tv Lockup Raw MSNBC April 12, 2015 9:00pm-10:01pm 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." inside every prison there's one question that both inmates and correctional officers must ask themselves. knowing the right answer could mean the difference between life and death. the question, who can i trust?
>> you can get close to somebody but you can't trust that person because that person might be the one to stab you or get you raped or something. and you have to learn how to grow eyes in the back of your head and learn how to fight real good in prison. can't have nobody punk you. can't be no bitch in here. >> there are inmates in here for 20 years, even though we're friendly and we speak, they walk up on me, i still want to know what they're doing. >> i will kill a friend for messing me around quicker than i will anybody else. betraying my trust. spitting on my trust. i guess it don't just make me mad, it hurts too, you know. for inmates to survive, they have to make friends. they have to make alliances for security purposes. the problem is they're surrounded by people who aren't very trustworthy. so here's the dilemma -- you have to make friends for protection but they can be the friends that end up killing you.
>> finding true friendship in prison might be a dicey proposition. but at the spring creek correctional center in alaska, we found a pair of cellmates who seemed more like frat house brothers rather than inmates at a maximum security penitentiary. >> look at the nugget, dude. >> no [ bleep ]. >> when we met richard evans and roger boshears the high-spirited duo had recently reunited as cellmates after boshears' release from a 14-month stay in the hole. >> i was in the hole for tattooing. >> who were you tattooing on again? >> actually, got caught tattooing on this cat right here. this is the one we got caught doing right here. we got ran up on while doing this. gun in hand. >> are you going to bust us? really? for real? >> thank you, gentleman, thank you. >> next thing i know, i do 14 months in the hole. he's out here coming to the window.
coming out, bro. >> he hangs out here. coming to the window. "when are you coming out, bro?" i'll be right out. i'll be right out. lies, man. >> we've developed a really nice relationship. >> pretty tight relationship. i'd do anything for this guy. >> same. zbleez my twin sister. . >> older sister. >> i'm glad you came back. >> but this bond also has a dark side. the cellmates share a strong appetite for methamphetamine. >> what am i in for? cooking meth. back in 2002 i get pulled over. i have a whole lab in the car, microwave, everything. and they pulled me over for a traffic stop and say, oh, look what we've got here. cooking meth. what a surprise. i was cooking it, dealing it, doing it. anything i could do with it, i was. i can't lie. i like it. you know what i'm saying? you know, the meth, you know, and the whole lifestyle it comes with, you know. you know, it's like living like
a rock star, going to clubs, naked girls dancing. oh, what's up? la, la, la. yeah, baby, that's right. >> never sleep. >> never sleep. >> boshears landed in prison after a robbery to support his meth habit earned him 18 years. >> i went through the whole progression from cocaine to heroin and on up and just been a speed freak for years now. >> yeah, my whole life has been dope. dope, dope, dope. i was a crackhead. i know crack is disgusting. >> he was a crackhead. i was a heroin addict. >> i was a crackhead for two years of my life. my wife left me and took my kids and i was a crackhead, and i was like, ah, crack is bad, maybe i'll just do meth. >> meth is better. >> meth is better. >> and then i ended up here. >> go figure. >> yeah, yeah. >> i know meth is pretty addictive. how do you deal with it here? >> how do we deal with it here? in jail? we don't deal with it here. >> we work out. >> we work out. and we build it up to break it down.
>> in fact, we had first met boshears during his workout a few days earlier, right before he shaved his head. >> i work out pretty much seven days a week. every once in a while, i take a day off. just part of my program. every morning, i come out here and do this. i feel like i'm doing something productive, start off the day right. >> while boshears and evans have seemingly beat their habit and gained their health in prison, they told us this might all be temporary. >> i'm going to try to get out and do the right thing, but i really can't say that. i'm going to get out, i'm going to get high. i'm not going to lie. i love doing dope. that's the first thing i'm going to do. i'm going to get out, go see my mom, and then i'm bouncing. i'm going to go get high. >> so presumably, you'll be back together again? >> i don't know. i still got 6 1/2 years left. so i'm trying to do something positive while i'm here. working out, going to school. doing that stuff. but i mean, i can't even say what i'm going to do yet.
it's going to be 6 1/2 years. you know what i mean? yeah. i love getting high. that's all i've been doing for the last -- you know, half my life. next on "lockup: raw" -- >> i hate cops. they're diabolical. they're petty. >> those sheet pans are very thin and they're sharp on the edges. >> natural foes work side by side in a kitchen stocked with weapons. >> it just takes one of these guys to pick one of these up. they could cut my head off. boy: once upon a time, there was a nice house that lived with a family. one day, it started to rain and rain.
jeff... hey, scott! this is no time for lollygaggin', lad. the chickweed and the dandelions are reekin' mad havoc! now's the time to send in the scotts turf builder weed and feed, man! it kills weeds while it feeds and strengthens though there is an inherent distrust between them, inmates and correctional officers come in close contact every day of the week. it's rare that these relationships ever cross the line into friendship, but having a friendly rapport is essential to keeping the peace. >> we let our guard down for one moment, we stop observing and interacting, tension can rise and we can have a very volatile situation here.
in the blink of an eye, that much time, it can change. >> we saw firsthand what lieutenant ayers meant. at one point we caught him joking around with an inmate. >> does it qualify as a man to wear shorts like that with legs out there on the track? >> we're going to see what it looks like when you're in your 50s. >> oh, no, i got about 20 years. >> i'll carry you. i'll put you on my back and i'll take you right through. >> a piggyback ride? a piggyback ride? >> yeah, and that's all. >> but only moments later when two inmates flash nazi signs right in front of both him and our camera, the lieutenant was in no joking mood. >> eh, eh, eh. come here. you two, come here. what building you're in? tell them you're going home. you don't do that on my yard. you know that. if i catch you out here and you don't go home, i'm going to be looking for you. go home. >> sorry, what? >> when it comes to inmates' feelings about correctional staff, our producers have heard
a wide range of opinions. we met christopher carrillo inside a heavily graded cell at san quentin. >> you give respect, you get respect. a lot of people say these guys don't treat us right. at times they don't, but it's hard when you've got a lot of people in here. can't ask for too much in prison. it's not disneyland. >> but an inmate at another california prison had a harsher view of c.o.s. >> i hate cops. they're diabolical. they're petty. they present to the public that they're law and order, this and that but in here they'll stab you in the back. they write false write-ups. they got a hidden agenda. they want to keep us locked up in here so they make money. you know, this is a prison industrial complex. it's all about money. >> there is one place, however, where trust is put to the ultimate test. it's the prison kitchen. >> everything back here could be made into a potential weapon. those sheet pans are very thin and they're sharp on the edges. it only takes one of these guys to pick one of those up and they could almost cut my head off.
>> we met officer epperson at the kern valley state prison in california. armed only with pepper spray and a baton, he's the lone officer responsible for supervising the inmate kitchen staff. >> i have six, seven inmates back here now. i've got one sitting on the line. granted, i got four, five cops outside that door. that door's locked. there's only one dude out there with the key. you have to trust them to a certain extent. they have no reason to assault me. unless they're totally pissed off or i disrespect them. >> among the inmates epperson places his trust in is the number two cook, carter hill. >> tell me what your sentence is. >> murder. >> you're here for murder? >> yeah. >> what's your sentence? >> 51 to life. >> you know, it's interesting. sometimes there's this dynamic in prison when you're interviewing somebody, if there's a corrections officer and an inmate together, they'll pretty much watch their ps and qs. they'll tell you into the camera what the other guy wants to hear. but when we met carter hill, we
got some real brutal honesty that day in the kitchen. >> i don't know if y'all are going to print this, but right now, like when i first came in '82, we had guards. later on it became the c.o.s. now i look at them we got gang members. in green suits. >> but hill was willing to make an exception for officer epperson. >> this man here, he's fair. he treats me like a human being. that's a rare occurrence around here. this man here, he's all right. >> all right? >> all right. >> i'm all right. >> i can't say too much more than that. i've got to live here. but he all right, you know? >> i give these inmates nothing more than what the state says they have coming. if i can give it to them, i give it to them. if they don't have it coming, they don't get it. but because i give him what he's got coming, nine times out of ten, i won't be the staff member that gets assaulted. >> we knew they hadn't been working together very long but as we rolled tape we realized that these guys were getting to know each other.
>> tell them. put it out there. >> they were joking. they were establishing rapport with one another. >> his co-workers, they look at him different because he treats us human. you know what i'm saying? in their eyes he's a bad guy. >> but respect never trumps security. every knife, fork, and other utensil in this kitchen is accounted for prior to and after each shift. >> before i let them go back to their cells i reaccount and make sure all the metal is there again. if it's not there, strip them out, lock them up, and find that metal. that's weapon stock. >> besides working together in the kitchen, there's one other time inmates and staff have close contact in less than secure circumstances. it's during a medical emergency. >> be advised, a man down in carson section 50. >> 5-1, what's the problem?
>> our cameras were at california's san quentin state prison when officers received word that a 20-year-old inmate was suffering severe chest pains. >> be advised, medical emergency. >> the thing you have to realize about san quentin is that this is -- this prison was built prior to the civil war and the cells are stacked five stories high. no elevators. so of course the emergency that we were covering, it was on the fifth floor. so not only did we have to haul our stuff up there but so did the responding correctional officers. >> up on the fifth tier, officers tend to the inmate inside his cell. >> you're going to have to take some deep breaths, man. i know you might be in pain, but you're going to have to help me. >> moments later the paramedics arrive on the tier.
>> the paramedics had to make the five-story climb as well and it's difficult to respond right away because of that. but the bigger challenge, though, was getting the inmate out of his cell and back down all of those stairs. >> hospital door carson 2 be advised, we have inmate in stretcher, en route to the urgent care clinic. >> the officers and paramedics did a really great job of getting him down using the handrail to support the stretcher. it was pretty impressive how swiftly they were able to move him down. >> and sometimes the effort is all for nothing. >> it happens where guys might decide to get some fresh air. take a trip to the hospital. my foot hurts or whatever and we have to take them. >> everything is an emergency to them. an inmate might say, i'm having back problems and you get them over there and the nurses say nothing wrong with him. can't find anything wrong with him and the guy goes back to his house. and within that time period, you've wasted an hour just so he can get some fresh air.
>> on this day the emergency is legitimate. >> major pain? >> they took an ekg. that turned out fine. and it turns out that he's possibly got some chest problems from trauma as a child that are still reoccurring. >> the inmate was treated and returned to his cell. meanwhile, responding officers returned to their normal duties. >> hey, you -- >> you'll get a lot of that. >> up next -- >> we try to have a disciplined environment but we also try to be able to commingle. >> "lockup's" most memorable warden reaches out to his inmates. >> you ain't here because you were doing something constructive. if you were out there doing something constructive you never -- >> i was doing something constructive! >> he's a narcissist. he loves attention. he loves to micromanage. he loves to get everybody at his mercy all the time.
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the mood of a prison can be affected by any number of factors -- the institution's security level. the setting it's in. perhaps most importantly, the personality and policies of the warden. some wardens have little direct contact with inmates. others have a lot. >> i tell you what, how many meals you eat? >> as many as i possibly can. >> but how many did you eat? >> warden grantt culliver of the holman correctional facility in alabama falls into the latter category. >> we try and have a disciplined environment but we also try to be able to commingle, able to communicate and talk with people. so we're not so much at odds, staff and inmates. there's an old saying or adage, you know, that you can get more flies with sugar than salt. but then you have to realize too, the inmates that are here, they're not here for going to church. a lot of them have preyed on other people.
>> warden culliver tells it like it is. he's an ex-correctional officer that became a warden and was down there in the trenches. >> you're all right. you look ragged, man. every time i see you, you look ragged. you don't try to do no better. you've been out here working all night. you need to shave [ bleep ]. >> i have. i'm a slave up there in that kitchen. >> please. >> he cared about his inmates and he wanted them to do well and it pissed him off when they screwed up. >> how long since you been here? >> how? >> you just came back out of lockup. >> that was nothing. >> culliver became warden in 2002 when the prison was facing some serious problems. >> it was a violent facility. if you talked to some of the people in the community, probably a great number of times they saw an ambulance coming this way, they thought the ambulance was coming to the holman prison. that was the case then, but that's not necessarily case now. >> but culliver knows all too well that at a maximum security
prison like holman violence can be reduced, but not eliminated. >> if you come in and you look meek and mild, then those guys that are seasoned and have been here, they run games on you. they get you into debt. once you get into debt, if they don't solicit sex from you, then they solicit that you have your family members to send them money. if that doesn't happen, then you get threatened with bodily harm. >> we met a number of predatory inmates at holman but few more memorable than steven parker, a self-proclaimed leader of a white supremacist gang. parker is serving life without parole for murdering his stepmother and attempting to kill his father. >> about six months ago, i cut a dude's throat down there in population. >> what happened? >> well, he was beating me out of some money. and me and him worked a deal and i kept going back to him. and i said, you need to pay me my [ bleep ] money. you need to pay me what you owe me. and he knew me from other prisons. he knew what would eventually happen if he didn't pay me. i finally got tired of it and
went and cut his throat. >> parker has assaulted numerous other inmates and staff members. he has spent most of his time at holman in the administrative segregation unit. >> he's an impulsive type of a guy. he's violent. he's in here for violence and apparently the time has not taught him any differently. >> can i be rehabilitated? yeah, i could be rehabilitated. if i could figure out how to get over the hatred. because i have a lot of hatred. i have a lot of hatred for people in general, for society. >> that includes warden culliver. >> he's a narcissist. he's super serious. he loves attention. he loves to micromanage [ bleep ]. and he loves to give everybody at his mercy a hard time. he's trying to be somebody. he's trying to define his identity off the demoralization and dehumanization of other people. trying to boost his own ego up. >> how would you describe steven parker? what kind of inmate is he? >> crazy.
he's a nut. i mean, no more, no less. he's not a person that's very intelligent. >> culliver combats predatory behavior and other problems by knowing his inmates well and enforcing his rules. even the smaller ones, like being clean shaven. >> that's how you shave? >> see all them bumps? >> i don't see no bumps. you know what, some of that comes from not shaving. if you were shaving the hair wouldn't turn back in. that's where it comes from. it comes from the hair turning back into your skin. so if you would shave, it would not turn back in. >> no, it would not happen from shaving. >> i guess it's the razor's fault. we buy some cheap razors. >> if i see somebody with a beard or looking like they need to shave, i generally talk to them about that. you need to shave or go to health care. one or the other.
>> i been to health care. >> culliver never hesitates to get involved in the seemingly endless array of disciplinary problems. our crew caught up with him on a monday morning as he was trying to resolve an incident that occurred over the weekend. >> well, it was a use of force that i got a call about yesterday. this guy acting out. it was cell clean-out day. they put a broom in his cell. he refused to give the broom back. they actually ended up taking him out of his cell, putting him outside. >> culliver often has uncooperative inmates moved to outdoor holding cages until they calm down. but this time it caused more problems. >> once we got him outside, he refused to come back inside or refused to be uncuffed. they used force on him to get him back inside. he's high-strung. he's agitated a lot. floods his cell. he does things basically to irritate the staff. sometimes he has rhyme or reason for it, sometimes he doesn't. >> our crew followed along as culliver went to confront the inmate. james broadhead. >> the officer gave me the broom. getting ready to clean my cell.
the broom had too much straw on it, right? so i asked him, can i get another broom. he told me "nah." i broke the broom, right? >> you broke the broom? why? >> i just told you. >> ain't no reason for to you break the broom. the whole situation started because you broke the broom. >> i needed to clean up. >> okay, but you could have waited until somebody came back tomorrow. just like you asked to see me this morning. you could have asked to see me yesterday morning in your cell and told me the same thing that you told me. and even if the broom wasn't working properly, if it was a sorry broom, they gave you the sorriest broom of all, that's still no reason for to you break the hell out of the broom. yes or no? >> a few minutes later, the conversation turns to broadhead's disciplinary record at holman. >> i ain't got but 39 disciplinaries. >> but 39. >> i ain't did all of them. >> but 39 disciplinaries. >> all in all, just another monday morning for a warden who's always walking the line
between friend and foe. next on "lockup: raw" -- >> me and another guy was frustrated one morning. >> when the bridge between inmate and officer collapses. >> they had me pinned at that time inside this corner. three of them were just beating me on top of the head with the sock full of batteries. >> they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. and they caught the rat. boy: once upon a time, there was a nice house that lived with a family. one day, it started to rain and rain.
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hello, everybody. i'm betty nguyen with the hour's top stories. a lawyer for rapper nelly says his client will be cleared of drug charges. he was arrested saturday after a tennessee trooper searched his tour bus following a traffic stop and found a small quantity of crystal meth and marijuana. cleveland zoo officials are expected to filed child endangerment charges against a mom whose son fell into a cheetah exhibit. witnesses saw her dangling the 2-year-old over a fence saturday. he only suffered minor injuries. now it's back to "lockup."
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. when our crews go into maximum security prisons across the country there's a certain dynamic we observe every time. it's the inherent distrust between correctional officers and inmates. and yet they have to work side by side every day and get along. problem is, things can go bad at any time. >> when our crew walked into the most notorious housing unit at the wabash valley correctional facility in indiana, we met an officer who gave a graphic example of how brutal the relationship between offenders and correctional staff can be. >> there was a medical emergency out on one of the ranges. as i went up to the cell to inquire as to what the emergency was, i said, what's your problem? and he said, "you are, bitch." and then spit a mouthful of blood onto me.
striking me in the eye and the nose. got in my mouth, my ear and all down my side here. >> wabash valley secured housing unit, or shu, holds the prison's most dangerous inmates. >> how did you come back to work after that? >> you have to. you absolutely have to. if you let something like that stop you, then they win. if some of them were out on the streets, i would pity anyone they came across. >> but some inmates feel the shu only fuels their violent tendencies. >> the shu is terrible. it is a terrible place. i wouldn't wish this place on my worst enemy. >> as a shu inmate, billy brown is confined to a solitary cell. >> 24 hours i sit in this cell. without communication, without contact from any other humans besides officers. >> it's a windowless cell in a pod and he said this incredible
thing. he says, do you know how long it's been since i've seen a tree? >> the last time i saw a tree? oh, it's been years. years. it's been years since i saw a tree. when was the last time i interacted with some people? years. >> but some of the staff here believe brown earned his shu term. serving a 40-year sentence for rape, brown landed in the shu when he assaulted an officer at another prison. >> me and another guy was frustrated one morning. we went to breakfast and an officer had really been aggravating me. the guy that was with me, he beat one police up and i beat another police with a brick. and i hurt him pretty badly. >> so do you think anyone deserves to be in here? >> in here? of course not. of course not.
i don't think nobody, absolutely nobody, regardless of whether you've beaten an officer up or whether you've stabbed, killed, or maimed an officer, these shus has got to go. >> but shortly after arriving at the shu at wabash, brown struck again. >> you get up in the morning, you're going to come in here thinking everything's going to be okay. it's not always so. >> sergeant dan haskins was the recipient of brown's fury. >> at that time we had what we called group rec. that's where they went out to the rec pad. what the offenders wanted to do, we found out later, it was all written down what they wanted to do. they wanted the staff person to come out to the rec door. they were going to fly it open, kill the officer. >> that day, that particular day, i was frustrated, i was so frustrated. i felt i had nowhere to turn. >> didn't matter who the officer was. they were going to kill him to prove a point. as a matter of fact, it was this range right here.
>> me and two other white dudes were on the rec pad. >> they had socks with batteries in them in one hand and they had the homemade shanks made up inside the other. >> and we came off the rec pad and tried to stab a lot of police. tried to stab four or five polices on the range. >> they came behind the stairwell just swinging and swinging. we backed off. the other two officers that got out of range door, i didn't make it. they had me pinned at that time inside this corner. they were just beating me on top of the head with a sock full of batteries. >> and this officer haskins was just one of the officers that was there, and he was one who probably got hurt the worst. >> my two officers tried to pull me back through. the three of them were on the backside and they were trying to pull me back out. a tug-of-war began. these guys would still be beating me on top the head, but finally the two officers pulled me through. >> haskins was not a target. none of those officers was a
target. they was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. and they caught the rap. >> i reached around back like this and i felt something on my -- something wet on my back, when i brought it back around, it was blood. come to find out, i had gotten stabbed in the back at the tug-of-war at the door. so beat up at the time i didn't even notice it. >> brown received an additional two years in disciplinary detention for the assault on sergeant haskins. >> someday he'll probably have to earn the opportunity to get out of that unit. however, my question to him would be, what have you learned? is it still everybody else's fault? are you still the victim? or are you the one, due to your own behavior, that caused you to be there? >> it's not a big thing to be asked to be treated like a human. if you show me respect, i give you respect. you disrespect me or what i believe in, then we'll take it to the next level. >> the thing about this shu
unit, out of sight, out of mind. the outside world -- out of sight, out of mind. they probably don't want to know what goes on in here. >> but sergeant haskins will always have his own reminder of what goes on here. >> there's a nice little bump right there on the top of my head where a sock full of batteries will leave on top your head. drives the barber crazy. coming up on "lockup raw: friend or foe." >> you don't move until i tell you to move. >> i don't know them, but i will know them! >> teenagers, one the few things inmates and officers can bond over. >> you think you can handle somebody like me? come on [ bleep ]. it's just me and you now.
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there are nearly 5,000 inmates at california state prison corcoran. they represent one of the highest concentrations of dangerous felons found anywhere. it's rare that inmates and correctional staff on this yard ever unite in a common goal. but when a busload of teenagers arrive during our shoot there, we witnessed one of those times. >> come on. line them up. let's go. let's go. come on now. come on now. >> so all these kids they brought into corcoran for the day, there is an aura of like, hey, this is going to be kind of cool. we're going to see things on the inside. you know i'm going to see what it's really like to be a bad-ass. >> here at corcoran, we don't discriminate. if you're white, we'll take you. if you're black, we'll take you. hispanic, we'll take you. we do not discriminate. >> the teens, who have all had
run-ins with the law, were sent here for a crime intervention program called "reaching out: convicts to kids" or r.o.c.k. it's designed to send a clear message -- prison is not a place to make new friends. >> when we go into the yard, if the alarm goes off, everybody goes down. the r.o.c.k. inmates will hover around you to protect you. when we tell you to get down, you will get down. is that understood? >> before entering the prison, the students get a regulation welcome from the correctional staff. >> if you were an inmate, you would be on the ground in a heartbeat. understand? >> we talk nice and you can't take that? we're going to come crazy with it now. >> you need to straighten up and change your attitude. >> get up on the wall, man. get up on the wall. >> all the games the men play in this joint here, the women play it there. >> this is my house. this is my house. you do what i say, you understand? >> you want to hear a little thing about the women's joint? >> what?
>> 25% of the women going into the women's joint are bi or lesbian. 75% come out. >> after being warmed up by correctional staff, the kids are turned over to their hosts for the day -- 23 hardened felons. 21 of whom are convicted murderers. >> starting now, things are going to change a little bit for you. you see, now you belong to us. when we hit the yard, there will be a couple hundred inmates talking [ bleep ] to you about how you look, about your hair, about how they'll take you and go up in you. do not respond to them. >> there's definitely a cockiness. even the girls, they weren't scared at all and that was on the outside. and as soon as they hit that yard and they were -- they had to walk down that gauntlet of really bad ass-looking guys, you know, all tatted up, scars all over their face, you know? the looks on their faces completely changed. >> what have we got over here,
eh? who's on my yard? >> what you looking at? >> hey [ bleep ]. >> you guys don't want to make the same mistakes we're making, or you'll be here for life. just like me! >> welcome to my fantasy of corcoran. >> here kitty kitty. >> what's up? >> [ bleep ]. [ bleep ]. >> what are you looking at? look at his hair. [ bleep ]. look at that. >> i don't know any of them. i will know them. >> you will know them, huh? >> i don't want to know. is that a girl? >> if you have a broken leg, you will get aspirin. if you have the flu, you will get aspirin. turn back and face forward. >> the students aren't on the yard very long when they learn how unpredictable life here can be. >> down! >> get down! get down!
stay down! >> alarms signaling a major disturbance are common at corcoran. inmates who don't hit the ground risk getting taken down by staff. >> see that? >> you had everybody hitting the ground. you had the correctional officers telling them what to do. everyone was yelling and screaming. and it was intense. >> when officer tells you to get up, you can get up. until then you don't move. >> get up. >> get up. >> back in the order you were at. >> there were a couple kids that were shaking. it wasn't the field trip they thought it was going to be. >> i'll get you something. >> feeling a little sick. >> oh, okay. >> the next stop does nothing to calm nerves. the prison gymnasium has been converted into a dorm because of overcrowding.
>> all right. this is a housing unit. in other words, if you get in trouble out in the streets, they will find a spot for you to live. notice, when we went down, there was a gunner on the yard. there's also a gunner in here. they shoot real bullets. it ain't easy being in this mother [ bleep ] gym. whether it be over phone calls, showers, [ bleep ], whatever it is, it's a problem in here. when you spend 365 days in this mother [ bleep ], you'll be stressed out. believe that! >> don't never come back in here like this. [ bleep ] what's wrong with you? >> back up side by side. two by two. >> do you know what that means? if they need a sexual favor, guess who's doing it. >> when the group moves on to the dining hall they find something even less appetizing. >> this is all about territory. this side over here happens to be for the whites and southern mexicans. that side over there happens to be for the northerns, blacks and everybody else.
so when you come in here, you got to know who you belong with. ain't nobody else going to look out for you. >> this is our lunch we get at corcoran, this is the best lunch we've had all month. think you'd starve? >> yeah. >> they don't feed you. you starve from meal to meal. >> this is not disney land. not magic mountain. this is not denny's. not burger king. you can't have it your way. this is what you get. 365 days of the year, this is what you're going to get right here. >> can i get one of you guys to give me a quarter to call my mother and tell her i still love her? >> get your backs up against the wall. >> backs against the wall. right now, this is part of the survival tactics in prison. so if i came up in here, me and you had a problem and i wanted you, what am i going to do? i'm going to get you where there ain't too much attention at, right? your back off the wall look out here thinking this gate's been opened i come up behind you, put something in your back. what you going to do? what you going to do?
you ain't going to do nothing. you're going to lay down right there, bleed right there, bleed to death. so what's your best friend? >> the wall. >> exactly. having your back on the wall. >> the next stop is a standard two-man cell. >> hey, fool, man, watch the [ bleep ] doorstop. what the hell's wrong with you. >> see how small the cell is. two grown men in here is not very much room. that's the toilet. >> you don't get up in the middle of the night and use that toilet and flush that toilet like that. because if i'm sleeping, i'm going to get up in your ass, right? >> suddenly, the visit takes an unexpected turn. >> you bad. bring your punk ass on. come on, mother [ bleep ]. what's happening? >> there was some wise-ass kid who was just making cracks and this one big inmate who saw it out of the corner of the eye and decided he's going to make an example of this kid. he gave him the riot act. >> you think you can handle somebody like me partner? huh? come on, mother [ bleep ]. it's me and you now.
what you gonna do, punk? get in there. >> what he thought was a harmless joke earns this 17-year-old some unwanted attention. >> what's wrong with you, man? why you can't get your [ bleep ] straight? >> i said i wanted to pick out my cell and the guy was like -- it was just a joke and i just thought it out loud. i guess they heard it or something. >> what you coming to prison for today, homey? you obviously doing something wrong. >> they volunteered me to come. >> who volunteered you? >> my probation officer. >> why? >> i stole a car and joyrided and i went to boot camp. >> i don't think you're ready for this. >> i don't think i'm ready either. i don't plan on trying to get locked up anymore. >> we basically said the same thing. we were not going to come to prison. look where we're at now. that's all it takes, man. one mistake. >> what do the gang do for you? give me one good thing that the
gang do for you, your gang. >> just back you up. >> for what? >> when you have a problem, they're there, you know? >> after seven hours, the visit is nearing its end. but the inmates have some parting words. >> you're a grown man. you're 18 years old. you've got to take responsibility. what do you want out of life? >> to tell you the truth, i really don't know. >> you like a puppet right now. you're just a puppet on a string. >> they were hounding me all day. i didn't even do nothing. >> they tell me a lot of things, like think before you act. there's always consequences for every decision you make. >> when i went in there, i was like, i was scared. i was like, man, they're talking [ bleep ], you know, but it's all right. because i'm coming out. they're in there. >> some of these kids, their future is very bright. very bright. and some of them, you just can't get to. and some of them is going to be in corcoran.
at my bill and my fico® credit score's on here. we give you your fico® score each month for free! awesomesauce! wow! the only person i know that says that is...lisa? julie?! when it comes to making friends, prison inmates usually have limited options. >> there's child molesters and there's rapists in here. you have to decide what your relationship is going to be with these people. you can put yourself in the corner of your cell and decide that you're superior to these people and their cases or you can decide to forge some sort of relationship with these people and allow them to be your friend. it's either going to be social or anti-social. >> but on death row, friendships have a way of ending shortly after midnight. >> i was charged with murder and robbery and burglary and theft in 1982. >> we met mark wisehart during
his 23rd year on death row at indiana state prison. >> have you done interviews before like this? like tv interviews? >> not like this. i did one last year. >> how did that one go? >> not well. i sounded like a moron. >> at age 20, wisehart was convicted of killing a 65-year-old woman who had volunteered at the homeless shelter where he was living. in his confession to police, he admitted to stabbing her 26 times during the robbery. >> when they sentenced me to death 23 years ago, i thought i was going to be dead before five years was up. that didn't happen and instead i watched men that i knew for 20 years go in front of me. and that's been hard. >> over the years, wisehart became friends with several death row residents. >> they didn't kill anybody for the first ten years i was here
against their will. and last year they killed five people that i'd known for a minimum of 18 years. and i thought i was going to be one of them. as far as my sanity, you know, some people would say i've already lost it. i would say i've maintained it by a thin thread. >> with his best friends executed, wisehart made a new companion. the prison's feline adoption program allowed him to become the guardian of a shelter rescue cat. he named it noops. >> in dutch it means "free of charge." i've never been responsible for anybody but me in my whole life. i have to care for her and she cares for me. she loves me and i love her. i think that's pretty cool.
>> do you think noops has any idea that she's in prison? >> i know that she's aware that she's in a place with a lot of loud noises. she's kinds of skittish sometimes. i didn't know if i wanted to bring a cat into a place like this where she'll have to be restrained. the cat wants to run and wander and explore, and she can't really do that that much here. but i think she knows that i love her and so it's a trade-off, i guess. >> how's the cat? >> good. >> is she shy? >> shy. >> it's okay. >> prison warden ed buss told us why he felt the feline adoption program was beneficial for inmates like wisehart. >> segregated offenders tend to have a higher rate of suicide. they tend to develop mental illness quicker than offenders who are walking around in open population. the cat is very meaningful to them. it gives them a purpose in life.
it gives them a reason to wake up every morning. it gives them responsibility. so i'm sure the cat for mr. wisehart is helping him as he grows older on death row. >> she's like my connection to humanity. you know, to kindness and love. when she jumps up on my bed, i'm stroking her and she turns her chin up to me and puts her nose in my face. i don't get that from anyone else. she's the only one who does that for me. say hi to your fans.
matter, viewer discretion is advised. there are 2 million people 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. >> this is "lockup: inside angola." over 500 men living behind the gates of one of america's oldest prisons. serving sentences so long, most will die here. >> one out of every two you see in thi