Jabar is an inmate at Jefferson City Correctional Center. He’s been in prison for 25 years, after being sentenced to death row at 17. He is one of the youngest Missourians ever to be put on death row. Then after a retrial at age 19, he was sentenced to life without parole.
Jabar maintains his innocence, has written numerous books for children, as well as adults, based on his life growing up in St. Louis and his time in prison, and because of a law passed back in 2016, he has the chance to apply for parole as soon as this month.
This law allows people sentenced to life without parole prior to August 2016, for a crime they committed before they turned 18, to apply for a parole hearing after serving 25 years.
He spoke with me about how being in prison from such a young age has changed him, and about what keeps him going.
As a note, Jabar is a nickname.
Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org.