From T-Bone (Letter 34)

T-Bone is 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 thaws out.

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 absolutely sickening.

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.

Steel embrace,

T-Bone




My book Prison Time includes how I met T-Bone


Shaun Attwood  

Book Giveaway

Here are six ways to get a free copy of my latest book, Hard Time 2nd Edition.

1 Enter this Goodreads Giveaway to win a signed copy.

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 wallCompetition 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: attwood.shaun@hotmail.co.uk

6 If you are satisfied with a digital copy, please use any of the links below to get a free version of Hard Time 2nd Edition, which you can download to any device, Kindle, phone, PC...
  FREE DOWNLOAD AVAILABLE: UK Kindle USA Kindle iTunes Kobo Smashwords (download to any computer, phone or device) 
 
If you do read Hard Time 2nd Edition, please keep me posted on what you think of it.

Shaun Attwood

Greetings from the Abyss by Jack (Part 21)

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 observation.

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 dehydration.

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 donate if 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.   

Shaun Attwood  

Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 16)

I am officially a publisher. Pics taking delivery of 5,500 copies of Hard Time 2nd Edition at my warehouse space. 2000 copies are being donated to prison charities and state schools. Please like my publishing company, Gadfly Press UK, on Facebook and Twitter.

Hard Time 2 is now available worldwide on Amazon, UK paperback, UK Kindle, USA paperback, USA Kindle, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes


Shaun Attwood