“Been incarcerated for three years. Been at Green Hills for 14 months. I was 16 when I was first incarcerated. It was for robbery. I was declined, ‘cause it was armed robbery.  And victims, yeah there were victims. I’m not gang affiliated. My dad was a longshoreman. My mom passed away when I was ten, she was over medicated.  She was in her thirties.  The line officer says she died of an overdose. I think that was the root of all my problems. I was the youngest of ten kids. I’ve got a brother in the system, but my other siblings are clear.  My dad visits as much as possible. And he calls me everyday. I’m close to graduating high school. I am a Muslim. I’ve been a Muslim for two-and-a-half years and my daddy’s a Muslim. My favorite passage from the Koran is Al-Fatiha [the beginning/opening].

I was into the street life before, very into the street life. I was angry,
mad at the world for the death of my mother.

Green Hill School 4

I don’t get any special meals, but I’m on the no pork list.  I pray five times a day, I have a real prayer rug. The Iman comes in every two months. There are 20 kids that identify as Muslim.  They’re sorta 50-50.  Muslim out of convenience, but 50 percent are sort of true believers.  The first time I was taken in I was 11 – an assault charge. I got in a fight with another kid right in front of the police.  I get out in three more years.  I’m doing five-and-a-half. I was declined, but I have to stay six months after my twenty-first birthday. They’re talking about if I stay here or go to the penitentiary.  Depends on the rules, but things are changing. For the most part I’m clean. The bad part of my life, I was a gang member – Hilltop Tacoma. I was into the street life before, very into the street life.  I was angry, mad at the world for the death of my mother.  Every time, I went to jail I came out angrier. I was in King County with the adults at age 16. Then King County RJC [Regional Justice Center], I was trying to figure it out, but I ended up getting seven years.  But everything is getting better.  I came in contact with an older fellow when I was in RJC, Adbul Latif.  We became friends.  He became my mentor.”

-K.S., age 18, Green Hill School, Chehalis, Washington

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