"During my party years," he writes in the memoir, "I believed drugs were glamorous. But the constant exposure in the jail to round-the-clock drug users crushed that viewpoint out of me. I swore never to do drugs again and still haven't to this day."

The grotesque food — Ladmo bags filled with moldy bread and viridescent bologna, and an evening meal of mystery meat called "the Red Death," which occasionally contained rats that had fallen into the mix — turned the former stockbroker and drug dealer into a veg-head.

He took up yoga, began reading widely, and — most significantly — began blogging by smuggling out posts with the help of an aunt who visited him frequently.

The result was "Jon's Jail Journal," a blog he wrote under a pseudonym to expose the conditions he was witnessing. So far, the blog has received around a million page views. Portions of it were run in the UK paper The Guardian.

The blog became the basis for the book, which will be published in the United States this spring by Skyhorse Publishing. Attwood said most of the reaction to the book and blog has been utter shock.

"They're just astounded that this environment exists in Phoenix, Arizona," Attwood told me. "They expect this from perhaps South American countries, not in America."

As I alluded above, the book is not without a dark sense of humor. Attwood draws on a number picaresque vignettes from his county detention that would make perfect fodder for an HBO series — like Oz crossed with some Alex Cox flick.

Some of the most memorable entries involve a Mexican American kid named Busta Beatz, who keeps a cricket as a pet and tortures mosquitoes.

Then there's a passage involving a guy called Joey Crack who gives his manhood a "Prince Albert" piercing, then gets other prisoners to slam a door on it to bend the metal properly.

And in a scene that could've been right out of Robert Altman's M*A*S*H, Attwood's co-defendant and onetime enforcer in his drug empire, Peter "Wild Man" Mahoney, lobs a communion wafer, Frisbee-style, at a priest holding mass for the inmates.

At the end of the book, Attwood thanks Sheriff Joe for "creating such an interesting place to write about." Attwood even sent Arpaio an autographed copy of his memoir. Arpaio recently tweeted that he'd received the book and is reading it.

Attwood admitted to me that he was essentially "scared straight" by the experience but noted that he's the exception to the rule.

"I just saw the youngsters come in," he said. "They get recruited by the gangs, they earn these tattoos — swastikas, lightening bolts, war eagles, stuff like that [for beating people up] — and they would get out and they would just be enemies of society."

What would he say to the Joe supporters who would assert that he earned all the cruelty he could soak up?

"America was good to me," he replied. "I knowingly broke numerous drug laws. And I put myself in Arpaio's jail. I take full responsibility."

But that doesn't let Arpaio off, he insisted.

"Sheriff Joe Arpaio has a legal responsibility to provide minimum conditions under the guidelines set in the federal court system," he said. "He's flagrantly violated those laws for years. I broke the law and he's breaking the law too. He should be held accountable."

SPENCER AND FORDE

Another racist rally in Arizona? I know what you're about to say: "Big whup."

However, the latest in a long line of bigot-filled Tea Parties was notable, but not for the rabble it attracted or for the usual lineup of Mexican-bashing politicos: J.D. Hayworth, Sheriff Joe, and neo-Nazi cuddling state Senator Russell Pearce, among others.

Rather, it was where this nativist swill chose to have its August 15 wingding: on minute-man Glenn Spencer's Cochise County ranch, located on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Not only has old man Spencer been rightfully slammed by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the ADL for remorselessly rubbing shoulders with white supremacists, he's also played host to a murder suspect.

Her name is Shawna Forde, and she's currently in stir in Pima County for what the authorities say was her part in a 2009 home-invasion robbery in Arivaca that left 9-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father, Raul, dead.

Now, where, oh where, do you reckon Forde was arrested? Not far from Spencer's property, shortly after she had spent about 20 minutes in his living room using her laptop to send e-mails.

This is all by Spencer's own admission, mind you. He swears he had no involvement with her or her wack-job organization Minuteman American Defense. After all, Spencer's got his own wack-job group, American Border Patrol.

And yet, Spencer let Forde stay on his land in 2008, in an ABP RV, with her daughter. But, of course, he had no involvement with her.

Why did the local media completely ignore this Spencer-Forde connection in its coverage of the rally? By contrast, they never fail to let Pearce and his reptilian ilk use slain Arizona rancher Rob Krentz's name as their mantra.

I'll tell you why: Because the deaths of two brown people don't equal that of one white man here in Sand Land. And, sadly, my colleagues in the press have acknowledged this by omission.

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125 comments
Dumoudan
Dumoudan

Is this law Racist? Are the people who agree with this law racist?Are those who want this law enforced racist?

Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who:Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact; has committed a federal crime.Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

Ask rhe Mescan. All Illegal aliens should be allowed to apply for work permits but only while they are outside the United States in their home countries.

BARDY
BARDY

I think the prisoners should all have AC , flat screen TVs, Blue Ray players and food worthy of a 5 star restaurant. The poor things . They probably had unhappy childhoods

Artisticidea
Artisticidea

Ignorance breeds ignorance, cruelty cruelty. You are clearly no exception to the trend.This is how societies degrade into dog-eat-dog barbarism.

Splinski
Splinski

We in Az are very tired of the illegals coming here, demanding equal rights and welfare. Stay home or go to England where they will welcome you with open arms. A lot of US are unemployed and don't need them trying to take our jobs. I would put snipers on the border and "discourage" them. Don't feel sorry for ole shaun, he asked for it.

Jamesrussellgause
Jamesrussellgause

We think we live in a perfect world where every criminal gets his comeuppance and every individual suffering somehow deserves it. This is fiction; sometimes convictions fall on the innocent and sometimes the wicked get away with their misdeeds. It is foolish to think every one in jail belongs there.

Wrongful Executions of History
Wrongful Executions of History

To John, johnnyr, and Mark B, you three really don't get it. "honest, hard working people aren't in jail" ???. And what makes you think that is at all accurate ? Have you ever stopped to consider how many people in the past 6,000 years were imprisoned or executed for a crime they did not do. How many Black folks have been summarily executed for a paltry civil offense that you or I would pay a fine for. Did you know that in 2002, the governor of Illinois commuted to life terms all 101 inmate's sentences on death row. Even he was concerned about the inequity of the issuance of the law, in that 89 of those death row inmates were Black guys from Chi town. Many people in history have been subject to the ultimate payment and were innocent. May you three never face such a situation.

John
John

Its pretty simple, dont do crimes.... Ya want 3 course meals, dont do the crime, ya want coffee, dont do the crime...ya want to smoke, dont do the crime, ya get my point????? GOOD honest, hard working people arent in Jail...... Sounds to me like it is time for these people to be straightened out... Quit weining about how they are treated....

Artisticidea
Artisticidea

Due process and equal protection under the law are quaint myths when Fascist thugs prowl the streets with impunity, barring and apprehending whomever they will, whenever they will without a shred of evidence. That Arpaio can get elected again, even given the fundraising scandals, even given the horrendous slate of murders, wrongful deaths, brutality and dereliction he freely condones and covers up at his prison, is a testament to the inefficacy and injustice that corresponds to an undereducated, apathetic and powerless community created by decades of neo-feudalist GOP policies.

Plea bargains are extorted out of uninformed and fearful persons, with little to no means.Ironically, it only seems to be the poor that end up in Joe Arpaio's dirty dungeon.Your simplistic naivite only compounds these problems and intensifies the cycle of crime and brutality.

Dalton
Dalton

jail isnt supposed to be a happy place. people shoould be scared to go there

johnnyr
johnnyr

Bottom line, if you dont want to endure prison life or the trials of jail time, then keep your @@@ out of trouble. You commit a crime, then pay the piper and stop your bitc*hing.

Mark B
Mark B

Typical liberal propeganda.....The criminal becomes a victim

Jon's Jail Journal Blogspot
Jon's Jail Journal Blogspot

How are his policies working if the crime rate in Phoenix is 50% above the national average? One of the highest in the country.

Kuhn202
Kuhn202

Oh one more thing.... Did you notice that this A-hole who wrote the book has seen the error of his way????? I wonder if he would have served his time in any other jail, would he have reformed???? I do not think so... I think he would have gone right back to his old ways just as soon as he hit the streets... but Old Sherrif Joe scared his ass straight!!! Thank you Joe!

Kuhn202
Kuhn202

I am sorry that the media is giving any creedence to this criminals book. I firmly believe that if more Sherrifs were like Sherrife Joe, there would be less crime in this country. The conditions at his jail are the way they should be in all jails. The criminals in this country are treated in most states as if they are on vacation. They get tv, so they don't miss any of their favorite shows.They get a room, bed, food and do not have to work an honest 40 hour week. They get medical treatment too, all at tax payers exspence... I for one think this country does not use the death penalty enough, I also think that chopping off a hand or two might just be a good Idea... and anyone convicted of Home invasion, rape, or any violent crime needs to be treated accordingly! those people have violated the lives of innocent people, and created in them fear! we should be able to walk any street in this country without the fear of attack! at any hour of the day or night!!! and if our jails and prisons were a little scarier for these lowlife criminals maybe we could. But no, the liberals in this country want the criminal to be happy and comfortable in jail, I wonder if it's because they might just be up to some sort of behaviuor that could land them in there too.... just saying...

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

Abuse of power and a culture of cruelty is unacceptable in a civil society. It's time for the good ole boys to retire and make room for the new generation!

Charnyr
Charnyr

i am guessing you are a conservative "christian" who conveniently forgets what your bible teaches ... Thou Shalt Not Kill. Why are the vocal Christians so hypocritical? You give your religion a bad name.

Kitrsh1
Kitrsh1

Blackhawk I couldnt agree more!

Russ
Russ

I am 45 years old and never have been to jail. And you know what? It wasn't difficult. So don't whine about the conditions of a jail. I like the fact jail sucks. I believe it is supposed to. If you don't like jail then behave, it is that simple.

Blackhawk19
Blackhawk19

We're supposed to feel sorry for a meth dealer?!? Fuck this asshole. You know what? Don't do the crime, and you'll NEVER have to worry about the time.

Hockey_john
Hockey_john

I agree Dave, and for the record, I have served several weeks for minor offenses a few years back. Since then I have served 2 tours in Iraq and gotten my life turned around for the better. Those convicts or law-breakers as I have read, still live and eat much better than law-abiding citizens fighting for their country. Plus, the medical and dental benefits they are entitled too makes the average tax-paying citizen envy as hell! Bottom line, do what is right, and dont put yourself in a bad situation to begin with! Take some responsibility in the first place for your actions! Makes me sick that I belong to this "feel good entitlement generation" of underachievers!

DaveToo
DaveToo

WOW, Here again is another blow hard with a LOW IQ - if your IQ is under 100 then you're closer to retarded then you are to intelligent.

How is treating some one who has not been convicted let alone even seen a judge exactly the same a pedophile rapist the american way of doing things?

Just explain to me how that is the right thing to do.

Gypsy Dave
Gypsy Dave

I am so sorry that the chef was out sick and you couldn't get your gormet meals but if you hang out awhile we will do better. God only knows our law-breaking population should be pampered. . . Too bad that roachs and rats wern't the menu for your 'visit' crybaby.

Blondpuddytat
Blondpuddytat

Hey, Gypsy Dave, until you know what the hell you are talking about, I recommend that you shut your mouth. Go spend a weekend in Arpio's jails system, I guarantee you couldn't handle it.

Oldtimer
Oldtimer

the inside jail is air conditioned i do know that much. so that's a lie. not many cock roaches in there either. another lie. this guy who wrote the book is a punk ass sniveler who cant do his time with out whining like a spoiled white mommas boy from the lilly white suburbs. if you dont like jails or the big house dont break the law. remember its only a crime if you get caught. or its not a crime if you dont get caught. 666 1661 AZ

DaveToo
DaveToo

WOW, Here again is another blow hard with a LOW IQ - if your IQ is under 100 then you're closer to retarded then you are to intelligent.

How is treating some one who has not been convicted let alone even seen a judge exactly the same a pedophile rapist the american way of doing things?

Just explain to me how that is the right thing to do.

Jon's Jail Journal Blogspot
Jon's Jail Journal Blogspot

There are multiple jail facilities within the MCSO system, and every jail provides a different experience. Sounds like Oldtimer didn't experience the max security Madison St jail. Which jail are you referring to, Oldtimer?

Slaveunit64
Slaveunit64

I have had some fun in the old "horse shoe". Nice to be accused of a crime, not convicted, and yet house with people that just hacked up their neighbors and ate their kidneys. Idiots like Gypsy Dave think you have to do something wrong to get exposed to this. I hope he finds out just how wrong he is some day. BTW.....I was never charged with ANYTHING.

Spanky
Spanky

Old timer is so right. The food is excellent, too, I must say. As for the rats, well, let's call them "the other white meat." Did I mention that there are fans in the Tents too? And every day around 4 they serve ice cream. As for the roaches, they're harmless creatures, why pick on them? My faves were the brown recluse spiders. I have to say, once I got used to the puss boils they create with their bites, I found them to be jolly company!

Michael Powers
Michael Powers

My own experience mirrors Mr. Attwood's. Did time up near St. Johns (where all the residents have one of two last names). We could always tell which guards were using. They were often the hardest on us. I'm sure there's a valid psychological reason for that, but I don't really care. There was one in particular we called "Robocop". Well, I guess ya had to be there...

Mr. Attwood was right. We're the exception, not the rule. In my own case, I think it was because I was older (mid-life crisis? shoulda just gotten a porche and a mistress like everyone else), so I wasn't susceptible to all the BS that most young, impressionable men just getting to prison are subjected to. I wasn't anyone's soldier. Least of all a bunch of ignorant skinheads.

Here's a piece of advice in the unlikely event that you find yourself in the midst of a prison riot:

Stay in the middle of the herd -- away from the predators.

Buttercup1981
Buttercup1981

For anyone who is thinking that we should change the way we hold criminals, maybe we should let them stay at your house while awaiting trial. Way to go Joe!!!

DaveToo
DaveToo

WOW, Here again is another blow hard with a LOW IQ - if your IQ is under 100 then you're closer to retarded then you are to intelligent.

How is treating some one who has not been convicted let alone even seen a judge exactly the same a pedophile rapist the american way of doing things?

Just explain to me how that is the right thing to do.

Thec8755
Thec8755

Who gives a shi*, jail is jail.......Joe is a God......

Michael Powers
Michael Powers

Judging by your demeanor and that of Buttercup above (great prison nickname, BTW), it's just dumb luck that has kept you guys outta prison. Pretty sad when your only real skill is the ability to obey without question.

DaveToo
DaveToo

WOW, Here again is another blow hard with a LOW IQ - if your IQ is under 100 then you're closer to retarded then you are to intelligent.

How is treating some one who has not been convicted let alone even seen a judge exactly the same a pedophile rapist the american way of doing things?

Just explain to me how that is the right thing to do.

watwatwat
watwatwat

And you're an uneducated hick who can't properly spell and probably dropped out of third grade. Good for you!

Knappuyen
Knappuyen

this limey should have been put to death, he is a criminal of the worst kind

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

Joe's fans are writing. That should concern ALL who value your rights!

MrSmooth
MrSmooth

Death? For partying hard and selling a party drug? Guy deserves a medal if you ask me.

ggllww
ggllww

Besides....Only NEWTIMES, would publish this CRAP!

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

We thank New Times for the courage to confront abuse of power and those who lived to tell their stories. We also thank Jon!

ggllww
ggllww

Sounds like you belong, right where you are....

Go Joe, Go Joe

VIVA LOS 1070 !!!!!

DaveToo
DaveToo

WOW, Here again is another blow hard with a LOW IQ - if your IQ is under 100 then you're closer to retarded then you are to intelligent.

How is treating some one who has not been convicted let alone even seen a judge exactly the same a pedophile rapist the american way of doing things?

Just explain to me how that is the right thing to do.

Timndaisy
Timndaisy

Those people that live in SUNCITY do think bad about JOE at all. Just wait until one of their relitives comes to visit and ends up dead in his jail. Dont cry then BITCHES!!!

Concerned Citizens
Concerned Citizens

Like when they Swat team arrested the 80 something tennis players in Sun City West! Had to call 911 after they threw him to the ground and he was profusely bleeding. What happened to that story of abuse of power, over-reaction by the sheriff's department? What did that stunt cost the taxpayers? Too bad they silenced those very elderly tennis players while letting Adrian Cruz run loose at the Downtown Courthouse!

Jon's Jail Journal Blogspot
Jon's Jail Journal Blogspot

People are getting sick and the hep C carriers, when released, are spilling it over from the jail into society.

Dreamer441984
Dreamer441984

According to? Do you have a source or is this just fantasy being spread?

Dreamer441984
Dreamer441984

If it is so bad, why doesn't someone call OSHA for an inspection hmmm? Which I'm sure they have inspected sometime between now and when this "book author" visited. Bottom line, I don't want my tax dollars making jails cozy. If things were as dirty as the claims then people would be getting monstrously sick and infections left and right. I like the idea of don't break laws or hang with people who do because our jails are really really not a fun place.

Concerned Citizens
Concerned Citizens

Dreamer, People are silenced. Those like Jon who are out, can say what you do not want to hear. The jails and prisons are in deplorable conditions.

Davetoo
Davetoo

WOW, Here again is another blow hard with a LOW IQ - if your IQ is under 100 then you're closer to retarded then you are to intelligent.

How is treating some one who has not been convicted let alone even seen a judge exactly the same a pedophile rapist the american way of doing things?

Just explain to me how that is the right thing to do.

 
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