Have you ever wondered when the far right will get the message that Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a disgusting scandal who has brutal, primitive, Third World conditions in his jails, etc? Oh, he is hard on crime and very anti-immigration, so he’s A-Okay, no matter what Amnesty International says. They’re a bunch of liberals, so who cares that the only jail/prison in the US that they monitor is Sheriff Joe’s.
“...Conditions were cramped and hot and the drug culture was dominant. “I’d say 90% of the prisoners were shooting up crystal meth or heroin,” says Attwood. There were toilets in the cells, but they often overflowed with sewage. And the food was poor. “In Arpaio’s jail we were fed a diet of baloney, which was often green with mould,” he adds.
“Sheriff Joe has paid out tens of millions of dollars in damages to the people who have died in his jails, at the hands of the guards, at the hands of other prisoners, or died of medical negligence, such as diabetics who needed their medicine. Sometimes sex offenders were streamed discreetly into the main population, but the guards would tell the prisoners who they were and then it was KOS (Kill on Sight) or SOS (Smash on Sight).”…”
“...Using a golf pencil sharpened on his cell walls and any scraps of paper he could lay his hands on, Attwood began chronicling the abuse that he and his fellow prisoners were subjected to. He smuggled his articles out to his parents, who posted them on the internet under the mantle of Jon’s Jail Journal. It was the first ever blog by a serving prisoner and soon attracted a large international following. Cockroaches featured heavily.
“In the maximum-security section, where I spent 12 months, I couldn’t believe all the cockroaches. I couldn’t sleep with them crawling on me. They tickle your hands and limbs and go in your ears to eat your earwax. You can cover yourself with a sheet, but it’s so hot you sweat all day and get skin infections and bedsores, especially on your buttocks. So I kept the sheet off, but having the cockroaches crawling on me gave me a nervous breakdown. I ended up on medication.”
I feel slightly embarrassed when I share my own solitary prison cockroach experience. It happened in Wandsworth. I woke up one morning feeling an itch on my face. When I went to scratch it I jumped six feet out of bed on discovering that it was one of the big crawling insects. It gave me a nasty turn, but it hardly equates to anything Attwood went through.
One of my favourites of his blog entries was an early tale about a cockroach and his asthmatic neighbour. “A cockroach had crept into his inhaler during the night. When he woke up, he grabbed his inhaler and blasted the insect down his throat. Feeling the cockroach moving around inside of him, he promptly vomited his stomach contents. Unfortunately, the cockroach was not ejected, as it was lodged inside him. He was subsequently awarded “sufferer of the week”, a title I came up with to entertain my neighbours.”
Released in 2007, Attwood was deported back to the UK, where he tried to develop his writing career. His efforts were going nowhere until he won first prize in a short story competition with an entry about prison life entitled Shit Slinger. As a result of his win, he was assigned an author who travelled from Scotland to mentor him at the British Library. “Six months later I had literary agents competing to take me on, thanks to Sally Hinchcliffe working her magic,” he says….”
The Pink Flamingo has nearly finished Shaun Attwood’s riviting expose of Sheriff Joe’s jails in his bio, Hard Time. Our favorite liberal, The Feathered Bastard has enough of the dirt to make a person literally gag.
“...As for the cruelty of some of his fellow inmates, Attwood told me it took a while before he became inured to it.
“The violence was so constant, I couldn’t possibly put it all in the book,” he said. “You have to get used to heads getting bashed against toilets and bodies getting thrown around.”
Particularly menacing are the neo-Nazi thugs who usually head up the “woods,” the Caucasian gang that all whites must belong to in the jails — or else.
Anyone who doubts Attwood’s accounts of such violence need only look as far as the 2008 death of MCSO prisoner Robert Cotton, the video of which was first shown on KPHO. In it, Cotton’s assailant, Pete Van Winkle, stomps on Cotton for 20 minutes before detention officers arrive.
Van Winkle eventually was convicted of first-degree murder. The county ended up settling with Cotton’s family for $500,000.
Perhaps more disturbing than the bloodletting Attwood encounters is the fact that Arpaio’s jails are awash in every kind of illicit drug imaginable, “keistered” in by the prisoners via their rectums.
The inmates are high all the time. One of Attwood’s bunkmates openly deals meth and samples generously from his own supply. Prisoners pass needles around to shoot up heroin, and end up giving each other hepatitis C….”