T-Boneis a massively-built spiritual ex-Marine, who uses fighting skills to stop prison rape. T-Bone’s latest letter:
I’d like to detail how things really are
here in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jail. It all starts with being let out of our
cells at 7 AM. Then, the guards lock us down to feed us hard old bread that has
been left in a freezer (for weeks we’ve been told). When we bite into it or try
to pull a piece off it, it falls apart like dry leaves on a tree that has had
no water. It just crumbles. The peanut butter is all oil or water when it too
People walk around hungry all of the
time, begging the guards for food or trying to steal from each other or the
guards. Grown men walk around in circles all day in the dayroom, or they try to
play games or work out to take advantage of the weaker guys. There is a lot of
pain in this place, a lot of fear and doubt, and a lot of hope has been crushed
by the lack of compassion and the absence of a good meal and because we are
never allowed to go outside to receive fresh air and sunshine.
I had to intervene in a dispute because
of the conditions here. A guy was taking out his frustrations on another guy
who could barely walk. He was blaming him for all of the bad food and the lack
of fresh air. Another guy started to blame Obama for the ills of this place. Another
said it’s the Mexicans fault. Another said it’s the whites. Then everyone went
to their respective racial gangs and looked angrily at each other all day.
This place is always ready to explode
for any reason. If a guard is having a bad day, he’ll find any reason to lock
us down for the eight hours we are supposed to have access to the dayroom. Some
guys cannot wait to go to court, so that they can move around and not breathe
in the pink fibres that come through the ventilation system. They have a
problem with mice in here, which carry all kinds of disease.
It’s remarkable how the human mind works
under stress. A lot of men sit around and hate and dwell on evil things or things
from their past. That’s how some get comfort of solace. Others turn to God. God
has given me peace and has done so much for me that people here come to me for
advice and direction. I know it’s him who is at work in me and through me. You,
Shaun, and all of my readers out there on the Internet are a godsend. I thank
him and you all.
In the evening, we get our other meal, dinner, which even the guards and the people who cook it call slop. It is
something to behold. Sometimes it has rocks in it, a lot of times hair. It has
recently tasted like soap. They won’t give us anything else. It’s like a game
to old Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his underlings. The beans aren’t even cooked. They
are hard and they too have rocks in them at times. It’s so bad that the guards
won’t eat it. They shake their heads at it. They give us a pad of fake butter
to put on the old bread and we drink water.
When we complain, the guards say to put
in a grievance form or they threaten to put us in lockdown for causing a
disruption when the only thing we did was tell them that the food is nasty.
Just the other day, another guy was
found dead in this place because of the conditions. That’s two dead in 3½ weeks.
It’s unreal at times.
There’s so much hate and emptiness
because a lot of the guards assume everyone is guilty even though we are
unsentenced. Yes, there are plenty of guys in here who are guilty, but no one
should be forced to eat food like this in the United States of America, which I
fought for as a Marine. I’m starting to think that Arizona is no longer in the United
States. Although many of us have committed crimes, treating us like this is
inhuman. Men act like animals because of the subhuman conditions. I fear my
words really don’t express the depth and horror of the situation here. It’s
One of the ways they manage the
prisoners is they have hundreds of men locked up on psychiatric medication. It’s
all a moneymaking operation for Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the drug companies at
the tax payers’ expense.
Most of the guys who are not on
psychiatric medication are on heroin and crystal meth. A guy had some dope, heroin
and speed, hid up his butt, which the guards had brought in for him. You should
have saw how the guys who are addicted to it acted. They were like a bunch of
hungry dogs who haven’t eaten in days. The guards know when this place is
flooded with dope. They sit back and watch as people try to kill themselves.
If they obeyed basic human rights and
allowed us sunshine, fresh air and reasonable food, they wouldn’t have a lot of
the trouble that happens here. People wouldn’t want to lose what they have by
causing enough trouble to go to lockdown.
I will soon write more about other
things that have happened here.
2 Answer this question at Total Crime to win a signed copy: Competition now closed
3 Prisoners Abroad in this article have launched a competition to win signed copies of Hard Time 2nd Edition. Details are on their Facebook wall. Competition now closed
4 One For Ten - a wonderful group of death-penalty activists out of London, who I have met and know personally - are offering signed copies of Hard Time 2nd Edition as a perk to anyone who donates £50 to their latest kickstarter campaign.
5 If you are in the UK and you buy books on Amazon UK, you may be able to qualify for a free signed copy of Hard Time 2nd Edition if you are willing to spend a few minutes posting some reviews. Please email me for more details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack is serving life without parole, and has terminal cancer. Throughout my incarceration, Jack was a positive influence. He encouraged me to keep writing, to enter short-story competitions, and we proofread each other’s chapters. While at work, I began experiencing
bouts of dizziness, confusion, slurred speech, and intense throbbing pain on
the right side of my head. The left side of my face and left arm went numb, and
to a lesser extent, my left leg. Once again, I was taken and hooked up to an IV,
but this time I was given several medications, both orally and intravenously.
After the pain had somewhat subsided, I
was kept there for a few hours for observation. One of the male nurses that I
have known for about 10 years came over and spent some time with me to help
alleviate some of my concerns, and to just keep an eye on me in case my
condition took a turn for the worse. He said that I would probably be told
something different, but the general opinion was that I had experienced a
transient ischemic attack (TIA). He said that this was not unusual when
considered in context with the type of cancer I have.
I asked why I wasn’t taken to the
hospital if this was a TIA. Evidently, the underwritten policy with Corizon
Health is that unless the inmate suffers a massive stroke or does not respond
to the anticoagulant drugs and beta blockers, he is kept on site and under
After a few more hours of laying there,
watching the IV drip and contemplating the fragility of the human body and the
obvious damage that I have caused through neglect and abuse, the doctor showed
up to enlighten me on my condition. The official diagnoses: severe migraine and
He lectured me on staying properly
hydrated and indicated that the dehydration had caused the migraine; consequently,
I had caused this problem due to my inability to maintain proper hydration in a
desert environment. What a joke.
I was so disgusted with his obvious
attempt to shift responsibility onto me that I just lay there and ignored him. At
one point during his diatribe, I did interrupt him when he stated that I needed
to consume 60 to 80 ounces of water each day. Fed up with his sanctimonious
attitude, I laid into him with my personal consumption habits.
It was ridiculous of me to do so knowing
that it would have absolutely no effect on my current situation, but it was
satisfying getting him to shut up for a moment. The incredulous look on his
face when I told him that I don’t drink soda or Kool-Aid and that I only
consume 20 ounces of coffee or tea each day, and the remaining 120 ounces of
fluid I consume every day is water. I told him that I was tired and no longer
wanted to hear him bleat out the Corizon party line to justify their refusal to
provide the nationally recognised standard of healthcare. I’m sure I came
across as surly, but I didn’t really care.
Although I hate to admit it, over the
last couple of months, I have found that I tire easily. It has become
progressively more difficult for me to work more than a few hours each day. I
recently discussed this issue with my boss and we have decided that it would be
best if I only work the morning class.
Shaun, thank you for setting up the page so that your readers may donateif they are so inclined. I guess I am still
cynical that anyone would want to donate anything because of my background and
crimes, but then again I am always being amazed at the generosity of strangers
and the level of compassion and understanding that at times seems to spring
forth in very bleak and barren environments.