tv Lockup Raw MSNBC July 21, 2013 12:00am-1:01am 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." >> there are lines nearly everywhere you look in prison and jail. >> it's a long time. >> inmates move in lines. containment lines. but there are also invisible lines. lines between right and wrong. >> someone shot her seven times.
she was tortured. she was hog-tied. she suffocated. who did that? >> lines between freedom and years behind bars. >> i'm finally clean, doing good, and all of a sudden, bam, you're back in jail. >> some inmates discover beauty lines. >> origami has been real therapeutic. >> while others cross them. >> that's [ bleep ] -- what's up? >> you get escorted everywhere you go. >> the inmates profiled on "lockup" cross all lines of race, religion, gender, and sexual preference. but most of them fit into three broad categories. there's the inmate who seems like your neighbor or co-worker. the second is the inmate who
embraces the criminal lifestyle and makes no qualms about it. >> i believe in stabbings. i believe in some people should be stabbed. >> and then there's the third type. >> from afar they seem like a normal member of society. but as we get to know them, we realize, they don't distinguish between right or wrong and that's the frightening part. >> sorry, sticking out my tongue don't look so intelligent, either. for 57-year-old doesn't. some people think i'm immature for my age. >> when we first met clarence butterfield he had been incarcerated for more than a year at the orange county jail in southern california. like most jail inmates he had not been convicted but was incarcerated awaiting jail. he had pled not guilty to the murder of his daughter. but that didn't stop him taking jokes. >> how about a d.a. takes a gun under his arm into a bar. bartender goes, you can't come in here with a pig. he goes, i was talking to the duck. >> clarence is an older gentleman, old man you can call him. a giddy old man. happy. happy to be here. >> diagnosed with hyperverbal.
>> we can't all be winners now, can we? you have to be people like me to make you real winners in life look really good. >> butterfield kind of jumps from one subject to another subject really quickly. he was really hard to follow in conversation. >> you know me, i'm kind of ignored. kind of being married for 26 years i'm really used to being ignored anyway. >> we start asking him direct questions. and he would answer about something completely off the wall that we weren't even talking about. >> i love germans. they're great. but you don't want to be locked in a cell with one for like five months. which i was. >> butterfield was an anomaly, because just approaching him and just speaking with him, he's very jovial. he's very happy. but on the other hand, you start hearing details about his case and you have to wonder, what is this man's mind-set? because it's so dark. it's so disturbing.
>> if i don't see 20 bucks you're never seeing this again. serious. get away from me. >> butterfield was accused of not only murdering his 21-year-old daughter rebecca, but of torturing her. prosecutors say he shot her seven times, hog-tied her, then put her in an ice chest where she suffocated to death. butterfield denied the charges. he says he discovered rebecca dead in her bedroom with no signs of foul play. >> all they know is i didn't do it. i mean, i didn't quick rush her down to the hospital either. but that's just you know, i had reason for doing that. i always get blamed for everything. >> while butterfield denies torturing and murdering rebecca, what he does admit to might even be more shocking. he says when he discovered his daughter's body he stuffed it inside a large cooler. he then kept the cooler inside the motor home he drove and lived in for the next two years. police discovered the body when butterfield was arrested on an unrelated minor charge.
>> i dedicate it to my daughter called be an angel. because she was an angel. from hebrews 1:14, it's not what people do, it's the deeds they leave undone that gives us all remorse at the setting of the sun. >> butterfield, who frequently wrote songs and poems to his daughter says he kept her body in the belief that a miracle would raise her from the dead. >> some people have never seen a miracle. i personally have. i'm not going to just get rid of my daughter. even if there's a chance of a million, one in 10 million, that a miracle could happen, you take it. why not? >> usually, though, butterfield was more interested in getting to know us than he was in discussing his case. i'm excited to see you guys. >> he made some assumptions about my life in particular. he even offered advice to play trombone at my wedding. >> i could play amazing grace. >> he certainly assumed that i was to be married soon, and that he would be available to play the trombone. >> if you need a trombone player at the wedding, you know, okay.
>> with his murder trial rapidly approaching, butterfield often expressed more concern over matters like the balance in his books, the debit account from which inmates can purchase snacks and toiletries from the jail commissary. >> soups are 60 cents. i ordered three of those. that was $180. insufficient funds in there. one pepper pack. i was really hopeful on there. insufficient funds. that was really bad when you don't have 25 cents. everybody should have 25 cents. just feel like an american, you know. the american way. apple pie. >> with no funds, he jokingly turned to our field team for support. >> these are authentic. you can probably turn around and sell these for a couple grand. i think $20 is a darn good price. don't you think? listen.
>> well, look. how can you find glasses like this? and they're still good. they're great glasses. >> butterfield's circumstances grew more serious when he finally went to trial. the proceedings lasted two weeks. >> would you hand to the bailiff the signed verdicts. >> the jury needed less than three hours to reach a verdict. >> we the jury in the above entitled action find the defendant, clarence butterfield, guilty of the crime of felony first degree murder. >> one juror expressed that while the evidence against butterfield was convincing, it was his decision to testify at his trial, and his seemingly stream of consciousness comments that sealed his fate. >> he just needed a yes or a no. but he needed to go in depth, and explain and he only made it worse. that did it for me. i'm just going, oh. he should not have been on the stand for himself at all. >> butterfield was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of rebecca.
we saw butterfield within hours of receiving the verdict. and now, with his fate sealed, our field producer pressed him harder for answers. >> who killed her? >> who personally? >> yes. someone shot her seven times. she was tortured. she was hog tied. she suffocated to death. who did that? >> she wasn't shot before. when i found her she wasn't shot. you know what i'm saying? i don't really believe their little theory of how it happened. i just don't believe it. >> we've been filming on and off with butterfield for weeks before the guilty verdict came back. but that night, it was different. it was a little dacker. there was definitely anger. it was a different side of butterfield that night. >> what do you want me to answer, susan? you want me to answer the way you want me to answer. well, i'm sorry. i'm going to answer the way i feel like the truth and what god wants me to answer. so i'm really sorry that, oh,
i've been convicted so what do you want me to do? i should confess? i didn't kill my daughter. >> i want to know why you didn't call the police when you found your daughter dead. >> i already explainsed that answer. the police wouldn't do anything. you found a body and it was in my motor home. you're not going to look for the one-armed man. the fugitive. the one-armed man is the person that actually killed richard kimball's wife. >> he didn't drag his dead -- the body of his dead wife around with him for two years. >> he was a doctor. if he had faith he would have. >> if she could raise from the dead, would she not raise from the dead even if she was buried? what's the difference between being in a cooler, versus being in a grave? >> oh, she'd eventually have to be let out of the cooler. well, because there's not really too much historical record of someone -- she's within a tomb but it was an open tomb. it wasn't like in the ground. >> it was really hard to sit there, because butterfield truly believes the reasons he stated for keeping his daughter in the
rv with him for so long. or if he was just sticking to the story that he had come up with. >> when he tells you the choices you're to make. >> days later, before we ended our shoot at the orange county jail, we checked back with butterfield to see if the reality of his recent life sentence had sunk in. what we found was the same cheerful demeanor that we first encountered weeks earlier. >> we sold four weeks, it still works. unbelievable. you know, not all miracles are big miracles. some are little. >> you seem like you're in pretty good spirits. what's going on with you? >> oh, nothing. yeah, it kind of got me -- i'm in a cell by myself. you know. i'm a dangerous guy. you could probably sense that when i shake your hand, you sense the danger. this guy's a real menace to society. anyway. i still got these glasses for sale. 20 bucks i think that's a killer
deal. oh, that's right i can't use the word killer anymore. that's an incredible deal. >> coming up -- three siblings, all in jail, share the bonds of love, and the chains of addiction. and later -- >> as soon as they put them handcuffs on me, i cannot lie, tears start coming to my eyes. >> an inmate faces dire consequences as he walks the thin line of parole.
during the course of shooting "lockup," we've encountered brothers, sisters, and even a mother and daughter all doing time together. >> darlene. >> it's mom to you. >> i love you. >> but it was at boston's suffolk county jail that we met not just two but three siblings. and the bonds they shared transcended the numerous troubles they faced. >> my sister's on that side. she'll be coming to the window like yo, yo, yeah, yeah.
>> it didn't take long for the allen family to catch our attention. >> straight from the bloody beat, you know what i mean [ bleep ] ferocious. >> siblings corey, melissa and william were serving sentences at suffolk county's house of correctional facility. >> the allen family was definitely a family that definitely seemed they were having hard times. three siblings being locked up was certainly a lot coming from one family. even though they were all inside, they constantly were telling us about one another and stories about one another from home. >> my family is one of the dysfunctional families that's out here. i love my family. you know what i'm saying? there's something good about us, you know. >> my sister, melissa, is loving. she's kind. >> she took care of me. she made sure we eat when we didn't have food. >> my little brother, he called me ma. >> she couldn't really cook but she forced us to eat it. we had no choice. >> corey is a complicated person. >> my brother corey is a funny guy. >> nasty.
>> we used to beat each other up, steal candy, steal bikes. >> my brother william is very smart. >> take money out of wishing wells together, set fires. >> i don't know how he got caught up. >> family, it's been so many years since we drifted apart. it didn't mean i don't love you. i was lost in the dark. >> william would just start speaking in spoken word kind of out of nowhere. we would just be talking to him, and he would break out into a rhyme. his poems were really meaningful to parts of his life and his story. >> at one point in time, chop was my friend. it was a friend. i will call it a genie in the bottle. my name is addiction. and i'm the genie in the bottle. wherever you go, sir, i will surely follow. hold up. i was going to take a sip from that bottle. but first be warned it's going to be the hardest thing to swallow. well, you're a grown man -- >> william, corey and melissa were all arrested on charges of assault and battery.
they were separate incidents, but each of their crimes was motivated by the same thing. >> what do you think happened to your family? >> drugs. i mean, drugs. it's always -- it's drugs, alcohol, drugs. during alcohol or drug use separates us. i always want to see better. and it must be a family curse. i mean, hard times fall on us all. >> melissa was the first of the allen siblings that the crew met at the jail. and as these tapes were coming in from the field and we started watching them, we really had no idea how this story would eventually evolve. but based on melissa's first interview, it seemed like the focus might be on one very grisly act of violence that she was involved in. >> melissa says she was drinking and doing drugs with a male friend when he tried to steal money she had just made from a drug deal. her description of what happened next was both graphic and disturbing. >> he pushed me. he punched me. so i took my knife out and i just cut him and it fell on the floor. >> what?
>> his balls fell on the floor. >> a man hitting a woman, i think he deserved it, if not more. he's lucky i didn't meet him. >> hey, yo. >> corey who's also serving time for assault, but we would learn that when he fights, he's never alone. >> jimmy comes out, right, when i'm aggravated, you know what i'm saying? >> jimmy? >> my friend. >> is jimmy imaginary? >> to me he's real. >> what's jimmy look like? >> jimmy's like a dog, a bright dog. he don't have a whole body. he's just got a head. >> just a dog's head? >> yeah, just a dog's head. >> what kind of dog? >> a pit. >> a pit bull? >> yeah, it's a pit. just a head. just a head of a pit. >> a pit bull's head. >> yeah. >> is jimmy here with us now? >> he's in my head, but he's not speaking. he's only with me through that violence time. >> corey says jimmy first
appeared to him during his childhood and was a source of comfort when he lived in various foster homes. and though he says jimmy has provoked him to violence, the medication corey receives in jail has had a positive effect on his behavior. >> i doing medication time. >> william noticed a difference the first time he encountered corey in jail. >> when i came here, he told me he loved me and i almost had a heart attack. because that's not him. whenever a substance leaves your body, the real you comes out. >> in fact, their time inside the suffolk county jail gave all three siblings a chance to not only stay clean but to rebuild their lives. at the time of our visit, they all lived on different floors of the jail. but managed to maintain their bonds through letters. >> i have a card that i made for my sister. every year no matter where i am in the world, i always send her something for her birthday. nothing's going to stop me. >> my brother wrote me for my birthday. >> this is from lisa! ha ha! >> all that matters is where we are together and that we keep walking side by side. >> the card was so cute. thank you.
i miss you and love you so much. >> that is the sweetest thing, hey? >> this is so cute, though. >> i love my brother. >> while in jail, melissa earned her ged and had shown a desire to change. >> i don't want my brothers to be here. we're better than that. we're the allens. we're better than that. >> as a result of her progress, the judge in her case granted her a transfer to a drug rehab program instead of prison. >> i take it you're not going to prison? >> no. no. >> william had proven responsible behind bars as well. he had a job detail and had earned recognitions. >> this is the certificate i got for a therapeutic community men's recovery and violence prevention program. >> and cory seemed to be managing his imaginary friend and sometimes instigator, jimmy,
with medication. >> so here we had a story that started off with the telling of this grisly act of violence, and it turned into a story about the love and support between three siblings who grew up under really tough circumstances and were working hard to improve their lives. but later we would come to learn that maybe it just wasn't their time yet. >> before we completed our shoot in boston, things had gone wrong for all three of the allens. melissa had fled her rehab program and was back on the streets with a warrant issued for her arrest. william violated the rules by entering another inmate's cell without permission and lost the chance to earn time off his sentence for good behavior. cory had been sent to segregation after he was caught on surveillance cameras fighting another inmate. >> today's not a good day. i haven't been taking my meds for nine days. i'm constantly dealing with jimmy, and voices -- hey, yo, are you serious, man? >> it was definitely emotional
covering the allens' story. can't help but thinking who was on the outside missing their children who were all locked up at one time together. >> i love my family. there's no other family like my family. you know. so we all crazy. but we love each other. >> and from that love came poetry. >> the streets and the drugs calling me and physically and mentally, i can't be free. perhaps later on in life we can meet at a church or cookout and get something to eat. but for right now understand that the seed's been planted so don't be discouraged. perhaps in the future i can meet you at a meeting when i build up the courage. pounding the streets. damn i was pounding the streets, pounding the streets, pounding the streets looking for the love of my life with no sleep. damn, i lost the love of my life to the streets. damn. coming up -- >> you've got the lion, you've got the swan, you've got the rabbit. >> ancient art flourishes behind bars.
lives revolve around violence, we've discovered an unexpected ray of light in many of the prisons and jails we visited. the ancient art of origami. >> isn't folding cranes about healing? >> it's more about kind of being in tune with yourself. >> what have you learned folding cranes? >> i've learned a lot of patience. >> shiloh was serving time for sex crimes at the orange county jail in southern california. >> i made exactly 1,000 of these. i had a whole little plastic bag, probably about like that big. it was just filled. >> we met brian crist at the maricopa county jail in phoenix shortly before his conviction on a murder charge. >> origami, that's my getaway. i have a bird that flies and a frog that jumps. the champ. front flip. put him in the olympics, man.
>> it's really striking and poignant to see inmates who oftentimes are in for incredibly violent crimes sitting there delicately folding this paper over hours into frogs and elephants and that kind of thing. and it really does seem to calm their nerves and almost transform them. >> nobody had a menagerie to match that of philip stroud, who was serving three life sentences for murder at the wabash valley correctional facility in indiana. >> basically making origami figures. you've got the lion, you've got the swan, you've got the rabbit, little puppy, dinosaur, flower. my niece, she loves the little goldfish. this is my favorite one because it turns into like a kaleidoscope-type thing. the hardest one to make was probably the elephant because it got a lot 6 folds.
i'm an artsy fartsy type of guy, i guess you could say. it's basically a way to spend my time, use my hands to make something that really means something that can bring a smile to somebody's face, instead of using -- using my time or using my hands to hurt somebody or to destroy something. i even sent some to nursing homes and stuff. the different animals remind me of when mom used to take us to the zoo or, you know, cartoons or stuff like that because in here, it's easy to grow cold. it's easy to become desensitized. and i was like that for a while. and i'm still trying to come out of that. so this is a part of me trying to become more sensitive and reintroduced to the child that i didn't allow to grow when i was younger. so origami has been real therapeutic. coming up -- when one inmate goes on parole, he finds it's a thin line between freedom and further incarceration.
single-file line. >> a prominent research study estimates that 1 in 31 american adults are either incarcerated, on probation or on parole. just as interesting is the fact that many of the inmates we've met have told us they actually prefer serving out their sentences in prison to being freed on parole. >> they say it's difficult to find work and that the parole rules are so strict that they can make a simple mistake and end up in prison where they cause more pain for their families and further tarnish their reputation. >> few inmates illustrated the problem of walking the thin line of parole better than one we met at the jail in tampa, florida. his name is valester jones. >> when we first entered one of the jail's open dorm housing units, we noticed a guy, somewhat intimidating, very large, working out on the yard. and at the same time, one of the
inmates was telling us that we needed to interview their jail's resident poet. and it actually turned out to be the same guy. >> lock him up, throw away the key. prisons are being built faster and further than the eyes can see. those prisons are being constructed to house you, me and all our families. there's nothing more than modern-day slavery. lock them up, throw away the key. home of the brave, land of the free. then why are millions of americans locked up in the penitentiary? if you're so brave and you're so wild, why can't you relate to the juvenile? fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, children, cousins, in-law, friends, wake up you sleeping fools, you're headed for the pen. but then it will be too late. everyone will see that they have safely locked us up and threw away the key. thanks a lot. >> even though jones was popular among other inmates and had spent time in prison, he struggled with some aspects of life in the dormitory-style housing unit he shared with 71
other men. >> i never really liked open-bay dorms. i'm a person that likes cleanliness. a lot of people, when they sneeze or cough don't cover up. you know, sometimes i can be sitting there eating, and somebody just starts sneezing and sneezing and not covering their mouth. imagine, i try to cover my food dang, what's wrong with these people? you know. that's probably a little crazy. oh, father yahweh, please save me and deliver me. >> as aversive as he was to germs, jones was enthusiastic towards his spirituality. his nightly prayers could last up to 15 minutes. >> please set me free. please set me free. please set me free. >> we would come to learn why jones' prayers to be set free were especially pertinent.
but first, we learned what brought him here. the story began 40 years earlier when jones joined a chicago street gang at age 13. >> we used to rob other children of their lunch money, milk money and stuff. and then we would -- i got introduced to drugs. and i was drunk all the time. i didn't know how to stay sober. >> as jones grew older, his addictions to crack and alcohol grew more ferocious, and so did the robberies he committed to support them. he had been in and out of several jails and prisons. but at age 35, he was sentenced to 25 years for multiple counts of armed robbery. but prison didn't stop his taste for alcohol. he used to make hooch, or illegal inmate-made wine from a mixture of rotting fruit, sugar and bread. >> i used to get drunk. and i used to start fights. and one day they sent me to confinement to the hole for extortion. a guy said -- he owed me money for wine he bought. and i jumped on him. and when i was in confinement,
like, my high power, we call god, revealed itself to me and said it's time to get your life right. i stayed in that confinement cell for 90 days. then they transferred me to another prison. when i got to the other prison, i started making aa and m.a. meetings. i started going to church. i started reading the bible more, studying. >> jones served 18 years of a 25-year sentence at a florida state prison before he was released on parole. he moved into the noah house, a residential substance abuse program, in tampa. >> they help ex-offenders get a fresh start in life. they help you stay straight, you know. i wanted to stay straight. i didn't want to go back to prison. i always, you know, participated. and so they finally gave me a job. my job title was peer advocate. and i basically helped ex-offenders. >> jones was doing well. he says he would ride his
bicycle to various other halfway houses to recruit participants for programs at noah house. but eight months into his parole, things went horribly wrong one day when he decided to take a shortcut home through a large hole in a fence. >> i didn't know that that was a crime to cross over the railroad tracks because the whole neighborhood goes through that way, back and forth. children go to school back and forth from school that way. i see grown folks going through that way all the time. >> a police officer saw jones cut through the hole and cited him. when he discovered jones was on parole, he arrested him. >> out of all these years that i was on drugs and alcohol, i'm finally clean, doing good. and all of a sudden, bam, you're back in jail. you know, like i hurt my mama again, you know. >> the trespassing charges were quickly dropped. but because jones was on parole at the time of his arrest, he would have to be detained in
jail until the parole commission completed its own investigation. we joined him on the morning of his hearing. >> on the day that he was going to his hearing, he was very nervous, and rightfully so, because he was going to find out whether he was going to go back to prison for a few years or go back on the street. i tried talking to him a little bit. he barely said a word. he was just focused on what was going on and in his zone, wondering what was going to happen. >> mr. jones. you can come on in. >> at the hearing, jones would again be confronted by his arresting officer who says his trespassing violation might not be as minor as it seems. >> a majority of the people that commit the larger crimes are committing the smaller crimes. and if you take those individuals that are committing the smaller crimes and you put them in jail for those, they're not out to commit the bigger ones. his charges were armed robbery multiple times. what's the old saying, you do the crime, you've got to do the time. >> but jones had his supporters at the hearing as well, including lolita brown. his supervisor at the noah house.
>> we need him to be back at work, working and doing his groups. >> mr. jones, it states that you violated condition seven by failing to obey all lays, ordinances or statutory conditions of release. at this time we're going to take testimony from officer fricks. >> i was on the west side of the railroad tracks. i saw the defendant ride his bike towards the tracks. he entered through a hole in a six foot chain link fence that was put up to keep people off the property. and he was stopped on the west side. >> when you came in contact with him, was he cooperative with you? >> yes. >> after a few more questions, the parole examiner asked jones's probation officer to
weigh in. >> well, given that this charge was dismissed, i recommend reinstatement. had he been convicted of the charge, i would have recommended return to prison. >> mr. jones, is there anything you want to add? >> i know they need me back there working. i really want to be there to help them fulfill the goals and everything of the job. i want to go back to that position and really help make a difference in the lives of people that's just getting out of jail and prison. >> anything else? >> no, ma'am. >> finally, it was time for the parole examiner to decide jones's fate. coming up -- >> i've just got to really have faith in my prayers right now. >> another unexpected twist for valester jones.
drugs, i used to actually beat up somebody or something like that and go to sleep because, you know, you pass out from the alcohol. i'd pass out. >> he was once sentenced to 25 years in prison. and it was during that time that he says he changed his life by getting involved in alcoholics and narcotics anonymous. >> i started going to naa, aa meetings in prison and started going to church. the only thing i wanted to be around, if you weren't spiritual or talked about something positive, i didn't want to be bothered with you. >> jones was eventually paroled and found a place to live and work at the noah house. a residential drug treatment program in tampa, florida. but one day when he took a shortcut on the way home from work through a hole in a fence, he was arrested and sent back to jail for trespassing. >> when they handcuffed me, as soon as they put them handcuffs on me, i cannot lie, you know. as much as i've been through, i didn't think i'd do it, but tears started coming to my eyes.
>> even though the charges were dropped, jones still faced the possibility the returning to prison. if the parole board determined that his arrest and admission that he did, in fact, take the shortcut violated the conditions of his parole. jones expected to learn his fate after a hearing with the parole examiner. >> so regarding my findings in this hearing, i'm going to defer them for a period of ten days in an effort to look everything over. i'm going to make a recommendation after i come up with my decision. i'm not going to recommend anything today. >> the delay in his ruling meant jones would have to remain in jail until the board could reach a decision. >> come on, sir. >> how am i going to sleep tonight? i'll probably toss and turn. i feel a little more unsure than i did at first.
i've just got to really have faith in my prayers right now. i've got to have faith in prayers. oh, man. >> the final decision on jones came during a break in our shooting. when we returned to tampa, there was a new inmate in jones' bunk and jones himself was back at the noah house. a free man. but very much aware that he was still on parole and one slip away from going back to prison. >> when the people told me that i would be getting out, that day i was so full of joy, i wanted to scream, but i had to hold my composure, you know. i even wanted to ask her out to dinner. that's how good i felt. i said no, she might take that the wrong way. >> since his release, jones has been enjoying the simple pleasures of freedom. like getting to choose his own clothes. >> i like to match my clothes whatever shirt i got, i like to have shoes that same color. i had these shoes first to go with a shirt that i had. and it was these shoes that made me go out and pick the color suit that i got. ain't that something? this is something that i love to do, cleaning the bathroom. >> seeing him back at the noah
house, he really thrived there. he really loved the sense of responsibility and the fact that he was helping his fellow roommates there. >> always want to keep the mirror looking good. mirror looking good, you're looking good. >> jones is not taking his second chance at freedom for granted. he gives himself a daily reminder of the shortcut that almost sent him back to prison. >> i purposely ride my bike that way not to go through there. i go around the long way. but even going around the long way, i can see that place. and it's still open. there's still a big old hole in the fence there. people are still going in and out of it. and i say, well, they'll never have to worry about me doing it no more. i just know now i can't do what everybody else does. this last episode of the trespassing really gave me an eye opener even in a greater way that i've got to watch every little thing.
it's the little things that can lead to a big thing like going back to prison. coming up -- >> watch your back, bitch, but the dagger is coming. >> a housing unit where the drama runs high. >> it gets overwhelming to the point where when you leave the mod, it's just like draining. like wow! we need to take a little break.
>> after more than a decade of producing "lockup," we've discovered most inmates prefer to keep a low profile rather than risk crossing the line with other inmates who might harm them or staff who could punish them. of course, there are always exceptions. >> we will not negotiate with terrorists! remember that. >> but at the orange county jail, we discovered an entire
housing unit where low profiles seemed in short supply. its official name was mod "q." but others prefer to call it the drama mod. >> that's my [ bleep ] right there. that's my [ bleep ]. come here and show your [ bleep ], bitch. >> this specific sector here houses protective custody inmates that are homosexuals. and they have to be separated from the jail population for various reasons. >> i love you. >> it's mainly to protect them from the rest of the population. >> mod "q" was different because you did find men dressed as women or men with breast implants that looked like women. it was loud. there were girly screams. >> oh, my god! >> i've been working out. >> the drama, it's exactly what you could expect of, you know,
young people without a solution to their problems. just go crazy, run around like nuts. >> there's a lot of drama in mod "q." there's fighting and there's flirting and there's yelling. >> baby! casper, come here. >> it gets overwhelming to the point where when you leave the mod, it's just like draining. like wow! we need to take a little break for a little while and just process that. >> transgender inmate alejandro cortez who calls himself alexis not only sought attention from other inmates -- >> yeah! >> -- but from certain members of our field team as well. >> i just got hit on by a bunch of men. >> men? >> i mean women -- women. it was quite something. >> what number cell? >> 7. >> 7? >> 7. >> what did she say? >> she said i had very sexy legs. sexy legs.
she told me to keep being sexy. >> cortez, who is in jail on a parole violation, told us about his struggles in choosing to live as a woman. >> anyways, we were -- i can't say. i feel like a woman. i just -- i can explain. i feel like i'm a homosexual. i'm a man. but i prefer living as a woman on the feminine side. you know, because mostly i'm mostly attracted to men. i don't want to live my life as a man. i want to live my life as a woman. it's hard, you know. it's really hard at first. i had to make it through my family and then society, you know. it's very hard, you know, because the criticism and everything. but once i put it in my mind i want to live my life for who i
am, me, and my family accepts me, criticism is always going to be out there. and honestly, sometimes i feel like i am the brave one because i actually have the guts to be who i am, and this is me, you know. i live my life, and i know who i am, but it's really, really hard. >> do you want me to make a spread? i need a reason to eat. >> she's a big girl. >> girl, size 20, honey. >> mod "q" was also known for its hospitality. charles barber, who is in on multiple charges of fraud and grand theft, to which he had pled not guilty, offered us one of his homemade commissary snacks. >> this is ramen. >> it consists of chee-tos -- >> top ramen. >> and gorditas. >> and gorditas. >> you eat this and this is what you get. >> no, i'm the opposite. >> do you want some? >> think about that scale. 200 and what? >> i'm 279.
and still growing. and they told me to lose some weight, but i don't care. >> in mod "q," the relationships are absolutely different than from other mods because in other mods, you've got this high-intensity gang politicking atmosphere going on. and in mod "q" where it's mostly homosexual protected custody inmates, there's none of that politics going on. it's more like love triangles going on. >> you going to date this girl when you grow up? >> no. no. bitch, we are close. >> we are sisters! >> we are sisters, girl. we're sisters. i'd marry him, though, girl. >> big-time drama mod. >> but it seemed nobody drew more attention in mod "q" than marcus cash. just 21 years old. cash was already on his eighth trip to the o.c. jail. this time on a conviction for possession of stolen credit cards. he was better known by the nickname he shared with the unit itself. >> i love the drama. i'm drama. the deputies call me drama in here, like i'm drama. shut up. you're a stupid bitch. don't piss me off, girl.
you know me, bitch! you know me, girl! >> marcus is probably our most flamboyant inmate. every time he comes out of the cell, it's almost a show. he exaggerates his movement and speech quite a bit. so that draws a lot of attention to him. >> it's the kind of attention that cash's cell mate, mario, said he could do without. >> she's a good person, but sometimes she does draw a lot of attention to herself. and she can be kind of noisy and drive me nuts. but some people try to give her drama, though, throw things at her window and yell and knock on the door and stuff like that. >> they hit on me. >> watch your back, bitch, because a dagger's coming. you know me. >> when the drama got too high for cash himself, he would often turn to barbaro for support. >> i'm more of an older sister or brother to her. she's young. so i try to, you know, give her advice.
>> excuse me. >> it's a lot of drama. it's a lot of drama. >> but occasionally, the drama would bring a chuckle or two to the one member of our field team who couldn't help but hear every bit of it. >> take it one day at a time. you've been in and out of enough drug rehabs already to know that you take it one day at a time. and with you, patience is a virtue. we can't see each other. >> it reminds me of high school. [ bleep ] >> mod "q" was off the hook. >> bitch. >> by the time we would leave, you would just be drained emotionally.
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. after six years in segregation, a violent gang member asks to move back to general population. >> he trains against staff members and he trains to fight against inmates. >> an oakland street corner becomes a memorial site for a football star. >> today is basically his two-year heaven versary.