Shane Moved – For Prison Blogging? (by Shane)

Shane - Denied psychiatric medication by ValueOptions, Shane turned to illegal drugs financed by burglaries. For stealing a few hundred dollars worth of goods, he was sentenced to eleven years. Shane is the author of the blog Persevering Prison Pages.

On 8/18/11, I was transferred to Barchey Unit. A medium security yard at Lewis Complex. The reason behind the move was not given to me, but I'm certain that it was caused by CO IV Goins.

Goins is an African American guy whose pompousness and ignorance outshine his professionalism. Rumored to have sued his way to his current position within ADOC, Goins walks the yard spinning lies, instigating drama and deepening the dislike for him that prisoners and staff have. In addition to petty annoyances that could be attributed to his personality, Mr. Goins also had a few quite serious quirks. Two of which were his outspoken prejudice and brash attitude towards drug addicts. My own shortness with people like Goins contributed to my demise as a minimum security inmate on Eagle Point Unit.

Despite the fact that the Deputy Warden, two COIII's, COIV and Central Office authorizing me to stay a minimum security inmate on Eagle Point Unit, it's apparent that Goins has used the "Morphine Incident" to harass me, make accusations against me of illegal activities, and get me moved off of the unit.

Some may ask why he would single me out. There are multiple reasons, but to be honest I don't know his true reasons.

Since his arrival on Eagle Point, Goins had complained to me numerous times about my blog writing and "warned" me more than once about the contents of what I write. I've also spent time and money starting and keeping alive a program he has been trying to put an end to. The arts and crafts program. There are many reasons I could guess why he targeted me, but I won't. I don't care what his reasons are. I go home in mere months to live my life, be happy and leave all of this behind me.

I'm doing well here and continue to ready myself for my new life.

Oh yeah, upon packing my things for the move, the CO's found my cellmate's two round tail ground squirrels. I'll miss them.

Click here for Shane’s blog Persevering Prison Pages.

Shaun Attwood
St Albans School Visit

My two excellent readers yesterday at St Albans.

Shaun Attwood
Question Time with Claudia (Part 2)

Charlie wrote:

Hi Claudia. Shaun can you ask Claudia what she thinks of Hard Time? Has forgiveness played a part in her journey? Was helping write the next book cathartic for her? Finally Claudia you have a very warm smile and I wish you all the best.

Claudia responded:

I really love Hard Time. It’s brilliantly written. It’s completely true. I couldn’t put the book down at all. I’m excited for the next book.

If there has to be forgiveness, I say yes, but I don’t blame Shaun. I wish the raid had never happened, and then we wouldn’t have had to move on. We would have stayed together. It sucks that Shaun can’t be in America.

Contributing to Shaun’s next book has both helped me and hurt me. When I get into descriptions and remember things, I get so into the moment, I cry sometimes. I remember things, and think, That was so nice. But wait a minute: it’s over.  So it is hard, but it is nice because I get to relive the good times that were all taken away the day the police knocked down that door.

I asked Claudia if she had a response to the comment about not drinking alcohol.

Claudia responded:

I’ve never been a full-blown alcoholic. I used to bar hop too much with my friends when I was younger. It stopped. I realised it was dumb. I was never shaking from not drinking.

Please post any further questions for Claudia in the comments section below.

Click here for Part 1.

Click here for the last blog I wrote about Claudia while in prison.

Shaun Attwood

The T-Bone Appreciation Society 

T-Bone's Facebook page now has over 600 followers. A big thank you to all of the students for such positive wall posts!

Abingdon and Harefield Academy School Visits

Been a busy week at schools. Went to Dover for a second time, followed by 750-year-old Abingdon School in Oxfordshire - a visit that came about because one of their professors saw my first media story back in 2002, kindly wrote to me in prison, and mailed me books.

Over lunch, he revealed what a fan of prison shows and books he is. Our conversation in the chow hall- surrounded by staff and students - turned some heads:
"The worst gang rape scene has got to be in Fish: A Boy in a Man's prison," I said.
"Read it. It made me sick. There was quite a lot of shanking in..."
"What about the cockroach babies growing out of the side of the prisoner's neck in the Damage Done?"
"And they shanked his neck open to get them out."

I emailed him afterwards with a recommendation to watch this Aryan Brotherhood documentary on YouTube.

Great to meet you finally too. I left your school on a high, reflecting on how we used to correspond and now here I am at your school. Really appreciate the invite.

He emailed back with a recommendation to watch this Banged-Up Abroad video.

I know its quite amazing when you think I sent you a couple of books
in prison never expecting to meet you and then you end up talking
about your experiences at my school - what are the chances of that? It's
also amazing to think you survived that terrible experience. I remember
reading the Guardian article and thinking how awful it must be. Watch banged up
abroad on Youtube - this is the link to the Venezuala episode - you should
approach them and ask them to do your story

Next week, I'm speaking at Westminster School and St Alban's. The City of London police are attending the Westminster talk.

Shaun Attwood
Wearing a Snitch Jacket (by Guest Blogger Big Jason)

Big Jason was incarcerated as a youth in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Durango jail and the Arizona Department of Corrections Adobe Mountain juvenile facility for assault, attempted burglary, and violation of probation.

“Lights out,” the on duty officer announced with a bellowing call. The command snaked its way down the long hallways of cold polished concrete and tan brick walls. Darkness followed the sound of the guards footsteps as he turned off each individual cell light with a special key. It was time to stop whatever we were doing, and get on our bunks or risk a write-up.

By now most of the inmates had settled in for the night. A few scattered faces remained gazing out from behind the scarred safety glass of their cell doors. Our night-shift guard was a grizzled little man with a silver beard and wire-rimmed glasses. His balding head and liver spots suggested he was nearing retirement. This seemed to have no effect on his ability to take head counts, and bust our balls. He would often crack jokes at an inmates expense, and use the fact that we were on graveyard lock-down to harangue us. None of us ever had any contact with this man or were even out of our cells while he was on shift, but this would soon change.

Locked down for the night, my cellmate and I heard the familiar sounds of our silver-bearded comedian's keys jangling as he walked our row of cells, turning off the lights. Sure enough, I turned my head, and there he was with a sinister smile. Normally, I would be teasing this guy about his last name, which vaguely sounded like the title of a classic 1980's video game “Joust” and he would return the favor with funny jokes about our appearance and ethnicity, and we'd all have a laugh. I looked over to the window, and in good sport said “Hey, Joust, lets play a game,” but something was different about him this time. My joke fell on deaf ears.

His eyes stared back at me cold and angry. “You think you're tough behind that door? “ he asked in a serious tone.
”I handle my own,” I said.
“How would you like everyone in here to know you're a snitch.” He finished his remark with an annoying smirk.
I felt my ears turn red. What the hell did I do to piss him off so bad he would do this? I was never a snitch, and never had problems with anyone. This label can create havoc on an inmate. I could easily be jumped or stabbed. He had said it loud enough for the rest on the wing to hear. Faces had popped up in the doors to see what was going on.

I told the old man, “If you want to push me and start some shit, it is on.”
He said OK with a smile and continued to walk the unit.
My cellmate looked at me with a little suspicion.
I was in shock, and really mad, plotting on how to pay him back. What would I do? Do I shank the guy and pick up aggravated assault charges? How can I get this guy? became my mantra for the next couple of days.

A few inmates who had heard him accuse me of being a snitch asked me about it during recreation time. I told them I was never a snitch, and my reputation was known as a good solid guy, which could be verified through-out the institution. It was agreed upon that he was a being a real dick and we were all pretty tired of his bullshit. None of the guys thought about doing anything to him for it, they just sat and steamed alongside me, offering support. Since this was my beef, I couldn't realistically expect any of them to help me.

After a few days of him walking by smiling and smirking, I lost it. I decided it was time to act. I rigged my door lock, so that I could open it with a comb after lock-down. What I would do when I got out was a different story. I did want to hurt this guy, but I didn't want the time and punishment that would follow. At the same time, I had to save face. I decided to send him a message to let him know that we the inmates can still get to him no matter what and I wasn't the one to be messed with.

I jimmied the lock to my door while my cellmate and a few other guys on the wing kept one-time. The term “one-time” is yelled out to alert other inmates when a staff or guard is coming. Our cell door opened with ease as I pried at the lock with my comb. An intense rush came over me as I tasted a type of freedom. The adrenaline rush was coming on hard as I creeped down the hall to see where the guard was. I spotted him in the next hall over and ducked down to avoid being seen. My heart pounded with anticipation.

Inmates were watching me not knowing what I was going to do but were anxious to see some type of bloodshed or mayhem. It had crossed my mind to smash this guy over the head, take his keys and radio, and try to escape, but I found myself in a quagmire. Only 4 months left, my inner voice said with an unexpected urgency. My reasoning got the best of me, and forced me back to my cell. The journey back along the corridor was a long one with a gallery of faces looking at me in disappointment.

I removed the rigging from the door lock, and shut the cell door quietly. My heart eventually slowed down. It wasn't long before word got back to the guard. Our unit snitch was always busy drumming up some type of shit, and this was probably a holy grail moment for him. I was expecting to be thrown into solitary, and have charges brought against me, but nothing transpired. Maybe he realized he had stepped over the line? Not a word was ever mentioned again and not a dirty look was given from him. No more jokes or anything. I wasn't exactly sure what to think or do.

About 3 months later, my ticket was up. I had served 6 months, and was due for release. The anticipation welled up inside me. I could taste mom’s cooking and smell the fresh-cut grass. I remembered what girls smelled like and how the air used to blow beads of sweat off my face when I was skateboarding. I was going to see all my old friends, and go eat a hamburger and fries. I would be free from Adobe Mountain.

My release date came and went without a word from my case-manager or anyone. When I asked, I was given the cold shoulder, and told I had not yet met the requirements to be released, and that when committed to the state department of corrections, it is always until your 18th birthday. The release dates were optional depending on your behavior while incarcerated. My case-manager said he went to bat for me, but was shut down by two other unnamed individuals. Infuriated and enraged, I suspect the guard ahd prevented my release. I had to bottle up my anger, and not give them any reason to mess with me even more.

Surviving these places in hard enough, but to do it for extended periods of time without catching another charge is even harder.

Shaun Attwood
Another Sellout at Woking Waterstone's Thanks to SJB Students

My second Woking signing sold out once again - 40 copies - due to an influx of students from Saint John the Baptist High School. Students arrived throughout the afternoon, mostly in groups, asking numerous questions about the drugs and prison presentation I did there last week. Asked to comment on my visit, they said:
"The talk taught me to never take life for granted or go over the top at raves."
"It was the most inspirational talk we've ever had at our school."
"The talk inspired me to never get arrested."
The security guard on the right in this pic bought Hard Time at the previous signing. She rushed back into the store to tell me that she had read the book in two days, and could not put it down. She also asked if I was still with Claudia. Click here for an update on Claudia. 

Several SJB students unable to attend the signing have emailed asking where they can buy the book. Here is the link (click on the UK version at the top right hand side). I'm back at SJB on July 13 at 10am for Year 10. SJB students, please keep me posted on what you think of Hard Time, and if you like it, please leave customer reviews at Amazon.

Click here for what happened at the previous Woking signing, including a video of an SJB student commenting on my talk.

The next two Waterstone's signings are:
October 1st Manchester Trafford Centre
November 5th Oldham Upper Mall
Further info on all signings

Shaun Attwood
Reform how Women are treated in the Criminal Justice System

Ex prisoner, Farah Damji, who wrote the well-commented on guest blog for Jon's Jail Journal, Inside the Snow Globe, has started a petition - already signed by Bianca Jagger and Polly Samson - to improve the treatment of female prisoners in the UK.

If you would like to sign the petition, click here.

Shaun Attwood
Dover College School Visit

 With one of my student readers, Harrison, at Dover College last Friday. The headmaster thanked me at the end, and said he's going to refer my talk to local schools. This Wednesday I'm speaking at the Dover Grammar School for Girls. Shaun Attwood 

BBC Interview/Woking Book Signing This Saturday

BBC Radio Surrey has requested to interview me about my free DVD's to schools program. Click here to listen live on Saturday at 8.25am.

This month, I've donated a copy of my DVD - presentation to schools on drugs and prison - to nearly every secondary school in Surrey, 78 in total. Budget cuts are reducing schools abilities to get outside speakers, so I've donated the DVD's because I feel it's important that young people still get the opportunity to learn about the consequences of drugs from my true story. I'm trying to extend the DVD donation program across the UK, and any teachers who would like the DVD can email me for a free copy.

I’m signing copies of Hard Time this Saturday September 17th at Waterstone's, Unit 44, The Peacocks Centre, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6GD (01483 767 564) from 12.30pm until 4pm.  Map.

I’m offering free signed copies of Hard Time to the first two students willing to dress in jail outfits and hand flyers out.

Click here to read what happened at the previous book signing in Woking that was overrun by SJB students, including pics and a video. 

Shaun Attwood
From T-Bone (Letter 14)

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.

There is a weirdo on this yard, and, man, he is sick. He walks around trying to pay youngsters for sex, and he even grabs their balls and such! Sickening! This place is a breeding ground for sick-os. The prison administration doesn’t care. They just want to make money warehousing people, and not help them in any way, shape or form because it costs them money.

Nothing will ever bring me back to prison. When my prison number is over, I am completely free. No parole officers, nothing but a ticket to merry old England, and to work. I would love to speak to schools and church groups, and talk with Shaun at schools too. I am supposed to go home on December 30th, but I know how the system works. It could be anytime before then because of the overcrowding.

L&R to all members of the T-Bone Appreciation Society

Steel Embrace


This Saturday 17th September, I’m doing a book signing at Waterstone's Woking Peacock’s Centre from 12.30pm until 4pm. Further info. I’m offering free signed copies of Hard Time to the first two students willing to dress in jail outfits and hand flyers out.

Shaun Attwood
Brooklyn Gangsters (with Guest Blogger Ed)

Blog reader Ed sent me endless books when I was in prison. If you are an aficionado of Mafia stories, like Ed, you may want to check out the new book that Ed has contributed to: Brooklyn Gangsters.

Info about the book:

Brooklyn, New York, for better or worse, became the birthplace to many American mobsters and an area where mobsters abroad would eventually call their home.

Yet one must understand that the criminal element was not solely Sicilian but made up of many ethnicities (Irish, Jewish, Greek, Polish, Russian etc.). The theory that the “mafia” is only Italian is obviously a falsehood.

In reality the first criminal element that rose in the earlier years of American history were predominantly Irish and Jewish. The Irish in particular in Brooklyn did not welcome the Italians as they came to settle in their tight-knit neighborhoods. They not only dominated law enforcement but also the criminal element at the time. Hence, they did everything they could to make the strangers feel unwelcome.

In the early 1900s various immigrants entered the already bustling borough of Brooklyn. Each one experienced some form of discrimination. Whether it was the Italians, Jews, Greeks or even the Irish, they all suffered. An example of this was depicted in the blockbuster film “Gangs Of New York” directed by Martin Scorcese that highlighted the birth of street gangs (Irish against Native Americans—and not the Indians).

Various clans sprouted across the borough. One way for these immigrants to escape ill-treatment was to create homegrown crews that would protect their own. This also introduced a certain lack of respect for authority, especially for the Italians, as the majority of the police were Irish. Soon the Sicilians and Calabrians, unlike other ethnic gangs, began painting their outfit with more alluring colors.

Brooklyn Gangsters will explore one of the key locations where the “mafia” element flourished. Brooklyn, N.Y., has, and always will have, an image of toughness and grittiness unmatched anywhere else in the five boroughs. In this book we will offer documented information on how that image came to light.

The borough of Brooklyn has given birth to many characters that have molded the model of the Mafia. Names like Al Capone, Frankie Yale and Anthony Casso are just a few who will be introduced in this publication. Brooklyn, with its brownstones and old-fashioned family enclaves, served as a perfect fit for these criminals.

We have been exposed to films that invoke the dark yet flashy life of these individuals. Films like The Lords of Flatbush, Goodfellas, Donnie Brasco, We Own The Night and others, all based in Brooklyn, have opened a window for us into that world.

This publication will highlight a score of mobsters that either shaped the organization or lent a hand in its longevity. In this book we will also offer personal information on each of these individuals, information that has never been published before; we also scrape the veneer off historical events that have been buried embellishment. So come with us from Mob Candy Magazine on this bloody road to mobdom in Brooklyn, New York.

Shaun Attwood
Bishopshalt School Visit

Picture of my two brilliant readers at Bishopshalt School, Uxbridge today. 

I'm book signing at Waterstone's in Woking this Saturday. Further info.

Shaun Attwood

SJB Visit in Woking

After the tremendous reception I had from Year 10 last July, it was great to start out doing my drug and prison talks this academic year at St John the Baptist School. The talk was supposed to be for Year 12, 140 students, but the contact teacher advised me that word of my visit had leaked, and other year groups may try to sneak in.

Walking to the room, I was mobbed by students who’d heard the previous talk there. The room ended up packed with about 300 students, wall to wall, sat on the floor. My student readers were loud and dramatic, but the first reading I doled out was accidentally the version I use for my adult talks of the SWAT team raid, containing the F word in it multiple times. Some of the teachers eyes widened. I immediately explained my error and apologized to much laughter. Thank goodness it wasn’t Year 8! The students asked questions for almost half an hour after the one hour was up, and even after the teachers cleared them out, a group stayed asking further questions.

After the last SJB talk I did a book signing at Woking,Waterstone’s that sold out thanks to SJB students taking over the store. Hoping to repeat the success, I’ve scheduled another Woking, Waterstone’s book signing for Saturday September 17th, 2011 from 12.30pm until 4pm at The Peacock's Centre. Students are welcome to dress in prison stripes and help flyer the mall

Video with SJB student from previous talk 

Shaun Attwood   
Pics From Today's Anti Sheriff Joe Arpaio Rally

Kindly provided by Gail who said Arpaio accosted the protestors with the remark, "You're all gonna be disappointed when I get reelected!"

Shaun Attwood

Mass Anti-Arpaio Protest This Tuesday in Phoenix (by Guest Blogger Gail)

Good morning from Phoenix, Shaun,

My name is Gail Shoultes. I am a mother of three and grandmother of six.

I was oblivious to the evil that is Sheriff Arpaio until about 10 years ago when my own bipolar son ended up in Arpaio's jail. It was so hard to believe the conditions in those jails under Arpaio's direction, so substandard, disgusting and dangerous. The jails are nothing short of a torture chamber that is allowed to exist in the USA! This isn't nazi Germany, but what goes on with the jail system, certainly seems like it.

I hope anyone who has not yet read "Hard Time", does so. They will not believe the conditions, and we cannot let this go on any longer. People die at Arpaio's hand, and he must be ousted. 

We are protesting Arpaio again on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at the Wells Fargo Bank Building. We are relentless in protesting the egomaniac that is Joe Arpaio.

As an interesting side note, Wells Fargo must have had enough of the protests against a controversial sheriff because he has to vacate after the lease expires in 2013. They have advised MCSO they need the space for themselves, but there are those among us who know banks don't like loud, divisive people outside their buildings, bringing them all kinds of negative attention.

Wish us luck and say a prayer as we march forward in ridding our beautiful state of the evil.

Thanks for helping us promote this Shaun!


I've asked Gail to provide pics/vids of the protest for Jon's Jail Journal

Help Mike Stauffer boot Arpaio out of office 

Shaun Attwood
What do you think of Sheriff Joe Arpaio?

Next August, Arpaio is up for re-election and we have a chance to get him booted out.

On Friday, I had a really productive Skype with the man running against Arpaio, Lt. Mike Stauffer, and his campaign manager, West Kenyon. With Arpaio's margin of election victory way down since his early landslides and him creating so many enemies, including the Hispanic community, I think Mike has a great chance of winning.

Mike’s horrified by the jail conditions described in my book, Hard Time, and he intends to change them and to make the jail a safer environment for staff and inmates.

I want to help Mike defeat Arpaio. Apparently, Arpaio has spread the word in America that his support overseas is overwhelmingly positive, including from the UK public. I don’t believe that is the case. I urge anyone with an opinion on Arpaio to LIKE Mike’s Facebook page and post your opinion as a comment (underneath Mike’s latest wall post - you have to LIKE the page to be able to leave comments), stating your first name and where in the world you are located. Here’s the link:

If you are not on Facebook then please post your comment to this blog entry. Your comments may be used to counter Arpaio’s claim that he is worshipped globally.

Thanks for taking the time to help get Arpaio removed from office!

Shaun Attwood