jail

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Drug Wars – A New Hope

December 21, 2015

I went and saw Star Wars this weekend and left the theater satisfied  knowing that the direction and future of my beloved movie series seems to be in good hands under the new regime of Disney and company.  Better yet, that’s the feeling I am getting on Michael Botticelli; who along with the new Star […]

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Scott Weiland R.I.P.

December 5, 2015

Unfortunately Scott Weiland was as famous for being a drug addict as he was for being the lead singer of two great bands, the Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver.  He goes now to the great gig in the sky… I hope. He tried many times to get his demons under control, succeeding at taming them for brief periods, but sadly, in the end […]

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“Going to Jail for DUI” Holodeck

November 6, 2015

It may not be as grand a technological achievement as Star Trek’s often used Holodeck; but a bar in Utah did a great job of reminding it’s patron’s that driving under the influence has serious consequences this last Halloween, by turning its bathroom into a faux jail cell. SkySLC in Salt Lake City partnered with […]

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TDA Halloween Challenge

October 31, 2015

This creepy 35 second Hanna Barbera anti-drug PSA has the best catchphrase ever at the end. Happy Halloween!!!

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Nathaniel & The Night Sweats

September 9, 2015

Have you ever experienced night sweats while trying to get clean.  Did your hands shake?  What about feeling that bugs were crawling all over you?  Has your drinking ever led to some jail time? A strong contender for Best Music Video of the Year.   From Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats press kit: The place where […]

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Bonnie Being Big

November 15, 2013

Recieved a very nice comment from a reader who is trying to make a difference with his website I AM BIG.    After checking out his site, I wanted to share some internet Karma with him.  This is a very candid video of a mother’s struggles with her alcholic son.  There’s something different about this testimonial that […]

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Letters from Hell – Final Chapter

August 1, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.

letters from hell


This is the last letter in the series. I didn’t know I was going to get out until hours before it happened. Click here to read all the prior installments of the series.


July 17, 2006

Dear Dad, Sarah, Amy, James and Audrey,

I hope this letter finds everyone doing well. As I have told Dad, the last week has been pretty rotten. We have been in constant lockdown since last week due to fights and various episodes of contraband usage.

We are simply too overcrowded and the fact that they use this place as a way station for prison inmates awaiting trail dates does not help. They are usually trouble. We have been searched about 5 times in the last week. This means the guards go through and throw away and tear up all your stuff including my pens and writing pad. They also threw away all my letters and several articles of my clothing just for good measure. Since then I have gotten back a pen and some paper but did not have anything to write on (a pad or a table) until today.

Although I still have whatever kind of infection (staph), it is much better. Since Amy and Noah told me to stop using the Neosporin type stuff the nurse gave me it has gotten much better. Thank goodness, it was really bothering me.

There have been several arrivals and departures to my cell since last week. None were welcome, all I was glad to see go. One was a thief (yes he stole from me… and others) another was a bully. One was a thief and a bully. I must say I like only about 1 percent of the people I have met in here. I can tolerate about 20 percent. I dislike 60 percent of them and downright hate about 19 percent. I absolutely believe in the death penalty now. I have met some people here that have no redeeming value; the world would absolutely be a better place without them.

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Letters from Hell

Letters from Hell – Redux

July 18, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a feature from a guest blogger that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.


It’s been a while since I posted a Letters from Hell. This letter was not included in the original series, as it had been lost. It was found underneath the cushion of a sofa at a relative’s house last week. It would have originally fallen in between Parts 11 and 12; so I guess I could have named this Part 11.5.

Please click here to read all the other installments of the series. Just to catch people up who are new to the site – I spent 76 days in a correctional facility the summer before last as a direct result of my alcoholism. These are the letters I wrote to my family while there. Moral of the story – stay clean and stay out of jail – it’s not fun.

June 21, 2006

Dear Everyone,

Two days have passed since I last sat down to write. Things are okay, I have been thinking about my situation more than usual, which tends to make me more depressed than usual. It’s hard for me to keep my mind off worrying when there is so little to do here. I almost welcome the fighting, stealing, and scheming that go on around here as a diversion.

The book I am reading is very good, however it’s a two parter and I only have part one. I have requested part two, but I am doubtful that they have it. I will certainly get it when I get out.

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Letters from Hell – Part 15

July 12, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.


This is the next to the last letter in the series. As you can probably tell from the contents it sounds like I am pretty much getting accustomed to Hell. You would be surprised what you can get used to. I can hardly imagine how numb the Correctional Officers must be. Click here to read all the prior installments of the series.


July 11, 2006

Dear Dad, Sarah, Amy, James and Audrey,

I hope this letter finds all doing well. It sounds like you all had a really good Fourth of July. We had a pretty quite one here in the slammer. Inmates just slept all day or watched TV. Everyone looked like someone had died, especially the ones that talked to their family and friends, hearing about cookouts and parties. I didn’t see any fireworks this year – not even on TV.

As usual people have come and gone out of my little 12 man area. Two welcome departures were Detroit (a.k.a. Lucifer) and his evil spawn ZuZu (a.k.a Little Nicky). After participating in three fights in two days the guards finally took them out of here. The last brawl with a Mexican resulted in bloodshed and I guess that finally got their attention.

This morning we had two more departures to Seg resulting in a total of four new beds open since last Friday in my cell alone. This was also the result of bloodshed. Several young inmates in my cell were picking on a new inmate named Ben – stealing his stuff and slapping him around. Another inmate, older and not out of prison for very long told them to leave him alone. One of the young guys called him a “bitch”. That was the wrong thing to do. You do not call guys from prison a couple of things and one of them is “bitch”. Needless to say the youngster who slapped Ben in turn got a thorough beating. There was blood on my bunk and sheets where the older guy slammed the youngster’s (we actually called him “Teenager”) head repeatedly. It’s weird but this stuff does not even faze me anymore. I actually sat within feet of the entire brawl calmly watching, eating a fried apple pie and having a cup of orange juice. Not quite “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” but equally entertaining.

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Letters from Hell – Part 14

July 8, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.


Welcome to Letters from Hell – Part 14. Although in totality the letter and memories are pretty bleak, Part 14 nevertheless brings back some positive memories – in particular a change in my overall outlook from absolutely negative to somewhat positive. I think after seven weeks of drying out my brain was returning to a state that at least could be called medically stable. I think it was somewhere around this time that I may have genuinely laughed for the first time in five years. Click here to read all the prior installments of the series.


July 9, 2006

Dear Paul and Nan,

I hope this letter finds you both doing well. Nothing new here. The last couple of days have been okay. It was good seeing everyone on Saturday.

I guess the two biggest things I can talk about are how quite it has gotten since Detroit and his cousin have left the block and the fact that we have no soap. I do – because I order a bar of Lever 2000 every two weeks. – but most in here simply do not have any. Whew. They (the guards) say we went through 6 months worth of soap in 5 weeks. They are not saying when we will get any soap, but I am sure when we do it will be with restrictions. If we don’t get some soon I am sure attempts will be made to steal mine and from the few others that have it.

I have been taking a shower once and sometimes twice a day for the last couple of weeks because of the staph going around. I will probably drop back down to every other day to conserve my soap. Believe it or not if I smell clean people are going to “sweat” me for some soap and I mean constantly. It is getting pretty foul in here.

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Letters from Hell – Part 13

July 6, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.


Welcome to Letters from Hell – Part 13. As befitting the holiday season this letter deals with a holiday; just not Christmas. Click here to read all the prior installments of the series.

July 6, 2006

Dear Paul and Nan,

I hope this letter finds you both doing well. I hope the holiday was enjoyable for you both. It was just another day here in the joint. It was actually quieter than usual. I think subconsciously it made everyone miss there freedom more than they were willing to admit. Everyone kind of stayed in their racks or watched TV in the dayroom. Believe it or not there was actually a marathon of Steven Seagal movies on AMC and that’s what everyone wanted to watch. It was actually a subset of a larger marathon called the “Four Fathers of Action” which included a block of movies from Seagal, Chuck Norris, Jet Li and J.C. Van Damme over a period of 48 hours. I tried to sleep more than usual.

Many thanks again for taking care of all my business while I’m in here. It sounds like I will be in here at the very minimum for another month or so. It could very well be longer – hopefully you won’t have to deal with the wake of my problems I created for a while. I know the only way I can repay you is to stay sober and I intend to do that.

I have been incarcerated for 62 days now. Each day goes by very slowly but looking back on it, it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long.

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Letters from Hell

Letters from Hell – Part 12

June 30, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.


Welcome to Letters from Hell – Part 12. This letter is a little out of sequence as I left a couple of letters at work thinking I would have time to transcribe them but did not. But being as there isn’t much of a back story except an alcoholic in jail, I am going to go ahead and let TDA put it out this week and correct the order later when they have all been done. I think there’s only one or two short letters missing in between. Click here to read all the prior installments of the series.

June 25, 2006

Dear Paul and Nan,

I hope this letter finds you both doing well. It was good seeing you Saturday. It’s late (10:30ish) Sunday evening and the TV has just been cut off. We are in lockdown for the night and about half of my cellmates have pulled the covers over their eyes. The lights have been dimmed but there is still enough light to read and write.


My friend T-bone is reading the Bible to my right. It’s the only book he reads. He has court on Wednesday and is a little nervous. To my left, three people are arguing loudly over a card game. Resting on the farthest bunk from me (about 12 feet away) is a new inmate laughing crazily at them. It is the forced nervous insane laugh of someone who is not all here. He is 18 and does not know how to act in here at all. I can predict with 90% percent certainty that someone will beat him up by mid-week. I am positive he has mental problems. It’s a shame, but I will welcome his beating if it will shut his mouth or better yet get him out of here.

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Letters from Hell

Letters From Hell– Part 11

June 24, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.


Welcome to Letters from Hell Part 11. Click here to read all the prior installments of the series. Today is the 72nd day since I first started posting these letters to TDA’s website. I used an online calculator to come up with these statistics:

Duration calculation results

From and including: Saturday, September 29, 2007
To and including: Sunday, December 9, 2007

It is 72 days from the start date to the end date, end date included

Or 2 months, 11 days including the end date

Alternative time units

72 days can be converted to one of these units:

  • 6,220,800 seconds
  • 103,680 minutes
  • 1728 hours
  • 10 weeks (rounded down)

That’s about how long I was in the slammer. Actually I was in 76 days. I just wanted you to get a feel for how long (or short) that length of time is. Has anyone one read all the Letters from Hell since the beginning? Does it seem like a long time ago? I can assure you it seemed like an eternity in the Shelby County Correctional Facility.

June 18, 2006

Dear Dad, Sarah, Amy, James and Audrey,

Hello to everyone. I hope this letter finds all doing well. It was good seeing Dad and Paul yesterday. I hope my house sells and that everything goes smoothly with the movers. I truly wish I could help. I know I am very lucky to have Paul taking care of everything for me.

I was robbed yet again (the fifth time if anyone is keeping track), but this time it was kind of a trap to see if I could catch the person that keeps on stealing from me. On Friday mornings we always get the best breakfast of the week; two biscuits, gravy and a boiled egg. As you know, I don’t like boiled eggs, so I usually trade my egg in the morning for an extra biscuit. The boiled eggs are a delicacy here, because people will save them and pickle them by putting them in the juice of a “store bought” hot pickle. Friday morning I saved my egg and placed it in a used orange juice cup conspicuously at the end of my bunk. Unfortunately, I was once again foiled (between Saturday night and Sunday morning) and did not catch the thief.

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Letters from Hell

Letters from Hell – Part 10

June 22, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.


Welcome to Letters from Hell. Part 10 continues in the same matter of fact manner as the last letter. No drama, just the day to day jail stuff like staph infection and bad TV. Click here to read all the prior installments of the series.


June 16, 2006

Dear Dad, Sarah, Amy, James and Audrey,

I hope this letter finds everyone doing well. By the time you get this letter you will have been to the beach and back. You can’t imagine how envious I am of your trip. The sunshine, the water, the food, the scenery…the girls in bikinis. Unfortunately, I think a trip to the beach is out of the question for me this summer. Maybe next year.

I am doing well; this has been the least stressful week I have had since my incarceration. My only complaints this week have been hunger and hygiene. We have had a big outbreak of staph infection. They had to move all the women prisoners out of their lock up block and move all the worst infected male prisoners into that block for quarantine. So we now have our own little “leper colony” right here in cell block A. The other block (B) also has a quarantine pod making a total of about 80 inmates with staph infection. The only methods of prevention are showers and frequent hand washing.

They (the guards) harass us about staying clean, yet they want give us something as simple as bleach to clean our showers and bunks. No doubt, there are some very nasty individuals here – but you can’t force them to take care of themselves.

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Letters from Hell – Part 9

June 18, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.


Welcome to Letters from Hell Part 9. This letter seems pretty matter of fact to me. This was probably the easiest week I had in the joint. The gang had left and my thefts were down. Click here to read all the prior installments of the series.

June 13, 2006

Dear Paul and Nan,

I hope this letter finds you doing well. I am doing pretty good. I had an enjoyable visit with Dad and Amy on Saturday. I really enjoyed seeing Amy.

I haven’t had anything stolen recently – it’s been almost a week since the last attack. I’ve learned how to hide and watch my stuff. I also only order things from the store that are easily hid. Flat things like beef sticks and peanut butter crackers that I can hide in my socks and underwear. Another reason for the reduction in crime has been the breakup of the gang. I can’t remember if I told you or dad before in one of my letters that they moved most of the gang out of Pod 9.

My main complaints now are constant hunger, lack of hygiene, and boredom. I have been asking the guards for finger nail clippers for over a week now and they always say someone else will bring them – but no one does. I am also having a problem with my skin itching, flaking, and weird bumps. The water we have is highly chlorinated and has who knows what else in it. I really miss real world water, food, and toiletries.

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