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Mesa Man Writes Memoir of Year in Tent City: Accidental Felons

Daniel Horne of Mesa describes himself as an experienced high-tech guy -- a mild-mannered family man. Not your typical felon.

But Horne spent a year of his life in the Maricopa County Jail system's Tent City after plowing into a couple of women in his car while drunk. His victims apparently recovered, if they were hurt at all (according to him) and Horne received a work furlough to continue as Chief Financial Officer of his company. But his time in jail was rough enough to cause him to crank out a book, Accidental Felons.

Skimming through the book, it's about what you would expect. After being sentenced for aggravated assault, Horne tells of being put in a horribly small cell full of disgusting lint particles being blown out of an air-vent:

I was locked in a hole where no one would find me and where no one cared if I lived or died. I was considered refuse to society and had been thrown away. I felt unwanted and helpless in a world filled with bullies and prisoners.

It only gets worse from there for Horne, though he says later on the book that after enduring the heat of summer, he "adapted" to life in the tents.

Horne's book takes on the harsh policies of County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Arpaio from an "insider's" point of view. Not exactly a barn-burner, writing-wise, but Horne gets his point across.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.