tv Lockup Raw MSNBC July 12, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. >> msnbc takes you behind the walls of america's most notorious prisons into a world of chaos and danger. now, the scenes you've never seen, "lockup: raw." in prison as on the outside -- >> we have something in common. >> -- a single decision can change a person's life forever. >> the violence and the killing and the senseless [ bleep ]. you know what i mean? >> we have seen inmates make all kinds of fateful choices.
>> i threatened them, yeah. i threatened their families. >> i didn't come here for friends. >> it's personal between him and her. >> will you have this woman to be your wedded wife so long as you both shall live? >> yes. >> but behind bars -- >> that's [ bleep ] up. >> -- there is no escaping the consequences of one's actions. >> a prison is like a city within a city, not a city most people would ever choose to live in, but each prison we visit develops its own unique culture. a place where the residents establish an unwritten set of do's and dont's, even while paying their own dues to society. >> we've seen plenty of inmates in prison do things that are not in their best interests, and that list is pretty long, but every once in a while we meet an inmate who stands out for making really bad decisions. >> we were with timothy
schreiber on his first day at the limon correctional facility in colorado. >> i have seven months to do, so i don't know what's going to happen after that, but i'm going to segregation. 23-hour lockdown. >> he was nearing parole on a six-year sentence for sexual assault and had just transferred in from another colorado prison. >> i just happened to be down there filming the new inmates coming in, and timothy schreiber immediately said he wanted to be part of the show. >> msnbc, any time you need me, i'll be here. >> and within a very short period of time did something that was so shocking to me, i couldn't believe it. >> i am a sex offender. i'm a violent sexual predator. >> he very loudly started proclaiming himself as a sexual predator. >> an attempted sexual assault on a 13-year-old girl. >> having a sex offense in prison, in some prisons it's tantamount to a death sentence, but in almost any prison
facility, you are going to be harmed if you are a known sex offender. >> i have a history of repeated flashing. i'm like a serial flasher. >> schreiber could be heard throughout the administrative segregation block, and it infuriated his neighbors. >> i never flashed anyone younger than 13, but i have a predilection for 13 to like 18, somewhere in the danger zone. >> schreiber was just getting started. over the next several weeks he seemingly raised the ire of inmates and staff alike. >> these fools don't see that i'm the problem of the [ bleep ] century. >> we eventually came to learn that schreiber's behavior was his way of trying to stay in the prison segregation unit, a place most inmates are sent as a punishment. >> yeah, if my friends could see me now. >> for schreiber it was a safe haven. keeping him in solitary confinement, away from other inmates. at one point we set up a camera
outside his cell, pressed the record button, and left him alone to share any of his thoughts and he outlined his plan. >> there's no way i'm going into general population and risking getting my ass kicked, coming out of prison, you know, maimed, crippled, disfigured, broken arms, broken legs, maybe even stabbed or killed. wasn't going to risk that. so i says to myself, i'm going to make sure -- i try to check in, and that's just break the rules as much as you can to get, you know, write-ups so that you get put in segregation. >> schreiber's campaign resulted in more conflicts than we were able to show in the limon "extended stay" series, including this one was prison counselor anton evans. >> basically, i'm going to go over a few things. >> did you get my kite? that's what i want to know. did you get my kite last night or did they just throw that away?
>> no, i haven't received any kite. >> oh, really? i wrote you a kite from the hole last night. you didn't get it? >> no. what was it about? >> it was about my situation. >> evans was attempting to conduct an orientation interview with schreiber prior to his move to general population. >> to tell you the truth, i might resort to some craziness to get what i want. >> okay. >> i mean some craziness. >> i'm just the case manager. i don't know exactly what i'm supposed to do -- >> you don't? >> -- as far as that. >> how long have you been a case manager? >> about four years. >> okay. that's quite long enough. so, anyway, that's what happens with this -- >> it's quite long enough for what? i'm kind of curious about that. >> i just thought you were brand new to the job. you acted like what am i supposed to do about you, you know? anyway, i am not assaulting you, man, i'm just checking on your credentials a little bit. >> okay. >> schreiber went on to tell evans a specific group of limon inmates had it out for him.
>> they told me they were going to write all of their friends, whatever cell houses they're in, they're going to write their friends and tell them about me and basically, have my [ bleep ] sanctioned, either assaulted or stabbed or killed or whatever. >> did they just see you and decide you were the guy that they were going to write all their friends about? >> no, i was the guy that they were -- >> did you provoke them in any way? >> this is what happened. they kept talking [ bleep ] to me, and then i started talking [ bleep ] back to them and i threatened them, yeah. i threatened their families, even. i'm not going to follow through with it, but i threatened them because that strikes terror in the heart of an have mate. >> your expectations after threatening -- >> i have no expectations -- >> offenders, other offenders, convicts, is that they're going to say, well, he's set me straight, now i'm scared, i'm not going to ever bother him again? >> of course not, man. i didn't know, though, that i was going to be moved from
segregation and the hole to this freaking unit here. >> you thought after that they were going to put you in a hotel? >> no, i thought they would ad seg me. that's what i thought. i didn't think -- >> so your objective is to get ad seg? >> if you throw me to population and some [ bleep ] sticks me, then dude, i'm coming back on you all like a [ bleep ] tiger. i'm going to take you to court and i'm going to sue the [ bleep ] out of you. >> i really don't have to do this. at this point i am going to put him back in this house. because i really don't know -- >> i'll shut up, man. how about if i can shut up. let's get this over with. >> you know, let's do this tomorrow. it's better for me. >> we're here right now. >> i'm not really in the mood right now. >> i don't care. >> all right, let's go back. >> do what you want. you're the boss, man. >> i can't let him come in and dictate how my interview is going to go, and i won't do that. at some point, i've got to do what's best for me and what was
best for me was to end the interview. >> schreiber's stay in general population didn't last long. he was caught with a razor knife and sent back to administrative segregation where he wanted to stay all along. but it came with a price he never expected. >> so, they decided to call him up to the deputy warden's office and have a talk with him. we, the camera crew, knew the severity of the situation. timothy didn't, so he kind of went bopping up there like he usually did, very secure in the knowledge he was going back to ad seg, and he sat down in this office, and then everybody calmly proceeded to tell them that, in fact, his sentence was probably going to be increased because of the fact this was the umpteenth time they found a shank in his cell and they were going to impose new charges on him. >> oh, dude, i will tell you right now if i get criminal charges off of finding a bic razor in my cell, i'm not going to be doing that time.
i'll tell you right now. i'm not going to be doing that time. >> well, i'm here to tell you you're going to end up going back. >> i'm telling you right now, i'm not -- i'm going to kill myself if i go and get criminal charges on this [ bleep ]. that's what i'm telling you right now in front of these cameras. >> months after we left limon, schreiber was, in fact, convicted on the additional charges and received another two-year sentence. >> any of you out there that are doing [ bleep ] like i did, exposing yourself, god forbid you mess around with a female under 18 in colorado. you get caught for it, you could go away for life. coming up, asking for trouble again and again. >> i think i'll just go ahead and put me in seg [ bleep ] instead of [ bleep ].
when we first met sandra culbertson out on the yard at the tennessee prison for women, we immediately recognized that she had a flair for the dramatic. >> i seen her from across the campus, much like the sunset like that, and i run while they were shooting big bean bags from the top of the roofs. ka-blam! missed it by her. i kept running. >> she's insane. >> here comes another bean bag. ka-blam! boom! oh, it hit me in the back and i fell in her arms and it was love, love. >> god. >> culbertson was serving three years for aggravated assault. though she claims it was in self-defense, she stabbed another woman during a fight, puncturing her lung. >> well, it was just a lung. you know, she's got two, what's
the big deal? well, the big deal was i could have killed her just by one stab wound. thank god i didn't. >> sandra is a very kind-hearted, wonderful person. >> oh, my. >> a little bit hillbilly-ish, as you know, but hell, we're in tennessee, right? i love her to death. she's a great person. >> but we came to discover that sandra was also the type of inmate who would constantly challenge the correctional staff. >> you know you got two disciplines. you know what's going to happen if you get that third. >> during our stay she would pay some dues for her behavior. >> because everybody, including the staff, knew what she was doing and the same attention that she was getting from the other inmates she was also getting that attention from the staff. >> i ain't gonna play y'all games. >> there was some pain behind those eyes.
you could see it, which perhaps led to anger with all the rules and the fact that she wasn't in control. >> either take the rod out of my ass or just stick it on in. >> all right. y'all ready? >> during our stay at tennessee, culbertson's disciplinary write-ups played a major role in her being denied parole. >> recommend she be granted parole at this time would have an adverse effect on the institutional discipline. ms. culbertson, i'm going to recommend you be confined for the balance of your sentence. thank you. you have a good day. >> three days later she received a new disciplinary write-up. >> they charged me with disrespect. i was in church. i had my arm on the chair and a girl touched my arm and it's disrespect. i disrespected the chaplain. she's homophobic so -- >> what's the worst case? >> they're gonna [ bleep ] me. >> what does that mean? >> you see that building right there? i'm going to lockdown. it's a jail within a jail, segregation.
this kind of stuff is what took my parole. you know, stupidity, stupid stuff. i'm guilty of it, i guess. >> i started meeting ms. culbertson in december. so, within that time, i met her maybe once a month since then. >> see this lady? fear her. >> and how you pleaded on your disrespect? >> not guilty. >> so, what are you saying, you didn't have your arm around her at all? >> no. >> okay. >> well, yes, i did. not at the time that all this -- in the beginning i did. then i moved over a seat so there was an empty chair on each side of me. so nothing could be said. >> the officer who witnessed the scene was called to testify. >> can you hear me? >> yes, ma'am.
>> i'm here in culbertson's disciplinary concerning disrespect that was written up when they was in the chapel. >> yes, ma'am. >> can you give me some information on it? >> i was down in the chapel and i was sitting on the other side of the church. the lady was up preaching or whatever, talking or doing whatever she does, and she pointed them out, saying that she's not going to do this in church. i didn't see what they were actually doing, but i did see that her arm was extended around. 30 minutes later, she was like, you're not going to keep disrespecting me. >> okay. thank you. >> 20 minutes later, culbertson got the bad news. >> i find you guilty with a preponderance of evidence. >> rather than going straight to the segregation unit, culbertson was given a break and put on a 60-day probation period. >> so the question is, can you be good, follow the rules, for 60 days? >> i don't know. i'll try. it's a toss of a coin. >> we didn't have to wait long to find out. minutes after leaving the
disciplinary hearing, culbertson was served with another write-up, this time for refusal to obey an officer earlier that morning. >> i'm going to serve you a formal discipline. >> for what? >> he'll read it to you now. >> why don't you put me in seg [ bleep ] today. >> at approximately 7:20 a.m. the inmate walked into the dental office without permission. i told her twice to stop and come back to med line and she did not comply. therefore, inmate culbertson is being charged with refusing a direct order. >> you officers need to get on the same page with the people that work in medical and stay off my ass. because all these write-ups is what this is about, me wanting medical help. >> okay. >> ms. culbertson, we're here for security, they're here for medical. there's your copy. >> you're here to [ bleep ] my life up. that's what you're here for. >> the thing about sandra that i
noticed and in my opinion was she had a tendency to blame everybody else for her situation. >> let's break it on down. [ bleep ] the bull [ bleep ]. >> stop using profanity. >> as culbertson walked back to her cell, our cameras caught her temper flaring again. this time it was aimed at her escort officer. >> telling me no [ bleep ] no better than us convicts. >> what is she doing now? is she still going off? is she creating a disturbance? formal disciplinary for disrespect. okay. she got another one. >> three back-to-back write-ups did little to curb culbertson's temper. >> i'm gay and i'm getting punished for being gay and having medical problems? it ain't right, so -- >> you aren't the only gay person here. >> but i'm being punished for being gay. >> no. >> yes, because i'm gay. >> you're being punished for breaking the rules. >> no, no, no. >> before the break was out she
chalked up yet another infraction. >> i got to go back. i got another write-up. >> what happened? >> i done this. >> with who? >> within days, culbertson was in front of the disciplinary board again. >> how do you plead on the disrespect? >> not guilty. >> how do you plead on the refusal of a direct order? >> not guilty. and i got really tore up about this one, because i got you to give me a chance, and before i even got outside to breathe, i was being hit with more write-ups. so, yeah, i was kind of upset. >> but being upset is not a good enough defense to keep culbertson out of ad seg. >> the board finds you guilty. i think i told you last time you came through with another disrespect, i was going to make that a class "b." i'm going to give you 20 days to serve. >> that's [ bleep ] up.
>> where are you going? you can't go nowhere. sit down, ms. culbertson. >> i think given sandra's nature and given everything we had seen, we were all anticipating some kind of crazy reaction from her. >> instead, culbertson put on a brave face before going to segregation. >> it sucks, but you know what? they'll never know it because i'll ride the hell out of it. i think it might be the problem, they ain't got me down yet. almost. up next -- >> i believe that some people should be stabbed. >> an inmate known for trouble finds a soft spot for one of our producers. >> i love her. i do. i swear to god. sandra's "homemade" yummy, scrumptious bars. hmm? i just wanted you to eat more fiber. chewy, oatie, gooeyness... and fraudulence. i'm in deep, babe. you certainly are. [ male announcer ] fiber one. i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans.
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white and what's right with our people. i believe in stabbings. i believe some people should be stabbed, you know, child molesters, rapist and all that. we have to live by a set of standards in prison. it would be a free for all if we didn't. >> duncan was serving 28 years for home invasion, kidnapping, and robbery at california state prison corcoran. it was the culmination of a criminal career that began at a very young age. >> i came from a good home. i can't say that i had a bad childhood. i just got mixed up with the wrong people. i started committing petty crimes when i was a kid because i actually did get strung out on heroin. my first shot was probably when i was 10 or 11 years old. >> duncan had spent most of his life incarcerated. in that time, he developed a reputation as an inmate to fear. >> these are some weapons that they say they discovered in a
cell that i once occupied, allegedly. myself, personally, i'm a nice guy and i don't believe in violence. that's a damn lie. it was my responsibility on the yard to ensure that, one, our people were not harmed by another race. i took care of the drug debts if one of our people became delinquent in a drug debt to another race, it was my responsibility to either cover their drug debt or have them stabbed, in which case we would send one of ours to stab them. >> duncan's loyalty to his gang was also inked into his skin. >> my stomach, i have a war bird. these lightning bolts mean something, and if they were solid that meant that there was a kill, that you actually killed the victim. being shaded in like that, that means i did put in a racial stabbing, but it wasn't a kill, and it wasn't from lack of trying to my part. >> duncan's tattoos weren't only about gang life. some were about his love life. >> couple of wives' names up here. charlene, that was a prison
employee. my first wife that passed away. i went through a couple different relationships and i have a girlfriend that's doing multiple life sentences for murder. she committed fresno county's largest mass murder in history. that was my second. yeah, that's sad, i know. >> okay, so -- >> i could just go on and on. >> that's fine. >> but i don't want to, you know. >> that's okay. >> before long, duncan made it clear that his interests were turning toward a new woman. >> during the course of the time we were filming him, he became a little fixated on me. he kind of developed a little romantic interest, i guess. >> here comes the lady of the hour. i love her. i do. i swear to god. >> so the more i would try to talk to tim about how things played out in prison, he would just kind of keep bringing it back to something personal.
do you have a killer mentality? >> no, absolutely not. i would kill somebody if they tried to harm you or somebody i loved, you know what i mean? >> asking me about my personal life, wanting to know the length of time he was going to be in prison was too long for me to wait. >> what year is this? 2008? i got about 12 years left. right around there. it's forever. does that sound like forever to you? >> i did let tim know that i was only there to cover life at the prison and that a relationship was not a possibility. he took it very well, and we were able to complete our story. >> duncan went on to tell us that in reality, he was not at all optimistic about ever pursuing a life on the outside. >> i don't ever expect to get out. i figure i'm washed up for the rest of my life and i'm done, so this is my home, this is where i live, and i try to be as comfortable as i can. i try not to think about dying in prison, but in the back of my mind it's there. what am i going to do? i accept full responsibility for my fate. i did -- i don't blame nobody.
matter, viewer discretion is advised. the high walls and razor wire that surround a maximum security prison leave no doubt that this is a place where you pay your dues for terrible decisions. but even in these stark environments, inmates will still find ways to celebrate life's milestones. >> we've covered all kinds of events in prison, from an inmate's birthday to an anniversary to a wedding, even a funeral, and nothing symbolizes the futility of committing a major crime more than seeing an inmate die in prison. >> during our "extended stay" shoot at indiana state prison, we were told a memorial service was being held for an 81-year-old inmate who had been at the prison since 1979. when we arrived, we realized it
was someone we knew. we met willard lucas inside the prison barbershop when we shot at indiana state a few years earlier. he was in for murder and had no hope of getting out. >> i got double life and i got to stay here until i die, and hopefully, i can stay right where i'm at. i've been on this chair 26 years. hopefully, i won't be there another 26, but there's a lot of us in here doing multiple life that won't ever get out, and i'm one of them. >> we came to find out that inmate barbers here are not unlike small town barbers. they're popular and well-liked. they even cut staff's hair. so when lucas died during the course of our second visit to isp, it was no surprise that his memorial was attended not only by his family and fellow inmates, but a significant number of staff. >> he was a good guy, a real
good guy, and i miss him. every day when he used to come back from the chow line, he'd knock on my window and say, hey, what are you doing? what's up? or i'd "f" with him, whatever, you know. he was just a good guy. >> the death of our brother luke recalls our human condition and the brevity of our lives on earth. >> even though they were on opposite sides of the law, they still had a decades old relationship. >> i knew luke for 30 years, and i loved him. he was a good guy. >> any time he would open his mouth and tell a story, i made sure i had time to listen to him. >> we spent many, many hours playing pinochle, watching baseball games, and i would come in from work and be tired and i'd feel like making something to eat and here would come luke and he he'd say, you got some bread? he'd have some gravy made. he could make some gravy.
>> he would sit and talk with me hours on hours. >> he always tried to keep me out of trouble, you know, keep it on the straight and narrow. >> he meant an awful lot to me. >> lucas, i'm going to miss you. >> on the other end of the spectrum, our stay at indiana state also included a wedding. >> this is my girlfriend, jodie. >> when we met inmate ronnie ty, serving 11 years for robbery, he was looking forward to making a lifetime commitment to jodie. >> tell me about the engagement. how did he ask you? >> he didn't ask me. i asked him. he told me that, one day he told me, he said, whatever i have, if you need it, i'd give it to you. and i said, "can i have your last name?" and he said yes, so that's what we're doing. yeah, i got his name on my leg. do you want to see it? >> although ronnie had less than a year to complete on his
sentence, the couple couldn't wait to get married and put in a request for a prison wedding. >> i told them we wanted to get married october 7th. >> that will work. october the 7th. >> you're going to be a good boy. promise? say promise. >> being good in prison has not always been ronnie's strongest quality. >> yeah, i got about 100 write-ups. might be over that. been caught tattooing, smoking weed, drinking, fighting. got locked up for robbery inside of here. >> he kind of had a bully type attitude. >> what are you waiting for? >> and it was clear he wanted to be on the show. he wanted to do it, but at every turn, he was resistant. there was one point where i went into his cell to get some "b" roll of him interacting with his brother and he was asking me, are you done yet? you know, why do you need this?
why do you need that? >> we're just getting you two together. you can just talk. >> i don't know if part of it was that we were encroaching on whatever he was doing at the prison. >> i need to take this guy out. >> or if that's the persona he was trying to project. >> i don't care if you like me or dislike me. i didn't come here for friends. >> during our time at the prison, things began to heat up for ronnie. he was caught with a cell phone charger and later voluntarily turned in a cell phone. prison officials nearly canceled the wedding, but agreed to let it move forward with one major restriction. it would have to be a noncontact ceremony, meaning bride and groom would be separated by a thick pane of glass. a not so minor detail for jodie. >> so there is like no kissing the bride? >> when the day comes we will see. >> for jodie hearing that she would have a noncontact wedding, it was like the sky had fallen.
she was crying. she was upset that she wouldn't be able to, you know, hold him. this was her day in the sun, and the prison was ruining it. >> don't cry. you hear me? everything is going to be all right. up next -- >> in most cases the men are just using the women. >> on the big day, the pastor is skeptical and the bride's a nervous wreck. >> i'm freaking out!
his fiance, jodie. >> we wish you luck. we're proud of you. >> ronnie's various disciplinary write-ups resulted in a noncontact ceremony, meaning bride and groom would be separated by a pane of glass. but that didn't deter the couple. and we were there to cover the wedding. >> how are you feeling right now? >> pretty good. >> as ronnie made his way to the noncontact visitation area, the bride was in the restroom suffering a major case of the jitters. >> i said i'm freaking out. >> why? >> because i'm like going to be married in an hour. >> filming jodie right before she got married in the prison was a surreal experience. honestly, in a million years, i never thought i would see myself in this situation. and this is how you decide to show it? >> i'm sitting on the toilet in indiana state prison fully clothed, of course, but i'm just dripping. >> it was actually very funny. she's kind of standing up and squatting on the toilet seat in the restroom and kind of losing it. >> i'm chewing on acrylic fingernails!
>> let me see. i didn't even feel like i was at work that day. i mean, here's this girl dressed head to toe in this disco outfit, ready to tie the knot. where are your shoes? >> my shoes are over here. i haven't been this nervous since like -- we won't even say. i'm freaking nervous. >> she was a mile a minute. >> does my hair look okay? >> looks good. she was nervous and excited, and you know, not very different from a bride-to-be on the outside. >> are you sure i look okay? >> you look beautiful. >> jodie pulled herself together in time to meet the pastor who had arrived to perform the ceremony. >> there was actually no relationship between jodie and the pastor. >> jodie, how long have you known rodney? >> ronnie? >> ronnie.
>> i have known him for many years, a long time. >> before he came here? >> yes. >> were you in love with him then? >> i wouldn't say in love with him, but i loved him. >> this is not just a contract you're signing. >> i understand that. it's a covenant. >> it is a covenant you're making with him, you know, and this makes it much, much more serious. >> there are certain people that are allowed to come into the prison to perform these wedding ceremonies. he was one of them. they didn't know each other ahead of time. he was obviously trying to counsel her. >> he'll have this black mark against him. >> i know that. i already know. i mean, i have known people that's come out of prison and some even being family and they are -- it's hard -- the hardest thing i think i seen is jobs. people don't want to employ them. >> right. normally, i just flat turn down weddings here because i find in most cases the men are just
using the women for their own advantage. >> i've heard stories. >> you've heard stories? >> i've heard stories. i'm aware of all the ups and downs, and i'm prepared to help him adapt back to society, and i realize it's going to be some trouble for him. for the record, i took a psychology class. i think i can handle it. >> you think you can. >> i had an awesome instructor, yeah. i think i can handle it. >> how does the rest of the family feel about the wedding? >> they're okay. his mom was going to be here today but couldn't make it. he's got a good family. >> as jodie spoke with the pastor, ronnie had arrived on his side of the glass awaiting his bride and maintaining his cool. >> why should i be nervous? >> it's a big deal. it's a commitment. it's forever.
what are you doing about a ring? tell me, what do you know about your rings? >> she's got both of them. >> both what? >> rings. >> how do you get it? >> i have no clue. >> tell me what you do know about this noncontact wedding. >> going to get married through this window, i guess, through glass. >> where do i go? ♪ >> how are you doing? >> okay. are you ready? >> yeah, are you ready? >> yeah, let's do it. >> are you nervous? >> when it was finally time to exchange vows, the ceremony proved as unique as the couple themselves. >> this is the pastor. this is pastor rossen. >> how are you doing? >> good to meet you ronnie. >> you too. >> are you ready for the big day? >> let's do it. >> are you sure? >> yeah. >> okay. we are gathered together here
today in the presence of god in the face of this company to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony. >> they're talking on the phone doing their vows over the phone. it was kind of bizarre. >> what's up? >> this is driving me nuts. >> ronnie, will you have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together after god's ordinance in the holy state of matrimony, to honor and keep her in sickness and in health so long as you both shall live? >> yes. >> jodie, will you have this man for thy wedded husband to live together after god's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony so long as you both shall live? >> yes, i will. >> do you have rings you wish to exchange? >> yeah. somebody's got to walk it to him. >> he'll take the ring. >> let's see it. >> ronnie and jodie have promised to be faithful and true to each other. i pronounce them husband and wife.
okay. you two can kiss the glass. that's about as best you can do. >> no, they don't wash that around here. yeah, we're done. we're married. the honeymoon is going to be awesome when he gets home. but that's definitely when he gets home. coming up -- >> i'm going to catch every one of you. >> the one part of the prison population determined to keep coming back.
they're part of a sanctioned rescue program like the one at indiana state prison. >> introduce me to your friend. >> this is cletus. he's 16 months old. they said we can adopt cats from the humane society, so i adopted this one. >> benjamin ritchie was in for a pretty horrendous crime. he's on death row. death row is a very dark, depressing place. but when he started playing with his cat, cletus, there's some kind of bonding. there's a display of affection that you would never normally see in a prison environment. >> you wouldn't believe what a cat would do. i'm not a cat person to begin with, but i got me one and, you know, i like the little fellow. >> it's interesting to see this change in these hard core, tough inmates whenever they're around their own cats particularly. they just become so much more softened by having this
connection with an animal. >> he's my buddy. when times are hard, you know, he can snuggle up to you. >> here there's a safe place for these guys to kind of mellow out, have something to love, and embrace something a little bit different than the darkness and pain they're usually surrounded by. >> there's a code of sorts with these cats. you do not mess with somebody else's cat. you don't hurt them. you don't look sideways at them. heaven forbid you spit at one of them. they take their cats that seriously. >> come on. come on down. come on. >> they were a very interesting pair. >> we play. i got him very small and everything. he had a little registration thing. he had a little kitty cat thing. then you get a little i.d. with the kitty cats on it. >> minnick was extremely bonded
with his cat, mr. majestic. this cat kind of ruled the roost, as far as i was concerned. minnick painted this cat, fed this cat abundantly, from what it looked like, and they seemed to be somewhat symbiotic. >> i got him november 2nd, 2006, and he got neutered october 27th, same day i got arrested. so we had something in common. >> i think the cat program tames the beast. >> come on. all right. >> at the holman correctional facility in alabama, the cats are even more abundant, but none of them are invited. >> at holman, they're just wild cats who the inmates connect with and start feeding, even though it drives the staff crazy. >> i'm going to catch him. i'm going to catch every one of you cats. >> there was a sergeant this
charge, sergeant english, whose job it was to try to deal with these feral cats and get them outside the prison. the cats became his nemesis, particularly fluffy. >> there's fluffy. i think you're going to have a little trouble with that one. it's personal between him and her, you know what i'm saying? so it's wit, animal wit against human man wit. >> i have been trying to catch fluffy for six months. i haven't caught her yet. >> the inmates love the cats and the cats trust the inmates. and it was just a neat story to see the officers trying to get the cats and the inmates trying to protect the cats. and it just proved to be a really cool story. >> fluffy's having another kitten. >> fluffy seemed to be perpetually breeding more and more kittens. >> she's going to get him up and run with him.
she's good to go with him. she's gone. >> there's no telling where she's carried him to. >> can you get her? >> uh-uh. >> he's got her now. that what's what i'm talking about. it's over with now. >> sergeant english liked the cats. he wasn't going to hurt the animals. he was trying to find them homes but the cats were posing a problem at the prison. they were getting stuck in the fence. they were just creating too many problems. they weren't set up to have a cat program. >> this is my cat bait. >> doesn't want no eggs. tell him you don't want no egg. tell him you don't want no egg. >> so one day we're covering this story and there were two kittens, a brother and sister, and the brother actually reminded me a lot of a cat that i had had for like 15 years. he was really bold. i mean, you can actually see in the footage when they set the trap out, they had the food in the back of the trap, and the cat didn't even hesitate. >> yeah, he's caught now.
he's caught right now. >> get out of there. >> it's that easy to catch them. >> and when sergeant english closed the trap, he stopped for maybe a second, turned back to the food, and just kept eating the food like it was cool, you know. at that point i was like this is a pretty cool cat. most people would say it's a stupid cat but i took it to be like he was just bold. he didn't care, and so just that kind of threw it out there, hey, if i wanted to take this guy home, what would i have to do? >> our cameraman, brian, ended up adopting this little kitten. >> they're like that would be great! you know, just go down to the vet, get the shots and get yourself a carrier that you can carry on the plane and you've got yourself a cat. >> and we had to take him back through the airport, which was kind of comical, because he didn't want to traumatize the cat any further, you know? he was born in a prison. so, i actually ended up taking the kitten out of the little carry-on case and walking through the security system with it.
>> didn't make a sound the entire flight. just chilled out, relaxed, and turned out to be a great cat. >> one of them kittens went all the way to california. >> he might be living better than you and me are. >> i know he's living better than me. he's free, other side of this fence. >> i bet he's in an air conditioned house. >> the cat has had the life of riley ever since. i mean, this cat has an amazing life. and we would hear periodically from some of the inmates and staff always asking about the cat. and i believe brian named this kitten doc, for department of corrections. >> doc is great. he's still very bold. he's a mouser. i mean like an incredible mouser. usually a few times a week he'll bring in mice from outside or rats from outside and we live near the mountains so there's quite a bit of wildlife and he'll bring us a trophy pretty much a couple times a week.
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. america's prisons, dangerous, often deadly. there are 2 million people doing time. every day is a battle to survive and to maintain order. >> down on your feet, down! >> among the nation's most notorious institutions, san quentin state prison. our cameras spent months documenting life on the inside where gangs, drugs, and sheer boredom make up a violent mix. this is "lockup: san quentin -- extended stay." as the oldest prison in