Shaun Attwood

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Books

Agent: Robert Kirby
Assistant: Kate Walsh

Books

Shaun Attwood is a former stock-market millionaire and Ecstasy supplier turned public speaker, author and activist, who is banned from America for life. His story was featured worldwide on National Geographic Channel as an episode of Banged Up Abroad.

Shaun’s writing – smuggled out of the jail with the highest death rate in America run by Sheriff Joe Arpaio – attracted international media attention to the human rights violations: murders by guards and gang members, dead rats in the food, cockroaches crawling in his ears at nights…

While incarcerated, Shaun was forced to reappraise his life. He read over 1,000 books in just under six years. By studying original texts in psychology and philosophy, he sought to better understand himself and his past behaviour. He credits books as being the lifeblood of his rehabilitation. 

Shaun now tells his story to schools to put young people off drugs and crime. He campaigns against injustice via his books and blog, Jon’s Jail Journal. He has appeared on the BBC, SKY, CNN  and TV in over 40 countries talking about issues affecting prisoners’ rights.

Non-Fiction

Publication DetailsNotes
2014

Mainstream

Prison Time, the sequel to Hard Time, is the story of Shaun Attwood's journey through the Arizona Department of Corrections and his deportation to England.

Sentenced to nine years in Arizona's state prison for distributing Ecstasy, 'English Shaun' Attwood finds himself living among gang members, sexual predators and drug-crazed psychopaths. After being attacked by a 20-stone California biker in for stabbing a girlfriend, Shaun writes about the prisoners who befriend, protect and inspire him. They include T-Bone, a massive African American ex-Marine who risks his life saving vulnerable inmates from rape, and Two Tonys, an old-school Mafia murderer who left the corpses of his rivals from Tucson to Alaska. They teach Shaun how to turn incarceration to his advantage, and to learn from his mistakes.

Resigned to living alongside violent, mentally-ill, and drug-addicted inmates, Shaun immerses himself in psychology and philosophy to try to make sense of his past behaviour, and begins applying what he learns as he adapts to prison life. Encouraged by Two Tonys to explore fiction as well, Shaun reads over a thousand books which, with support from brilliant psychotherapist Dr. O, speed along his personal development. As his ability to deflect daily threats improves, Shaun begins to look forward to his release with optimism and a new love waiting for him. Yet the words of Aristotle from one of Shaun's books will prove prophetic: 'We cannot learn without pain'.

2013

Mainstream

Shaun Attwood arrived in Phoenix, Arizona, a penniless business graduate from a small industrial town in England. Within a decade, he became a stock-market millionaire. But he was leading a double life.

After taking his first Ecstasy pill at a rave in Manchester as a shy student, Shaun became intoxicated by the party lifestyle that would change his fortune. Years later in the Arizona desert, Shaun became submerged in a criminal underworld, throwing parties for thousands of ravers and running an Ecstasy ring in competition with the Mafia mass murderer Sammy 'The Bull' Gravano.

As greed and excess tore through his life, Shaun had eye-watering encounters with Mafia hit men and crystal-meth addicts, enjoyed extravagant debauchery with superstar DJs and glitter girls, and ingested enough drugs to kill a herd of elephants. This is his story.

2011

SKYHORSE

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is known as the Angel of Death--Shaun Attwood served 26 months in Arpaio's jail before being sentenced to prison. Prison was easier. This is his story.

Shaun Attwood was a millionaire day trader in Arizona, but his hedonistic lifestyle of drugs and parties came to an abrupt end in 2002 when a SWAT team broke down his door. Shaun found himself on remand in Maricopa jail with a $750,000 cash bond and all of his assets seized. The nightmare was only just beginning as he was submerged in a jail in which rival gangs vied for control, crystal meth was freely available, and where breaking rules could result in beatings or death. Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails have the highest death rate in the U.S. Hard Time is the harrowing yet darkly humorous account of the time Shaun spent submerged in a nightmarish world of gang violence and insect-infested cells, eating food unfit for animals. His remarkable story provides a revealing glimpse into the tragedy, brutality, comedy, and eccentricity of prison life. 24 color photographs.

Hard Time

2010

Mainstream

Using a golf pencil sharpened on a cell wall, Shaun Attwood wrote one of the first prison blogs, "Jon's Jail Journal", excerpts of which were published in "The Guardian" and attracted international media attention. Brought up in England, Shaun took his business degree to Phoenix, Arizona, where he became an award winning stockbroker and then a millionaire day trader during the dot-com bubble. But Shaun also led a double life. An early fan of the rave scene in Manchester, he formed an organisation that threw raves and distributed Class A drugs. Before being convicted of money laundering and drug dealing, he served 26 months in the infamous jail system run by the notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio. "Hard Time" is the harrowing yet often darkly humorous account of the time Shaun spent submerged in a nightmarish world of gang violence, insect infested cells and food unfit for animals. His remarkable story provides a revealing glimpse into the tragedy, brutality, comedy and eccentricity of prison life.