CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — “Dying inside.” That was the cryptic note Colorado teenager Jordan Bachman wrote just hours before he took his own life inside the Ware Youth Center, a juvenile detention facility in Coushatta, Louisiana.
“Somebody had seen that he had wrote that while inside the facility,” said Jordan’s mother, Patricia Bachman.
The facility is now at the center of a Louisiana state investigation after a surge in suicide attempts and several reports of sexual and physical abuse at the hands of guards and staff at Ware.
“He was fun, energetic,” Bachman said of her son. “He was a good kid.”
Bachman is now speaking out in an effort to save other kids from the same fate.
“I want to do this because of my love for him,” she said. “And I would like it to be known for all other juveniles that are there. There should be justice.”
What happened to Jordan and others at Ware is now the center of a New York Times investigation. The investigation reveals rampant physical and sexual abuse by the guards and staff inside the Ware Center.
The “chaos and cruelty” resulted in 64 suicide attempts at Ware in 2019 and 2020, and two back-to-back suicides within 72 hours – including Jordan and a 13-year-old named Solan Peterson.
“I thought it was safe,” Bachman told Denver7. “I really did. I told him to call me on Wednesdays and Saturdays and said, "You’ll be out in a month." And I said, "Do not worry. You’re not going to do this again." And I left him.”
It’s a conversation she regrets to this day.
“He did tell me during the phone calls, "They’re stabbing me in the feet with forks." And I said, "Tell the guards." But I later learned the guards liked to watch the inmates fight," Bachman said.
The abuses uncovered by the New York Times have allegedly gone on for decades, corroborated by 42 victims held at Ware over the last 25 years.
The story is now grabbing headlines across the nation, and the state of Louisiana has only now launched an investigation into the abuses which include bribery, assault and rape.
Jordan was in the facility after being pulled over and arrested for charges related to marijuana possession and eluding police.
His mother says he was on his way from Colorado to Tennessee where she lived to start his career.
“A cross-country road trip with friends,” Bachman said. “He wanted to be a songwriter. That’s what he wanted to do.”
His mother is now speaking out to save others, hoping the publicity will finally bring about change and charges against all those abusing minors.
“He was a great messenger,” Bachman said of Jordan. “And he would have wanted this to be out.”