This post is a continuation of a Q&A through the mail I’ve been having with Jacob Ind, who is currently serving Life Without Parole in the Colorado State Penitentiary (CSP), also known as Supermax. This news broadcast about Jacob Ind’s case aired on April 29, 2008. To read more about Jacob Ind and how this dialogue started, please see From Inside Supermax: Part 1 of 8. In all there are 18 posts From Inside Supermax. Simply select the tag, “Jacob Ind” to sort through the older posts and find them.
Lisa: Are you ever afraid in there anymore? What kinds of things were you afraid of at first, that you no longer are afraid of now? What kinds of things can still scare you? Do many people seem to be afraid?
Jacob: Fear…Yeah, I still get afraid in here, but for different reasons than I used to be. When I first got locked up I was scared when it came to conflicts. I didn’t like to fight or get into confrontations. After a few fights and confidence which comes from growing up I stopped being scared of fights and even grew to enjoy the adrenaline rush. It is actually fun to fight. Now fighting carries different fears. My biggest fears these days revolve around getting in trouble. I really hate getting in trouble and having my life up-ended. I like to get settled in and get my life set on a routine. Going to the hole usually means that I’ll end up in a different unit afterward, with different people, possibly losing my job, losing extra property, not to mention having to explain to my family and friends that I’m a screw up. It sucks all the way around. The hole time itself is nothing. I can do Continue reading
I’ve posted a number of Jacob Ind’s essays on serving life without the possibility of parole. KKTV Channel 11 in Colorado Springs aired a story yesterday on the Jacob Ind case and asked their viewers the question, should juveniles who commit murders before the age of 18 be sentenced to life without parole.
It’s interesting to note that the judge in Jacob Ind’s case felt the sentence was too harsh and although the Colorado Attorney General felt that Jacob Ind and Gabriel Adams’ cases should have been tried in adult court, he would not have been opposed to sentencing them to prison terms that afforded the possibility of parole.
Colorado stopped sentencing juveniles to LWOP in 2006, but the change was not made retroactive for the 46 juveniles sentenced to LWOP in Colorado prior to the change.
The news broadcast can be seen here.
Mary Ellen Johnson met Jacob Ind a few months after he killed his parents at age 15. She’s the director of The Pendulum Foundation, which serves kids serving life. She alternately thanks and curses Jacob for providing entree into a world she never knew existed.
“Something went horribly wrong.”
Jacob’s letter arrived a week after Limon Correctional Facility had been abruptly locked down. Continue reading
I recently read some journals from another inmate who estimates that up to 70% of inmates engage in some kind of consensual homosexuality in prison. What do you think of that estimate? How do inmates deal with the effects of long term incarceration and the fact that human beings are sexual beings and in prison there is no normal outlet for that?
I would say that 70% is way too high a number of men who have engaged in homosexual behavior in Colorado. From what female prisoners say, it may even be as high as 80% for them, but not for men. Even in states where homosexual behavior is accepted, I seriously doubt that high of a percentage of men do it. Continue reading
How common is suicide? What kind of inmate is most likely to commit suicide? How are they able to do it with security cameras, guards and other inmates around?
Suicide is not very common in here due to the stigma of it being “weak”. It happens. I had a friend hang himself here in CSP and I’ve personally known a few others, but I don’t know the frequency (some overdoses are intentional, so the real numbers are hard to determine). Continue reading
It seems to be a commonly held belief that rape is almost an accepted part of prison culture and this horrifies me. How common is it, and how is it possible for rape to occur in a maximum security prison where I assume that either cameras or guards are watching inmates all the time?
Fortunately, rape is not common in Colorado. It definitely happens, but since homosexuality is generally frowned upon by the male prisoners, it is not as common as in states where homosexuality is accepted. Continue reading
Surely, you’ve seen inmates released and then returned. Why do you think this is so common? There’s a common misconception that the prospect of prison or returning to prison is a deterrent to crime, but I have my doubts. What do you think happens to people that brings them back?
Financial stress is a big reason people come back to prison. One of my first cellies in DOC was back on a parole violation. He violated because his parole officer made him quit a good paying job in a motorcycle shop because it was too far away. A juvenile offender friend of mine was on parole and working on a road construction crew. He was making a lot of money and getting a lot of Continue reading