30 Aug 08

Postcards from Long Island (3)

Long Island - Promising young cellmate I taught to trade the financial markets. Released on the 11th of December '05 and rearrested this year. Alleged to have committed forgery and hit an officer with a car. He is writing from Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Towers jail.


How are you my friend?

I got 1 postcard from you last week. It was numbered #2, so I waited for #1 and it has not arrived. I noticed #2 had an incomplete sentence, ending with the word Towers and a question mark. I’m guessing #1 really did get lost or someone didn’t want that question answered. Were you asking me about the conditions in the jail again? They seem to be very sensitive about stuff like that around here lately. Joe Arpaio goes for re-election in November and a lot of these lawsuits that he’s been putting off for years are finally going before judges.

Whatever was on postcard #1, please rewrite and send to me. I’d be happy to answer any of your or your readers’ questions. You’ve always answered so so many of mine! I’ll never forget the days in prison we spent anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Investor’s Business Daily.

By the way, I laugh every time I think about you having dated a detective. How did that go you crazy bastard?

Please send Two Tonys my regards as well.

Much Love

Long Island

If you have a question for Long Island please post it in the comments

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

From Frankie (Letter 8)

Frankie - A Mexican Mafia hitman and leader of prison "booty bandits" who has been proposing our gay marriage ever since he saw me rubbing antifungal ointment on my bedsored buttocks at the Madison Street jail. He was there on murder charges he subsequently beat. He was recently moved from the super-maximum prison housing Arizona's death row to Tucson jail awaiting sentencing on charges he picked up in prison.


Englandman My Friend,

Well I finally made it to Pima County jail and let me tell you, the food is really great here and the jail is one of the best jails I ever been compared to Maricopa.
Sheriff Joe needs to take lessons from Pima County.

Anyway, if you write me here, they only allow prestamped envelopes.

I get sentenced on Sept 8 at 9AM. It’s either 4 ½ or 6 years. My lawyer says it’s 75% that I’ll get 4 ½ years with 13 months back time. Let’s do the math. I only do 85% of 4 ½ years, which takes 9 months off and I have 13 months back time. That’s 22 months to take from 4 ½ years, leaves me 32 months.
My friend, that’s a piece of cake for a guy like me. But there’s a big but! I’m leaving the vida loca. It’s time to do right cuz my 8 sisters need a brother out there and I’m all they have now cuz as you know my older brother passed away in May.

Don’t forget me on Sept 8 at 9AM. Say A Prayer For Frankie Day. Spread the word.
Romans 6-23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

My friend, do you have anyone here in Tucson that will come and visit me?

Take care & write soon.

Much love and respect,

----Mr Frankie----

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

Zucchini (Part 6)

This series came about because many of you requested I blog what prisoners get up to sexually. If you take offence to sexual content you may not want to read on.

Max - A car-jacking Chukchansi Indian who entered prison as a teenager and went home to Las Vegas in 2007. His sexual adventures in prison include trading semen to an old pervert for commissary items.
Part five left off with Log unsuccessfully trying to get Max together with Cindy the transsexual.

“There must have been something about Cindy and the shampoo bottle that piqued your interest sufficiently for you to go back to see Log and Cindy again?” I said.
“You know how it is.” Max said. “I went to Yard 2 to see my buddy Log.”
“What were they up to this time?”
“I look in Log’s cell. He’s not there. I know where Cindy’s livin’ at, so I go over there. I figure Log’s there. I tap on the door and look in. They’re boilin’ water. They’ve got an empty hot-sauce bottle, and they’re usin’ boilin’ water on it, so it’ll get shorter and expand girthwise. They’re pullin’ it outta the water, puttin’ it on the table, and mouldin’ it to get the shape they want.”
“And you’re inside or looking in?”
“Lookin’ in. I tapped but they didn’t hear me. After they were done with that process, I see Cindy holdin’ the bottle, and I know they’re about to do their little thing again. So I think maybe I should stop by another time.
I turn around and take like three or four steps, and I’m getting’ ready to leave the run when I hear the door open, and Log say, ‘Max, were you gonna stop by or what?’
I say, ‘Oh yeah. But you look like you’re busy.’
He says, ‘Nah, nah. Come kick it with us.’
My heart sinks, dude. I’m thinkin’ maybe they do these things on purpose when they know I might be comin’ over. Maybe they watch outta their window and see me and say, ‘Max is comin’. Come on, let’s do somethin’ really fucked up.’
So I go and stand in the middle of the doorway, and Log says, ‘Whattaya doin’?’
I say, ‘Sameol’ same-o. Deliverin’ trays.’
Log asks, ‘Do they have whole cucumbers in the kitchen?’
I say, ‘Yeah, the koshers get them. What do you need cucumbers for? Actually, dude, you know what? Never mind. I didn’t ask. I don’t even wanna know.’
Guess what Cindy asks for?”
“I don’t know. Is it food?”
“A veg?”
“Somewhere along the lines of a vegetable.”
“Log says, ‘We want zucchinis. They’re bigger than cucumbers.’
I say yeah but I don’t wanna say yeah ’cause when I bring it, there’s no tellin’ what I’m gonna walk into. I’m startin’ to think that I don’t even wanna deliver trays to Yard 2 no more.
Log’s sat on the bottom bunk. Cindy goes and sits on his lap. I’m noticin’ Cindy’s got quite the five o’clock shadow thing goin’ on today. A lotta these transsexuals try and talk all sweet and girlie, but to no avail, dude. You can hear the masculinity in their voices. She’s sweet-talkin’ Log like that. I’m beginnin’ to believe they do this kinda stuff all day. If I were with a woman who wanted toys shoved in her all day, I’d be a little insecure, a little jealous.
Well, they start playin’ around with each other. Cindy’s pants slide down, and mind you, I’m still at the door talkin’ to Log about various shit. Cindy unzips him, pops his pecker out, and commences ridin’ it with his anus. I really wanna leave. I just turn around, but before I turned, I noticed they were both lookin’ at me.
That’s when Log says, ‘Max, grab the hot-sauce bottle. We’re gonna need some help doin’ this.’”

What should Max do next?

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
25 Aug 08

Question Time With A Blood (Part 3)

Bones of the South Side Posse Bloods is serving sixteen years for leading a gang, assisting a crime syndicate, kidnapping and aggravated assault.

Joannie said…The one thing that struck me in this post was that loyalty falls off when you're inside. That isn't just true for gang members. That's life. Real friends stick it out with you on either side of the wire and they are hard to find.

You’re right, Joannie. I couldn’t say it better myself. But let me ask you, do you have any loyal friends? Or have you been loyal to your friend or friends? As for me, there are well over a thousand documented gang members in the south side according to the police in Phoenix. That was back in 1995. And out of several hundred that I know, only three and Chris G. have kept it real and loyal to me. And two of those are locked up, Bucky and Reggie. B-up Doggs!
Reggie, one day we will be back out on the streets bicking it together again.
And Bucky, don’t worry, I won’t forget about you, my little homie. B-up. And Quirien AKA Q, I got to thank you for keeping it real for the hood and me. You are what these youngsters need to learn to be loyal! Time is a lot easier for me in here because I have a true and loyal homie like you out there. B-up and stay safe and buster free until I get out in three. Posse for life!
Also, shout out to T.J.. Keep your head up, it ain’t the end of the world. And to B.J., thanks for keeping it real Dogg. We should get out about the same time. I’ll see you then. B-up.

Benny said…Hey dawg I just wanted to say that south side posse blood gang is still around! I've been a member since 93'and I've seen my dawgs come and go through the years.I've learned alot, out here living this life of a blood on these phx streets.Especially since I still live in the neighbor hood on 3rd just north dobbins.I don't bang like I used to but I still rep with a red rag in my back right pocket.Kause no matter what or how old I get being a mexican blood wasn't easy! It's a lifes story that only members as individuals experience!! And to all the young bloodz who are just entering this life style b-up blood and remember theres always consequences for our actions!And most important D.T.A remember that your O.G.B-dawg c.k.a krazy-e newskool and much love to oldskool bloodz still reppin.

Finally, a Blood that ain’t scared to put his name out there. “B-up Dogg!” I couldn’t have said your response any better. Living the life of a Mexican Blood in Phoenix is a life story that only members of South Side Posse as individuals experience.
When you started banging Posse in ’93, I was getting out of prison for the first time. I did 3 years. A couple of days after I got out, the homies were throwing a Posse party on First Ave, south of Dobbins at Mike and Kathy Herrera’s parents’ house. Back then 3rd north of Dobbins was a dirt road.
Man, Benny, you’re in one of the hearts of the hood, and you’re right, there’s always consequences for our actions. So to all the true Posse Bloods reppin to the fullest, always think before you act, whether you’re putting in work, legal or illegal. Because you can always catch a hot one anywhere or you can find yourself turned on and forgotten in prison.
Benny, I don’t know if I know you but stay true to those that stay true to you. And keep Bleeding, but keep being smart about it. B-up Blood for life!

Sureno X3 said…My cousin Robert died for SSP he got shot up for much love for SSP R.I.P RoB... SurX3 familia 4 eva.

I would like to send my condolences to SurX3 familia. I am sad to hear about that. I don’t know if I knew him or who shot him, but if I can do anything for your family from in here just ask me and I will do my best. Like send you some Red Roses that would last forever or if somehow you can send this vato your address or P.O. Box, if you want, and send him a nice photo of Robert and I’ll hook up a portrait of your cousin for your family.
I’d like to take the time here to send out a shout to your cousin Robert and the rest of the fallen S.S.P. members that I know. Bartman, Chapo, Lazaro, Chris Para, Scrappy Jerry Gilmet. May they rest in peace in the heavens above bicking back with each other in the next life. I miss you down-ass homies! And to the rest of you Posse members still alive, pay some respect to any of your homies that have fallen or pass away for the hood. Visit their graves and help out their families if possible.

this is lilbuck...i banged ssp since 94 and even went to the worst high school for a blood{alhambra}but still to this day flame up...much love to all my big homies...but cant foget joey v...rip dawg miss you...red ragger for life...

I don’t know you but the homie doing time with me does. He’s “the Young O.G. Bucky.” He said to tell you to B-up and to keep it real. And we both say may Joey V. R.I.P.. Bucky said to tell you that he met you at the Joey V. wake. And that if you don’t remember he said to ask Lil Leg who he is. B-up Blood.

Anonymous said…5hit all my homiE5 from Po55E wEar rED ckhuck5 rED lackE5 DickiE5 and a rED tEE or jEr5Ey anD a rED hat Di5 tuck town 520 Ea5t 5iDE Po55E BlooD r from DEuckE ninE south siDE Po55E BlooD r from 12th and DrExElE mi55ion manor Park B'z uP 311 all Day ck

Man Dogg you got to remember I’ve been locked up for more than 11 years now. I couldn’t understand all that Brazy writing but B-up Dogg.


You say fuck bitch type shit. First off, why are you logging on to a Blood site. You want to come on over to the Bloods side. You want to flip sides huh. The only bitch type shit going on is you talking shit on a computer. Oh I get it, you’re a computer gangbanger. Ha, ha, ha. I don’t bang on a computer, so I ain’t going to address your shit talking.

Click here for Question Time With A Blood (Part 2)

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
22 Aug 08

Convict Justice (by Shane)

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

I was 19 and in a maximum-security prison. It was my second month there. Wanting to remain independent rather than clique up, I made friends with a couple of recognized independents on the yard.

One such independent became my partner. Although quite an intense guy at times, he was a jovial person. He looked like the ’80’s wrestler Ultimate Warrior. Steve was a character.

“Hey, youngster, I got a favor to ask you. I need you to watch my back today going to chow,” Steve asked one day, a serious expression on his usually smiling face.
“What’s up?” I responded.
“I gotta handle this chomo who just drove up, and I don’t want anybody jumpin’ on me.”
Suspecting Steve was testing me, I agreed to watch his back.
Pointing his finger at me, he ended our conversation with, “Just make sure nobody stops me.”

Still a fish on the yard, cautious but wanting to do right by prison politics and morals, my mind justified what was about to happen. A child molester would get a beat down, and that would be that. Convict justice.

Later in the day, we walked to the chow hall together.
“Fall in behind me and stay with me,” Steve whispered as we weaved our way through the throng of prisoners heading for the chow hall.
As we passed beneath the gun tower, a notorious blind spot for the guards, Steve made his move.
In one fluid motion, Steve turned throwing a right hook to the cheek of a large heavyset man walking next to him. The punch landed flush with a loud crack as bone shattered.
The man staggered backwards, instinctively grabbing his fractured right cheek.
Instantly, the crowd parted leaving the three of us exposed.
As I circled Steve and the man, hand extended towards the crowd, I felt awkward but ready to fight.
Stunned, the man didn’t react other than to grab his face, so Steve took advantage and kicked the side of the man’s thick knee. Another bone-breaking crack sounded. Crying out in agony, the man went down.
He was on his side grasping his knee when Steve kicked him twice in the face, the second kick opening a long, deep gash below his left eye. Blood gushed down his face as he slumped forward face down.
Glancing down at the badly beaten man, Steve withdrew a newspaper clipping from his pocket, wadded it up and threw it in the blood pooling around the man’s head. “Don’t come back, chomo, or you’re through,” Steve said to the motionless man as he walked away, blending back into the crowd, which began its movement towards the chow hall again.
We moved on.

Once inside the chow hall, we split up. It didn’t take long for the man to be found. Minutes after we were inside the chow hall, guards locked both doors to contain us, while the man was transported off the yard.
When the doors were unlocked again, a guard was posted at the exit to do “knuckle checks” as we left the chow hall.
What shocked me more than the savage beating was how the guard waived Steve through without a glance as he exited.

After that day, I distanced myself from Steve. Despite having learned that the newspaper clipping described how the man pled guilty to molesting his six-year-old stepdaughter, I felt a miniscule amount of sympathy for the man having being beaten so badly.

Steve died a couple of months after this from a heroin overdose.
The child molester never returned to the yard, but he survived the beating.

Over the years I’ve struggled with sexual predator punishment. Part of me believes they deserve harsh punishment for their sickening crimes. But there’s a part of me that thinks they are human beings and human beings shouldn’t treat others so cruelly. Even if that person does cruel and disgusting things.

We touched on the subject of convict justice in the blog “Rapist on the Yard” by Warrior. Shane seems to have had a more complex reaction to the situation than Warrior. How do you feel about Shane’s “ miniscule amount of sympathy?”

Shane is looking for someone to manage his blog.

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

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood

20 Aug 08

Women in Prison: From Lifer Renee (Letter 3)

As a teenager, Renee received a sixty-year sentence from a judge in Pima County. Fourteen years into her sentence, she is writing from Perryville prison in Goodyear, Arizona.

July 27, 2008

Hi Shaun,

How are you doing? I hope all is well.

I turned 33 two days ago. I had a nice birthday. I am blessed by the people I have met in here. They are truly wonderful and I am thankful they are in my life.

My friend Marta went to Europe a few years ago. I remember telling her to take me. She said she would if she could. I told her to just take the camera with her. I asked her to take pictures of places and things. She did. She sent them to me. Pictures of beautiful castles, where she born. I love those pictures. She wrote on the back everything for me, so I knew what I was looking at. It seemed so beautiful and fairy tale like always.

This last week has been crazy. There are a lot of ladies here who have seizures. Medical doesn’t really respond.
A spider bit this one girl, Tiffany McNeish, on her foot. She told the officers on every shift. They stated they called Medical and for her to put in a Health Needs Request form.
Four days later she was seen by Medical, who stated they were never advised by staff. They prescribed her two antibiotics and IBU’s. Her first dose of medication she had an allergic reaction and was given allergy tablets.
On July 14 she had two grand mal seizures back to back. She was slobbering, slurring her words, appeared childlike. Her left hand was clenched into a tight fist, unable to move it. The response in her eyes was childlike. She was unable to walk by herself without help. She was walking like a 5’ 5” toddler taking her first steps. There was swelling by her temple. Yet Medical did not respond on the 14th.
On July 15th the nurse came down and said, “The reason the doctor will not give you your medication is because you will be getting out in 2 weeks and we are afraid you will not follow up.” Finally, on July 17, 2008, the CO II working the yard and the day shift sergeant were told once again of Tiffany’s seizures. When Tiffany was taken to Medical, Dr. S. assumed she was, “on drugs and had an overdose reaction,” as stated by Tiffany.
She was taken to the hospital.
Tiffany stated she woke up on 7/19/08 and asked where she was.
Hospital staff told her she was in the hospital and asked her if she did drugs or was assaulted.
She said, “No. I was having seizures.”
The hospital did a CAT scan and determined her jaw was dislocated.
The doctor told Tiffany her MRI was “pretty normal.”
The next day she informed she had a white spot on her brain and they needed to do a spinal tap. She was advised after the spinal tap that the fluid in her spine was not clear and it would take a few days for results.
On the 21st she started physical therapy. Her left arm and leg never went back to normal.
On the 22nd she was brought back to the yard and placed in K-23 (a kitchen that was remodelled to a dorm style housing unit).
She was fitted with a brace for her arm.
She was told by a transportation CO II that she didn’t need her brace.
It is now the 27th and Medical still has not gotten her the brace she needs for her leg.

She is due to be released on Tuesday 7/29/08.
She is not in the physical condition she was in when she came to prison. This is due to Medical’s lack of care.
She is 27 years old and I worry about her. I did not know her until this happened. Me, Terri, and a few of our other friends help her. Terri has helped her do a form of physical therapy. She is able to open her hand somewhat and now is able to place shoes on her feet. Walking is still an extended effort for her, but she attempts it because all Tiffany really wants is to be “normal again.”
All of this saddens my heart. She goes home in two days and is certainly not walking out the way she walked in.

I must close for now. I will write more later. I hope to hear from you soon.



To read Letter 2 from Renee click here.

What happened to Tiffany is just one example of the lack of medical care prevalent throughout America’s prisons. Hopefully, Tiffany has someone outside of prison who can help her file a lawsuit.

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

Copyright © 2008 Shaun P. Attwood
19 Aug 08

From Two Tonys (Letter 8)

Two Tonys - A whacker of men and Mafia associate serving multiple life sentences for murders and violent crimes. Left bodies from Tucson to Alaska, but claims all his victims "had it coming."


My English Dog,

That's hip-hop slang for main friend from across the pond.

I received your letter along with the Two Tonys’ blogs and your very excellent first three chapters on the trials and tribulations of Shaun in America. I’m letting others (the smart and well read) read them and in most cases I receive good grades. The rest in my opinion (which are like assholes, everybody has one and entitled to it) are Stephen Kingers, strictly McDonald’s Drive Thru material. Just kidding. I don’t want to appear too Obamaish to your blogger blokes.
Seriously, I enjoyed the chapters a lot. Having been through The Horseshoe myself a few times, it’s a real shocker to a virgin time doer. One which some never fully recover from. It can make them rats or informers, and does a lot of them.
But excellent work, me laddie.

I passed on all kudos as you instructed. All the best send L & R, fuck the rest. I’ve only got so many breaths allocated to me in a day, I’ll not be wasting them on slugs. OK, moving on.

I’m going to write a prison story for my next blog. I’ll start soon. I’ve got to get busy, but I’m not settled on the exact subject yet.

I did get called up to the yard office two days ago and a DOC investigator explained that some Gilbert cops have made inquiries about me. I wonder what’s up. I never whacked no one in Gilbert – not that I can recall. Oh well!


Two Tonys

PS It’s always good to hear from you. I can’t wait to read your book. Remember, I expect an autographed 1st edition copy.

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
17 Aug 08

Arizona Sheriff Needs A Stay In Own Jail!

Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:35 PM EDT

Jon's Jail Journal got a brief mention in this recent news story.

As the ACLU's lawsuit against Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for his inhumane treatment of prisoners housed in the hell holes he calls jails in and around Phoenix kicks off today, one would think the sheriff would have tried his best to look outright holy in the public's eye. Not so. In fact, quite the opposite is true of the man who declares that he loves being sued, sucking up the television spotlights, and being called upon by Fox Noise as though he were America's Sheriff.
Arpaio appeared yesterday in front of reporters in Phoenix and tried to use documents long debunked by the courts to 'prove' his case for the cameras. This lying, tyrannical, bumbling excuse for a lawman may yet find out that voters in Maricopa County have had enough. He may also yet find himself behind the bars of the very jails he oversees.
It's always hard when one who has been propped up by the media to be a national hero turns out to be little more than a common thug. One who believes the laws of the land are to be obeyed by others, but not himself. But all of that will change very quickly if a group of Arizonans calling themselves Joe's Got To Go have there way. Putting together a web site that details so many instances of wrongdoing and criminal conduct by the ham handed sheriff, that it is almost surprising that Arpaio hasn't arrested himself. Let's see what the law and order types have been up to.
Since January of 2004, Arpaio has had over 3,500 lawsuits launched against him. The accusations range from abuse of prisoners, jail conditions so horrible they'd make Bush and Cheney blanch, wrongful deaths in his jails, destruction of evidence to cover up the true facts of those deaths, and many many other charges. The total bill to the citizens of that particular county has been $42 million dollars since 2004. In one of the wrongful death suits, a blind prisoner who was serving a short stint for shoplifting was in solitary confinement when he was found with a broken neck, broken toes, severe internal injuries, and a ruptured intestine. Arpaio brushed off the death as a 'poor guy who fell out of bed'. When a lawsuit was filed by the man's family, all evidence of what happened to the man 'disappeared', with the court finding that Arpaio's deputies had destroyed evidence. So much for law and order.
The funny thing about these 'Bring 'em on' lawsuits though, is that Arpaio keeps referring to the money being thrown down the well as "my money'. No, Joe, the money belongs to the taxpayers. It's not your personal piggy bank. Using private attorneys paid for with taxpayer dollars to fight these suits instead of the county's lawyers, somehow smacks of criminal conduct, as in misappropriation of taxpayer money. Looked at another way, the cities of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston had a combined total of 61 lawsuits against jail conditions between 2004 and 2008.
One of Joe's many violations of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution he swore to defend and uphold includes the placing of cameras in the bathroom areas of the women's section of his horror show, and streaming it live on the web for all to tune in and watch. It took a lawsuit to get him to stop. Anyone else would have been charged with all sorts of sexual offenses, and be labeled a sex offender. Let's just assume by his actions that he is one.
In his attempt to make the Maricopa County Jail System the most terrible gulag in the world, surpassing Gitmo and Abu Garib, Arpaio feeds his prisoners only twice a day. One meal almost always consists of contaminated baloney and rotten fruit. Arpaio justifies this by saying he's saving the county money, despite being told by the courts he can not do this. Another practice that is completely outside the bounds of the law, is Arpaio's use of better conditions for confessions. Those who wish to have a trial by jury are left to swelter in tents in the middle of the desert, in 120 degree heat. If you agree to a plea bargain that will end in conviction, you're moved inside.
In today's East Valley Tribune, there is a 'special report' that shows that at least 60 inmates have died between 2004 and 2008 due to a lack of medical treatment. In one of the cases, a woman brought into the jail told deputies that she was a diabetic, gave them the schedule for her insulin shots, and was placed in a cell. When the time came for her shot, staff ignored her, and when she went into insulin shock, other inmates pleaded with deputies to get her medical attention. The pleas went unanswered and the woman died. Her crime? A probation violation for drug paraphernalia.
Joe also has shown a love for bugs. Refusing any sort of pest control at his facilities, the cockroach problem is so bad that inmates are reduced to buying extra tubes of toothpaste to seal up cracks in an attempt to keep the critters out. Former inmate Shaun Attwood, who spent two years in Arpaio's roach hotels writes all about his experiences on his blog. An excert: " On Wednesday, I was moved back to my original floor, into one of the most infested pods in the building. Completely unarmed with AmerFresh, I watched helplessly as the cockroaches sized me up from the myriad cracks in the walls. I knew as soon as the lights went off I was doomed. My cellmate, Mark, and I didn’t get much sleep. We stayed awake watching the legions of cockroaches conquer the room. Slowly gathering into larger numbers around us, they swarmed the floor. The walls. The ceiling. Our commissary bags. And finally, our bunks."
Despite actual street marches in Guadalupe and Mesa against Arpaio, and demands that conditions for inmates be improved, Arpaio laughs the protests off as the actions of malcontents, and declares that he'll run things as he sees fit. Court orders? Ha! He's the sheriff don't you know, and as sheriff HE IS the law! And he proved it when he attacked the local press, in particular, The Phoenix New Times. In violation of who knows how many laws, Arpaio got the County Attorney to issue secret grand jury subpoenas for the records of all of the publication's online subscribers for the past four years. Huh? Why would he do that you ask? Because the New Times revealed the sheriff's questionable real estate transactions, so the good sheriff promptly had the newspaper's leaders arrested on made up charges of revealing a law enforcement officer's address. The paper's investigations into Arpaio and the County Attorney, Andrew Thomas revealed intimidation of political rivals, racial profiling by the Sheriff's Department, shady land deals, and the intimidation of media critics. The entire arrest affair escalated to the point that when Village Voice Media Executive Michael Lacey tried to get some background on the details of the arrest of the New Times personnel, HE was arrested himself!
That was when the public finally had enough of the Chicago mafia tactics of their run amok sheriff and the County Attorney dropped all charges due to the outcry. See, Arpaio doesn't believe that he has to follow the Constitution or the law period. Ten different studies have shown his treatment of prisoners to be inhumane and one of the studies, done by Arpaio himself, says that all of Arpaio's facilities fall far below the Constitutional standards of humane treatment. These are not all hardened criminals we're talking about here. We're talking about people awaiting trial, or even just a preliminary hearing. Not convicts, but citizens who can not afford the monstrously high bails. As citizens, there can be no punishment meted out, but yet, in Arpaio's guilty till proven innocent fun ride, punishment for the sake of punishment is the name of the game. He says so himself. That's called sadism in any other circle of people.
The voters of Maricopa County have a chance to dump this legal terrorist by the side of the road come November 4th. All indications are that they will, as Democrats are pressing hard. Not just because Joe Arpaio is a Republican up for re-election, but because he's a law breaking, stalinistic, dictatorial, neo-con piece of gutter trash, and the side of the road is where trash belongs. Better yet, hopefully after he's voted out of office and the new sheriff decides a house cleaning is due, Joe Arpaio will get to visit the hellish conditions he imposed on fellow Americans. Because despite everyone's desire to have law and order in our country, we do not countenance what amounts to torture, both mental and physical. Someone please make sure there's an extra set of pink underwear saved with Joe's name on them...............
Say it ain't so Joe.....................! Rupert Murdoch still loves you though..................
#1 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:36 PM EDT
Gotta love the guy, he get's things done.
#2 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:44 PM EDT
Maybe. But he does so illegally.
#2.1 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:50 PM EDT
he gets things done.....if you are against civil rights.
#2.2 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:39 PM EDT
This is one of the most one sided articles I've seen on Newsvine so far. Fact: You said Women's Underwear. Look at the picture? Even my grandma wouldn't wear underwear like that (they are commonly called boxers, BTW).
Fact: You said
the most terrible gulag in the world, surpassing Gitmo and Abu Garib
. You are kidding, right? Do you think the prisons in North Korea are leisure lounges like the Federal Facility at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida? I can cite you literally hundreds of prisons around the world that the inmates would jump at the chance to go to Gitmo or Abu Ghraib or the Sheriff's little camp. How many criminals do you suppose are going to say nice things about it? Criminals would never lie, right? It's meant as a deterent. Would you mind throwing in some figures, like recidivism rate as compared to other jails?
I would go on, but I need to deep breath a couple times. It would be nice if people did a little more real research than skimming the surface and throwing up the expose' titallating facts.
#3 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:11 PM EDT
#1) Fact: Just because the picture shows a pair of men's pink undies doesn't preclude the fact that as punishment, Arpaio forces male detainees to wear women's underwear as he shoves them into solitary for whatever reason.
#2) Fact: The recidivism rate in Maricopa County is 65%
#3) Fact: I skimmed NO surface, but delved all across cyberspace to put this piece together. And only covered about 1/4th of Joe Arpaio's little criminal enterprise.
#4) Fact: Here's some figures to think about. Law and order Joe claims that his methods work so well that he is reducing crime. He claims, in documents the courts have found to be unsubstantiated, that crime in Maricopa County has declined on his watch. Oh? Then explain this:
Jail population in:
2004 - 8,657 2005 - 9,054 2006 - 9,7332007 - 10249
Or this: Arizona has the 8th highest murder rate in the U.S., with Maricopa County leading the way. They also imprison 808 people per every 100,000 .
But, let's push that aside and address the issue of conditions at Joey's Jails. From your fuming outrage, it would seem that you feel that even though the courts have ordered Joe to improve conditions at his jails, and he has thumbed his nose at the courts, that's ok.
The fact that he has been sued 3,500 times since 2004 doesn't bother you either? Or 60 dead prisoners, of whom in at least one instance his department was forced to admit they had destroyed evidence that suggested the inmate was murdered by prison staff?
Your claim that 'criminals would never lie'. Hold on there a second. More than 3/4 of Joe's prisoners are awaiting trial. Innocent until proven guilty. Never had a court date yet, they're just too poor to afford bail. So they sit and rot, eating contaminated food and being punished, as you say, for a crime they have not been convicted of. That's against the Eighth Amendment, one of the ones they forgot to destroy. You can not mete out 'punishment' to detainees that are not convicted yet. They have all the rights of every other citizen. Sometimes law enforcement and right wingers like to leave that part out.
Despite your being able to name hundreds of prisons worse than Arpaio's gulag, I still contend that in the United States of America, or at least MY United States, we don't have gulags, we don't abuse and kill prisoners, we don't deny them medical attention in violation of laws and Supreme Court orders, and we don't force people to live in tents in 120 degree heat, or in bug infested cells, or eat rotten food.
One sided? No. There's thousands of Maricopa victims, relatives of victims and just decent citizens who wish to see the last of Joe Arpaio and his run amok Sheriff's Office. The law means everyone. Not just everyone except...............Arpaio only spouts the law and order line for the cameras. When they're turned off, he runs very shady business transactions, arrests reporters who look into it, and violates court orders and the Constitutional rights of all who get in is way, including political rivals.
That may sound perfectly ok to you, but to myself and many others, it sounds like a sheriff who needs arresting himself.........................
#4 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:53 PM EDT
Jason Ford
I am not necessarily disputing any of your facts, but do you have any sources for any of them?
#5 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:28 PM EDT
So many it's not even funny.
First and foremost though, would be the site I named above. These guys have tried to garner as much info into one place that they can. It's at joesgottogo.com
From there you can go to the sites of several Arizona news agencies, such as the East Valley Tribune, Arizona New Times, The Arizonan among a few.
Then poke around the Maricopa County Court's .pdf documents and start looking at all the judgements, settled out of court lawsuits, orders from the court, etc. You'll be astounded at just how much material there actually is that you never see Fox Noise asking Joey about.
I wonder just how he bought that plot of land at such a low interest rate? Ahh, I'll put my tin foil hat back on and let you guys judge for yourselves......................
#5.1 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:42 PM EDT
I live in Maricopa county and I will never vote for Joe Arpaio. His sheriffs department only does what brings attention to Joe Arpaio. We had a convicted sex offender living across the street from us. He was not registered in his new residence and he had a restraining order against him for molesting his step daughter. When he showed up at the house (his residence that his restraining order prevented him from visiting) we called 911. The response from 911 was to call the Sheriffs office between the hours of 9 and 5 Monday - Friday. This call was either Friday or Saturday night (I don't remember which). We had to call 911 one other time and had a similar runaround. I don't know much about Arpaio but I do know that his Sheriffs department is dysfunctional.
That being said, I applaud his stance on illegal immigration and much of his handling of criminals.
#6 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:41 PM EDT
I found that there have been complaints that since 2004, the Maricopa Sheriff's response time has gone from 4 minutes to about 16 minutes under Arpaio. I also saw testimonies from people who claim it took hours and others who claim no one ever showed up at all.
Maybe if Joey wasn't doling out $42 million taxpayer dollars to settle all these lawsuits, he could afford to hire some more cops.....................
#6.1 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:45 PM EDT
As far as the numbers going up, so is the population, so are illegals. Sherriff Joe is one of the few law Enforcement Officers not to cower to those not abiding by the law. As far as tent city. Do any of you have any idea what the costs are to run a jail? Sherriff Joe has cut costs at the inmates expense instead raiser taxes for the public. Sherriff Joe has a soft spot for animals and has created programs for the betterment of animals and inmates
#7 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:59 PM EDT
More information can be found here:
Google has about 10 pages of pro and con on this man
#8 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:28 PM EDT
Want to get the flavor of how the average taxpayer feels about illegal immigration? Just go to www.arizonacentral.com. You will read the rage that people have about the impact of unenforced illegal immigration. Sure Joe pisses some folks off. He doesn't care. His position is easy to understand. "The law is the law". Sanctuary cities don't smell as sweet as the word sounds.
#9 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:57 PM EDT
I think some have missed the point here. Let me try this another way.
We all know the President, Vice-President, and many of their senior people are guilty of crimes. Does Nancy Pelosi's 'impeachment is off the table' sound like the right solution?
Same thing here. It doesn't matter if you love Joe Arpaio or hate him. When you are ordered by a court to do something, and the highest court in the state agrees with that order, you do it, or you are as guilty of breaking the law as everyone else. There is NO provision in any state law that I know of whereby the sheriff of any county or parish is above the law, and Arpaio clearly believes he is. That makes him a criminal, period.
It's because of people being so willing to allow for the police state mentality of "Oh, Daddy, please protect me, I'll give up my rights, and you can do anything you want" to permeate our society that people like Arpaio, who was probably beaten up as a child in school, and is clearly little more than a law breaking sadist, are in charge of so many things right now, and THAT ladies and gentlemen, has got to end, or we're through as a country.
#10 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:35 PM EDT
Joe, remember KARMA, sometimes Karma can be a real @!$%#!!!!
#11 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:13 PM EDT
If the highest court of the land or in this case, the state has said that he is breaking the law, then why hasn't he been arrested? Why has the Governor not issued an arrest warrant? The state police work directly for the governor-why hasn't he directed them to go in and seize the Sheriff?
From an intellectual standpoint, your supposition that he was probably beaten as a child is nothing but speculation on your part and has no value, unless you have believable sources you can link.
If you feel (and I stress you) that the President, Vice-President and many other senior people are guilty of crimes, then Pelosi is an accessory after the fact, no? Then she should be arrested also, correct? Have you thought that Pelosi knew, as many others do, that there is no way that they could ever convict any of these people of anything, hence they didn't bother proceeding? And lots of president's, from both sides of the aisle have broken laws big and small and none, that I know of, have ever been convicted.
If you can provide some additional supporting links besides the one website, I might be inclined to give your article more credence-if you showed both sides of the argument-That being said, I don't live in or visit that area of the country, so I don't really have an iron in that fire. If you do live there, good luck.
#12 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:18 PM EDT
SpikGary: Did you actually read the article? In the very first paragraph I noted that the ACLU was taking Arpaio back to court today to force him to obey previous court orders.
For some unknown reason, you're bent on throwing red herring arguments into this that don't exist.
Why has the Governor not issued an arrest warrant? Good question. Why don't you ask him?
Impressing the case as in "If you feel (and I stress you)" is another red herring designed to try to show that I'm one of the very few who feel this way, when we all know that's not the case.
Pelosi is much more than an accessory after the fact. She knew all about the torture memos and what they had planned well before any of it ever took place. But that's for another day.
This being an OPINION piece, I don't wish to show both sides of the argument. Unlike the mainstream media, which feels they have an obligation to air two sides of a story, even when one side is clearly a lie, and it being one of the reasons America is in such trouble now, I don't feel any such compunction. No one knows what the truth is any more. I tell it like I see it, and that means that as far as I'm concerned, Joe Arpaio is nothing more than a thug and a criminal, who once he got a taste of the television cameras, became addicted to the limelight, and decided to do anything it took to remain there, including breaking the law.
Somehow it has escaped any mention by most that Arpaio routinely violates the civil rights of those in his custody, the deaths that have occurred, or the $42 million dollars wasted on lawsuits that Arpaio himself said he welcomes and relishes.
I gave several sources to check out, not just one.
#12.1 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:11 PM EDT
Why has the Governor not issued an arrest warrant? Good question. Why don't you ask him?
This is your article, not mine-Seems like people are claiming (as you said before about the prisoners, innocent until proven guilty) that he broke the law, and yet, all of a sudden it comes to a stop? That really doesn't make any sense. He's failing to obey a court order, but the judge has not thrown him in jail for contempt? Why not? It seems there must be more to the story than what your referenced site has.
You referenced the President, Vice President, et al. and that is what I was responding to.
I don't want this to devolve into a personal go round. I'm in a place right now mentally where I don't have much if any sympathy for criminals (my son's house was recently burglarized and burned by an individual who has a history of similar crimes and was immediately let out on $15K bail) and I know it is affecting my personal viewpoint. I did not mean to insult you and if I did, I apologize.
#12.2 - Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:48 AM EDT
Are we really shocked that powerful public officials are not held accountable when they break the law? Joe Arpaio is much more powerful than Janet Napolitano ever will be.
#12.3 - Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:41 AM EDT
His celebrity has gone to his head ... I don't think making prisoners wear pink is undue punishment and I also like his stance on illegal immigrants, but he goes way too far. He's a "reality TV' sheriff in real life. He might have had good intentions to start out with, but it sounds like he's gone way beyond that.
#13 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:50 PM EDT
Jason Ford
Tent city isn't a bad idea either. As for the rest of the stuff, I don't know enough about it yet to say.
#13.1 - Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:53 PM EDT
At least he is enforcing our laws, more than I can say for the present administration.
I think I'll write in Sheriff Joe in November!
#15 - Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:01 AM EDT
A Sergeant's Mom
#15.1 - Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:14 AM EDT
Herein lies the problem. He is doing many good things and enforcing laws that the federal government will not. However, should that excuse him for the terrible things he is doing? He could enforce immigration laws without much of the sleazy things he is doing. Also, if he is doing that at the expense of basic police service what's the payoff. When I call 911 on the weekend, I expect to get help right away that is what 911 is for. Under his watch, they tell you to call back during business hours. That is inexcusable!
#15.2 - Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:43 AM EDT
Let me also add that I was a huge fan of Arpaio until I moved to Maricopa county AZ and experienced his terrible leadership.
#15.3 - Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:44 AM EDT
A Sergeant's Mom
Insist09:Can you verify that East Valley Tribune report on prisoner deaths, 60 in four years - mentioned in your article, above?
Please let me know. If this can be established as fact, that is a very serious human rights violation accusation, unless, if the deaths can be shown to be directly related to the conditions and treatment of the jail and facilities as it currently stands.
It is critical that facts are established if any group is bringing a suit - facts must weigh in against the allegations.
I tend to agree with the slant your article takes because we lived in Arizona for a while and I remember reading the various news articles where the Maricopa/Phoenix community lauded this man's conduct as heroic. What I read was disturbing.
#16 - Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:13 AM EDT
Sergeant's Mom: At the web site I mentioned above, http://www.joesgottogo.com/ they have links to all of the pertinent articles about Arpaio, including the East Valley Tribune report.
But here's the link to that particular story: http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/115427
Also, read the brief filed by the ACLU against Arpaio, which is the reason no one can arrest him. He's playing a game. One court tells him to do something, so he runs off and appeals it. The Appellate Court says do it or else, he runs to the Arizona and U.S. Supreme Courts, who both say to do what the lower courts say. Joe says no, and tells human rights groups to sue him. That's what is happening now. Here's the ACLU brief: http://www.aclu.org/images/asset_upload_file885_36384.pdf
Of interest: http://www.commondreams.org/news2008/0812-03.htm
#16.1 - Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:46 PM EDT
A Sergeant's Mom
The fact that taxpayers have spent over $30 million in court and attorneys fees in these cases is outrageous compared to what should have been spent on health care for the inmates. This alone proves the expenditure abuse by the jail/sheriff's department - where many sheriff's department in the U.S. are exceptionally frugal, minding fiscal responsibility. The lack of appropriate health care seems proximate to the overall expense to taxpayers.
From what I read, it appears to be a situation of a pumped up ego fighting criticism by concerned citizens to retain his celebrity rather than conduct his business in a professional manner.
But, the inmates lose. And, in 2008, we have the knowledge and reason of human rights laws. There is no excuse for not knowing human rights laws, as there is no excuse for any citizen to not know local or federal law; law enforcement officials are held to a higher standard for possessing this knowledge.
Arpaio has access to legal information detailing specific civil and human rights laws in the United States.
This sheriff should resign.
#16.2 - Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:27 AM EDT

Link to the article: http://insist09.newsvine.com/_news/2008/08/12/1742359-arizona-sheriff-needs-a-stay-in-own-jail

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
15 Aug 08

T-Bone V Badu (by T-Bone)

T-Bone - Radiating power and strength, this deeply spiritual, massively built African-American towers over most inmates. He is a prison gladiator with more stab wounds than Julius Caesar. A good man to have on your side.

I was in the joint down south.
Three youngsters were bulldogging a guy who wasn’t into the game so to speak.
I walked by and told the guy, “Stand up for yourself, or they’ll never stop because you’ve already been punked!”
The guy started to walk behind me, and people were saying he was my punk behind my back. He asked his wife and mother to send me money. I laughed and told him to stand up.
All the guys in my crew told me there was going to be a problem and that I was on my own because I couldn’t feed every stray that came along.
I said the guy only needs some guidance.
They said people were saying I am soft.
I didn’t care because life is what we make it.

A few weeks went by and then – bam! – I was hit upside the head by this youngster, Badu, who was a hardcore gangbanger from L.A.. He was doing all day, so that put him at an advantage. He said I was taking his punk and I had better back off and find someone else to fuck!
Man, my head was on fire. The smell of my own blood came to me. I couldn’t see straight. Things were all out of sorts and I couldn’t focus. I could have been killed. That’s how I know that there is a Higher Power.

Anyways, I dug deep within myself and got to my feet and saw the rock in Badu’s hand.
He was on his way into the little man’s room, and he was yelling at the guy to get ready to give it to him raw.
All the cells were closing and I stuck my head in the shower and felt the lump on the side of my head – real close to my temple. I was thinking he tried to kill me.
Badu was 6’ 2”, 270 pounds or more and fast.

There wasn’t anything else for me to do but get busy. I pulled off my shirt and wiped my face and head and ran to the cell.
Badu was raping the guy again.
Badu’s celly had his head towards the wall, too scared to help the guy.
Things went quick after that!
I was hit in the right shoulder by the rock because I used the shoulder roll to defend myself.
This part might sound nasty but Badu wouldn’t even stop raping the guy.
I grabbed his left arm, pushed him towards the wall and he got me good. The sick bastard kicked me in the thigh, and I was about to go down out of reflex because it hurt. I mean it really hurt.
He took his eyes off my chest and tried it again and – bang! – I hit him with a left cross in his left eye and then a right foot to his sternum. I followed up with the best punch I’ve ever hit any man with.
He just dropped and that was it.

I looked at him and I was out of it. I mean really seriously out of it. I sat on his chest and grabbed his neck and pounded his head on the floor! I wanted to kill that sick piece of human waste but something touched my heart.
I got off him and the cops were standing there with their mouths open because they let that piece of shit do whatever he wanted because he ran a gang from L.A. to AZ.
The rape victim was crying.
The D.W. wasn’t there so the captain did what he wanted.

I was praying at Medical and they said, “Go back to your cell! Seventy-two hours lockdown!”
That’s all they did. That was it. So I know there is a Higher Power.

The rape victim stood up for himself after that. He lost all of his battles, but he learned.
Badu wasn’t the same after that. He became quiet and lost everything.

So you’ve go to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything!

Peace to you!

Each one – Teach one

Strength & Honor


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

From T-Bone (Letter 7)

T-Bone - Radiating power and strength, this deeply spiritual, massively-built African-American towers over most inmates. He is a prison gladiator with more stab wounds than Julius Caesar. A good man to have on your side.


Hey Brother,

How goes it?

I’m sitting here bored and I thought I’d write because you’re on my mind. I just got finished talking to the man who wants to be a woman! You know, the tall one. [Xena]

Anyways, this place is a joke and, man, there are some guys here who have real talent. This one guy found a way to get some coffee filters in and tried to sell them in the hole for $3.00, and then he tried to sell a pen for $20.00. Can you believe it? I mean who taught that guy how to think?

This female cop came to my cell after I got out of the shower. She looked right at my manhood and said, “I wanted to see if it was true,” and asked me when I was getting out.
So you can see things haven’t changed a bit! Don’t worry, my friend, I am not falling for it. I won’t change or give in to the games here. I won’t give in to anything that could possibly get me into trouble! I have self-control, brother.

Shaun, there are several stories I want to share with you, so I can get them off my chest, so to speak, and because you’ve been here and experienced some things while locked up.
The past is the past but there are a lot of things that come to mind and some are worrisome because people were hurt.
This cop asked me why I help guys in here even though I broke the law.
I replied, “I made wrong choices because of my dependence on drugs.”
He said, “I have problems too, and drink whenever I can.”
I said, “What’s really on your mind, man? Just get right to it.”
He went on to tell me about his wife and his inability to please her in bed and in general.
I said, “I stopped rationalizing a few years ago. I faced up to me, and stopped making excuses for my behavior.”
He wanted to know what I meant, and I told him as simply as I could, “You’ve got to stand for something or else you’ll fall for anything.”
He didn’t understand because he wasn’t ready to grow up.
What I said means I personally made the choice to stand for what is right.

Case in point. I was in the joint down south…

Continued tomorrow in T-Bone v Badu

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

From Frankie (Letter 7)

Frankie - A Mexican Mafia hitman and leader of prison "booty bandits" who has been proposing our gay marriage ever since he saw me rubbing antifungal ointment on my bedsored buttocks at the Madison Street jail. He was there on murder charges he subsequently beat. Now incarcerated in the super-maximum prison housing Arizona's death row.



How’s life treating you? I hope all good. I received your letter and as always the pleasure is mines.

Anyway, I know you’re a loyal friend, but believe it or not, I worry about your well-being. That’s why I asked you if you had a job. My friend I want the best for you life has to offer.

Okay! Here’s what I did with the $15,000 my brother left me. I took $400 and put it on my book account for stamps and other stuff I need. I gave $14,600 to a lawyer I hired. I told the lawyer all I wanted him to do was get a Class 2 felony dropped. That’ll leave me with a Class 4 felony, which brings my plea down to 4 ½ [minimum] 6 [presumptive]& 7 ½ [maximum]. Out of 100% the lawyer said it’s 75% that I’ll get the 4 ½ with back time from 2007 of Jan 3 which is a year and a half. I’ll do two more years at the most.
My friend, what do you think of that? They were offering me 15 to 40 years. I’m being blessed by God, and if all goes well I’m done with everything.
Like I said, I’m going to be a powerful testimony that will help the youths.

I shall leave soon to Pima County jail. I will write you from there. Do not write me back cuz Pima County only allows prestamped envelopes. I will write you once I get there. Do not write here either until I get back. It’s going to be hard, but I’ll see how long I’ll be there.

Let me get something straight with you. Out of the 20 prisoners you write to, I better be the Number 1 on that list cuz I was the first one to meet you in jail, so keep that in mind. Me and you are tighter than whale pussy, and that’s tight cuz it’s water tight.

Tell Sue I appreciate the thought on that comment she made. Here’s a little knowledge for her. We must not let the circumstances of this world cause us to walk with our heads down, defeated or discouraged. Life happens. That’s a fact but God supersedes this thing we call life. And nothing catches God by surprise.
Sue, I’m sorry to hear that you couldn’t go back to the UK when your mom passed away. I myself lost my mom and that’s the hardest thing I ever been through. “Keep your head up!”
Jesus said he would never leave or forsake us. He did not say he would take us out of our situations. Stay strong! Cuz he did say that he would be there for us while we went through them. (Smile.)

Englandman my friend, things are looking better for me. I got the Class 2 felony “Promoting Prison Contraband” down to a Class 4 felony “Simple possession.” I’m trying to get the Class 4 to a Class 6 felony “Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia.” If that happens I’ll be walking out these doors. Keep your fingers crossed for Frankie. I’m leaving all this in God’s hands.

Give my L&R’s to your family.

Much Love & Respect

Mr. Frankie

PS thanks for the pictures.

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
10 Aug 08

The Royo Romance (Part 23)

Royo Girl - An intelligent and attractive criminology graduate who used to visit me in prison. Whether her interest is based on love or she is writing a thesis on my criminality is an open question.
Click here for Part 21. Part 22 was deleted due to my relationship at the time with Posh Bird.

Email received from Royo Girl:

Sent: 08 August 2008 18:46:35

Dear Shaun,

As it stands right now, I am still planning to come to England for a visit. I am not sure if it will be at the end of Sept or the beginning of Oct. Regardless, I hope to be out there for a week or a week and a half. We will have to wait and see how that all pans out.

I am sure the trip will prove to be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me. It will be great to see you since I haven't been able to for the last year. To be honest, it will be a little weird, too. Being around you as a free man! Hmmmm.... goodness only knows what you are going to do with no guards watching you around me ;-)~

We definitely have to go to the Indian restaurant in London that has my favorite stuffed naans and stuff. Mmmmm.... YAY!! Hopefully it won't be too cold either, not that I don't have all of my wintery clothing that I never have to wear in Arizona (thank goodness).

I will leave you with those happy thoughts. And you are certainly my constant, Shaun. I never want to lose our friendship!!!!!

Hasta luego, mi amor.

Affectionately yours,

Royo Girl

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

From Warrior (Letter 2)

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



Hello! How are you? I hope all is well and you’re keeping that positive mindset. It’s about being reflective, remembering where you’ve been, having confidence in where you’re going and savoring where you’re at. One can never savor prison though.

The rapist blog certainly received a lot of strong opinions. I was surprised. It’s cool to know that some people do listen and sympathize. I’m having to really think over what to write about. I can’t help but reflect on the thoughts of your readers. All the ones who felt I was in the wrong and/or was in the right. I admit I’ve done my share of wrongs to some in here. At times I administered prison justice. On other occasions, I intervened for some poor soul who didn’t know any better.

In response to the question you posed about what we did to the rapist, one of your readers stated something to the effect that “it’s a double-edged sword/loaded question.” So true. It’s prison politics at its most defined. All that I’ve experienced, seen, been accomplice to, and read, have afforded me this insight. I heard once that prison is called a concrete jungle because the law of the jungle applies. The strong prey on the weak. Eventually, you’re on one side of the line that divides the two. You’re either a predator or prey. No middle ground. Survival of the fittest much like social Darwinism.

Imagine that hateful bully from high school. Self-serving. Belligerent. Cruel. Now imagine being surrounded by hundreds of school bullies daily. Prison is full of them. They’re forced to deal with their own kind. Some get a good dose of reality and change. Others merely sharpen their skills and become more brutal. Prison is a society all of its own.

I read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. Kind of a cheesy plot but the message stuck with me: we’re givers or takers in the world no matter where we are. If society were to collapse today because of some catastrophe, then the laws that govern prison would govern society.

We are all products of our environment to a certain degree. Sometimes, this is never clear in prison. Civility is nonexistent practically. It’s more a case of “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

An animalistic nature becomes the norm, and a once civilized man is likely to transform. You drift into another world, never realizing how far you’ve drifted until you spill your own blood or that of others. Instinct becomes the voice you listen to, not what’s right or wrong. Prison converts you to your most basic, most sadistic, most animalistic. Power is measured by brute force over intelligence. Impressions are based on what you see, respect then follows.
You see selectively, allowing things into view that affect you directly.
You always question, “Am I still human? Still civil? Can I function in society?”

It’s hard to ignore details that accompany certain crimes. Like how a child rapist only got five or seven years because the judge sympathized with what happens to sex offenders in prison, yet the five-year-old victim had to have reconstructive surgery on her vagina and is now on hormones for the rest of her life because she had to have her ovaries removed – the rape was that brutal.
It’s hard to ignore the crackhead thief who steals from his loved ones or an old lady coming out of a store because she was an easy target. His habit remains the same in prison. Chasing drugs, thieving and bullying.
It’s hard to ignore the insecure C.O. who comes to work with a chip on his shoulder and feels it’s a job perk to vent on inmates. He feels he has no control in his life except in here and is intoxicated with a sense of power. No different than an inmate.

There are a few who take it upon themselves to change their ways of thinking. They read, learn, and do everything in their power to rehabilitate themselves. But they are few and far between. They educate themselves in other ways of thought, gather information to empower themselves, and learn to value different perspectives.

In prison you pay attention to characters not names. Character doesn’t change, but it becomes better at disguising itself. If I’ve taken away anything from this place, it’s that character is everything in the end.
“Moral order seen through the medium of an individual nature.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“Mastery over your thoughts and actions.” – Ghandi.
An old convict told me this once: “Youngster, based on character, you need to remember this motto: we all need to be thankful for what we’ve got, and be grateful that we didn’t get what we really deserve.”

That was on my mind, Shaun. Max Stirner once said, “The State calls it’s own violence, law, but that of the individual, crime.” So true. But c’est la vie.

Love life, buddy. Live your life as you chase your dream. Discover your passion. Be fearless as we’re all exactly where we’re supposed to be. Embrace who you are now because who and where you are now will not always be.



P.S. If your readers ever get a chance tell them to read The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil by Dr. Philip Zimbardo. It’s the best book I’ve ever read concerning prison dynamics and the psychology behind it.

To read From Warrior (Letter 1) click here.

If you have any questions about prison for Warrior please post them in the comments section.

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

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
06 Aug 08

Max’s Success Story

Max - A car-jacking Chukchansi Indian who entered prison as a teenager and went home to Las Vegas in 2007. His sexual adventures in prison include trading semen to an old pervert for commissary items.

I recently called Max in Las Vegas.
“When you first came out of prison was it difficult finding a job?” I asked.
“For my first three months, I was working various jobs for like seven bucks an hour, dude. I couldn’t get a good job. The criminal record hindered me, and the lack of verifiable work experience.”
“Then what happened?”
“I went to a temp agency, and the owner took a shine to me, man. He literally gave me a break. I had someone looking over me. I get chills thinking about it. He hired me, and promoted me after I got a BA in Business Administration. Now I’ve got my own car, my own place in the best part of Vegas – the Green Valley, Anthem area. It’s been a very good ride. I haven’t had no run-ins with the law.”
“How’s parole?”
“I just go in once a month, pay him a forty-dollar fee. I don’t even get drug tested. He came to my graduation, and he literally has a picture of me in his office.”
“How come?”
“I’m a model ex con, I guess.”
“How're you finding your relations with other people?”
“Nobody I come into contact with ever guesses I was in prison. And, England, get this: guess what my salary is buddy?”
“Three to four thou a month?”
“Way way wrong. I’m on one-hundred-and-thirty-five grand a year.”
“That’s incredible! Doing what?”
“I’m a headhunter. I find people jobs for companies like IBM, Starbucks, MGM.”
“What was your last paycheck?”
“Seventy-eight hundred on Tuesday.”
“How many hours are you putting in?”
“Sometimes twenty, sometimes fifty. I play on the computer a lot.”
“How did you get such a high-power job so fast?”
“I worked for him for a week at seven dollars an hour moving furniture. He offered me an office job, and said if I do good for six months he’ll promote me. I got my degree in March –”
“Hold up, how could you get a degree within a year of your release?”
“I already had the college credits done in prison. I only had to take six classes. Finance 501. Some shit like that. Politics. Nevada Title.”
“So he promoted you from what to what?”
“I was a staff coordinator. I sat in the office dispatching employees, setting up new accounts, dealing with payrolls. He promoted me to staff consultant. I meet with various customers. I was in New York last week with a V.A.R. for IBM.”
“Valued Asset Representative.”
“This is one of the most amazing post-release stories I’ve heard.”
“I’ve got myself a nice little ride, man, the dream car I always wanted. A four-door Jeep Wrangler. Twenty-eight grand off the lot, paid cash.”
“How’s your love life?”
“I might sound like a whore. I haven’t found one special person. It’s thirty-five plus women since I’ve been out. One bad thing I picked up in prison is the lack of emotional attachment. I’ve come across some great women. They wanted to move forward, do the boyfriend-girlfriend thing, but it’s not me.”
“What do you do on the weekends?”
“I generally go San Diego. Surfing and swimming.”
“How’s Mom?”
“Mom’s really proud of me.”
“Have you felt discriminated against because you’ve been in prison?”
“I haven’t had to deal with that. I’ve changed my attitude, the way I talk. I wear tailored suits every day: Armani and Cassini.”
“I’m proud you’ve accomplished so much, Max. You’ve come along way from carjacking someone at gunpoint and serving eight years. Where do you go from here?”
“Even higher. I wanna be VP, making that five-to-six-million-a-year salary. My company is nationwide. I can go anywhere. I met a woman from Cheshire in Vegas, and I’d like to come and visit you and her next year.”
“You’re always welcome. That’d make you the first of the prisoners I write about to come to England. It’s sad that most prisoners I saw get out, came right back to prison.”
“I love life, man. I don’t ever wanna go back to that fucking place. Why would anyone put themselves in jeopardy to go back there?”

Is there any chance Max will end up back in prison?

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
04 Aug 08

Firewater (by Warrior)

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

It was midnight when I awoke to screams echoing throughout the tier. My cellmate, City Boy, woke up just before I did. In prison you live by your instincts – disturbances always sound the mental alarm.
“City, you awake?” I asked, leaning up from my bunk.
“Yeah.” City Boy was already focussing on the commotion.
“What’s all that noise?”
“I don’t know. Something’s going down though.” City Boy shot to the cell door’s security window, which is about five inches wide and two feet high. It provides a limited view of whatever frenzy is going on.
“Is it the cops? Is it a search?” I asked, assuming we were in for a midnight raid.

Random searches happen often and unexpectedly. A quota is required yearly, but mainly they’re done to keep the level of contraband down. The definition of contraband varies from prison to prison, and C.O. to C.O.. It can be anything from excess pens to drugs and deadly weapons.

I started to calculate what contraband we had, where it was, and whether I had enough time to hide it. Cellmates usually share the responsibility for contraband, depending upon the seriousness of the item/items. For us, extra pens, a stinger, vegetables smuggled out of the kitchen, were what we were worried about.

“Nah, no search,” City Boy said. “The noise sounds as though it’s coming from downstairs.”
Just then we heard glass breaking, bodies crashing on concrete, repeated shouts of, “I’ll kill you! I’ll fucking kill you,” echoing over and over.
I jumped off my bunk and joined City Boy at our cell window.
Every disturbance has the potential to ripple into the population and provoke a more serious situation. So it’s vital to pay attention to all events at all times.
“The shit sounds as though it’s comin’ from below,” I said. “Sounds like Hootch and Wheelchair’s cell.”

Hootch and Wheelchair are two Native Americans. Hootch was known for loving to drink homemade liquor. Partially handicapped and in a wheelchair, Wheelchair was known for chasing the dope man. Both did their time constantly high. Some guys just like doing their time that way – they feel it’s easier to self-medicate than deal with the reality of prison along with the life they led that put them here.

“Yeah, it’s coming from their cell,” City Boy said. City Boy always played poker, so he had a keen eye for detail in order to read a player’s poker tell. “Hey, look at the cop in the tower, brother.” City Boy had noticed the control officer calling over the radio and staring at Cell 1. Hootch and Wheelchair’s. Their cell was close to the tower so the officer had a clear view.

Instantly three officers came rushing in, each carrying a fire-extinguisher-sized can of pepper spray with pistol-gripped nozzles.
An officer with blond hair in a crew cut looked at the tower officer for a hint of direction as to the disturbance.
In unison, three officers approached Cell 1.
An African American officer glanced in and said to a lieutenant, “He has him in a chokehold.”
The lieutenant moved in front of the cell window and said, “Let him go, or we’re gonna spray both your asses!”
But Hootch and Wheelchair were too busy fighting to give their complete attention to the figures outside their door.
The lieutenant knew this and seized the opportunity. “Get ready!” he told both of his officers as they positioned themselves beside the cell door.
The cell door was on tracks and opened along the wall.
The crew-cut officer motioned for the tower officer to pop open the door. As it opened all you could hear was the hiss of the chemical canisters being emptied into the cell, followed by a slamming of the door shut.

“Fuck! Shut the vent!” City Boy said.
“Ah crap!” I said, stumbling to wet a T-shirt to cover up our air vent. An unfortunate consequence of someone getting sprayed chemically is that the spray travels through our shared vent system. I was fast enough to cover our vent and we received minimal fall-out spray.
“Get on the ground, both of you motherfuckers now!” the lieutenant shouted.
“Face the fuckin’ floor, or we’re gonna spray your fuckin’ asses again!” shouted the crew-cut officer.
“OK, when the door pops, tell ’em to belly crawl their asses out,” the lieutenant said to his officers.
The mechanical pop of the unlocking door echoed.
The officers opened the door and shouted for the two to belly crawl out.
First came Hootch, coughing and wheezing, covered in red blood mixed with orange chemical agent.
The African American pounced on him immediately. He put his knee on Hootch’s back, then cuffed him up. The officer coughed as mace strayed off Hootch’s body.
The officers tried to pick Hootch up, but he fell back to the ground. They left him on the floor.
Next came Wheelchair, coated in blood and mace, coughing and wheezing like his cellmate. He was also cuffed in the same manner.
Both were escorted to the hole.

The following morning, the night’s event was the gossip of the day.
If Hootch and Wheelchair’s ears could ring, they would have done so like church bells at the close of a wedding at all of the curses they received from everyone being kept awake and tired.
Apparently Hootch had brewed some liquor, become drunk and started beating on Wheelchair.
In prison we refer to Native Americans as “chiefs.” There’s a longstanding joke throughout prison about chiefs and alcohol. It’s commonly said, “Don’t give a chief liquor. You know how they get on that firewater.”
That night, I finally witnessed the reasoning behind that joke.

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
02 Aug 08

Postcards from Long Island (2)

Long Island - Promising young cellmate I taught to trade the financial markets. Released on the 11th of December '05 and recently rearrested. Alleged to have committed forgery and hit an officer with a car. He is writing from Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Towers jail.


What’s up Shaun!

Things have taken a positive turn. The number of years they want me to sign a plea bargain for is still too high for me, but we’re getting it down. They started at 21 and as of yesterday they talked about 5. Still too high for something I didn’t do. I can’t say too much on these stupid postcards.

I do have some funny stuff for you though. As you can see I’m writing from a different pod and cell. That’s because of a short trip to the hole that my cellies and I had to make after a batch of home brew got out of hand. Basically we got drunk and after hours of talking shit, I made a request that a guard took offense to and that drew a little heat. There was a particulary attractive female officer who I asked if she wouldn’t mind doing a table dance for us on her next walk! Needless to say, I didn’t get my dance. I did get a week in the hole. No visits and no store.

Hey, shit happens!

I love you Shaun!

Keep writing!

Your brother,

Long Island

Here’s Long Island’s disciplinary write up:

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office--Joseph M. Arpaio, Sheriff

Disciplinary Action Report

Specific Offense(s): 028 Being intoxicated, 018 possession or manufacturing of intoxicants

Formal Statement of Charge(s): On 6/25/08 at approximately 1630 hours, Inmate was intoxicated and jail made hooch was discovered in his cell when, I officer Hafez A9736 searched his cell. He admitted to being intoxicated and was rolled up to c-pod pending disciplinary segregation. A 20 oz bottle of jail made liquor (hooch) was found in his cell. When opened the bottle pressurized and smelled of fermentation.

Officer's Actions and recommendations: 0 priors 15 days disciplinary segregation 15 days full restriction

Signed: Hafez A9736 6/25/08 1800

I have been informed of the offense(s) listed hereon. I acknowledge receipt of this report and plead: Not guilty Signed 6/25/08

Bureau Hearing Officer Action or Sanctions: Findings: 018 Sentenced 028 Dismissed
7 Days Disciplinary Segregation 0 Days Full Restriction To Commence 6/26/07 to End 2400 7/3/08

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
02 Aug 08

Jon's Jail Journal Frozen

I have been unable to post blogs for the past few days because Jon's Jail Journal was frozen by Blogger.

I've been asked to tell you there is a new anti-Arpaio site launching this week: http://joesgottogo.com/

Anyway, I'm back to blogging again. There's a recent magazine article on Jon's Jail Journal below this blog. And I just received another exciting story from Warrior, which I'll blog soon.
Thanks for your patience and support.

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
02 Aug 08

Blogging Behind Bars

Here's an article recently published in the American magazine Mother Jones.

By David Gelles
July 30, 2008

By the time the feds caught up with former stockbroker Shaun Attwood in 2002, the big-eared Brit hardly seemed like the drug kingpin they were after. He was living in a cramped apartment in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his fiancée, Claudia. He spent most days trading stocks online from his home office and hitting the gym. "English Shaun," as Attwood was known in law enforcement circles, was supposed to be the mastermind of Phoenix's largest drug syndicate, dubbed The Evil Empire; it single-handedly sustained Phoenix's booming rave scene. Homebody or not, a wire picked up Attwood discussing shipments of ecstasy, methamphetamines, LSD, marijuana, and cocaine. Then the DEA knocked his door in.

For the next five and a half years Shaun Attwood inhabited Sheriff Joe Arpaio's notorious jail and the sweltering prisons of central Arizona. Like many prisoners, he broke out in bedsores and hives, made friends with transsexuals, and evaded the wrath of the Aryan Brotherhood. But while he did time in maximum security under the self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff" in America, Attwood also did something most prisoners can't; he took his father's suggestion and started blogging covertly about his daily life. At first, Attwood's aunt was the blog smuggler. When she visited him at the Madison Street Jail, he handed her a scrap of paper tucked into a stack of legal documents—his first blog post. Once home, she transcribed the post and emailed it to Attwood's father, Derick, in England. A few days later, Derick activated "Jon's Jail Journal" on Blogspot. There he posted his son's first blog entry from prison. Its title: "Deep Shit." It began:

We have had no running water for three days. The toilets in our cells are full of faeces and urine. On the second day of the water outage I knew we were in trouble when the mound in our steel throne peaked above sea level.

Entry by smuggled entry, Jon's Jail Journal came to life:

The temperature outside is currently 114 degrees. The trickle of air into our cell's feels like hot air blowing from a hair-dryer. We are soaked in sweat all day and night…Between the sweat trickling down my body and the cockroaches tickling my limbs, it is impossible to sleep properly. Last night, while sleeping on my side, my ear filled up with sweat, and when I moved my head, the sweat poured out onto my face. I woke up, startled. It felt like someone was touching my cheek.

Soon enough, The Guardian excerpted Jon's Jail Journal. Shortly after that, the BBC did a story on Attwood. Suddenly the blog was getting 10,000 hits a month. In time, "Jon's Jail Journal" became more than just a way for Attwood to vent about prison conditions. Derick put up a wish list for Attwood on Amazon.com. Soon, strangers were sending Attwood hundreds of books. "It got to the point that so many books were coming in that we had to take the Amazon wish list down," says Derick. In turn, Attwood donated them to the prison library. "I had never really read fiction," Attwood says. That changed. "I had a John Updike phase, a Brett Easton Ellis phase. I read all of Murakami, all of Vonnegut, all of Tom Wolfe."

Shortly before his release, he read a biography of Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn, a Russian novelist imprisoned for eight years for criticizing Stalin. Solzhenitsyn chronicled life in the grim labor camps of Kazakhstan. His writings exposed the Gulag, and in 1970 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Attwood, sweating in Arizona, took heart:

I have just finished reading a Solzhenitsyn bio that I started two days ago and couldn't put down. It's as if fate has stepped in just before my release and strengthened my commitment to making a go of writing. My suffering can't compare with what Solzhenitsyn had to endure, yet he rose from prison to spearhead the literary elite of Russia. Death called on him so many times: on the front fighting the Nazis, in Russian prisons, and then in the form of cancer. Reading about the odds he overcome has inspired me.

Attwood's most meaningful relationships, however, were ultimately not with books, but with his fellow inmates. This, too, was reflected in Jon's Jail Journal. Regular readers of the blog came to know a dubious cast of characters that included Xena, a 6'5" she-male, Two Tonys, an Irish-Italian murderer serving multiple life sentences, and Frankie, an alleged Mexican mafia contract killer. He writes:

Frankie…is the source of most of the hullabaloo in our pod. He is a recent arrival from the jail's infirmary. Last month Frankie was calmly playing cards in a maximum security pod, when an 8 inch shank was suddenly plunged into the back of his neck. Unfazed, he extracted the shank, and was about to return the gesture, when newly arriving guards pepper-sprayed him, causing temporary blindness. The 'hit on the hitman' had failed, and Frankie was dragged from the pod, in front of amazed onlookers with blood spurting from the wound. He was consequently promoted to our pod—a super maximum area, where inmates are confined to tiny 2 man cells for 23 hours every day.

"Sometimes," he says, "I feel I'm in a Kafka novel." In recent years, other prisoners have used written correspondence to post profiles on MySpace. But Jon's Jail Journal is one of the few verifiable prison blogs online, and by far the most popular. Jon's Jail Journal has attracted nearly 500,000 readers in the last three years.

Many readers comment on the blog posts, and Attwood's father says his email address book now has more than 4,000 entries from people who have contacted his son. These relationships, Attwood says, have helped him feel connected to life beyond the prison walls. "People write to me from Singapore to New Zealand, the Netherlands, China, Siberia," he says. "I write to up to 50 people a month, and all of those people have come about as a result of the blog. They can see that I've transformed the negative into the positive." After nearly 3,000 days and hundreds of blog posts, Attwood was released last year.

He's still writing, and his literary ambitions don't end with his blog. But until someone picks up his book, he posts notes from bloggers still behind bars. Like this one:

Anything new with you? My friend, you need to get yourself a job and leave that computer alone…Much love and respect, Mr. Frankie
P/S My trial starts August 19-2008

David Gelles is a freelance reporter based in Berkeley. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Forbes, and the Los Angeles Times.

Here's the link to the artice: http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2008/07/blogging-behind-bars.html

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood