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How Jacob Wideman faced his mental health struggles behind bars

An illustration shows a yellow silhouette of a person using one arm to hang from a floating striped heart against a grunge purple and yellow background. (Diego Mallo for The Marshall Project)
(Diego Mallo for The Marshall Project)

Two years after he murdered Eric Kane, Jacob Wideman was transferred from county jail to the Arizona Department of Corrections to begin serving a life sentence.

At 18 years old, Jake was thrust into a world where the only way to feel safe was through physical aggression and bravado. He had many years of practice pretending he wasn’t suffering from mental health struggles in his youth, but now, Jake had to push those struggles even further out of sight as he faced a series of challenges in prison, each more difficult than the last.

In Part Four of the “Violation” podcast, we follow his decades-long journey through the Arizona prison system and hear how he prepared to tell his life story to the parole board.
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Find the full episode, more information and photos here.

This segment aired on April 13, 2023.


Beth Schwartzapfel Host and Reporter
Beth Schwartzapfel is the host and reporter of Violation, a podcast from WBUR and The Marshall Project.



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