Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jacob Baker

Jacob Baker #316255
CCI, PO Box 900
Portage, WI 53901

My name is Jacob Baker . I was convicted of 1st degree intentional homicide and attempted armed robbery in Milwaukee Co. I was 15 years, old a “run away at the time and I received a sentence of life imprisonment with a parole eligibility the court at 2046. I would be 65 years old and have been incarcerated 50 years straight when I’m first eligible for parole. Right now I’m 29 years old and have been in prison for 14 years. It has been a long road and regrettably not always a positive one. As of his writing I am sitting in Wisconsin’s Supermax and am considered one of the state’s most dangerous prisoners. I wish I could add to the examples of those juvenile offenders who were waived, sent into adult prisons, I stayed on a positive track from the start, however I’m not-but I still feel my story can add some useful into a “juvi” who’s grown up in the system, has changed and is not a throw away kid and why juvenile justice reform should be supported.
It has been only the last couple of years that I have become more conscious of my actions and responsibilities as an accountable person, regardless if I’m in prison or not. Unfortunately a lot of young men in the system get caught up in a terrible cycle of anger, frustration, fear, desperation and never moved past it, because the system isn’t set up to help them deal with what they are going through . kids are just thrown in a cell and left to sink or swim. Most kids sent into the system are good kids though, they’ve made a mistake but still want to be responsible, to be respectable- sometimes it takes a little time to figure it out on our own, so not all of us have a perfect record to present, but most kids who commit their crimes as juvenile offenders do not understand the severity of their actions or the consequences at the time (most of the crimes are extremely unfortunate reactionary unthought-out situations)and it isn’t until later in life do they actually realize what they exactly they’ve done. It isn’t just a “copout” excuse for one’s actions. There definitely is a disconnect between the child minded juvenile who committed the crime and the adult minded man he is to become.
The crime I committed involves a 14 year old female accomplice and I breaking into an apartment to burglarize it for “run away” money, it was only intended to be a burglary, nothing more. We were surprised by a person being in the apartment as we burglarized it and the situation spiraled out of control. Some very reactionary and stupid decisions were made that left an innocent person dead. Shocked by what happened, we both left the apartment immediately. We were both caught shortly after, and were both waived into adult court.
When I first came into the adult prison system that wasn’t made for getting by or rehabilitation. I was sent to one of WI’s worst prisons. Known for its routine violence and nicknamed “gladiator school” because of it.
Most kids who enter this sink or swim environment don’t start off with a very good track record for positive prison adjustment whether they’re rehabilitated or not.. that’s reality and I was no exception. And unfortunately I was caught p in that cycle for many years. However, this doesn’t mean me or other Kids were not rehabilitatable . Most of us were(and are) just trying to get by in an environment. Most of us kids have , with time, grown and matured and genuinely want to be good productive people given a second chance, not just what we’ve been labeled because of the grievous mistakes we made as children- throw aways-or products of the prison environment. We want to be good, we want to be responsible.
I may not have started my prison sentence off very well and I am still paying for that. But I have grown up and I’ve learned to take responsibility for myself and my actions. I truly feel sorry for the crime that I committed and the hurt and pain I caused. As a kid I wasn’t even close to understanding the severity of the crime I committed –it wasn’t until later as an adult I read the court record that I realized what I did and it is still hard for me to reconcile the fact that I committed this crime with the me I am today because today I am an adult and a different person.
Does this mean that I or others should not have been sent to prison or be held accountable for wrong doings and crime? No, That’s not what’s being proposed here. What’s being proposed is that a child who is waived into adult court and sentenced to life, if , after time, this person has shown remorse and extensive rehabilitation, and that he will positively serve society if released under supervision, that a second chance be given.
Whether ever given a second chance or not, I have recently changed my life and plan to be positive and productive in all things I do. I will always be burdened by my past, the crime that I committed. I will bear that burden as a reminder to work twice as hard and be twice as committed to positive change. Thank you for our time and God bless.
Jacob Baker


  1. I know who this young man is, as he is the individual who stabbed my handicapped sister 32 times and left her for dead. He entered my sister's apartment with a plunger handle stuffed in his pants, which tells me right there that he had every intention of harming someone. He targeted my sister because he had stolen $200.00 from her once before and this time he walked away with only $3.00.
    I do believe that people can be rehabilitaded, however there is a reason he is in the Supermax prison. His first time at Supermax was Jan. 2000 to Sept. 2002. He was then back again on Sept. 2005 and presently remains there. The reason for him being in Supermax for so long is because he is one of the state's most dangerous prisoners. He has been convicted in prison by battery to prisoners. This has also added to his parole eligibility date, it is now Sept. 2047.
    He states above that as a kid he wasn't even close to understanding the severity of the crime he committed - he was 15 years old and should at that age know the difference between right and wrong. There is no excuse for what he has done. He not only ruined his life but he has ruined alot of other peoples lives.

  2. i know mr baker personally. i personally met him in supermax. i too was a a teenager who went to prison at a young age. i can honestly and truthfully say what he says is correct. at a young age one does get influenced by adults in prison around them. a lot of his actions are and were a direct result of the environment he grew up in. further, he was a 15 year old kid. who grew up in prison and knows nothing else. left with no other options, many people would do the exact same things as him. i personally do not think that a teenager should sit life in prison. if mr. baker was given hope of ever getting out. while he is relatively still young. i know he would totally make an effort to rehabilitate himself. but he has no hope. and with no hope no real regard too seriously want too make that effort. i too if faced with life in prison would be the same way. the difference between me and him is i committed a burglary too that got me sent too prison. the people i burglarized were not home. i got sentenced to a maximum term of 10 years in consequtive of a 9 month misdemeanor jail sentence. basically 11 years. and that was my first felony as an adult and no other felonys on my adult record. i was 18 when i committed that crime. i was in prison with people who raped, molested children, people who committed 50 burglaries, armed robbers, people who committed violent crimes and all those people got less time than i did. i too this day have a hard time existing on "the streets." its hard too get a job, maintain a job, and with the amount of time i spent in prison, its difficult too associate with anyone who isn't a criminal or knows that lifestyle. a lot of people run back ground checks on people. and a lot even judge you just for being in. and being born and raised amongst criminals and drugs, drug and alcohol addictions are even harder too get away from. the lady who responded above obviously has a biase against mr baker. but i once knew him as a friend. seen him as a person that she will never know nor wants too know. and she has reasons to believe what she does. i admit it would be hard for me too not hate someone who killed my sister. but as someone who knows the system as much as i do. if my sister were too be killed. and the perpetrator was a 15 year old kid. i can honestly say i would ask for that person to get roughly 10 years in prison. because the person i was when i went in is not the person who got out. 10 years in there is an entire lifetime and that person would definitly be different. i would ask for 10 years in prison and a lifetime on probation. so that if they messed up that second chance. life would be hanging over there heads. and i don't think too many people would mess up after that!! the account i am using is a friends account. my name is michael j. woodford. inmate number 322796