tv Lockup Raw MSNBC September 21, 2014 4:00am-4:31am 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 we've never seen. "lockup: raw." >> california state prison corcoran, home to huh 2kreds of the state's most violent and infamous offenders. hosted "lockup" crews in both 2000 and 2005. >> right before i walked in i had to sign a document that kind of really made me think twice. it basically said that in an
event that there is a hostage situation inside the prison walls, they will not negotiate for your life and you know the risk that you're taking when you walk in. >> while at corcoran you constantly hear these alarms going off. you never are sure what's going to happen in this place. then when you hear the alarms and everyone dropping on the ground and you got those rifles out of the towers, immediately it takes your breath away for a second. >> in most cases the alarm sounds when a fight has broken out between inmates. though these incidents are usually brought to a stop in minutes, they always pose serious danger to the responding officers and our crews. >> while at corcoran, there was one instance, we were doing a pretty much routine cell search. we were following along, they had the dogs, so it was a controlled environment.
in one of the pods. then right in the middle of it we heard the -- you know and like we saw the guards. guards didn't say anything. they started sprinting. so, i'm like i'm going. >> get on your stomachs. >> inmates know when alarms sound they are required to lie on the ground. otherwise correctional officers might target them as combatants. >> by the time we got our cameras onto it they were zip tied up and face down and the whole yard of like about 600 inmates were completely down on the ground.
>> you can get up. >> so officer mitchell, what happened? >> what we had was two guys and horseplay, get a little bit heavy. if we allow things like that to continue what's going to happen is they are going to start fighting. possibility of other people getting involved. >> though the alarm call ended peacefully, our cameras encountered a different situation in northern california's pelican bay state prison. >> having a routine yard release. >> our producer was conducting an interview with lieutenant ben grundy while a second camera was shooting routine footage on the yard below. then suddenly -- >> there is an alarm in that building right there. >> our cameras search for signs that the trouble is spreading outside to the exercise yard. >> this is an actual alarm because nobody's waving us off
yet. something is going on inside. >> what might be happening? >> probably an assault on someone coming out of their cell. some type of cell fight or maybe a slashing. >> officers subdued six inmates involved. one was slashed with a homemade weapon. fortunately, this incident was nothing like the deadly events of february 3, 2000. >> the day they had the big riot i was in this exact spot. >> on that rainy day joshua voss, a newcomer to pelican bay was down in the recreation yard with scores of other prisoners. many of them were wearing rain gear, not only as protection from the elements but to hide dozens of homemade weapons. >> i noticed over here some people started stabbing each other. >> this surveillance footage reveals a group of southern mexican gang members unleashing a vicious coordinated attack against a group of black inmates.
the beginning of california's worst prison riot. >> i had looked around and all over the yard there was fighting, stabbings going on. >> doug and dozens of his officers tried to subdue inmates with pepper spray and tear gas. every time it seemed the staff had the situation under control, another fight broke out. >> looked like the movie braveheart, the fighting in braveheart, but it was the real deal. >> they started firing shots, so everybody that wasn't involved in the riot laid on the ground. >> even the gun fire raining down from pelican bay security towers did not quell the riot until one of the inmates was killed. 15 others were wounded. >> after we were done i was cleaning blood off the walls and the floors and benches in here for a good hour. >> pelican bay's worst riot was fueled by the inmates' impulse for violence. and many of those inmates ended
up here, the security housing unit, or the shu. >> inmates that were placed into the shu housing unit were placed in here for the most part because of violence and that violence could be against other inmates or against officers. >> it was here in pelican bay's most secure unit we came across perhaps the prison's most dangerous inmate. >> my name is scanvinsky hymes. i got the name, my mother, she wanted me to have a name no other black man in america would have. >> he was originally sent to prison for possessing a weapon in a youth facility. at the time our cameras profiled him in 2000 he had been locked up more than 12 years. almost half his life. >> everything's the same every day. nothing really changes too much. i mean, wake up in the morning, eat, go to yard.
when i get bored i kind of get into stuff you know. >> the stuff he frequently gets into is provoking officers to extract him from his cell. each inmate is assigned a security risk classification score. based on his disciplinary record. the average score ranges between 19 and 27 points. >> i finally have the highest classification score in this prison system over 2,000 points now. i caught over 30 almost 40 felonies in prison, various staff assaults, anything you can think of you know. one thing i haven't been convicted of in prison is murder and drugs. [ bleep ] [ bleep ] >> hymes is probably one of our most difficult behavioral. he will tell you to your face his agenda, and his agenda is to fight you every chance he can.
he'll watch you and his hope is you'll make a mistake so he can either get out or fight with you. that is his plan. that's what he does 24 hours a day. >> every time i see him it's to make their eight hours as stressful as possible. >> turn around. >> not going to turn around. >> you know, whatever that may be, making noise all day. whatever, i can do to make their eight hours as stressful as possible. they say i'm going home, yeah, but when you go home you'll be back tomorrow. >> close it. >> hold it. >> come on. [ bleep ] [ bleep ] close it. hold it. >> that's the thing about this place. they ain't going to say well, kick me out of prison if they
don't want me here, kick me out. >> eventually transferred to san quentin state prison the man who was arguably california's most violent inmate completed his sentence and was released in 2007. >> you have people locked up in this type of environment, then release them to the street, what do you expect? >> next, a "lockup: raw." >> they come across their enemy, slice them across the neck. >> the ingenious weapons inmates use to attack. now it's quicker and easier for you to start your business, protect your family, and launch your dreams. at legalzoom.com we put the law on your side. while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, this can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain,
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>> a lot of these weapons were confiscated on the yards. >> in prison slang known as shanks. they are the deadly weapons that inmates create from behind bars with an ingenuity that almost defies imagination. >> they get a disposable razor and put both blades, one on each side of the tooth brush. they'll come across their enemy, slice them across the neck and because the two blades are so wide apart it just fillets the individual wide open. >> inmates will do almost anything to hide the weapons they spend so much time manufacturing. >> the first one looks like a wire shank. these are all covered or wrapped in some kind of latex material, then lubricated with whatever
they find. >> how long can they keep it up there? >> i believe the average time is maybe about a day. when it's time to pull it out, sometimes it won't come out. and that leads to other problems. >> inmates go to such extreme lengths to fashion and conceal weapons, officers must be outfitted with the high tech nonlethal arsenal of their own. at the los angeles county jail, we encountered inmates who seemed impervious to tasers or anything else. to control these inmates deputies had to resort to what's known as a four-point restraint. >> in the reception center there's a lot of incidences, these guys come in straight off the street. they are angry, they are -- very violent. they often go off.
>> sit down. >> one inmate just couldn't deal with it. he went completely berserk. and they had to restrain him and one of the ways they do that is these four-point restraints. and they tell him what they are going to be doing. >> mental health staff ordered you to be put in four-point restraint. we're going to take you in here. i need your cooperation. the more you cooperate the faster you'll be out of points. >> ready. >> sergeant gilbert duran supervises the carefully choreographed restraint process. >> the deputies have been briefed as to who will take the upper body, who will take the lower body.
extremities. sometimes it takes extra deputies to hold the upper body if they are struggling or upset about what's happening to them. >> about how many four-points are done per week? >> we average up here on day shift and p.m. from three to six. a day. >> as extreme as four-point restraints are, inmates sometimes take an equally extreme measure to attack officers. one that is particularly vile. >> gassing is what we call. a mixture of feces and urine sometimes fermented until it stews into something so grotesque you can't mention it. >> during 14 years on the job officer jones has never had a worse experience than being gassed. >> i'd rather be punched, be kicked, i'd rather be stabbed than to be gassed like i was
back in '92. >> we never heard a more extreme account of gassing as the one described by kentucky state penitentiary inmate fleece johnson. >> i ask everybody on the wall to [ bleep ] in a bucket. send it down to me. i take two, three light bulbs, put it in toilet paper and step on it and break it up in little fragments, put it in there so that when i throw it on them and they wipe it will cut into them and get in their blood. >> and i was standing there with a big old bucket of it and just throw it in their face. and they would go nuts. and so the corrections found it, made a law, that made it a felony. then that's when i stopped. >> coming up on "lockup: raw."
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some of the most dangerous confrontations in prison happen when correctional officers are forced to extract an inmate from his cell. extractions are carried out by specially trained teams of correctional officers according to exact guidelines. >> i'm officer allen. i'm the number three man on the team. i'm responsible for controlling the inmate's left arm.
i will use the least amount of force necessary. >> the entire process is carefully choreographed and videotaped for the protection of officers and inmates alike. >> open the door. step out. >> when we visited the kentucky state penitentiary we met inmate duane harper who had a long history of forcing officers to extract him from his cell. >> i'll fight sometimes, i'll argue with the guards but i'm not violent. i've done a lot of time. i've been doing time since i was 12 years old. >> when we first met harper he was serving his third year in
administrative segregation or solitary confinement for having assaulted correctional officers. shortly after lockup arrived to kentucky state penitentiary officers had to extract harper from his cell again. >> threatened us, throwing feces on us, spitting at us through the door. they threatened our families. >> a lot of the older ones like lieutenant gill, they know me from when i was a youngster back down here. so we have a different type communication level and understanding. [ bleep ] [ bleep ] >> every night you work. i know you all. >> harper will serve at least two more years in segregation. >> i made things hard for myself. i've been in segregation three years and i don't blame nobody else.
i had opportunity to get out of here. i let my anger and my things get to me that i shouldn't have and as a result of that i'm still here. >> i can't say i'm sane. i'm pretty off balance. but i keep it in certain amount of control. >> another inmate at kentucky state penitentiary who is no strange tear cell extractions is victor hyatt. prior to interviewing him our producer was duly warned. >> victor hyde is a very, very dangerous individual. probably the most dangerous individual in this institution. >> i remember watching victor being led to the interview. he had such an intense security detail that it almost felt like i was about to interview hannibal lecter, quite frankly. he was cuffed behind his back. but i'll never forget it was like a normal fiberglass and metal cafeteria chair. there was nothing special about
that chair. and he wasn't chained to the chair itself. the chair was not secured to the ground in any way. i start to think to myself here i am about to interview this guy, with the most dangerous man in the state of kentucky, and he's not chained to anything. all of a sudden my questions, everything i prepared for the interview went completely out of my head. >> victor, tell me what originally what your crime was that brought you to kentucky state penitentiary. how long that sentence is and how long that sentence is you're serving. >> i'm in for murder. life sentence. convicted in 2001. >> are you proud of that notoriety, we heard you're one of the most dangerous guys here. how does that -- >> that's what i hear. i'm actually one of the most laid back guys here.
>> as all officers, i've received threats from different inmates for body harm but he's the only one that actually ever tried to follow through with it. >> come on in. i'll show you what a redneck can do. come on in. >> his refusal to cooperate with officers has resulted in numerous violent cell extractions. >> they tell to you back up to the door and if you back up you're a bitch. if you make them come in and get you, you get a little more respect. i never backed up yet. >> you knocked about four of my teeth out. >> it takes a lot to put me to that point but when it gets to that point, i kind of go blank inside my mind. i get like tunnel vision and you got to expect to be killed at any time. [ breathing deeply ]
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