“I have an assault one and a custodial assault and I have a pending prison riot charge. I been here a little over a year. My dad and his family visit. I just recently got in touch with my dad. My dad’s from Tigard. My mom’s from Kettle Falls, Washington. Dad was a heroin addict; I didn’t see much of him. Mom was an alcoholic. I’m the oldest of five, living with my mom. I was born in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. I have another brother in prison. And there are five others. I been in the system a long time. First time was 12 or 13, possession of a controlled substance—meth. I was living up at Moses Lake, a treatment center in the tri-cities area. I started using when I was nine or ten.
Ninety-percent of my time here has been in IMU rather than open campus.
This is the first time I’m in a JRA facility. I been in a year and a day. I’m looking at ten more years for the prison riot. There were eight other kids involved. The other kids in the prison riot, we don’t program with each other. But we’re all in the IMU [Intensive Management Unit]. Hopefully they’ll let me back in school. I been taken in six or seven times. Ninety-percent of my time here has been in IMU rather than open campus. But being locked up is all the same. Yeah, they would describe me as gang affiliated. I’m part of the Sureños—we’re a Hispanic gang and we get picked on and treated worse. But they sorta leave us alone as long as we’re not fighting. My buddy got jumped by four Norteños. I thought of doing something else besides a gang, but that’s not necessarily happening. This is the life that I know.”
-F.I., age 17, Green Hill School, Chehalis, Washington