Juvenile Offender served 20 years and now needs your help

Juvenile Offender served 20 years and now needs your help

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N GH started this petition to Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Jerome Walker was born in 1981 to his 19 year-old mother in Detroit. He had a very difficult childhood that involved moving around a lot, being sexually and physically abused, becoming homeless, and finally even attempting to end his life. He was born to a father who was a boxing champion, and not around much, and a mother, who was just struggling to make ends meet. Jerome reached a point in his childhood where he set a closet on fire with him in it. His uncle Jason was like a father figured to him and taught him a lot.

Alone on the street at 15, Jerome remembers living in 8 different houses in one year. After living for months in vacant buildings with no heat or running water, a local drug dealer took him in on the condition that he would live in and sell drugs out of one of his houses.

Jerome being one of the youngest of the workers was disliked and competed with. Jerome remembers regularly being beat up, robbed of what little money he had, and throw him back on the streets if he put up any kind of fight. But he was desperate to remain there, in a home with running water and heat.

There he was called out of his name and was harassed and verbally abused, and threatened. He was constantly bullied by another young man, and was becoming fearful that a man might actually try to kill him as he had intimated.

When the slightest semblance of stability became threatened amongst other things, Jerome was thinking that he could not let one more person physically and verbally break him and continue to make a target out of him for others so he "just snapped."

Jerome has served over 20 years of a life-without-parole sentence for felony murder he got arrested for at the age of 17 years old. Throughout this time he has grown from an insecure, emotionally raw teenager to a compassionate man and mentor, who at the age of 39 is already considered an old-timer with much experience and knowledge to offer younger prisoners. He has held a number of high-security jobs, and is keeping with his commitment to better his prison community. He is hoping to soon obtain a position as a Prisoner Observation Aid (POA) where he plans to share his own experiences with depression in order to help prisoners who are threatening self-harm. Jerome has the steadfast support of his parents-whom he calls his "biggest support system" and multiple other family members and friends, including: his daughter, mother, sister, uncle, and friends.

Despite this circumstance, Jerome and his daughter have grown incredibly close throughout the years. Now in her fourth year of college, She says that her dad is constantly motivating her to do her best in school and life, and supporting her through the challenges she faces. "He tells me stories, and is the dad that I never had when I was young. He support me mentally and emotionally, and I hope so much that he can come home one day."

Mr. Walker is hoping to utilize the skills he learned working in the MSI shoe factory to obtain a job similar once released back to Detroit, but is more than willing to accept any employment offered to him.

Upon release he plans to live with his father who has reliable housing in Detroit, and he will also have the support of his mother, who he loves dearly. Both parents now live stable lives and have largely overcome the obstacles from their pasts. They are excited to have the opportunity to care for Mr. Walker once released and make up for lost time.

Jerome has regretted what he done to lead him to prison at the age of 17. "I honestly can say I regret pulling that trigger"; "If I could take back what I done, I would."

Jerome is also working on a series of novels for at-risk youth that he hopes will be published one day.

The laws have changed in Michigan with regards to sentencing but Jerome remains to be in prison hoping to get a day in court. Many Juvenile Lifers have since been released. Jerome now needs your help. Please sign this petition. 

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