Shaun Attwood, who served time in a jail with the highest death rate in America, visited Towers’ sixth form to recount his experiences.
He served six years of a nine and a half year sentence in Maricopa County Jail, run by “America’s toughest Sheriff” Joe Arpaio, for dealing in ecstacy.
Shaun Atwood visits Towers Sixth Form
Amy Kinsella, deputy head of sixth form at the Faversham Road school, said: “It is so important we teach our pupils about the dangers life can hold for them, and to arm them with the confidence to make their own informed decisions.
“Being lectured at can become tiresome, so to allow the students access to people like Shaun, who tells a very real and shocking story, not only kept them hanging on his every word, it truly educated them at the same time.
“The students found Shaun’s openness refreshing, and were grateful for the chance to interact with and learn from someone who has actually made the mistakes he was warning against.”
Maricopa County Jail, copyright Google
Mr Attwood made a fortune importing ecstacy tablets from the UK rave scene into the US, where he was working in the stock market.
After numerous attacks and threats by rival gangsters, he retired from dealing. But evidence had already been collected against him and on May 16, 2002, he was arrested.
While incarcerated he submerged himself in literature, reading over 1,000 books, seeking to better understand himself and his past behaviour.
Since his release in December 2007, he has written a trilogy of books about his experiences, and has become an activist.
He continues a campaign against Sheriff Joe Arpaio started in prison and travels to schools to warn pupils about the harsh realities he faced.