Two Tonys Christmas Positive Mental Attitude

During my last Christmas in prison, I had this conversation with Two Tonys, a Mafia associate who protected me:

On Boxing Day, I meet Two Tonys at the fence. “How the fuck was your Christmas?” he asks.
“Not too bad. The day before I got a visit from Jade, which gave me a boost. We got a little kissing action in, and she said she’s coming back soon. How was your Christmas?”
“Good ’cause I ain’t got no beefs,” Two Tonys says. “Let me ask you something, Shaun. You ever heard of Chad or Somalia or Sudan?”
“Well how nice a fucking Christmas do you think those poor motherfuckers had?” he says, raising his chin.
“I see what you’re saying,” I say, nodding.
“Do you know how many pieces of apple pie I got?”
“Three, and two issues of roast beef. It might have looked like shoe leather and tasted like shoe leather, but that’s OK ’cause guess what? Ivan Denisovich would have snorted those motherfuckers up with his left nostril and been as happy as if he were having supper with Mikhail fucking Gorbachev.”
We laugh.
“That’s my barometer now: how rough Ivan had it,” Two Tonys says. “Imagine being happy to lick some carrot gruel off a spoon. Or having to ride the cook’s leg to come up on some extra gills and tails in your fish-eyeball soup. Or Slingblade grabbing your bowl of oat mush, and you’ve got to go toe to toe with the fucking Neanderthal or starve to fucking death. My point is this: how the fuck can I complain when there’s always someone worse off? Of course I’d like to be chowing down on a Caesar salad, some escargot, a little bowl of scungilli and some ravioli stuffed with spinach, but I ain’t gonna let those thoughts get me down.”
“What did you do on Christmas Day?” I ask, smiling.
“Played a little casino card game with Frankie. Watched a little TV. Sang some fucking Christmas carols to myself: ‘Silent Night,’ ‘Jingle Bells,’ and all that shit. How the fuck can I get depressed in here? This is my retirement home. Not just any motherfucker qualifies to be in here you know. You don’t just hop on a bus and say, ‘Driver, take me to the big house.’ This is an exclusive club. You’ve got to put in some serious work to get here. And what’s good about it is they can’t ever kick me out, ’cause I’m doing life. If things get shitty in here, I just tell myself, Get a grip, man. What would Ivan Denisovich be thinking? Would he be raising hell about his waffles being cold in the morning? Would he fuck! Like I’ve said before, that’s PMA, bro. That’s my positive mental attitude.”

Shaun Attwood

Christmas Prison Poetry by a Prisoner

Twas the night before Christmas 
And all through the cells, 
The convicts were locked down 
Madder than hell. 
Except for the lifers 
Kicked back on their bunks 
With heads filled with visions 
Of all of these grumps. 
When suddenly from the roof top 
There arose such a roar 
That the cops thought 
It must be a riot for sure. 
The goon squad came running 
Ready to hit 
And the Sergeant yelled out, 
“Who started this shit?”. 
“It came from the roof,” 
Sniveled some low life snitch. 
“Must be a break out. 
Oh! Son of a bitch!” 
They climbed to the rooftop 
By way of the stairs 
And found a fat freak 
In bright red underwear. 
“Ho! Ho! Ho!” said the dude, 
“I’m here on the scene”. 
“Good Lord,” said the Captain 
“We’ve captured a Queen!” 
They yelled, “Hey you in the sleigh, 
Get your hands on the wall.” 
Then slapped on the cuffs 
And searched him an all. 
They booked him, and threw him 
In the hole with a kick; 
Well, so much for Christmas 
They’ve busted St. Nick! 

Click here to read about my last Christmas in prison in Arizona 

Shaun Attwood

Prison Time Poster

My 3rd book, Prison Time, is now available for pre-order on Amazon UK, Amazon USA and the Book Depository worldwide.

Sentenced to 9½ years in Arizona’s state prison for distributing Ecstasy, Shaun Attwood finds himself living among violent gang members, sexual predators and drug-crazed psychopaths. After being attacked by a 20-stone Californian biker, Shaun writes about the prisoners who befriend, protect and inspire him, including T-Bone who risks his life saving vulnerable inmates from rape, and Two Tonys, an old-school Mafia murderer.

Shaun is no stranger to love and lust in the heterosexual world, but the tables are turned on him inside. Prison Time is the first book to detail the sex lives of prisoners. 

Trying to understand his past behaviour, Shaun immerses himself in psychology and philosophy, and begins applying what he learns to prison life. Encouraged by Two Tonys to explore fiction as well, Shaun reads over a thousand books which, with support from a brilliant psychotherapist, Dr. Owen, speed along his personal development. As his ability to deflect daily threats improves, Shaun begins to look forward to his release with optimism and a new love waiting for him. Yet the words of Aristotle from one of Shaun’s books will prove prophetic: “We cannot learn without pain.”

Click here to read about the prisoners in Prison Time.

Shaun Attwood 

My Last Prison Christmas

This excerpt is from my new book, Prison Time:

“Standby for chow, Yard 1. You’re getting breakfast first.”
On a cold crisp Christmas morning, below a pink and blue sky, I join the prisoners drifting towards the chow hall, mostly depressed as if suffering a winter virus. A few swap gang handshakes.
“Merry Christmas, homey!”
“Happy Hanukkah, you sarcastic motherfucker.”
“Happy Kwanzaa, dawg!”
“Felice Navidad, ese.”

Breakfast is pancakes, scrambled eggs, cinnamon rolls, cereal and an apple. A guard with a clipboard checks off names and boasts how hung-over he is, antagonising the prisoners. The din is lower than usual, our expressions rueful. The rising sun floods the room with light, illuminating dust motes dancing over our food. After fifteen minutes, the guards order everyone out. The prisoners rise from tables strewn with spilt milk, cornflakes and apples stabbed to prevent hooch brewing.

We retire to our cells. While I reflect on being absent from my loved ones, a sad silence spreads across the yard. No basketball. No pull-ups or dips at the workout stations. No squabbling. No “motherfucker” this and “dawg” that. No announcements.
At least it’s my last Christmas here. I read to take my mind off the mistakes I made that cost almost six years of my life.

At Building B, a guard starts a security walk. “Put away your hypodermic needles! Don’t let me catch anyone drinking hooch!” 
By the time the swing shift arrives, the sun is shining through a sky mottled with clouds like the hide of a cow.
In a slow sarcastic voice an announcement comes: “We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and to thank you for providing us with such a wonderful 2006!”
The yard animates:
“Merry fucking Christmas to you, too!”
“Shank you very much, motherfucker!”
“Come and say that to our faces, bastards!”
The guard continues: “And you’ll all be pleased to know that we fully intend to keep up the time-honoured Christmas tradition of shaking your houses down.”

Two guards – a female and a Mexican we call the “Fruit Nazi” for overzealously confiscating apples and oranges from inmates exiting the chow hall – raid cells, scattering property, confiscating food, thwarting hooch operations and doling out disciplinary tickets.

Late afternoon, we emerge for a surprise. The Gatekeepers – a young and high-spirited choir – sing carols from the other side of the fence. Briefly, I’m not a prisoner anymore. I’m someone’s son, brother. I’m human again.

At dinnertime, skimpy portions of roast beef, broccoli and watery mashed potato that reeks of bleach provoke outbursts that unsettle the guards. Tension remains high. 
After eating, I join a queue for phones that barely work. Written on the faces of the prisoners are the usual concerns. Will our loved ones be home? Will they accept the expensive call charges? Unable to get through, some prisoners hang up, cursing life.
Nearby, a demolition team of pigeons is pecking the clingfilm off chow trays abandoned by the guards. From a gust that deposits sand in my mouth, Chihuahuan ravens descend – a vortex of big black birds with a purple and blue iridescence – scattering the pigeons and ravaging the spoils.

A final announcement at 7:55pm: “Yard 1, rec is over. Take it in and lock down.”
The atmosphere is so heavy, I’m thankful that Christmas Day is nearly over.

by Shaun Attwood, the author of Party Time and Hard Time

Helping Jack

My friend Jack has stage 4b cancer and is dying in prison. Since Jack wrote that the prison illegally stopped his pain medication rendering him in so much agony that he would rather just die, many people have contacted me, asking how they can help Jack. My friend Weird Al tracked down the contact information for Corizon Health, the company responsible for Jack's medical care. If you want to help Jack, you can call or email Corizon Health, stating that you are a concerned friend or pen pal of Jack's. Please include Jack's full name, address and prison number and feel free to copy me into your email at Here's their contact info:


phone number in the USA: 1-855-276-5416   

Here's the email I wrote to them:

Dear Corizon Health,

I am a friend and penpal of:

Jack Hudson 127743
ASPC - Lewis, Unit - Barchey Red
PO Box 3200
Buckeye, AZ

He has stage 4b cancer. In his most recent letter to me he said that he is in so much daily agony since his pain medication was stopped, he just wishes he would die.

I find this most upsetting and inhumane. Can you please resume the pain medication Jack needs so he is not suffering in this way?

All the best from England,

Shaun Attwood

From T-Bone (Letter 17)


Please my brother let the students at the T-Bone Appreciation Society know that I feel the pain of not being there for them and for not keeping my word. They all mean so much to me! I can’t say thank you enough for all of your support. Every day, I think of being there in the UK speaking at schools, God willing.

If it wasn’t for prayer, I would have lost my mind years ago living in these jail conditions. This man Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a real piece of work. The guards do everything they can to break a man’s spirit and mind. There’s no sunshine or fresh air. We never leave the pod unless we go to court or medical. They only give us peanut butter each and every day and oranges (which only fuels the growing problem of addiction with 75% of the guys in here).

Enough of the negative about this place. I thought I’d be out of here by now but the state prosecutor didn’t turn over some files in time, so I have to wait until January 19th. My lawyer says that he told the prosecutor that we will take a dismissal or time served. This whole situation is crazy as they've just created a case with no evidence against me. But here in Arizona there is a saying that they will even try to prosecute a ham sandwich.  

They know I am innocent, but they care not. They only count their convictions, not the cost of hurting one’s humanity. There were four days of newspaper articles here about the Arizona county attorney’s office and how they play games in court just to get a conviction. That office is now being charged with misconduct. 

Peace, Each One Teach One
Steel Embrace
Strength and honor


I now have two books featuring T-Bone, the hard-hitting Prison Time and a self-help book, Lessons from a Drug Lord– both include T-Bone fight stories

Welcome Banged Up Abroad Viewers

If you just watched my Banged-Up Abroad episode, you may be interested in the video below in which I describe the jail conditions in much more horrific detail. I also describe the gang violence and murders committed by the guards. The video ends with a gang rape and beheading story.  

Shaun Attwood