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Former US inmate warns Havering kids of drugs and jail peril

PUBLISHED: 17:22 08 February 2011

Shaun Attwood in his prison outfit

Shaun Attwood in his prison outfit

Archant

A FORMER stockmarket millionaire who served time in jail with the highest death-rate in America, will be visiting a Hornchurch school.

Shaun Attwood will warn young people at The Albany School, in Broadstone Road, of the pitfalls of getting involved in drugs and crime on Monday February 14.

Originally from Cheshire, Shaun, 42, moved to Arizona in 1991, becoming a stockbroker and tech-stock millionaire during the dot-com bubble. But he also led a double life.

A former raver in Manchester in the early 90s, Shaun took his love of dance music to the US. He threw raves, and became heavily involved in club drugs.

A SWAT team smashed his door down in May 2002.

On remand for 26 months, he started one of the first prison blogs, Jon’s Jail Journal, which attracted international media attention to the conditions in the jail system run by the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Shaun told the Recorder: “Kids don’t listen to teachers when they talk about the dangers of drugs, but they are gripped by my story especially the jail conditions: I got used to the sound of heads being slammed against walls and the sight of bodies being taken out in body-bags.”

He added: “My biggest regret of the whole experience was the pain and suffering I put my parents through – but it was character building.”

Shaun was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years for money laundering and drug offences, and served almost six.

Shaun’s story has been told in The Guardian, the BBC and Sky News. His jail memoir, Hard Time, was published on August 5 by Random House.

For more info got to: www.shaunattwood.com or www.jonsjailjournal.blogspot.com

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