tv Lockup Raw MSNBC May 17, 2015 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." in prison, time can be an inmate's worst enemy. >> apparently another guy over there said that i hit him. what do you do when you get ready to fight? >> why would she be ready to fight if you're in the cell? >> some find constructive if not unusual ways to fill it. >> this is how i stay out of trouble.
this is how i do my time. >> others depend on humor to pass it. >> get a shot of that stance. look at that. stance armstrong, huh? >> i see dead people. oh no. >> how much money do you guys have in your wallets? >> then there are those who can only hopelessly watch it tick away. >> i've been through eight executions. some guys commit suicide, you know? it's all bad. when we film inside a prison or jail we interview hundreds of inmates. the reason why they want to talk to us is because it breaks up the monotony of prison life, but there was this one inmate inside maricopa county jail we were convinced had a great story to tell. the challenge was getting him to tell it. >> hey, can i ask nbc a question? what's up with "saturday night live"? why does it suck so bad all of a sudden? >> the minute we met josh pike at the maricopa county jail in phoenix, arizona, he stood out.
>> look at this. give us a fricken -- this is all we have to cut our fingernails and sharpen our pencils. that's what the black stuff is on there. after you emery board your nails you have a little sashay action going on. you know what i mean? stop. you know what i mean? >> josh pike was a firehose on full open throttle that was uncontrollable. was whipping around and you just -- you couldn't contain the stream that was josh pike. >> i have to say the dinners have gotten better. i don't know what they did. i guess they have a new nutritionist or something like that that's coming through here and shaking things up. the dinners are a little bit better. i mean, they're edible. >> josh pike is great for tv. huge personality. however, i didn't quite realize he was going to be such a difficult interview subject. >> what's going on with you? you're getting a little approaching over there, huh? what's going on? i see you out of my peripheral, i'm on you like that.
i know what's going on, pal. 50, 50 bucks. 50 bucks. 50 bucks. we're bidding your watch off. is that me? what the [ bleep ] is on my face? that's going to get edited. >> pike was at maricopa fighting a variety of methamphetamine-related charges. including burglary. >> i can't believe people tune into this bull [ bleep ]. when i get out and go to get a job it says please explain your criminal history, well i'm going to have to back a truck in or see attachment "a" because of all my charges now. >> pike says all his charges stem from one bad relationship. >> my relationship with meth has been ongoing since i was 12. i've had a little bit of break time when i get incarcerated, so it's the only time i clean up. since i've been 12 years old, i'm now 28, i've been using meth. i shoot with a needle, i use a syringe. extremist. >> i assumed because meth has such deleterious health effects
that his missing teeth were from meth, but he told me a different story. >> this is get hit in the face with a car club now. this isn't meth mouth. >> what happened? >> a friend of mine got burnt on some money and i went to go get the money back from him and we were in an apartment complex, going to an apartment complex. there was a guy standing on the balcony. as i come around the corner, allegedly i had a gun, come around the corner and make it around the corner and got blasted in the face with a car club. it was all because of meth, so this isn't meth mouth, but it's indirect meth mouth. >> joe loved to give us nicknames. he thought i looked like jerry greco, the host from "cheaters." >> where's joey greco? >> every time i walked in, josh would be, jerry greco, where's jerry greco? >> jerry greco, the guy hosting your show right now, that's joey greco right there. >> infidelity is bad.
as bad as joey greco was, i didn't think it was quite as bad as my associate producer, jake, who he dubbed stance armstrong based on his style of holding the camera. >> look at him over there, look at that little stance. stance armstrong, huh? >> a lot of times if i was shooting a second camera angle i would end up getting tired from holding this camera so i would change my stance, aid my back and to him i guess it looked kind of funny and he started calling me stance armstrong. >> he's a gay bar floozy. he's a frequenter of the fanny pack. you go there because they have good, stiff drinks. you know what i mean, you don't frolic. you don't frolic. look at that stance. get a shot of that stance, from the waist down. it's cool. they won't know who it is. they won't know who it is. huh? >> he was a good guy, but he was a train wreck of an interview. >> you know, greco -- what is he doing? what are you doing? you guys better talk to somebody down there and tell them how
camera savvy i am. what is that guy doing? get some footage of that. [ bleep ]. does that you?ha you guys are pretty cool. i would probably hang out with you guys maybe. how much money do you have in your wallets? >> while josh was all jokes he was really dealing with some very serious issues. >> do you have family? >> yes, i have family, too. we don't -- i have kids somewhere out there, too. i don't know. i'm a winner. i'm a winner, okay? >> at the time, pike's ex-girlfriend was pregnant and due to give birth to their child while he was still in jail. their relationship had been strained. >> are there any new developments about your girl and the baby? >> yes, she had the baby. >> she did? >> she did have the baby, yeah. i'm trying to get her back in the graces. actually it's funny as you said that, i just wrote her a letter last night, a five-pager. >> you don't know what she named it? you didn't give any suggestions? >> no. i said my name. i said joshua anthony pike. she's like, no.
she was on pissed off mode then so i don't know. i feel bad. i really do. i feel bad i left her out there like that. she knew. you know what i mean? she knew that i had warrants. i met her with warrants. it wasn't like i was this great, wonderful person, met her, started a good relationship then became a jackass. this was an ongoing problem, me being a jackass. >> as much as he would joke around and be funny every now and then you'd get a glimpse to where he was at inside jail and you could tell there was a sad person inside who, you know, really felt bad for his family and what he's put everybody through due to his addiction. >> i got ahold of my family from back east. i haven't heard nothing from them in three months, you know? and it was good. a lot of, like, stress and weight lifted off my shoulders to finally hear from my mom and grandma and find out everybody's batting for me and are going to send money for a lawyer to fight these cases a little bit better. >> how come you couldn't get ahold of them? >> i asked my mom that on the phone. i think they wanted me to suffer a little bit. you know?
>> at one point when we were spending time with josh, he actually received a postcard from a friend who had been recently released from prison unexpectedly. >> 17 years this clown has known me and he can't spell my name right. it's easy to spell. p-i-k-e. he spells it p-e-c-k. >> what does that spell? >> peck. it spell he's stupid. he's dumber than a box of rocks. he was hooked on phonics, he got booked on chronic. you know what i mean? he said it's hard getting a job. he's trying to make it out there. he's trying to do good. >> i asked him if when he got that postcard if it got him thinking about what he wanted from his own life if he made it to the outside? >> last time when i got out i knew in my head i wasn't done yet because i wasn't willing to give up drugs. you know what i mean? it's a big part of my life. it's been 17 years i've been doing drugs. this time i'm ready. i realize it's the problem that's compounding everything.
i'm done. i'm done with drugs. you know what i mean? so maybe it will be different this time. you know? "saturday night live," make it funny. it's my quest to make "saturday night live" funny. it's not funny anymore. it sucks. coming up, the private recorded diaries we call the inmate cams. >> i see dead people. oh no. >> is it on?
the towering walls of indiana state prison have been guarding inmates' secrets since the time of the civil war. but during the shooting of our "extended stay" series, prison officials allowed us to give certain inmates handheld cameras that they could use to record their thoughts in the privacy of their own cells, and the inmates, who all had plenty of time, also had plenty to say.
>> living like an animal. what i'm doing now. >> i'm handsome. >> kind of feel like an idiot talking to his camera. it's like i'm talking to myself. it's crazy. >> it was a very interesting new thing that we'd never done before, and i was able to give these cameras to the inmates and kind of give them a brief tutorial on how to use it. and it was an interesting thing because these are people that some had never even seen one of these new camcorders. >> when they first handed me this camera, i'm like, what? how does this work? i don't know what an ipod is. i don't know how to work these fancy gadgets. they had to show me. well, this is an old prison, a place where john dylan, voyages. old floors. sometimes i wonder how many people were in this cell that died. died in here or were famous or infamous.
>> they were really into it because this was something brand new to them and somewhat foreign to them. >> is it on? oh. looked like it was stuck. what kind of batteries does that thing take? aas? to dork again though. >> some people would actually find advanced features in the camera such as night vision and actually use that. >> oh my god, i'm so scared. i see dead people. oh no. ah! >> it was very interesting because everybody did something different and it gave it a complete new feel that we'd never seen before. >> i had to try that. >> but most inmates just talked. >> life is full of surprises. life is full of change. abrupt changes. >> and talked. >> you have systemic evolution where things have a chronological order. >> and talked. >> the endo european aryans were not the first aryan race. >> is that on standby or red? >> it's red.
it's recording. >> finish up, all right? >> i'm finished. >> okay. this is my cell. >> other times they took a far more serious turn as inmates shared genuine pain. >> this is me. >> all night i've been thinking about committing suicide all night. i've been thinking about hurting myself lately. every time i do think about it i go back and i think about my dad and i know my dad, i promised my dad i wouldn't do it again. i let him down quite a few times. he still stuck by me. >> there was something much more intimate that these guys expressed, that, you know, it's sometimes difficult to get when you're doing a one-on-one interview in front of other people. there was another layer of honesty. >> when we gave a camera to billy groves, he was in administrative segregation after his girlfriend was caught attempting to smuggle cell phones and tobacco to him.
>> ma'am? stop. ma'am? stop. >> i look at the incident that just happened and i talked the person that i love to bring stuff in here. i ask myself, man, did i really love her? because if i did, why would i ask her to do that? was it selfish of me? when i was a kid i never thought i would wind up in a place like this. i was a pretty intelligent kid. i exceeded at school in academics, sports, academics, all of it. i guess my mother was poor. we didn't have much. we had love. >> we gave cameras to inmates on death row as well.
28-year-old ben richie was here for having shot and killed a police officer. >> this ain't no joke. they execute people here, and if you don't work on your case on death row they'll march your ass over there and strap you to that table and murder you. on death row our cells are a little bigger than population's, but i'd rather have one of them smaller cells. [ bleep ], i'd rather go home. >> richie recalled the last time he watched a fellow inmate leave death row for the execution chamber. >> his time came for them to kill him, right? and he was standing in front of my cell, you know, handcuffed, police around him. what do you say? what do you say to somebody that they're getting ready to kill? that you care for and is your friend? you can't say -- i couldn't say nothing. good luck? i'll see you around? you know?
i've been through eight executions, you know? some guys commit suicide, you know, other guys die of old age and natural causes. man, it's all bad. coming up -- >> this detention unit was a particularly scary place. it housed the worst of the worst inmates. >> an inmate with a reputation for violence makes his case for moving out of segregation. >> like i said, i want my life back. i want control of my life back. i ain't going to do that.
at any prison or jail we visit, there is no harder place to do time than segregation. it's where violent inmates are locked inside their cells up to 23 hours per day, often with minimal privileges or possessions. at indiana state prison, segregation is known as the intensive detention unit or idu. >> this detention unit was a particularly scary place, it housed the worst of the worst inmates.
it was very dark, it was dank and it was a disturbing environment to be in. >> [ bleep ], that lady out there, that lady, [ bleep ]. turn it off. turn it off. >> in fact, even the elevator to the idu could be intimidating. >> i had absolutely no elevator issues ever in my life until i stepped into this thing. >> we followed the prison's lead psychologist, dr. reggie matias, as he was making his way to visit an idu inmate who was hoping to work his way out. >> part of the charm of the indiana state prison. it's like a ride at disney land. >> the inmate dr. matias is meeting is brian collins who is serving 60 years for a variety of charges. including rape. >> that dude you're talking to should be on "to catch a predator."
he shouldn't be on "lockup." >> collins had a history of violence in prison as well. he once stabbed an inmate nine times and spent the last 7 1/2 years in the idu. now after a period of good behavior, he's requested a move to the chronic care unit. a steppingstone toward general population. >> you've done a lot of time in seg, and i don't know, maybe it's inevitable that you'll end up having to do more time in seg. >> i hope not. >> i keep trying to create situations for you so that it can be different. >> i've done a lot of violent things. in prison when you do violent things, it comes back to you. can't get away from it. >> dr. matias fears that if collins makes the move he might run into at least one of his old enemies. >> the situation on the side you'll probably end up on where the guy is pretty testy and not in real good control and i don't want him to confront you and then you feel like you have to defend it. and again, with the majority
of -- >> is it somebody that i've already done somebody to or beat somebody up? >> well, i don't know. you have quite a list. let me think for a minute. i don't think so. i don't think so. all right. i will -- what will i do? >> i don't know. >> i'm going to cross my fingers and cross them again and then i'll cross my toes and my -- he's a lot more settled. there was no significant anxiety about the other offenders or him having to fight or anything like that. so i'm actually a little more hopeful that this time when we get him over there he'll make it. >> collins was transferred only a few days later. we caught up with him on his new unit. >> it's a lot cleaner over here. we get a lot more privileges over here. get to come out of our cell with everybody else. >> collins was already finding better uses of his time than fighting. >> i draw a lot.
i read magazines. i watch my tv. get off into what is known as the cabala. have you ever read the cabala? the cabala, the torah. i taught myself hebrew, biblical hebrew. i'm learning more about that. >> keeping busy. >> yeah. >> though collins seemed interested in more peaceful pursuits, he also let us know he was staying sharp should there be any trouble in the future. >> every now and then when i would talk to brian collins he would talk about his martial arts he crafted over the time of him being incarcerated, and on certain occasions he would just break out into these weird moves that, you know, he said were a hybrid style that he kind of created and came up with. >> a few days later collins had another check-in with dr. matias and he had already set a new goal. he wanted to transfer to general population where he would have even more freedom.
>> population. >> population. why you do that? >> well, in the time i've known you you've either been in lockup or here. and so the idea of you running around population doing your thing, working a job, hanging out with your friends -- >> it's kind of a big step for me. >> it's kind of like mind-boggling. if you ran into a guy you had some conflict with in the past and you're going down to the chow hall and he's going down to the chow hall, you see him, he sees you, you know who he is, he knows who you are -- >> i'm leaving. i don't have no reason to prove myself. like i said, i want my life back. i want control of my life back. i ain't going to do that. he told me that if i would do these specific things like you told me, section by section or one thing at a time, that eventually it may not seem like i'm going to get control of my life, but if i do it once and i
do it twice and i do it three times, eventually i would get control of my life and the truth is that's what's occurring now. so you are correct and i'm going to keep doing what you say. you know? >> okay. so we'll shoot for maybe the middle of october? >> okay. >> if things go good, we'll start making some noise about getting you out there. >> okay. >> he has quite a history. that's what i'm worried about, that that history will follow him, he'll bump into somebody that maybe there's an issue that isn't quite resolved. given how much progress he's made, that would be a major setback. >> so for now? >> we'll keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. >> but it wasn't long before dr. matias' concerns became reality. collins had been accused of fighting with another inmate and was confined to his cell while officials investigated the matter. >> apparently another guy over there said that i hit him and
that's all it took because of my, you know, my history for violence on the idu. it means a setback. a serious setback. i'm not allowed to come out but one hour a day. no matter what i do. i can whistle dixie all day long, not talk to nobody, cause no problems, not say nothing, i'll still be over there. he told me that. >> how badly injured was this man? >> no injuries. not a mark on him. >> i got the impression he was vastly minimizing what had happened. i think that part of the problem is we're a television crew standing in front of his cell, and for him to admit it, other people would have heard the truth. indiana state prison allowed us to give certain inmates little personal cameras that we would leave with them and they could film themselves. i gave a camera to brian, and all i asked of him was to be honest. he might be a little more honest
person will try to move up the social ladder. it's the same in prison. the bottom of that ladder is segregation, the hole, where the inmate will spend most of their time by themselves without any privileges. at the top of that ladder is general population, where an inmate will have about as much freedom as you can in prison. >> serving a 60-year sentence for several crimes including rape and with a long list of violent offenses inside indiana state prison, inmate brian collins was fortunate to have been moved out of the intensive detention unit to the less restrictive chronic care unit. but not long after the move his luck ran out. >> mr. collins has been accused of assaulting another inmate. there was never a verification of that, but the accusation was there. >> brian had a history of aggressive behavior, a history of getting into fights with inmates and staff. he was a convicted sex offender,
obviously in jeopardy inside a prison, so i think a lot of his aggressive behavior was a means of protecting himself. >> prison officials allowed us to give collins a small videocamera to record his personal thoughts inside his cell. he gave us a rundown of the numerous disciplinary write-ups that he had taped to his wall. >> this is a battery. this is a battery. this is a battery. all of these are batteries. influence to others, disruptive, temperament, volatile, safety habits, careless, supervision required, constant. >> but what we really wanted from collins was the truth about the fight. >> there are two offenders over there that have been messing with me so i went in their room and hit him one time. actually i -- i hit him here. you have an equilibrium station. right here. you have an eardrum then you
have a temple. now, i hit him from behind. he turned around. hit him here. caught the air and hit the temple as far as i could and knocked him out. i went on about my business. and there was another guy there who was looking all crazy. and i told him if he told anyone i'd kill him. he went out there and told the nurse. and now i'm over here. probably didn't get a write-up because i denied it. but, uh, exclusive truth for msnbc. that's the truth. >> now facing a strong possibility of being sent back to the prison's intensive detention unit or idu, collins got into trouble again just a couple of days later. >> how you doing, collins? >> i don't know yet. i think that's on you. >> this time he'd been written up for spitting on a female correctional officer. >> you know they wrote you up for battery, right? >> uh-huh. >> said you spit in the officer's face. >> uh-huh. >> when you were screened you had no plea. how are you pleading?
>> i would like to ask for a -- is there such thing as suspension? for further facts? i'm asking for you to review the tape. i did not spit on nobody. >> the tier outside of collins' cell is monitored by security cameras, and collins promised the video would prove his innocence. he claims the officer harassed him and sprayed him with mace. >> i can watch the video and we can probably try to do this friday or something like that. >> okay. whenever you want. >> so i will watch the video and try to get you back in here this week. >> okay. thank you. >> he did request a video. we can look and see. only thing we're going to see is the officer's reaction because it's so dark on the range those times of the morning that you won't see the spit and you wouldn't see the spit even if it was daytime probably. so we'll see. look at it and take a look at it. >> they're not trying to hear you carry on about a situation where there's an argument or something like that. they want to know, did you spit? that's all they want to know.
>> you're saying? >> no, i didn't spit. it's obvious on the tape. >> less than a week later, collins was back in the disciplinary office for the completion of his hearing. >> okay. you asked me to watch the video. this is what i saw on the video. this is a photo. as you can see, she's kind of, like, ducking out of the way. >> that's because she's shaking and macing me. that's the mace can in the right hand. >> okay. i'm not denying that. i'm saying she does duck, too. >> she's not blocking herself or she's not ducking. she's actually doing this. what do you do when you get ready to fight? >> why would she be ready to fight if you're in the cell? >> if i tell you the whole story, it may jeopardize my fair trial i think. she was not ducking. this is an attack. >> okay. well, you can make that part of your statement. you're pleading not guilty i take it. >> yes, ma'am, i'm pleading not guilty. >> what is your statement? >> my statement is that i'm not at the door, i did not spit, i did not throw anything. >> okay. the video does show you throwing
something on the officer. i'm going to find you guilty of that. year ds. 10/23/14 and take 90 days. you can appeal it based on that. >> yes. can i have the picture? >> the picture there is yours and the paper there is yours. >> the decision means collins is back in the intensive detention unit for at least another year. and he will also lose 90 days of good time he earned toward decreasing his 60-year prison sentence. outside the hearing room collins was still determined to prove his case. if to nobody else, us. >> this is the woman right here, right? in her hand she has a mace can. the intriguing thing here is she must be right handed because she takes the stance of an aggressor in a combat situation, and i mean, you guys know about my martial arts training and history so i know what i'm talking about. anyway, here is the very first cell. if you can see real close, you'll see the flesh of the first individual.
that's his face. this is flesh here. see that little spot right there? that's flesh. now, if you look at my cell which is number three you will not see me anywhere near that door. and she was standing -- the picture, alone, shows that she's in guilt. >> offender collins requested i watch video so i watched video ten minutes prior to the incident. i do believe offender collins threw something out there on the officer, and he has a history of doing that. >> i wouldn't call it justice. it's a form of something that leans in the direction of justice, but i wouldn't call it justice. coming up, one inmate conquers time by finding love on the inside. >> can't stop love. no matter what you do. no matter how hard you try.
every inmate has his or her own challenges to overcome in prison. but one challenge that is common to just about everyone is the feeling that time has suddenly slowed down. except for occasional moments of sheer terror, life in prison -- >> howell! >> -- can be painfully monotonous. >> mengers! >> the same routine, people and surroundings. but ernest easley seemed to have it all figured out. >> you know, you as the person, it's not hard at all. i've been in prison before and i've been doing this back and forth in the system for a long time. it's what you make it. >> i liked ernest's honesty. he had a very kind demeanor about him. he had a lovely self-awareness
about him. and he had figured out a way to truly survive and actually thrive in prison. >> this is what i do. this is what i do. this is how i stay out of trouble. this is how i do my time. washing, ironing. >> when we met easley, he was doing time for robbery in what is considered one of the nation's toughest prisons. california state prison, corcoran. but you'd never know it by talking to easley. >> i got it pretty good. it's all right. it's fine. this is something that i like doing, you know? it's kind of like a relaxation, you know? >> ernest had a legitimate job given to him by the administration in the kitchen, but he was smart in that he had figured out a way to have a little hustle on the side to make extra money. >> i usually charge, like a suit, a pair of pants is a suit, a shirt is a suit. i wash clothes. i don't wash boxers or socks.
that's what i don't wash. you know, other than that i charge, you know, a dollar to wash, a dollar to iron their clothes. you'd be surprised. a lot of people, well men, they aren't really into washing or ironing, so i do it. >> one of the first things that struck me about ernest was he had a happiness about him you don't often see in a prison and then we came to find out why. >> well, i have a significant other. he's a very good person. you know? his name is robert. and he's a good man. you know? >> easley met robert when they were both inmates on the same yard at corcoran. two years later, robert was transferred to corcoran's substance abuse treatment program. >> when he left it was devastating, but i believe that we'll be gether. i think i have enough love for him to respect him and wait for him. >> he was in love and he was
able to maintain this love relationship with this other inmate through letters and correspondence and you could see how it completely altered him for the better. >> dreaming of you. it just says, you are very important to me, i love you and you never have to worry. a love like ours is meant to be. you know, dreaming of you. i wrote him a letter one time and i told him, you don't have to be bill gates to be with me, but you are bill gates in your heart. and he wrote back and told me, no, i'm not bill gates, but i wish i had his money, i could give you a lot more. you know? and that was nice for him to say that. these are the letters that i get. feel this. feel this. >> that's what love feels like? >> that's what it feels like.
one letter, i have some letters he writes 14 and 15 pages. if he write 14 pages i have to write 14 pages plus 7 more pages. that's why i like for him to write a lot. this is what i do. this is how i spend my time. >> from what i've observed, the monotony of prison is what creates a lot of problem for these inmates. by having this focus of writing letters and maintaining a correspondence with the man that he loved, this gave ernest a purpose, a meaning in life. >> this is my favorite one. >> read it. >> no. no. no, i'm not going to read that one. >> part of it? >> okay. okay. okay. it says, i just want to send you a card to let you know i love you and that you're on my mind. love always, daddy. he's my focus right now, you know, in terms of trying to show him that even though he's over there and i'm here, everything's going to be okay. i'm still with you, i got your back.
>> what do you think the relationship you have with robert does for you while you're in prison? >> it teaches me to be strong. it teaches me to be a better person. it teaches me to know how to love at a distance and it teaches me self-respect. >> ernest was somewhat anomalous for me, particularly at corcoran prison, because it is a very hardcore, somewhat brutal prison at times. and here's ernest, all he wanted to talk about was this man he was in love with and the joy it brought him. >> people have the wrong understanding about homosexuality. you know, they think it's all about having sex. they think it's all about in a bed. it's not. it's not. it's about loving somebody. because you do something different then society
when we visited california state prison corcoran, we knew we'd be walking into a maximum security prison that housed some of the nation's most notorious inmates including charles manson and sirhan sirhan. it was a prison with a reputation for gangs and violence. we discovered another side of corcoran.
one that was tied not to its infamy, but to its location. in the heart of california's most fertile agricultural basin. >> let's go! come on, ladies, let's go. >> i had no idea there was a fully functioning dairy farm at corcoran prison before we got there. it was interesting because the inmates that worked on the dairy farm loved their jobs. i think it was the fact that they were around these animals and they were caretaking them and creating something that was valuable. it gave them a sense of purpose that i didn't often see at corcoran. >> this is a good opportunity right here. i live in bakersfield and there's a lot of dairies around there. so hopefully when i get out, the hours i accumulated here give me a job opportunity when i get out. >> i like it. it's better than dealing with the prison. you know? it's a lot better. i enjoy getting away from the yard and working with cows.
i like animals. >> it's a functioning dairy farm. in addition to the milking processing that they have going on there, they actually have an animal hospital to tend to the sick cows. >> see, right now her temperature is 103.5. that's high. somebody is going to come in and he's going to give her a drench. that's a certain type of a -- like a drink you give her down her throat. >> sick cows come under the care of inmate marvin lard. >> first i started as a chaser. then i went to a milker. i came over here as a herdsman. herdsman is the highest-paid position out here in the dairy. i take cares of all the cows. sometimes there are cows that get loose or i have to move cows, transfer cows from pen to pen. >> but most of lard's time is spent tending to the ailing herd in the hospital barn. >> lame cows, sick cows. sometimes they come in with
various diseases that can spread through a whole herd. you have to be aware of that. >> all the cows at the dairy farm were given numbers as opposed to names and a number of the inmates who'd worked there for a long time like marvin, you know, developed certain bonds with some of the cows. so they would lovingly call their cows by their numbers because that was their name. >> i've got a couple of favorites. there's two really. 5306 and 5378. my two favorites. >> why? >> they come up to you. some of them are real funny. some of them are not. sometime i look at them animals and remind me of certain people. like the other day there was an animal that came up the stairs the wrong way that was coming in backwards. we tried to get it out. it won't back up. animal weighed up to 2,000 pounds. no matter what you say or do, the animal won't move. we had to take the gate off just to get the animal through it. it made up its mind which way it
was going to go. >> the same might be said of lard. he's currently serving a six-year sentence for dealing cocaine, but he says his addiction has landed him in prison numerous times. >> this is not my first time in prison, you know? i've been here a number of times. >> why? >> drugs. i mean, burglary, my first time. after that, been drugs. that's been my lifestyle since i got involved in it. that's what it's been. back and forth. back and forth. drugs. people like working. some people like buying. some people like gambling. you know? it's an addiction. >> lard was 47 when we met him and he estimates he's spent over 20 years of his life in prison. but now he's ready for a change. and he hopes to find it by dedicating himself to the dairy. the day we visited, lard was concerned with the cow that had repeatedly come down with mastitis, an infection which causes inflammation in the udder. >> these cows right here, their milk is bad.
that's what i have to do right now is test the milk. okay. right here, this is a bad test for her right front. if you can look at it real good, you see chunks or bubbles in the thickness of it. it shouldn't be thick. it should be like the other ones. this is 5302, right? this is her number. she's been here three times already for mastitis. what i do now, i tell my supervisor and see what type of decision he want to make on it. >> what could happen to this cow? >> well, he could either restart her again on something new -- >> medicine? >> yeah, another medicine, or he can put her down for beef. so it's up to him. >> fortunately, a supervisor came over and said that it was just a minor infection, but it could be easily cured and the cow was going to be fine. >> she'll be all right. she won't go beef. she'll be all right. >> then marvin shared with us
one of his other jobs was to feed the baby calves which i thought was amazing because that's a job i would have loved to do. >> this is right here, this is a new calf. been born for maybe about an hour and a half. right now it's feeding time for her. so we're going to try to wrestle her down. she's kind of wild. they be wild, but strong. be still. be still. come on. be still. be still. come on. there you go. yep. come on. ah. come on. >> i think there was something about watching him manhandle this calf that i got kind of concerned. so i started talking gently to the calf and it wobbled over to me. >> she likes me. i think i have the female touch. you're okay.
you know i'm a mommy. can i feed her? all done? >> yeah. >> feel so proud. >> okay. come out. >> how would you say working at the dairy has changed you? >> changed me a lot. >> how? >> made me think about life. you know, i really didn't have regards to life. people. only myself. simple as that. just thought about me. you know. that was it. but now working around here, you know, you get to, like i said, a certain bond. i guess you can see i'm getting soft. i don't know. whatever it is, that's what it is.
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." >> for some inmates, a prison sentence means nothing left to lose. >> what the [ bleep ] it look like? >> if i'm ever put in general population i'm as good as dead. >> but sometimes life has other plans. >> it's either him or me at that point. >> this [ bleep ] was real.