Past Meetup

Banged Up Abroad by Shaun Attwood

This Meetup is past

72 people went

Price: £6.00 /per person

St James Piccadilly

197 Piccadilly W1J 9LL · London

How to find us

In the basement venue. Entrance is near to Costa Coffee. Doors 6:30pm. Talk start at 7pm.

Location image of event venue


Interesting Talks is incredibly excited to announce that Shaun Attwood is returning on 21st May to talk about being banged up abroad in one of America's most dangerous prisons.

Shaun went a recreational drug user to becoming a drug "king pin" in America selling 30,000 ecstasy pills per week. He got caught and sent to maximum security prison in Arizona. His story has been documented by the National Geographic program "Banged Up Abroad". His episode is called "Raving Arizona" and can be watched below.

In this amazing talk Shaun is going to tell you what it was like making millions of dollars and reaching God like status selling drugs, to then being in one of America's most dangerous prisons.

Please be aware that this talk is not for the faint hearted. Shaun will be talking about the brutal conditions in jail including murder and gang rape. Due to the nature of this talk it is strictly an 18+ event.

Shaun Attwood

Raised in a small chemical-manufacturing town in northern England, Shaun was the first from his family to go to university. As a penniless graduate, he took his business degree to Phoenix, and worked his way up to become a stock-market millionaire.

But he also led a double life. An early fan of the Manchester rave scene, Shaun headed an organisation that threw raves and distributed Ecstasy. On May 16th 2002, a SWAT team knocked his door down.

Facing a life sentence, Shaun entered a lengthy legal battle. After two years of being held un-sentenced, Shaun was convicted of money laundering and drug offences. He was sentenced to 9½ years, and served almost 6.

Shaun had only read finance books prior to his arrest. While incarcerated, he submerged himself in literature – reading over 1000 books, including many classics. By studying original texts in psychology and philosophy, he sought to better understand himself and his past behaviour.

Shaun was released in December 2007, and continues to campaign against Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He keeps Jon’s Jail Journal going by posting stories mailed to him by his prison friends.

In July 2008, he won a Koestler award for a short story, which he read to an audience at the Royal Festival Hall.

Shaun presently lives near London, and talks to student audiences across the UK and Europe about his jail experience and the consequences he faced from getting involved in drugs and crime.

In 2013, Shaun's story is being televised worldwide to over 50 million viewers as an episode of Locked-Up Abroad/Banged-Up Abroad.

Shaun will be selling copies of his books "Party Time" and "Hard Time" at the event.

Shaun spoke at Interesting Talks in September 2013, here is just some of the feedback from people who attended;

Nicola Freeman "I loved this talk. It was riveting and sad. This was the most interesting talk I've been to."

Leanne Ford "this was so different from all of the other meet ups I've been to but it was excellent, inspiring, scary and at times stomach turning. Shaun was immensely honest and likeable and hope he continues to support others by sharing what he went through."

Katie S "Fantastic talk. Been mulling it over all day. Great speaker, lovely crowd of people - and as always, brilliantly stewarded/introduced by Matt. A great evening out."

AyPee "Quite an experience. All power to a man trying to take on evil"

Beverley "A powerful presentation, which stayed with me long after the talk had finished. Glad to see that Shaun has come through his experience and survived to tell the tale. I hope he continues to make a difference."

Norma Phoenix "An inspiring talk and illustration of how we have the capability of rising above terrible situations with the right mental attitude. Great story of survival and then going on to use such a traumatic experience for good."

Zara "Brilliant talk! Shocking but inspiring."

Maria "Wow..........I'm still buzzing..........amazing that Shaun has turned a bad situation in to something so positive and lived to tell the tale of his experiences! Carry on the campaign and raising definitely make a difference!"

Lynne "Amazing and Inspirational talk. Thoroughly enjoyed it!"

Helena "Excellent talk by Shaun although I think I must have looked terrified throughout the whole evening. :-)"


Booking tickets: To book a ticket you need to click on “Attend” on the right hand side of the page. You will then be taken through to the payment page where you need a credit or debit card. Please note that although Paypal is used for payment, you do not need a Paypal account, just a credit or debit card.

We are not able to take payment in any other form. You can book up to 3 tickets maximum (you plus 2 guests).

Tickets are not available on the door.

Tickets are non-transferable and can not be sold to other members.

We have a waiting list system in place.

Venue: St James Church Conference Centre. Walk down Piccadilly on the left hand side, away from Piccadilly Circus until you reach Costa Coffee (part of the Waterstone’s building). We are then down the black metal stairs located about 10ft away from Costa.

Time: The Doors open at 6:30pm and the talk starts at 7pm sharp.

Please note that we no longer allow late admittance to the talks. Late arrivals are extremely disruptive to the speaker, the audience members and the recording of the event. If you arrive past 7pm and the speaker has started, then you will not be permitted to enter the venue until the break at 7:45pm.