed a stool and jotted things down. Drag queens in Disneyland princess outfits and purple wigs. Rasta in a blood-red shirt, a Russian ushanka hat and dreads to the small of his back. Old man in a cowboy hat of white fleece. Playboy Bunny ears adorned with flashing coloured lights on a young woman in an Adidas tracksuit. Poker-faced Asian lady selling pink fuzzy cowboy hats. The clickety-click of high heels announcing the arrival of another horde of mini-skirted sozzled women ploughing through the crowd one sexually-aggressive stride at a time. Shaved-headed bouncers in black clustered around entrances, arms folded. Man in sandles and shorts singing and dancing on his own down a side-street. Further down the side street, a man peeing on the wall. Butch lesbian couple holding hands, hair in crewcuts. Street-kid promoters doling out flyers. Black man in gangsta garb holding hands with a white transsexual with long brown crimped Eighties hair and a hooked nose. Youngsters peddling roses and glowsticks. Fresh-faced yuppies raising pints and cell phones.

At 11:15, I arrived at the station just in time for the last train home at 11:20. I didn’t see my hometown on the timetable, but I saw Warrington, so I headed for Platform 14. A long walk to find out it was the wrong train.
I dashed to the front and couldn’t find the train listed anywhere. I asked an employee how come my train had bermuda-triangled.
“The last train you want doesn’t stop at Piccadilly, only at Oxford. You’ve missed it. It’s 11:22,” said the Indian in blue.
Hoping the train was delayed, yet half hoping it wasn’t so I could take more notes on the nightlife of Manchester, I ran for a cab, jumped in, and said, “Get me to Oxford Station as fast as you can.”
At 11:27, I arrived at Oxford Station. The timetable showed it had been delayed. I walked through three carriages to find a vacant seat.
“Do you mind if I sit next to you?” asked a brunette in a lowcut dress with an adorable spattering of freckles on her shoulders and back.
“That’s fine.”
We chatted. She said she was an ex-air hostess now working in recruitment. I told her a bit but not too much about America. Her stop came after ten minutes or so.
The skinhead sat in the opposite window seat squinted at me and then snorted a line of cocaine off a credit card. His girlfriend, tanned and in a miniskirt, did likewise, and they both joined hands and garbled a song.
I got off the train to much jungle music and flashing of coloured lights. In the lone house between the station and Farnworth Cemetary, a ravey party was in full swing. I felt the pull of the music. It almost whirled me around.
The wolves howled.
I ignored them.

There will be no blog "Month 5" as I've covered so much ground in this blog.
Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
11 May 08


To hear the podcast of yesterday's Desert Politics show click on Attorneys Michael Manning and Joel Robbins. The podcast runs for one hour and I come on half way through it.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
New Times Article

Emergency preparedness: how to survive in Arpaio’s jails

Thu May 08, 2008 at 01:47:02 PM
By John Dickerson

The best way to avoid rancid “mystery meat” in Arpaio’s jail is to claim you’re Hindu and need a vegetarian diet. That’s precisely what inmate Shaun Attwood did. He lists this and other gems of jail survival on his blog.

If you're steering clear of the slammer, you can print the tips and mail them to your incarcerated loved ones. If they can't make bond, these tips might keep them from bonding undesirably with other inmates. Besides, you never know when "America's Toughest Sheriff" might arrest innocent folks like yourself (or say the owner of a newspaper) for no good reason.

Other Maricopa County jail tips include wrapping a towel around your face during riots (because everyone gets maced) and being the last to sit in the cafeteria on your first day (so you don’t get pummeled or sit at another race's table).

New Times named Attwood’s blog the “Best Prison Blog” in 2005. Since then, more than 400,000 readers have visited his online journal. New as of today is the video version of Attwood’s jail survival tips, available here on YouTube.

You can learn more about his life now on his personal Web site.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below
10 May 08

Radio Broadcast Today

Today Todd Landfried of 1480 KPHX out of Phoenix is broadcasting my YouTube video (How to Survive Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Jail System) on his radio show Desert Politics. He has invited me to call in to discuss the video with today's guests, Michael Manning and Joel Robbins, two attorneys who have filed the most lawsuits against Arpaio, who are also going to be discussing their cases. One of them filed the New Times case against Arpaio.

The one-hour show airs at 1pm in Arizona (9pm in England). If you wish to listen to the show live, here's the link: http://www.1480kphx.com/DynamoPages.php?PID=22

I should be coming on the air at about half way through the show.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
08 May 08

YouTube of How to Survive Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Jail System

If you want to print out the list of tips to send to an inmate, the list is here: http://jonsjailjournal.blogspot.com/2008/05/07-may-08-how-to-survive-sheriff-joe.html

Arpaio's jails: First Ave Jail Fourth Avenue Jail Durango Jail Towers Jail Estrella Jail Tent City
Lower Buckeye Jail Madison Street Jail

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

How to Survive Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Jail System

1 If you don’t want to end up with the mystery-meat slop the inmates call “red death” then when you first enter the jail tell the booking officer you need a religious diet. Claiming Hindu will get you vegetarian food. The Jewish food is considered the best, but you might have some explaining to do to the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang.

2 When you arrive at your assigned pod, dorm or tent do not hide your charges or else you will be suspected of sex crimes or crimes against women and children, which can get you smashed or killed. If the inmates tell you to “roll up” as soon as you get there and offer no further explanation, then you are in imminent danger, so ask to be moved unless you are the type of person who enjoys fighting five people at once.

3 Immediately ask who the head of your race is and be aware of the political rules he is enforcing. For example, if you are white and an Aryan Brother is running the whites and you go and sit at a table with the Mexicans, Mexican Americans or African Americans you may get smashed. Video of an Aryan Brother murdering an inmate who violated the gang rules:

4 When you get your first meal, sit down last because you don’t want to sit on the seat of someone who likes to knock people out for the slightest affront. Find out who sits where, and ask someone where is the safest place for you to sit.

5 Don’t run up drug or gambling debts. Debts are the number one reason for jail violence.
6 If you brag or act tough – no matter how big you are – someone will want to smash you. The gangs go in like packs of hyienas on big men.

7 If you must do drugs, clean the works. There are hundreds of men sharing one dirty syringe throughout Arpaio’s jail system. Hepatitis C is rampant, and TB not uncommon. The way Arpaio runs the jail constitutes a public-health risk.

8 Same goes for tattoos. One inmate I met had contracted AIDS from getting a jailhouse tattoo.

9 Don’t flaunt money or get a lot put on your inmate account all at once. If you do so, you are asking to be extorted. Don’t give store items away for free or else you will be perceived as a soft touch and the inmates will try to take everything you own.

10 When a riot happens the whole area is usually pepper-sprayed or maced. Wet your eyes and blink rapidly, so the chemical agent comes out in your tears. Wrap a wet towel around your head to protect you from the effects of the spray.

11 Don’t pal up to the guards. The inmates will assume you are providing information and smash or murder you for snitching.

12 Don’t talk about someone behind his back. Beware of inmates telling you they heard someone say something bad about you – like someone calling you a punk – because they may be inciting you to fight their enemy. A good response for such a situation is: “Anyone who thinks I’m a punk needs to man-up and say it to my face.”

13 Don’t tell the guards you are feeling suicidal or they will four-point you, meaning all four of your limbs will be shackled to a bunk and you will have to urinate and defecate where you lay.

14 When store items are being collected for indigent inmates or men in the hole/lockdown contribute if you can. You do not want to be viewed as being stingy towards your race.

15 Be aware of your body language. The inmate with a spring in his step and his chin up is less likely to get preyed upon than the inmate with his head down staring at the ground giving off vibes that he’s afraid or he has something to hide.

16 Maricopa County is paying out a fortune in inmate lawsuits because of the inhumane treatment of prisoners by the Arpaio regime. If you are mistreated, request for and fill out all of the necessary grievance and medical paperwork otherwise your claim will not stand up in court. I encourage inmates to sue the jail and Arpaio as much as possible - that's how changes get made. So as to avoid court cases and bad publicity, inmates are often paid out-of-court settlements. This is a good earner for inmates who have suffered illegal treatment.

17 Stock up on the free toothpaste, AmerFresh, in case you end up in a cockroach-infested area. It effectively blocks the cracks the cockroaches swarm from when the lights are turned off.

Click here for my fish survival guide.

Tags. How to survive jail prison, survival guide, shaun attwood, First Ave Jail Fourth Avenue Jail Durango Jail Towers Jail Estrella Jail Tent City Lower Buckeye Jail Madison Street Jail
05 May 08

From Two Tonys (Letter 4)

Two Tonys - A whacker of men and Mafia associate serving multiple life sentences for murders and violent crimes. Claims all his victims "had it coming."


I received your letter of 3-26-08 along with the blogs. You sound as if you’re doing fun things over there. I like that. That War & Peace sounds interesting. I saw the movie 40 yrs ago put out by the Russkies. They used the Red Army to film the war scenes and did a good job. I enjoyed it. None of that Hollywood plastic sets shit.
But I’d really like to see Beckett. I’ve only been to one play in my life, a musical in Vegas called Auntie Mame with Juliet Prowse, Sinatra’s old squeeze. It was fun. I’d really enjoy an English play by English actors in England. But I’ll always have Masterpiece Theater. That’s a great show. I really enjoyed Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. That’s what I named my daughter Elizabeth. She’s a queen in my heart. Maybe not of the British Isles, but of my heart.

Hey bro, Xena is back. I guess he didn’t do a good job and he’s still packing a schlong with an accesory part. What the fuck is wrong with me? Here I am writing my pal across the pond and discussing another bloke’s schlong. But I know he’s your friend and you want an update. Anyway, he’s on the yard. Drop him a line. I’m sure he’ll fill you in on his Home Depot surgery. I can’t pump up my own nutsack to ask him. How do you ask a guy, “Oh, by the way, did you get all your nuts or did you leave a wee bit?” I’ll let you handle that, if you want.

I’ve got this guy, his name is Warrior. Nice guy. Clean cut. Smart. Good reader. He’s trying to make something out of himself in here, for when he gets out. He read your blogs and I’ve told him a lot about you. He’s got 5 years to do. He wants to write you with some of his thoughts and views on prison. I’ve told him I’ve got to check with you before he gets your address. Think about it and get back with me. This guy is OK. He’s no thug. Clean cut, etc. It’s your call.

So your sis moved to Abu Dhabi. That’s where they cut your hands off for shoplifting ain’t it? Imagine the justice they would hand out to the likes of Two Tonys. I’ll pass. Unless they want me as the guy doing the cutting. I’d want the chomo section. I’d cut their peckers off. I can dream can’t I?

Hey friend, give my regards to the folks and keep on keeping on. You’re doing a good job over there.

Oh yeah, they moved me to another building. Then they moved me back about a week later, and I lost my job as a shower porter in the move. I just put in for graveyard shift sanitation. I just dump garbage at night with a couple of other guys, not a bad job. 25 cents per hour, and I’m out of my cell for a few hours. I think this is called atonement. Is that correct? Who gives a fuck? I do what I do. Survival, bro. Only the strong make it. I’m 67 and I can hang out with most of these young guys. And the record shows I can take a lickin and keep on tickin. I got to stay busy, that’s the key staying busy. And reading, writing, watching sports, Masterpiece Theater.

What the fuck is up with this Beckham dude? I mean, God bless him, he’s got it going on, good for him. I like his old lady. And he seems cool, but I can’t get into that game you guys call football. I like the real football, not that version you guys serve up. Oh well, to each his or her own.

Stay strong. “This life ain’t nothing but a donut and the hole keeps getting bigger.”

Later Pals,

Two Tonys

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood

02 May 08

Hammy (Part 3)

Hammy - Best friend I grew up with in my hometown. Fond of alcohol, especially Stella Artois. Picture taken in Majorca, summer of 1984, me and Hammy, female unknown.

“I’m half cut,” Hammy said, walking to the Churchview on St. George’s Day.
“On what?” I asked.
“Pimm’s, the quintessential English drink, my friend. It’s only twenty-five percent alcohol.”
“We’ve drank two to three bottles between us,” said Longshanks, a local giant.
Sounding its horn furiously, an approaching van screeched up to a roundabout where we were about to cross the road. Leaning out of the driver’s window, a hooligan yelled, “Hammy, meet you in the Bells!”
Jumping around and shaking their fists in some kind of war dance, Hammy and Longshanks growled obscene greetings.
Being early afternoon, the Churchview was mostly empty. A sign behind the bar read:


“What’s this singalong with Eddie about?” Hammy asked a barmaid.
“It’s a bit of a joke. ’E’s one of our regulars see, and ’e’s got one of these accordian things and everyone joins in.”
We took two pints of Stella Artois, and half a cider outside. Below the parasol next to ours, sat a man in a Jesus T-shirt – Jesus depicted as a goalie in front of football nets and wearing a little Saint George’s Cross.
Admiring the T-shirt, Hammy said, “St. George’s Day makes you think about your home country.”
“What’s this St. George about anyway?” I asked.
“He was a Turk,” Hammy said. “We stole him.”
“It’s to do with Joseph of Arimathea,” Longshanks said, “who paid for Jesus’s funeral. Jesus rose on the third day and Joseph of Arimathea whisked him off to England and brought him to Glastonbury.”
“They landed at a place called Saint Tintagel, down in Cornwall way,” Hammy said. “King Arthur sent his knights far and wide to search for the Holy Grail. It was a bit of a blag ’cause he knew where it was all along –”
“I’m lost,” I said. “What’s St. George got to do with all this?”
“Nothing,” Longshanks said. “But you think about the pride of being English on St. George’s Day.”
“The Saint George’s Cross is a red cross on a white background,” Hammy said, patriotism oozing from his eyes. “The Union Jack. It’s a national disgrace why the English don’t even celebrate St. George’s Day.”
“And what did this St. George – a Turk as you described him – ever do for the English?”
“He didn’t do anything,” Longshanks said. “The original patron saint of England was St. Edmund the Confessor, a former king who confessed too much so we buggered him off. Then in the Thirteen Hundreds we adopted St. George as we’d just overcome the dragon of Wales, and St. George was famous for slaying the dragon and saving the princess.”
“It’s about getting pissed,” Hammy said. “Very pissed. Extremely pissed.”
“What is it on the Hammy alcohol-consumption scale?” I asked.
“It’ll be ten out of ten on the Richter scale,” Hammy said.
“Hammy’s legs’ll definitely be wobbly later.”
“There’s always a fight at my place,” Hammy said. “We drank from 8am last year, and the fight developed at 2am the next morning. The tele got smashed and there was general mayhem. There was only three fighting. It was like a triangle punch – Curly, Larry and Mo shit. We thought it had calmed down, but it kicked off again in the hall of the apartments.”
Hammy was interrupted by a text message: a woman had texted a picture of her breasts and asked Hammy a lewd question.
“The stew we had this morning,” Longshanks said, “was delicious. The finest English beef stewed to perfection with veg and gravy.”
“It wasn’t gravy!” Hammy said. “It was Newcastle Brown Ale, different bits of veg, plenee of Worcestershire sauce, and a big crusty cob. We sat there groaning for half an hour, with the top buttons on our kex open, listening to 'Pomp and Circumstance' –”
“To what?” I asked.
“A CD of different things all English. And 'Jerusalem' by Vaughan Williams sung twice, two versions, one the classical music by William Blake and the second by William Blake as sung by football hooligans on the terraces of Europe where you can still get stands where they piss in each others pockets ’cause it’s that packed. It’s easier to piss in a pocket than get to the bogs. You’ll feel warm piss all down the back of your leg. St. George’s Day makes you think of good things coming up like the sound of leather on willow, you know, cricket, lying in a hammock watching the cricket match, drinking Pimms, and you can smell the honeysuckle in the air –”
“And wild roses,” Longshanks said.
“And in the local pub, you can smell spilt ale on the floor which is itself just as sweet as honeysuckle, and it’s onwards and upwards and let the drinking begin.”
“Drinking continue,” Longshanks said.
“Yes, drinking continue, and mayhem. Although it’s looking forward, it’s also remembering, summers past and summers to come.”
“He says this all now,” Longshanks said, “but come 8 o’clock tonight he’ll be all pirate man again.”

Hammy telephoned from his flat around midnight. He stayed on the phone for half an hour in full pirate voice. All I could understand was that Longshanks had passed out on the sofa, and Hammy was about to exchange blows with another friend who wouldn’t shut up about Miami Vice.

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood