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Cover Story

Lost In the Hole Page 4

Mentally ill felons locked in own hell

By Stephen Dark
Posted // September 26,2012 -  

Payne recalled how in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch read the newspaper aloud to his daughter. So, Payne employed the same strategy with Haas, organizing it so they would read from the same material so Haas “could learn word recognition (syllables, root words, etc.), so I would read to him every night, and he would follow and read back the last sentence of each paragraph. … It was both heartbreaking and admirable that he would struggle through these endeavors in front of all these other prisoners (some who actually ridiculed him just like the [Utah State Prison] admin!).”

In January 2012, Haas alleged, through Payne’s written grievance, that because he said “fuck you,” he was denied dental treatment. The grievance officer noted that he left out of his story that he had been asked several times not to say “fuck,” but continued to use the expletive. “Your right to free speech exists only as far as it does not impinge the rights of others,” the officer wrote. An official’s “right to work in an environment in which the word ‘fuck’ is not used was impinged by your use of the word.”

Haas and Payne wrote several times to the warden requesting that they have neighboring cells, as Haas couldn’t hear Payne that well. Bigelow wrote back March 1, 2012, “It is admirable that Inmate Payne is assisting you with your learning, but your constant outburst of negative behavior and attitude towards staff leads us to believe you are not learning to control your verbal outbursts.”

Haas was moved to another section in Uinta 1.

In a short note, he holds little back, writing that he tried to kill himself because “I do not feel I shud be alive I feel like I sined to much & Im no good to any one I personly hate my self & I want to find love.”

“We Will Do What We Can Do”

Coleman Stonehocker’s mother, Deborah Stone, and Jeremy Haas’ mother, Jacqueline Krum, attended the Disability Law Center’s Sept. 12, 2012, public meeting to set their goals for the next two years. “I’d like to see more help in the jails, in the prison for people with handicaps,” Stone said. “I know they’re being warehoused.”

Krum told the DLC staff that she saw Haas the previous Saturday after a year without seeing him because of his privilege matrix—privileges, such as seeing visitors, are taken by the prison when inmates break rules. “He’s not on his meds,” she said. “He’s gotten worse. He has this really bad tick. He was talking to somebody who wasn’t there.”

Afterward, Krum met with Kinikini and learned he and Boswell were going to check up on Haas. “Tell me what you can do, so I don’t get my hopes up,” she said.

Kinikini was silent for a moment. “I can’t get him out of prison. But I can try and get in there on a regular basis.” The conditions they are living under, he told her, were leading to more time being tacked on to their sentences. “Our mission is a reduction in the using of solitary confinement as a treatment tool. We will do what we can do.”


When a guard led Laura Boswell to meet with Haas, she was shocked when she sat down in front of the barred cell and looked at the young man in the orange jumpsuit and white T-shirt. City Weekly had shown Boswell prison photographs of Haas, but now, “He was very, very thin,” she says. “That was what was startling. He was just kind of sad.”

She tried to explain to him who she worked for, that she was there to check up on him. His arms were covered with what appeared to be tattoos. On one hand was the word Lotus, a reference to Homer’s The Odyssey, a book he and Paul Payne had read together. When Boswell asked about it, she says Haas told her it was about being strong, about protection and surviving.

Haas was polite to her, which made Boswell feel guilty. “No one has come to check up and see him, yet he’s being wonderfully polite and complimentary, despite the dehumanizing situation he finds himself in,” she marvels. “At some point, though, you do give up. I hope there’s something we can do before that happens.”

The next step, Kinikini says, is to secure Haas’ records and try to determine when the prison put him in solitary. After that, they plan to make a reasonable accommodation request that Haas be moved.

Haas is only two years younger than she is, and Boswell couldn’t help but compare their lives. While she sleeps in her Ikea bed, he sleeps on a metal slab. When Boswell left Uinta 1, she told Kinikini, “He’s in a dark place, maybe near to giving up.”

One thing Haas said to her struck her to the core. “He told me, ‘I would have cleaned up my cell if I knew you were stopping by.’” 

Note: On Oct. 1, 2012, at 6 p.m. Utah State Prison staff will attend a quarterly focus meeting at Adult Probation & Parole (36 W. Fremont St., Salt Lake City), where agencies and individuals, including inmates’ relatives, can raise concerns.

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Posted // October 25,2012 at 13:23


He was not convicted of the charges he simply did not have the money to post bail. And as for the others who are convicted how is beating them and stripping them of their God given rights gonna better society? Has anyone ever heard of a poem called a child learns what they live? Well God has no grandchildren!!!


Posted // October 9,2012 at 13:13

You people are ignorant Mormon brainwashed terrorists.  I truly hope one of your loved ones does something to get himself sent to USP then has someone beat them 1/2 to death only to be sent to the hole for being beaten.  BTW, they're stripped naked even in the freezing winter months for that.  You're all going to your hell.  Judgemental freaks.


Posted // October 12,2012 at 08:11 - We can be judgemental when your "loved one" has made the wrong choices in life over and over. It is time for you and your family to take responsibility for your actions. It's no one's fault but your own if you are in prison. Inmates don't get beaten up in the USP by officers,they aren't denied medical care in fact they receive better medical/dental than these people would receive on the outside,at the taxpayers expense! All units including Uinta one are monitored by video cameras. Calling people names isn't an argument.


Posted // October 7,2012 at 07:24

To the family members claiming that Cameron Payne's accident in 2007 is why he is a criminal then how do you explain this?  http://www. utahsright. com/charges. php?first=cameron&last=payne&search=1 he has been arrested for numerous incidents well before 2007 including violent crimes.

Which doesn't even include his juvenile record which I'm sure is also terrible. This accident is just another ploy to try to get sympathy from the genral public.


Posted // August 7,2013 at 17:54 - Mr. Swordonvik. My reply to you is obviously you have not seen the research that has been completed. I am a registered nurse of many years, I believe you also have been brainwashed like germany soldiers. The first cases of isolation were investigated during WWII , ISOLATION is nothing more than POW behavior, there has been much research it is human rights issue and the Federal Prison committee is looking at this right now, Supreme Court has deemed it against human rights and they are releasing prisoners as we speak. The ACLU is actively involved, there is so much you need to learn. God only hopes you are never in that position. How would you like to be there because you gave your pregnant wife and young children groceries without calling a po at 2 am when they came to your work? honesty is not the best policy and you teach that by how you respond to honesty people are penalized, and I believe we called that Communism. . . hmmmmmm . good luck with that. .


Posted // November 6,2012 at 20:32 - My name is Carly, I am Camerons former wife. I checked out the page you recomended. Yes his record looks legnthy, but its a bit decieving. His disorderly conduct charges were very minor and dumb. Not even worth tax payers money of being arrested for them. I witnessed his aggravated assault charge. No weapon was used by either parties, the fight lasted all of 40 seconds. Both boys got a little beat up. The other boy started the fight, Cameron just happened to be the better fighter and he obviosly won. I am not trying to defend Cameron, because believe me there is a reason why I am his 'EX' wife. I do believe that he needed to spend some time in prison as punishment for his actions. I happen to be an activist for humans in general, and their treatment. I agree with this entire article about the mistreatment of these boys. Although I do not fully support Cameron, yes I do believe that his handicap played a part in his most recent charge. Read the police report before you pass your judgement. His accident is no ploy for sympathy. Cameron died several times having to be revived, he was on life support for quite some time, and even had to live in a nursing home for a while after that. He is truly and legally 'handicap. ' No, good people do not go to prison. All of those boys committed crimes that earned themselves a ticket straight there. None the less I still advocate healthy, sanitary and reasonable treatment of all individuals, even those in prison. That is only my opinion, although I do respect yours.


Posted // October 6,2012 at 08:48

The fact is that the men housed in Uinta 1 are extremely dangerous. Whether you want to blame that on mental health issues or not,these are people that cannot live in prison general population or in society. Maybe Kinikini can have them move into his house when those who are eligible parole because I sure as hell don't want them near my family. To the family members with their sob stories I have no sympathy for you. Your son will rob,rape or kill without any remorse and he doesn't deserve to be anywhere other than Uinta 1.


Posted // October 6,2012 at 09:06 - This is some of the worst one sided reporting I have ever read! You want to make it appear that these are just misunderstood little angels. It's unfortunate that scummy people always pop out kids and keep the cycle going. I'd guarantee that most of these idiots have parents and family members with long criminal histories too. The only solution is to gas all these bastards because you can't rehabilitate violent nutjobs.


Posted // October 1,2012 at 19:17

Ahh, they're treated like inmates?!?!  Really?  Like James said, where's the story for their victims.  Where's the report on how these nice fellows have assaulted officers and damaged the prison?

Do mentally ill offenders need help?  Yes.  Do we excuse their behavior as they lie and manipulate their way through the system?  NO!