Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Towers Jail in Phoenix

Postcards from Long Island (5)

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.



On the front page of yesterday's paper, Joe Arpaio is charging us $1.25 for meals! He was quoted saying "it costs me $2 a day to feed them, so I'm giving them a bargain." What a scumbag!

Do you remember me telling you about the federal judge that finally ruled on the lawsuit against Arpaio [Graves v. Arpaio]? I was able to get the transcripts from the ruling. They’re extremely long with a lot of obscure legal verbiage. However I’m going to list for you on the following postcards the rulings that Arpaio must comply with by Jan 9th. Some of them he has already, reluctantly, complied with.

Before I go any further, my daughter turned 1 year old on Dec 4th. She’s beautiful and it’s beginning to look like I’m not going to miss too much of her life. I’m in such a better place mentally and spiritually. This year has opened my eyes to a lot of things. Believe it or not a man named Father Thomas comes and sees me once a week and has helped me tremendously.

Here we go with some of the court ruling…

It has to be therefore ordered, adjudged, and decreed

1) Only 2 people per cell in Towers jail, not 3.

2) Housing temperatures do not exceed 85 degrees.

3) Provide cleaning supplies to all cells.

4) Provide functioning and sanitary toilets and sinks.

5) Pre-screening for segregation issues.

6) Ready access to medical and mental health care needs.

7) Prescription medication without interruption.

8) One hour of rec at least 4 days a week.

9) Provide food that meets the U.S. Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

10) Inmates in psychiatric unit are visually observed.

11) Maximum Towers jail population is 880. Up until recently we had 1500 people triple bunked.

12) Efforts made to eradicate rats and mice.

That’s pretty much all of the highlights. This place is still absolutely miserable, but it’s getting better. Now we’re dealing with the blatant retaliation from the officers. They’re being forced to do all kinds of extra work, so of course we’re being locked down and put on restriction for any little thing. For example, our last round of restriction was for 96 hours for excessive linen in our cells. Basically, extra towels and boxers. Excuse me for wanting to change boxers more than once a week! Or maybe use a fresh towel every once in a while.

Take care, Shaun

Your friend,

Long Island

You might think that the erratic behavior of Joe Arpaio, the brutal televised death of Robert Cotton and cover up by the MCSO, the scathing rebuke of Arpaio's management of the Maricopa County Jails by the U.S. District Court in the Graves v. Arpaio decision, the raid on Mesa City Hall resulting in the arrest of a handful of cleaning ladies, and his continued abuse of his authority would continue to drive his poll numbers into the ground.

You would be right.

Thanks to these events and others, recent polls show that Joe Arpaio's approval ratings with the public are now well below the 50% level for the first time in his 16 long years as Sheriff.

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Email comments and questions for Long Island to or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

'Toughest Sheriff' takes act to small screen
HOLLYWOOD, California (CNN) -- Reality television featuring law enforcement officers on the beat is nothing new. A show featuring a lawman who makes jailed inmates wear pink underwear and uses actors to trick suspects, however, is a new twist.
Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio -- whose showy brand of justice has raised charges of discrimination and civil-rights abuses while making him a hero among fans of his tough-on-crime attitudes -- will star in "Smile: You're Under Arrest."
The show, which premiers this weekend on Fox Reality Channel, features Arpaio and other officers using elaborate ploys crafted by comedy writers and carried out by professional actors to arrest suspects with outstanding warrants.
In one, a suspect is invited to a fake fashion shoot and told he's going to become a supermodel, according to Fox Reality's Web site. In another, a suspect is tricked into what he thinks is a job as a movie extra and, after a staged argument between the film's "director" and another actor, gets promoted to the starring role.
"It's kind of fun to show how stupid they are and, as I say, the looks on their face," Arpaio, 76, said of the suspects wanted for DUIs, drug charges, missed court dates and other offenses.
But Arpaio's critics aren't amused.
They say they fear the show will give the controversial sheriff positive publicity, ignoring what they call a darker side to his 16-year tenure as top lawman in the county that includes Phoenix.
"It's going to celebrate a sheriff that's frankly scaring this community, a sheriff that has seen violent crime increase significantly in his county, a sheriff that is racially profiling the Latino community, and I doubt that the show is going to reflect that," said Paco Fabian, spokesman for the immigrant-rights group America's Voice.

In a statement on the group's Web site, Fabian calls Arpaio a "modern day Bull Connor," comparing him to the public safety commissioner in 1960s Birmingham, Alabama, whose use of attack dogs and firehoses on civil rights demonstrators made him a symbol of racial intolerance.
Dubbed "America's Toughest Sheriff," Arpaio makes many of his county's 10,000 or so inmates live in tents. He reinstituted chain gangs -- including crews for women and juveniles -- banned smoking, coffee and movies in his jails and, most recently, moved to require all inmates with money in their jail accounts to pay for their own meals.

And then, of course, there's the pink underwear.

"They were stealing the white underwear, smuggling the underwear out of the jail," Arpaio told CNN. "So you know what? Give them pink. The other reason is they hate pink. Why would you give the 10,000 inmates the color they like?"
Earlier this year, the mayor of Phoenix wrote a letter to the U.S. attorney general's office, asking the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department's civil rights division to investigate Arpaio's aggressive illegal immigration crackdowns. Mayor Phil Brown wrote that Arpaio's sweeps show "a pattern and practice of conduct that includes discriminatory harassment, improper stops, searches and arrests."

The letter came after Arpaio, who had already been the target of hundreds of lawsuits, launched a series of what he calls crime-suppression patrols in largely Latino neighborhoods. Critics say the patrols use racial profiling to unfairly target Hispanic drivers and pedestrians, while Arpaio says they have resulted in the deportation of hundreds of illegal immigrants, including some with criminal records.
"We are the only ones cracking down on the state's human smuggling law," Arpaio said.
Fabian said America's Voice is considering putting pressure on companies that advertise during Arpaio's show. Either way, the series offers another moment in the spotlight for a lawman who has never shied away from it.
"I'm not going to brag," Arpaio said, "but there isn't anybody in the world who doesn't know who this sheriff is."
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Shaun P. Attwood

Christmas Card Made By Warrior
From Warrior (Letter 4)
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. He writes some of the best prison-fight stories on the Internet.



Merry Xmas & Happy New Year. I wish you and your loved ones the best this holiday season.

First let me say thank you for the opportunity to write, explore and be heard. Thank you for the inspiration as I observe your coming success. Thank you for all your help with me to improve my writing, and for being a true genuine person.
You are a skilled writer and I know you’ll take your talent far. What we can envision, we create. What we create knows no bounds. If we see it, we bring it forth. Our inner energies make it so.

The holidays so far have been OK. It has been a bit crazy though for some of the other guys. The absence of family, along with everything else associated with the holidays, has created some volatile personalities. It always happens, toward the end of the year, like that. There were actually four riots last month alone. One has to be strong in will and mind in these times.

I was laughing at what you wrote about the extreme clowns. The funny thing is that I’ll bet there are dudes here with swazis on their dicks. Talk about being committed to a belief – ouch!

As the year closes, we reflect on the past events and imagine what the New Year may have in store. Hopefully, we’ve all grown wiser as individuals as we learn to master ourselves. It’s a time to appreciate who and what we have in our lives, not the lack thereof. As we try to bury old hates and frustrations, we should do so with open hearts and minds.
Life is so short, so live it unrehearsed. We want to be able to look back on life with no regrets, and to know we gave living everything.
In the end we must be good to each other, the world, and ourselves. This is the essence of character, the measure of a good life.

I believe this New Year will bring us more opportunities and recognition with the stories we have to offer. We’re a new flavor in the literary world – exposing what’s going on in America’s prisons. With our incarceration rate so high, it’s a flavor the world really needs right now – so lets keep writing!


Yes, Merry Christmas everyone! Here's to a successful New Year!
Our friends inside appreciate your comments.
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Shaun P. Attwood
23 Dec 08

Petition Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio

America’s Voice has started a petition demanding that the Honorable Michael Mukasey, Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice, investigate Sheriff Joe Arpaio for gross civil rights violations in the name of immigration enforcement.

If you are a U.S. citizen and wish to sign the petition click here.

America’s Voice has also compiled the following:

Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Notorious Record

2,700 Lawsuits Filed Against Arpaio
Between 2004 and 2007, 2,700 lawsuits were filed against Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Federal and County Courts – 50 times the number of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston combined. [Phoenix New Times, 6/10/08 and 12/7/07]

Arpaio Prioritizes Immigrant Sweeps Over Serving Felony Arrest Warrants
During an interview by the Arizona Republic, the interviewer pointed out in a question, “You get criticized by local law-enforcement agencies for not serving felony arrest warrants, shirking that responsibility in favor of immigrant sweeps, which requires manpower and other resources. Mayor Phil Gordon says you have created "a sanctuary county for felons" and that you have "40,000 felony warrants stacked on (your) desk." Why not go after the "real" criminals and actively serve outstanding arrest warrants, which local agencies see as a county obligation and responsibility?‟” [Arizona Republic, 4/27/08]

Study Finds Arpaio Targets Latinos
The Arizona Republic examined Arpaio's arrest logs from eight of his notorious and high-profile sweeps. The study “showed that deputies arrested more Latinos than non-Latinos during each of the operations; that even when the patrols were held in mostly White areas, deputies arrested more Latinos than non-Latinos; and that deputies arrested Latinos in greater numbers than non-Latinos following minor traffic violations.” [Arizona Republic, 11/24/08]

Mesa Police Chief: Arpaio’s Approach Hurts Community Safety
Mesa Chief George Gascon thinks “a wedge is being driven between the local police and some immigrant groups. Some law enforcement agencies are wasting limited resources in operations to appease the public's thirst for action against illegal immigration regardless of the legal or social consequences… If we become a nation in which the local police are the default enforcers of a failing federal immigration policy, the years of trust that police departments have built up in immigrant communities will vanish.” [New York Times, 7/31/08]

Phoenix Mayor Asks US Department of Justice to Investigate Arpaio
The Mayor of Phoenix, Phil Gordon, “wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey asking that the Justice Department's civil-rights division and the FBI investigate Arpaio's immigration crackdowns. He alleged that the sweeps included "a pattern and practice of conduct that includes discriminatory harassment, improper stops, searches and arrests.”” [Arizona Republic, 11/24/08]

Members of AZ Legislature Support Mayor’s Call For Federal Probe of Arpaio
According to the AP, some members of the Arizona Legislative Latino Caucus are supportive of “…Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon‟s call for a federal probe into…Arpaio‟s recent crime sweeps in Hispanic neighborhoods. Lawmakers [said] the sheriff's tactics are tantamount to racial-profiling and reflect poorly on all Arizonans, regardless of their ethnic heritage.” [AP, 4/18/08]

Arpaio Stages Phony Murder Plot Against Himself, Accused Released for Wrongful Imprisonment, County Pays over $1 million to Settle
In 2004 a man was released from prison after being wrongly accused of plotting to kill Arpaio. Evidence suggested that Arpaio‟s office staged the plot and the County agreed to pay over $1 million to settle the case. The County‟s insurance policy paid an additional un-released amount. [Phoenix New Times, 10/28/08]

AZ Jewish Leaders Decry Arpaio’s Racial Profiling
According to the East Valley Tribune, AZ area rabbis “…said they found it distressing that it appears that people are being profiled and detained ... on the basis of their race and ethnicity, and that this policy is creating an environment of fear and intimidation in the community among both legal and illegal immigrants. "We feel that this policy can only lead to the further dehumanization of individuals and groups of individuals in our community"… Arpaio may be acting within the law, they said, but his actions are not consistent with America's founders "who passionately believed in the value of freedom and justice for all.” [East Valley Tribune, 4/18/08]

Arpaio Advocates Forced Labor
The Washington Post reports that Arpaio favors forcing jailed immigrants to sleep “in tents and feeding them bologna sandwiches,” Arpaio said. [Washington Post, 5/20/06]

Arpaio Proud of Increased Fear in Immigrant Community
“Some undocumented workers say they are afraid to drive because of Arpaio's crackdown. Others say they are considering leaving the state, which, advocates say, could hurt the economy. Arpaio said that indicates his crackdown, aimed at deterring illegal immigration, is working.” “If you say they are leaving, I have accomplished my mission,” Arpaio said. [Arizona Republic, 10/17/07]

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Shaun P. Attwood
21 Dec 08

Fighting For No Good Reason (by Shane)

Shane - After being denied psychiatric medication by ValueOptions, Shane turned to illegal drugs financed by burglaries. The medication in prison caused him to suffer a period of spontaneous ejaculations. Shane is the author of the blog Persevering Prison Pages.

I could sense something was wrong as soon as I took my tray from the chow hall’s serving slot. It was an eerie feeling that heightened all of my senses. Knuckles white, I gripped my tray and headed to the second table from the back wall of the dining room, scanning the crowded room for anything out of the ordinary. Nothing.

Setting my tray down next to Saint’s, I sat. “Wassup?” I asked Saint, a self-proclaimed Christian warrior friend. Although saved by the crucifixion of Christ, Saint had no qualms about throwing down with anybody. He was in fact a fighter.
“Mexicans have beef with the blacks,” he whispered with a head gesture towards a table with two blacks seated at it.
Looking around inconspicuously, I spotted two guys talking, both from separate tables along the back wall. Shot-caller tables. A Mexican and white guy. This isn’t good, I thought.
White and Mexican shot-callers conversing in public meant something could jump off before a private meeting. That always made me nervous.

Picking at my lunch, I spied the two STG [Security Threat Group] heads turn back to their respective tables and converse with their tablemates.
A white boy left the table, leaned over and whispered something to a youngster at the table behind the one I was at. The leader abruptly turned and left the chow hall.

The youngster, a lanky tattooed longhair, stood with his empty tray in hand, looking pointedly at the guard standing sentry at the chow hall exit. The guard and longhair exchanged knowing looks, and subtly the guard left the chow hall locking the exit.

As the long hair walked towards the discard-tray slot, a path that passed by the table with the two black men at it, I whispered “Heads up,” to Saint.
Saint didn’t react.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one watching, because as soon as the longhair neared the black table, both black guys stood up and went after him. After the first volley of punches landed, the longhair went down.
In slow motion, I saw a fluid wave of whites and vatos move across the room, before the longhair hit the floor, to engage the two blacks.
Another table of blacks stood, causing Saint to stand and throw his empty tray at one of them.
As Saint made a beeline for the closest black guy standing, I stood and looked around the room. Locking eyes with a light-skinned young black a couple of tables away and still sitting, I thought, Don’t do it. Don’t get up. Stay sitting. I watched him, waiting for any indication he planned to get involved.
Suddenly, an explosion of sparks clouded my vision and I staggered to my right, catching my balance by grabbing the nearest table.
Quickly regaining my bearings, I saw who had blindsided me and attacked. The thin dark black guy tried to sidestep my charge, but I extended my elbow, catching him in the mouth with my solid forearm.

In the pandemonium, food trays had landed on the floor, leaving a slick mess everywhere.
Trading glancing punches, I decided to take him down. Grappling with him, I managed to get him in a partial chokehold from behind. If not for his right hand caught in the hold, he’d have been fast asleep.
Walking forward, I laid him on top of the table, released his neck and punched him hard in the right side. Drawing back to punch him again, I felt somebody grab my arm. Spinning around, I threw a hammer-fist punch, connecting with flesh and bone. Somebody fell.

It was the sound of keys and yells of “Break it up! I’ll gas you! Break it up!” that snapped me out of fight mode.
There were a dozen guards now moving throughout the chow hall breaking up fights.
Seeing the longhair on the floor next to me, I helped him up and we headed for the now open exit, which was packed with guys trying to get out before gas was used.
“Why’d you hit me for?” the longhair asked, his face bloody and bruised.
The guard who’d locked the chow hall earlier was standing sentry again. He ushered us through, but stopped a black behind us with a bloody nose.

The yard was locked down for two days but no disciplinary tickets were written and only two guys went to the hospital. A black and a Mexican.

I never learned what the beef was, and it never came up again. Probably best I didn’t know because it’s usually not a good enough reason to fight over. However that’s how life is inside: fighting for no good reason.

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Email comments on Shane’s story to or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood
From Xena (Letter 4)

Xena - A transsexual giant and Wiccan priest. The charismatic leader of Cult Of Xena (COX). Tattoos include a wasp on Xena’s penis and ant trails running up Xena’s legs. Recently cut off a testicle and almost bled to death.


Dear Shaun,

I am filing a lawsuit in order to force the State of Arizona to allow me a sex reassignment surgery. My goal is to leave prison as a female. No one has ever tried this before me. I’ll be the first! I am also having my name changed and filing two other lawsuits of which I will not disclose at this time.

I was thinking since my breasts are getting larger, I could utilize them by attaching sandpaper within my cleavage and using it to sand down the Popsicle sticks we use to make our boxes. In this way I could use my hands for gluing and cutting. Of course, the downside would be wood dust inside my belly button. That always sucks!

The name of the drawing I’m sending you is “Moon Nymph.” The feathers are 13, the number of moons in one year. I don’t know how to draw water and I suck at landscapes. I am better with people and animals. The spear in the water is the symbol of masculinity, and the circle with the cross in it is the symbol of earth. She dances in water, which is emotions and purification. The volcano is strength and purification. The moon is emotion. She hides with her towel that which I find distasteful in myself. She is how I envision myself in the future. She is me, a self-portrait, a dream…

Joe Arpaio is sheriff again. It seems that Arizona is a state where if you are corrupt, you might as well be in law enforcement otherwise you’ll go to prison. Arizona loves corrupt law enforcement!

I am doing horrible here. This place really sucks! However I am trying to utilize my time as best I can. I purchased a language set (A Living Language) for Spanish. I am trying to learn. I am also waiting on Latin and German. I hope that some day I can visit Europe. I want to be able to converse with the people there.

I hope you like everything I send you. I am going to try and be more of a friend and write more.
I am truly sorry about the death of your literary agent. It seems I don’t know the best of times to write my frustrations. I believe the next world is a more beautiful place than this one.
I love and miss you. You are my friend, and you will always be my friend.
You are always in my thoughts and dreams.
Tell your mum and father I say hi and I send my love!




Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

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Shaun P. Attwood
16 Dec 08

Mass Hunger Strike At Arpaio’s Jail

Phoenix Local News:

Inmates to buy own meals, hunger strike to protest

PHOENIX – Tough economic times, according to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, prompted him to start charging the inmates for their meals.

He says his plan will save close to a million tax dollars. The meal charges do not start until January but inmates at the Durango Jail and Tent City went on hunger strike to protest the new fees Monday morning.

Maricopa County inmates have long complained about jail food. Inmates say when inspectors are there, portions and quality are fine, but when inspectors leave it becomes inedible.

Needless to say, the sheriff's new plan to have inmates pay $1.25 a day for their two meals is not going over well behind bars. One man, who 3TV will only identify as Frank is just out of jail. He says starting yesterday the inmates are boycotting their meals. He tells 3TV, “It's something they have to do to show they're upset."

The hunger strike, which is expected to last from one to three days, is earning the inmates little sympathy from the sheriff.

Sheriff Arpaio tells 3TV, “If they don’t want to eat, that's their problem, not my problem."

The money will come from the inmates' personal accounts, created from cash they had on them when they were arrested and money sent in by family members.

The sheriff says crimes committed by inmates came at a cost to society so charging for meals will help them start to repay their debt.

"I’m not changing the policy,” the sheriff explains. “If they don’t eat we'll save more money won't we?"

The sheriff says he now plans to go to the legislature and get permission to start charging inmates for their beds.

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Shaun P. Attwood
14 Dec 08

Stoicism (by Two Tonys)

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."

What the fuck’s up with these dudes that go and climb Mount Everest? Let’s take a look at that.

Number one, they’ve got dollars – I mean big fuckin’ dollars. It takes more than chump change to climb Mount Everest. You’ve gotta take time off your hustle. Then you’ve gotta get your gear – that’s expensive. Then you’ve gotta get your airfare, your travel expenses – not cheap. Then you’ve gotta hire a guide, then Sherpas, then oxygen tanks, and tents.
The cost hasta be up there. In the over-one-hundred-grand range. But that probably ain’t shit to mosta those fools.

Here’s what I don’t get but I’m startin’ to focus in on. Me and you – let’s say – are a coupla silver spoons layin’ around and one of us says, “Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s go to the most inhospitable environment on the planet. A place where it’s below freezin’. Where nothin’ can grow. Where the wind’s blowin’ gale force. Where the slope is almost straight up. Where we can’t breathe without oxygen tanks on our backs. Where just the act of puttin’ one foot in front of the other is pain. Where we’ll sleep in a little tent and eat MRE’s cooked on butane burners. Where we’ll suffer for days, and pay one-hundred-and-fifty-thousand minimum to do so – but when we come back and belly up to the bar we can say we did it. No, it’s not Monte Carlo or Cancún or the South of France for us. We’re gonna suffer and have fun doin’ it. There it is in a nutshell.

Now I ask: where the fuck is the fun in that? Does that sound like fun to you? That wouldn’t be fun to me. Doesn’t that then mean that the fun is in their minds?
It’s like the great Bard said, “There is no happiness, no sadness.” They do not exist. It’s in their minds. Their minds tell them they’re on an adventure. A challenge. A struggle. That’s their reward.
And while they’re psyched up like that they’re free of those fuckin’ prisons called conditioned minds.

Now I ask you: can a person who’s just been diagnosed with cancer develop the same frame of mind? Or a person who’s just been given a life sentence or two? Or sent to the hole to suffer?
I think they can and some do. They know it’s pain comin’ but they feel a sense of reward by endurin’ the pain.

Now this train of thought opens up a whole buncha shit – from suicide bombers to organ donors. Criminals. Heroes. It’s a line of thought that sorta mystifies me.
Look at poor ol’ OJ Simpson. He’s so rich in material, yet so poor in brain thought. He’ll be out on parole in six years or even earlier if he kicks down some baksheesh to the right appeals court judge. How do you think he feels now on his little journey which is a slam dunk for guys like us?

I like to think I’m strong in mind. That I could take a dose of Abu Ghraib or the Guantánamo Bay prison – just to see wassup. But I don’t know about that waterboardin’ shit or hangin’ by the thumbs. To endure that you have to be committed real strong to what you’re in to.
But imagine what a trip to endure that adventure, that challenge, that sufferin’ – to climb that Mount Everest, and to come out and belly up to the bar. Now that would be strong and rewardin’ – for some people.

My point is: life is one of those things you can enjoy while you have it regardless of whether you’re strugglin’ to put one foot in front of the other in a snow storm on Mount Everest or layin’ on a bed with tubes in your nose in a hospital or layin’ on a cell floor in the hole readin’ a Time mag or even hangin’ from a waterboard in Abu Ghraib – you can be one bad motherfucker and that’s your reward. Doin’ it.

We’ve all got our own Mount Everests to climb. I guess some are just higher than others dependin’ on our states of mind.
Look at poor ol’ OJ. His mountain is just a little old hill to us. But not to him. To him it’s almost unclimbable. And therein lies the meat of the whole thing. It’s all in the mind of the beholder.

I say, “It ain’t no thang but a chicken wang.” Let’s do it. Let’s make the most of whatever the world throws our way – ’cause sooner or later we’re all gonna die.

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Email comments and questions for Two Tonys to or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood
13 Dec 08

Postcards from Long Island (4)

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.


What’s up my friend?

There’s finally been a rather promising development. My attorney feels he can get a decent plea. We got a new prosecutor, which set us back a few months, but we’re getting what we want. There’s a lot more details I can’t share with you right now, but things are looking a lot better.

What’s going on? When is the book coming out? Send me a paperback copy please!

Much love,

Long Island

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Shaun P. Attwood

11 Dec 08

The Royo Romance (Part 28)

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. She recently visited me in England.
Click here for Part 27.

Royo Girl has delivered on her promise and provided an account of the time she spent in my hometown.


I look at the date today and can hardly believe that over a month has passed since my holiday in jolly, old England. On one hand, time has gone by incredibly fast making it feel like only a week has gone by. On the other, it feels it has been ages since I last saw Shaun.

My Arrival in Weirdness

Let me begin by telling you how funny it was watching Shaun struggle with my suitcase all the way from London to Widnes. I told him that he didn’t have to take the larger, heavier suitcase (which he affectionately began calling “The Beast”), but he was a true gentleman and stated he was taking the case for me. Shaun and I had to pick it up to carry it down the tube stairs. He then had to push past people to get the dang thing on the train, and then go on the urine filled elevators to get to the appropriate side for his mom to pick us up at Runcorn station. What makes this all the funnier is the fact that I had carried the case, with the smaller case inside it making it even heavier, all the way from the airport to the hotel by myself. My poor, little delicate Shaun!

My first day in the town of Widnes was nice and quiet. Shaun’s mom came to pick us up and I immediately had to begin adjusting to a slightly more northern accent. Once we unloaded my cases from the car, Shaun and I took a walk through part of the town. It was beginning to get dark, but he took me up some unlit hill [Pex Hill] anyway. He reminisced about his childhood days and the things he used to do up on the hill, which were, as per usual, deviant in nature. Upon our arrival back at his house, we had a nice family dinner and then watched Layer Cake (which is definitely a movie worth watching, especially if anyone likes Daniel Craig).

Unlike my own family, who will wake you up at the butt crack of dawn so that everyone can help do the fun, outside chores, Shaun’s family let me sleep in until noon! I found my jetlag really annoying as I felt it was cutting into how much I could fit into a day’s activities, but Shaun doesn’t wake up until ten anyway. (Lazy!)

When I eventually did get up and get ready, Shaun’s mom had already made me a cup of tea and coffee and cut me a piece of cake for breakfast. Shaun and I made our way to Liverpool for a few hours. I was super excited to be in a part of England that I had never been to before. Unfortunately, we didn’t spend too much time there. I was able to see the cathedral, go shopping for the Halloween/birthday party, and have a good meal at a local café. The evening was spent “having an Indian” (I love that very wrong sounding English phrase) and toasting champagne to my 40 year old buddy.

The next day was very similar except we went to Manchester and I had the pleasure of going to Gay Street, aka Canal Street. Shaun and I went for a drink at Queer Bar, where Shaun seemed to be enjoying himself a wee bit too much. Hmmm… We saw an ad for a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at one of the gay bars on the street and we decided to go. Of course, we drove all the way back for dinner with Shaun’s parents and then back for the showing at 10pm. It was my first time to such an event and it was pretty entertaining.

Finally, I convinced Shaun that I wanted a tour of Widnes itself. I wanted to see where he had grown up. I wanted to see the place that I was actually visiting and not just the surrounding areas. And on the fourth day, he gave into my demands much to his own dismay. We went to the town center first, where my camera ran out of battery (Of course). I bought more batteries at a local newsagent, which should also be known as the local swindle shop because none of the four batteries in the pack worked. I was told by the shopkeeper when I returned them that my camera must take a special kind of battery – try again, my friend. It just takes double A batteries that work.

Next, Shaun took me to Spike Island, West Bank and I have an awesome picture of the River Mersey and some huge, nuclear looking plant [Fiddlers Ferry Power Station] off in the distance. Although it is a bit of an eyesore, it is a very prominent marker of the Industrial Era still left in the modern world. Shaun tried to convince me that I should pretend to feed the hungry looking swans for a picture. I was not so easily fooled.

Given my company, how could we not go to the Widnes church and cemetery? Farnworth Church was small, but impressive given that it had been around for centuries. We walked around the outside of it and then back into the cemetery section. Shaun defiantly posed on one of the graves and I respectfully walked around them. We walked a bit further in and noticed three hooligans sitting on a bench. Our presence most likely disrupted their activities, but they didn’t seem to mind too much. Shaun boldly asked them when the church was open. After they responded, my tour guide felt compelled to notify them that I was an American, which inspired a few jokes and the unavoidable question (even from a band of young hooligans) of who I was going to vote for in the pending election. My response then and now is that I don’t talk about politics.

In the evening, Shaun dragged me to his BodyCombat class at Halton Leisure Centre. I was pensive to say the least, especially when looking at his gleeful face as he talked about how excited he was to take me to it. I knew he couldn’t wait to see me struggle in the class and possibly die at the end of it. Unfortunately for him, I didn’t do too badly and was super energized afterwards. HAHAHAHA. His plan backfired.

After Shaun and I showered and ate back at his parents, we went for a night out on the town. He took me to Hammy’s favorite pub, The Ring O' Bells. Shaun introduced me to some people he knew and we ordered our drinks. I ordered a lager and he ordered a cider J We stayed for a bit there and then meandered onward to some other pub [The Horse and Jockey], of which I have ashamedly already forgotten the name of. We chatted with the McMullens, a comical, older couple for at least a good hour. I should have known at the church that Shaun was planning on parading me around as the American in Widnes to see who he would get a rise out of. It eventually worked at the local chippie/kebab house. The man behind the counter didn’t seem to be impressed with us and then one of the customers started slagging off Americans. I have to admit that it was funny as all of the people in the chippie looked a little uncomfortable. However, Shaun forgot that I was no foreigner to being a foreigner and his experiment to see what kind of tense situation he could create was not going to work. The night ended quickly after we gorged on unhealthy foods from the chippie.

That’s all for now. I am going to write a separate entry for my account of Shaun’s party, which I will try to do soon.

Royo Girl

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Shaun P. Attwood

10 Dec 08

Zucchini (Part 7)

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 six left off with Cindy mounting Log, and Max at the door trying to leave the cell.

“That’s when Log says, ‘Max, grab the hot-sauce bottle. We’re gonna need some help doin’ this,’” Max said.
“So do you help them out again?” I asked.
“I clown Log. I say, ‘Why you need the bottle, making a tamale?’ Log says, ‘You know what time it is. Help us out. Grab the bottle, Max.’ I grab it and say, ‘I don’t know what you expect me to do with this, but I ain’t down to play your reindeer games.’ Log says, ‘It’s fun to play reindeer games.’ I say, ‘That’s a matter of opinion.’ Then Cindy busts out with, ‘Max, just put the bottle in my mouth, and pinch my nipple.’ I say, ‘I ain’t doin’ nothin’, but I do give the bottle to Cindy. The girth on the bottle is huge, and Cindy’s pretty small.”
“Is the girth on this bottle bigger than the shampoo bottle they used?”
“Yeah, ’cause they’ve specially moulded it. So Cindy’s still ridin’ Log. I don’t say nothin’. I just go to the door. I’m about to walk out when Log says, ‘Hey, don’t open the door.’ So now I’m stuck, dude. I don’t wanna get ’em busted, but I don’t wanna get busted in there either. Log gets off.”
“Not off Cindy. He comes, dude. Cindy says, ‘Are you done, baby?’ and hands the bottle to Log, and says, ‘As soon as you pull it out, shove the bottle in there.’ I’m standin’ at the door, dude. I’ve got to leave. This isn’t good for my spirit. What kind of karmic repercussions am I gonna have for witnessing this event? It’s getting’ weirder and weirder. So Log pulls out, and shoves the bottle in Cindy’s ass. I’m lookin’ outta the door window tryin’ to figure out an escape. The last thing I need is to get busted, or have any rumours start – ’cause you know how rumours are in prison – the female C.O.’s won’t even look at me no more. Log and Cindy are really messin’with my heterosexuality. What are the limits to watchin’ shit? Then Cindy says, ‘Can I suck your dick now, Max?’ And Log says, ‘It’s time for you to man-up and get your issue, dude.’”

Does Max resist or is he about to get “turned out” by Log and Cindy?

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Shaun P. Attwood
07 Dec 08

Visited by Shaun (by Andrea)

Andrea - A 28-year-old Scottish woman writing from a maximum-security prison in England. She suffered years of domestic violence, and was arrested for the attempted murder of her most recent boyfriend after he punched her in the face. She pled guilty to wounding, and is scheduled for release in 2010.

It’s been nearly one week since I met Shaun, but it feels like it was only yesterday. I feel like I met one of the most genuine men in my life.

I had only seen a few pictures of Shaun beforehand, but seeing him in person, well that was a different story. He looks so innocent, but we all know that looks can be deceiving (in a good way). I tried to piece him together in my mind, knowing what Shaun has done in the past and the way he is now, and I couldn’t manage it. It’s hard to believe how well he has changed his life around. It’s proof that you can really do it if you want to.

Shaun gave me advice to deal with my anger. That advice has been taken. If I can do what Shaun has achieved it will be worth going through anger management and domestic violence counselling. It’s not going to be easy, but with the help and support of Shaun I know I’m strong enough to do it.

In the two hours that we were together, there was a lot of laughing going on, and we talked through the whole time. It was a natural feeling.
We talked about various things, things about the both of us, which I thought was really nice. The funny thing for me was I was able to talk to him and not feel tense in any way. I don’t think that I could fault him during the visit.
I don’t know what Shaun’s views are of me, but I felt something between us, like there was some kind of connection. I’m not sure what, but there is something.

Shaun was open with me, and able to tell me that I have issues to deal with. He mentioned talking to a shrink, but I’ve done that, and I was told that my head is fine. Obviously, it’s not. If I was just being myself with Shaun, and he was able to point out a few things about me, what’s to stop anyone else from doing the same? I know Shaun knows now I won’t stop until my problems have been dealt with. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that Shaun has given me the kick up the arse that I was needing. So thank you, Shaun!

Anyway our visit was only for a short time. I wish it could have lasted a little longer as we did seem to have a good time together. I think that we clicked and there is chemistry between us.

At the end of the visit Shaun gave me a hug, and you know what? I didn’t want that to end!

One thing I do know for sure is that I would like to get to know Shaun better. He’s made me believe that I can come out of prison a better person. He’s made me believe that I can trust men again. For the first time in many years I was able to hold a guy in my arms and not feel scared. And that means the world to me.

Since returning back to prison reality, I’ve applied to see counsellors for anger, domestic violence, and also, the hardest for me, victims of rape. I’ve only really got one full year, so my aim is to give myself the best chance I possibly can. It’s not long. I know that I have it in me to do well, and I can’t let prison life get me down anymore. The way I see it is this is my last chance, and I won’t be doing it for anyone other than myself. If I’m not happy, I can’t make anyone else happy. I have the strength to do it. I’ve actually realised that instead of using my strength negatively, I can turn it around in a more positive way

The only way is up for me now.

Shaun, thank you for being here, and I’m glad to be part of Jon’s Jail Journal.


Click here to read Andrea’s previous blog entry.

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Email comments or questions for Andrea to or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood
04 Dec 08

There’s Some Shit a Man Ain’t Meant to See (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.

Standing in front of my cell, having come off work, I waved to the female control officer to open my door. I hadn’t really noticed her until that day. She was a lot better looking than the masculine C.O.’s I was used to. In prison, you learn to appreciate every variety of the female species.

She popped my cell open. I entered and locked my door.
City Boy was lying on his bunk, TV on, but engrossed in a book: Terry Goodkind’s Temple of the Winds.
I sat on the steel desk, resting my feet on the accompanying steel stool, and began to relay the day’s events.
“Off work early, huh?” City said.
“Yeah, but I gotta tell you some shit,” I replied.
“Oh yeah?” City sat up, giving his full attention to what I was about to say.
“Check this out. I’m at work, right. My boss sends me around the corner to the walk-in fridge to get some shit. I can’t even remember what the fuck I was supposed to get ’cause the shit I walked in on just threw me through a loop. Guess what I saw?”
“Ah, shit, man. What the fuck did ya see?”
“I’ll give you a hint. There are some things a man shouldn’t see. Guess?”
“Fuck you, man! Jus’ spit the shit out.”
“OK, OK, I’m stallin’, right. Thinkin’ nuthin’ much, I reach the walk-in, open the door, and see Joe and Alexis straight fuckin’ kissin’.” Alexis’ real name was Alex. “What! Are you fuckin’ kiddin’ me?”
“No bullshit, man! And it wasn’t no peck-type shit. Like that shit matters. These two had their tongues buried deep down each other’s throats. The cold shit is, these two didn’t stop. They jus’ kept at it like I wasn’t there.”
“What kind of sick twisted shit is that? I knew that motherfucker got turned out by Alexis! Fuckin’ knew it! Didn’t I tell you I caught them two givin’ each other come-fuck-me eyes?” Roaring with laughter, City Boy clapped his hands. “I’m gonna give Joe so much shit!” City Boy had a twisted sense of humor. He took pleasure in torturing guys with mean jokes that almost crossed the line to where they’d want to fight, but they never did. He loved to test a man’s resolve.
“That ain’t all, man. Alexis was sittin’ on top of some crates, Joe was in front of him with Alexis’ legs wrapped around him like a chick. You’d swear that these two were at the park or some shit. I wasn’t the one kissin’ that fag, yet I felt dirty. Man, I tell ya, there’s some shit a man ain’t meant to see.”
“Hey, man, that dirty feeling is a good thing, brother. It tells you, you still all man.”
I laughed. “Hell, yeah. Good observation.”
“I’ll never understand that shit. Some cats do dope, some clique up with the gangs, some get a fag. I don’t know about the resta these cats here, but I’d rather take another twelve stickings than one stab from another man’s tongue.” City lifted his shirt to display the seven-inch surgery scar in the center of his stomach along with the twelve surrounding stab wounds.
“I hear that, bro. You know though, dudes get lonely and are susceptible to that shit. But wait, doesn’t Joe have a chick that comes to see him?”
“Lonely my ass!” City said. “I’m lonely but you don’t see me chasing some queer. He does have a chick too. She comes to see him every week, sends him money, looks out for his sorry ass.”
“Damn, that’s crazy. Alexis ain’t no slouch. I hear that motherfucker got an I.Q. of 180 or 200. That fucker knows how to prey on a fool. Besides, back in 2000, in The Walls, that fucker chopped his dick and balls off you know.”
“Oh yeah? I heard that shit. I didn’t know if it was true or not.” City said.
“Yeah, that fucker’s a eunuch,” I said. “No dick. Sportin’ a straight Rottweiler tail. You gotta be twisted to cut your own dick off. That fucker’s got more courage than me. Then he flushed that shit down the toilet.”
“Whoa! Fuckin’ A.”
“A crazy world we live in here, huh, dawg?” I said.
“Yeah, bro. We ain’t doin’ life, so we one of the lucky ones,” City said.
“Next time I walk in on them kissin’, maybe they’ll shave first. All that facial friction from stubble had me thinkin’ the were gonna spark a fire.”

Email comments and questions for Warrior to or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity. Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Shaun P. Attwood
25 Nov 08

Visiting Andrea


I am sat in the car park outside of the maximum-security prison in Southern England housing Andrea, one of the two women sharing their prison experiences with us at Jon’s Jail Journal. I have pre-booked a two-hour visit commencing at 5:30pm.
Except for the bars on the windows and the razor wire coiled along the rooftops, the tall white buildings look like cheap apartment blocks. The sky is murky, but I can see a few silhouettes of prisoners in the windows – they remind me of the prisoners I lived with who used to watch the visitors car park from their cell windows and announce whose visitors were arriving long before the guards.

It’s almost a year since my release and it feels peculiar to be going inside a prison, something I never imagined doing again. I’m excited to be meeting Andrea, but also a little nervous.
I’m here because through corresponding with Andrea, I’ve felt increasingly drawn to visit her. She’s relatively new to the prison system, and in her letters she expresses some of the same thoughts, feelings, hopes and fears I had when I was a new prisoner, so I relate to what she’s going through.
I was blessed to have family and friends visit me, so I know how emotionally uplifting visits can be for prisoners. Sitting and chatting with a visitor was the best form of respite I had.
I am also curious to see how the visitation room and procedures differ in England.

It’s almost 5pm and I have to check-in thirty minutes before the visit. I was told by staff to bring a few things. A valid visitation-order slip. Photo ID: either a passport or a driver’s licence. A recent utility bill or bank statement. Up to fifteen pounds for a voucher to spend at the visitation-room shop. A one-pound coin as a deposit on a locker to put my car keys in.
Off I go then…

The visit with Andrea went extremely well.
At the reception station, a tall young guard took my photo, scanned my index fingerprints, and patted me down.
Ten minutes later, an equally polite young guard – “This way, sir.” “Through that door, sir.” – escorted me to the women’s side of the prison.
In the visitation room, a guard scanned my right index fingerprint, affixed a red bracelet to my right arm, and told me to proceed through the turnstile.
The visitation room – the size of a small warehouse – was mostly empty. I didn’t like the tiny tables, each surrounded by four plastic chairs firmly bolted down and coloured differently for prisoners and visitors. In contrast to the lively and often chaotic visitation rooms I experienced, this place had the atmosphere of a library. Too impersonal.

In America visitors are allowed pencils and paper, so hoping to jot down some of the dialogue with Andrea, I asked, “Am I allowed a pen and paper?”
The butch female at the guard station said, “What’s it for?”
“To take notes.”
“Definitely not.”

Andrea is classified as a maximum-security inmate because she was arrested for attempted murder and convicted of a violent crime. So I sat there curious to see the face of this near murderess. I didn’t have long to wait.
I was immediately struck by her innocent looks. She has long brown hair. Big warm eyes. Thick lips. A dazzling smile. She’s a former bodybuilder and in excellent shape. The only things suggesting a darker side were her tattoos. A large panther on her left arm. Scotland The Brave and a skull’s face on her left.

In a quaint Scottish accent, she confessed how nervous she was. But immediately, the conversation flowed naturally, with frequent bursts of laughter. We traded prison stories and contrasted our experiences and environments. She said my tales of cockroaches, red death and the general mayhem at Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jail made her feel somewhat lucky.

One of the funniest things she told me was about the male prisoners. In her prison, the males are housed in an adjacent unit. When she first arrived some of the males caught sight of her. Word must have quickly spread about her looks because she was inundated with mail from the men. She felt like she was being stalked through the mail system.
This couldn’t have happened where I was at because prisoners in Arizona are not allowed to write to other prisoners.

Like me, Andrea has done drugs. As a consequence, during periods of her life, she’s lost control. She says she’s using prison time for introspection and doesn’t want to repeat her past mistakes.
If she’s truly changing, she’ll be successful at whatever she applies her mind to. Behind her angelic appearance is an extremely tough woman.
I asked her if she’d like my new boss to consider her speaking to audiences about domestic violence, and she said she would.
She could use her experiences to do good. She has a lot of potential.

I've asked Andrea to write her version of this visit.

Click here to read Andrea’s previous blog entry.

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Shaun P. Attwood
01 Dec 08

Extreme Clowns

If you want to cure stage fright, do a performance with some extreme clowns.
The gig at The Deaf Institute in Manchester was insane. It was on the top floor of a packed nightclub. The dance floor was full and there were also theatre-style seats at one end of the room. The clowns danced their way in and didn’t stop dancing. I hid on a balcony to distance myself from the clowns, so it would look better when they dragged me on stage.

Shortly before we were scheduled to go on – at the peak of my nervousness – most of the clowns disappeared. A search party found them frolicking in local bars.

The gig started with Dirty Honky introducing his fellow clowns, and sending them out to the audience to smell for scum. They sniffed people with their pig snouts and eventually settled on me. I was surrounded and escorted onto the stage.

Dirty Honky asked me who I was and where I was from. When I disclosed I had been in prison in America, everyone cheered and a woman ran to the front of the stage, unbuttoned her blouse and displayed her breasts. The clowns threw water on her.

We acted out scenes from my incarceration. I was raided by SWAT, strip-searched, and clothed in a black-and-white top and boxer shorts with a fake behind. The clowns threw things at the audience, including human teeth – the clown Baron Von Dirtshwine had hundreds of teeth. The audience threw things back. By the design of these naughty anarchist clowns, it descended into chaos several times, and the clowns jumped into the audience.

For the final scene, I dropped my soap in the shower in the presence of Kunst Bride, a female clown posing as an Aryan Brother. She’d been wearing a regular strap-on all night, and she now emerged with a massive white strap-on with Swastikas on it. The play ended with her Trident missile of a strap-on spraying tomato ketchup all over my fake behind.

Sheer madness. I loved it!

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Shaun P. Attwood