Skip to main content

tv   Lockup Long Island Extended Stay  MSNBC  January 3, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PST

1:00 am
i'm ann curry. for all of us here at nbc news, what is the biggest gang we have in this jail? >> we have bloods. the workers. bloods on all the floors and bloods in all the pods so bloods are everywhere. >> gang violence breaks out when a long feud boils over. >> trying to show force inside the jail. >> caught in the middle of the conflict is a young inmate. >> the victim received 50 stitches. he was cut on both sides of his face. >> stand up.
1:01 am
>> jail staff responds with an all-out search for weapons. and -- >> hands at your sides. >> normally we call jail college criminals. >> a group of officers attempts to change lives. >> we believe this is the future of corrections which is to put a stop to that. located on the eastern end of long island, new york, suffolk county is a collection of small towns, rural farms and long stretches of beach. but even here urban street gangs apply their trade. behind the walls of the suffolk
1:02 am
county jail's riverhead facility their numbers are on the rise. >> that guy that got down here, the crip, he knows he's a crip but he won't admit it. >> riverhead is operated by the sheriff's office and house a combined total of about 1,500 inmates. the majority are only charged with crimes but awaiting trial in the resolution of their cases but nearly all of them feel the impact of gangs. >> another day in paradise, i guess. >> got like four positive hits today john, one crip, latin king, two bloods. >> combatting activities is up to a team of investigators in the veil's gang unit headed by sergeant investigator lundquist. >> bloods are the biggest gang we have in this jail. almost every housing area in the jail has bloods in it. we have bloods within the workers, bloods on all the floors, bloods on all the pods. >> that could be changing. >> this has always been a blood
1:03 am
jail for years. now we are getting a big influx of crips in lately. some of them are getting their numbers up, so they feel they have to take back what the bloods have many over the years. we get a lot more fights. >> one of those crips is nicholas cox. he's awaiting transfer back to prison in upstate new york. >> nicholas cox he'll tell you straight to your face i'm crip, i hate bloods, they hate me. >> i am used to it. i have been in jail since i was a minor. this jail is like kiddy camp to me. i'm ready to go upstate where guys ready to cut you left and right. >> are you outnumbered by the bloods? >> to me, less is more. that's how i look at it.
1:04 am
>> the jail surveillance camera captures cox's willingness to battle bloods. he jumps out of a line of inmates and blindsides a blood member with a punch to the face before he is subdued by officers. cox is immediately placed in disciplinary segregation, where he will be confined to a single person cell most of the day, but he will still be exposed to bloods. >> we don't have enough area to segregate them because there is bloods throughout the jail. no matter where i stick the crips, if i stick them in another tier, there will be bloods there. >> 24 hours after the arrival cox is allowed out of the cell. as he entered the common area he is immediately attacked by a
1:05 am
group of bloods. >> about 0 the 0900 hours, we had an alarm go off on the fourth floor. had four or five bloods go after a crip. the officers responded, sprayed them with chemical agents. officers are not permitted behind the bars until appropriate backup arrives, but they attempt to end the brawl with oc gas or paper spray. >> chemical agents were deployed and at this time we are decontaminating inmates from the worst affected to least to give them relief. >> get you up front for a shower. just keep running cold water on it. >> have you been o.c. sprayed before? >> yes, before, but this stuff is way worse than the other one. i'm burning everywhere right now, back, arms. >> cox and other inmates are moved to holding cells in another part of the jail and will soon be questioned by investigators. >> when you are on the streets
1:06 am
there is place to run. it's a bigger world. when you're in jail there's nowhere to run, you know what i'm saying? >> cox is right next door to one of the bloods he just fought, clyde ricks. >> he lets ricks know despite being outnumbered, he is pleased with the results. >> no marks on my face, nothing. four of y'all against me can't do nothing. i'm too big for y'all. eat your wheaties. >> cox put himself in disciplinary yesterday by being aggressive in a fight with a blood where he punched the guy with the face. he is not the innocent one in this either. it is just what happens with bloods and crips. you hit on one of them, they're going to come back at you. we interviewed all four bloods involved in the fight and are about to bring the crip in to get his side of the story. have a seat, cox. what happened upstairs? tell me your side of the story. >> came going, towards the gate, started fighting. >> what was the fight with the blood about yesterday? >> same thing today, just fight. >> just because you are a crip and he is a blood and that is the way it is? >> you know we can't stay together. got to be separated. >> how many fights have you had so far since you've been here? >> five or six. >> at least. >> every time i come out clean. >> same thing today, just fight. >> just because you are a crip and he is a blood and that is the way it is? >> you know we can't stay together. got to be separated. >> how many fights have you had so far since you've been here? >> five or six. >> at least. >> every time i come out clean. >> did you catch that chemical
1:07 am
agent in the face? didn't come out that clean. >> i'm suesed to it. i've been sprayed before. i'm used to it. >> we have to rehouse you to a different spot because you are the only crip up there. >> all right. >> as officers lead cox to a new cell, he comes face-to-face with another blood. >> move it, over here. >> stop. stop. >> can't do nothing with me. i'm still pretty. still pretty. >> this is what happens. inside a common area like this, one inmate going one way, the other in a different spot, being escorted, met up here in the lobby. other officers right now. how fast it can go off like that's how fast it can go off like that. how are you? we are going to get a new location for the guy. he can't go back to the box because he had a fight yesterday with a blood and a fight today on the other side. we will probably put him on administrative segregation for
1:08 am
security in a segregation tier. number eight, all right, so i'm going to make the move now. all right, bye. we're going to take it to the next level and start cuff and shackling these guys. we will identify the guys fighting and keep it going. some bloods and crips want to stay in the background. those are not the ones we're going to cuff and shackle. the leaders like cox who says it will be on every time he sees a blood we'll put in cuffs and shackles. coming up, nicholas cox is housed next door to a 16-year-old crip. >> he look up to me so i be cool now. >> and -- >> one, two, three. one, two, three.
1:09 am
1:10 am
1:11 am
were it not for the fences and coils of razor wire the outdoor rec. yards at the
1:12 am
suffolk county hills facility might seem like any other park. inmates are allowed on the yard one hour a day. only the most extreme weather conditions will keep most of them from the outdoors. >> this is as free as i'm going to get right now. >> their activities are closely monitors by officers with live ammo shotguns and a 45 foot tower as well as officers on the ground only permitted to carry collapsible batons, pepper spray and handcuffs. >> officers stay in the catwalk and then an officer is required to enter the yard and do a supervisory tour. which is recorded digitally. very rarely other than that would an officer entered the yard during recreation. >> the process of going in is called a punch. you'll see the metal device in the back when we touch it.
1:13 am
just records that we did a tour. >> you are looking for things, body language and tell when something is going to happen. there is definitely a little heightened sense of awareness when you're walking in there. it is definitely not the most comfortable feeling to be in there by yourself but something you get used to over time. >> while the yard may be a playground for adults hardened by life experiences the jail hopes to reach the youngest before it is too late. >> one, two, three. >> one. >> one, two, three. >> two. >> at any one time some 10 to 20 young men are housed away from other inmates as part of a special program called the youth tier initiative. >> on your feet. guys, you know why? stuff on the bar -- right now we have 18s and 19 year olds. it is more of a paramilitary style. edwards, how's those guns? all right, getting there. these charges here can range from misdemeanors to, you know, light felonies. nobody is in here for murder or rape or anything like that. if they had to do time for their charge they may be looking at
1:14 am
five years, seven years. the heaviest of all. it's not beyond repair. the kids have to qualify to come into this program. they are required to get up early or make their racks the same way. they are required to go to school. they're required to act and behave in a certain manner. everybody good to go? good class today? good ged? >> yes, sir. >> all right. >> it is a comprehensive rehabilitation program designed to keep young inmates out of the revolving door of incarceration. >> you want them to be the same consistency. >> 30 different agencies outside of the facility that come in and out, help mentor the kids. >> try and go the other direction. you're going up and down. go left and right a ail bit. >> art therapy, anger management, narcotics anonymous, gang related things. >> remember, we're trying to pick up the color. >> normally we call jail college for criminals.
1:15 am
they talk to other inmates. next time you do this, next time you do that, try this. so they learn better ways to commit crime. that's generally been the culture in jail. we believe this is the future of corrections which is we are going to put a stop to that. >> this jail was built at that time when we were warehouing inmates. we don't want to warehouse inmates anymore. we want to get back to what the true nature of corrections is, and that is to correct their behavior and make them better people. >> how is it going, guys? just get back from the yard? >> suffolk county sheriff began the now 3-year-old program. >> a lot of the kids it's the first time they have been here. we are intervening here getting them rehabilitated working with their judges, working with their prosecutors and working with their attorneys and finding alternatives for these kids so they don't have to go to state prison. you send a 17-year-old kid to state prison you might have lost that kid for the rest of his life. and we don't want to see that. >> you got gloves? >> yes, ma'am. >> victor cartagina came to jail two years earlier at age 17. he has pled not guilty and hopes his participation in the program can provide an alternative to prison should he be found guilty. >> if you could draw or paint anything, what would you want to
1:16 am
draw? what? a person? >> flowers. >> he came in he had this long >> he came in he had this long hair down his back and would walk around and he was angry. he wouldn't listen to nobody. he was just this little thugged you out little kid. he was throwing up gang signs. >> i used to do drugs, selling drugs. i used to know a lot of gang men, members from different gangs. >> so you made a living as a drug dealer? >> you could say that. i thought i was the man.
1:17 am
i used to love the life. >> cartagena joined the youth tier when he turned 18. he says one of the most important things he got out of it was the realization as a young parent he needs to set an example. >> i think about it every day when i wake up. it hurts when i see her come to visit me. this is not the lifestyle i want to show my daughter. i came down to the program and i started seeing a lot of people that really care and want to help the young people. >> what did you look like when you came into the program? real quick. give everybody a quick rundown on what your appearance was? >> my hair was down to here. had long hair. >> when you woke up, i thought the girl from the rick was coming out of the cell. >> everywhere i used to go people used to look at me as a gang member because of the way i looked. even the judge the first time i was, my hair like like this for my indictment. i went in front of the judge and he thinks i'm a bad guy. >> he had this bad boy attitude. >> i was not a big fan of victor.
1:18 am
came off as violent, angry. i didn't have a lot of faith in him in this program as working out, and where he is today, he is 100% a different person, but that didn't happen overnight. >> it was a very slow, ice breaking process to where we are now. >> what did we do in the practicement? we brought you down to the barbershop? >> uhm -- >> you originally made the decision. >> remember -- >> you wanted to donate it. use it maybe as a horse tail. >> all the youth inmates are supervised by corrections officers who volunteered for the assignment. cartagena says the personal connections he's made with the staff have convinced him to give up gang life. >> this lifestyle doesn't bring nothing, only negative things, jail, hospitals, death. >> coming up -- >> i got to pull the slide from the senior officers. they told me i was making a big mistake.
1:19 am
they said you never volunteer for anything around here. >> how a group of corrections officers overcame negative peer pressure and cultural stereotypes to work in the youth tier.
1:20 am
1:21 am
1:22 am
for years, the most dominant gang operating behind the walls of the suffolk county jail's riverhead facility has been the bloods. >> step over the back corner. >> now their archrival is out to change the pecking order. >> crips are trying to show force inside the jail. this is one of the problems we're having right now. that is why we are having escalation in fights. it's almost a green light for every time they see a blood in the jail. everybody is aware of it. we kind of know who the bloods and crips are. >> still pretty. >> we try to keep them separated as much as we can but they will meet up and we have to respond. >> one member of the crips, nicholas cox, recently launched a surprise attack on a blood. the next day he battled several other bloods seeking retribution. for initiating the first fight for initiating the first fight and not complying with orders to stop during the second, cox received 75 days of lockdown
1:23 am
status. he will be confined to a cell 22 1/2 hours a day. unlike solitary confinement, he will be able to socialize with others. >> put your hands up on the wall here. >> whenever he is out of his cell, he will be in cuffs and shackles. >> this is for your own safety. when you walk through the facility you'll be escorted. >> for safety, protect me. >> protection. >> that's what they say. >> because if i'm not, somebody's going to get hurt. >> cox said after the latest fight, it was only bloods who got hurt. >> i know how these guys move. they like to jump. it's not a one on one. my thing is i do what i got to do to get up out of here. i'm not going to walk around with a black eye. >> what is your nickname. >> what that say? >> pretty. >> that's what they call me. >> and why is that? >> i make an ugly situation look pretty. >> in some instances minors
1:24 am
usually those with violent charges, are also held at the riverhead jail. cox is housed next to a 16 year old who jail officials say is also a crip. >> i'm telling you man, they can't do nothing to me. he can't do nothing to me [ bleep ]. >> he is like a friend of mine. i like him. he is young. he looks up to me. i be kind of schooling him. >> they join gang wide because they are looking for protection, they're looking to belong to something. it is mostly prevalent in the youth, 16, 17, 18 year olds here for the first time, scared. looking for safety and security and want to belong to something. >> battling gang influence is just one goal at the jail's youth tier initiative. >> this is going to connect to this but we need darker paint. >> professional artist kirk larson represents one of the more than 30 outside organizations that team up with the jail to rehabilitate 18 and 19-year-old inmates. >> i'm letting you know you have skills. even if you didn't know it. that's an important thing.
1:25 am
i never ever joke about art. that's good progress, man. you went from not painting to being a painter. >> larson has been teaching the current crop of youth tier inmates to draw, paint and express themselves through art. he is with a nonprofit called splashes of hope. >> their goal is to uplift and inspire and help heal through art. >> after weeks of preparation larson and inmates are painting a 78 foot mural in the jail. >> we have probably 25% of the wall covered. >> suffolk county sheriff vincent demarco created the youth tier initiative. he says it not only helps young people but has financial benefits. >> inmates are kept in jail out of sight out of mind but it is a very big portion of a county's budget to run a jail. our goal is to make them productive citizens so they don't come back. we reduce the jail population and don't have to build more jails. we don't have to feed as many inmates, and people become productive members of society and contribute to the tax base. >> we talk about that real
1:26 am
stuff. >> they are at a very influential age. we think by having officers that want to work with the youth and give them vocational programs, resume writing, computer graphics training, meditation, believe it or not, these kids go to meditation classes. this is the favorite thing they do, and we are seeing phenomenal results. >> while the program is still too new to measure long term effectiveness corrections staff say they are seeing fewer of the participants return to jail or prison compared to the national average. early on, one of demarco's biggest challenges is finding officers willing to work intimately with inmates. >> a lot of older staff here 15, 20, 25 years here, they were trained and taught to do something a certain way. that was to warehouse prisoners. we don't do anything for them. when their time is up you let them go. that was the way things were done. when i came here i wanted to change the culture. we got kind of lucky because we had a lot of people eligible to retire and we hired a lot of new officers and got to train them
1:27 am
the way we wanted them to be trained and got them to buy into our philosophy because that's all they know know. >> give them your best, stay sharp, stay focused and learn this opportunity here. >> this officer might look like one of the old school corrections officers but he actually did not become a c.o. until four years ago, just one year before the youth tier initiative began. >> me and a group of officers volunteered for this program. kind of like was a taboo thing because of where we work and what we do. took a leap of faith. we were newer, so we decided we want to do it. >> just try to clear some of >> stuff off your bed. >> when i first volunteered senior officers said you are making a big mistake and said you never volunteer for anything around here. you have to slip between the
1:28 am
cracks. you're only setting yourself up for failure. you are not going to get through to them. these programs don't work. they always come back to jail. why would you want to do that? i couldn't really answer that. i just like the way the sheriff was portraying it as just giving someone a chance, and one gave me a chance by hiring me and putting me through an academy, giving me a badge. i wanted to give them a chance. >> reporter: officer miller believes he's been a positive influence on victor cartagena, who is facing several charges connected to a gang-related assault. >> after being in this building you get a gift, a pit that will sit in your stomach and one day someone will say i got dudes i have beef with and i will feel that pit in your stomach. you might not have felt that before you came here. you are going to go i can't. i'm sorry. i'm going to stay home with my family and watch my niece. i'm going to spend time with my daughter. use that gift, stay out of trouble.
1:29 am
coming up, victor cartagena gets good news about his case. >> i'm out of here. your boy out of here, you heard? >> before learning it could all fall apart. >> this has to happen today. this is a one-day offer. nicholas cox's 16-year-old neighbor becomes the victim of a vicious attack.
1:30 am
1:31 am
1:32 am
1:33 am
at the suffolk county jail's river head facility on long island most of the correctional staff said they are vigilant in monitoring the activities of inmates. but now the recent increase in violence between the two gangs, the bloods and crips, officers must be especially alert to signs of trouble. sergeant investigator lundquist heads up the jail's gang unit. one training tool is called a shank board, a collection of lethal weapons suffolk county inmates have crafted from evidence items. >> most of the weapons were made from things that we give them, combs from our commissary, toothbrushes, toilet brush. eyeglasses. some of these guys are locked in 23 hours a day.
1:34 am
they have all day to just work on these weapons, make them, sharpen them, secure them, hide them. that is "national geographic" wrapped up inside plastic. they will wet it. makes it harder and heavier. it's a better weapon. brass knuckles made out of tape and some sort of sheet metal they got from somewhere. could have been left over from a construction project, which is why you see metal detectors throughout the facility. we use the board for training especially when we get new recruits to come in, we show them, we say we give them things. we are giving them things they can use as a weapon against each other or against us. >> nicholas cox remains on lockdown status. recently his 16-year-old neighbor and fellow crip is transferred to another unit. shortly after his arrival, he found himself on the wrong end of a shank. >> the victim received 50 stitches. he was cut on both sides of his
1:35 am
face. it's a pretty bad slashing. a couple inches either way could have taken out his eye. he is uncooperative. street code not to press he declined to identify who the attacker was. it's the street code not to press charges, not to be a snitch. they will take care of it in the street. >> no doubt the attack was gang related and most likely carried out by a member of the bloods. >> that's my boy. i like him a lot. he's young. he is 16. he is kind of new to this stuff. i've been through it. once you're in this life, it's hard to get out of it. >> cox has a good idea of what his former neighbor is feeling. he carries his own scar from a prior prison stay. >> this happened when i was 20. i'm 24 now. they had me in a facility with a bunch of guys doing life. same thing happened to him happened to me. a little blade, i don't know what it was. i can't really explain. i was shocked at that moment.
1:36 am
to me it don't matter what it was that cut me. he cut me. >> after a search of yard four the scene of the 16-year-old slashing, staff believe the shank has been recovered. >> the object that was used to do the slashing was dropped into this drain here. the drain has a large basin in the bottom so it was able to be recovered. >> this was recovered from the storm drain out in the pod yard yesterday, which may have been involved in the initial slashing. we won't know for sure until we get results back from the lab if there are any, if there is dna left on it. >> one of sergeant lundquist's confidential informs also told him more shanks are hidden in the housing unit. >> we are getting a crew together to do a search of the
1:37 am
southwest disciplinary tier. the inmate was housed in the tier and they dumped the weapon after the slashing. we have to make sure nothing else is in there. >> gentlemen, stand up. hands on your heads. >> after several minutes of searching, one officer has found something. >> this was found in cell number 34 southwest number 30. this is one of the targets that we thought might have a weapon. officers did a great job. once i speak to the officer i will find out where it was hidden. this is a great find. you can slit somebody's throat with this. >> the person who had this, do you know their gang affiliation? >> blood. >> and a crip was slashed. >> correct. it was like this and it was inside of a glove, a finger from a glove. just like this. this carrying case or sheath, whatever you want to call it, would enable, whoever had it, to
1:38 am
put it in a body cavity or could help insulate. it wouldn't be caught by a metal detector. this could save somebody's life. >> the officer who found the weapon was pulled off duty from his normal assignment to join the search. >> where was it? >> under the toilet. >> right where we pretty much thought it was. right? did you see this thing? >> i didn't open it. no. jesus. wow. that could do some serious damage. >> um-hum. >> i'm glad we found it. >> for officer malfatone, the search for the weapon is a stark contrast to his work with the jail's youth tier. >> we are always correctional officer first and mentor second. they call you for shakedown you kind of change your hat. you are no longer in rehabilitation mode but seek and find mode. >> the 16 year old who was slashed has permanent damage for the rest of his life. i made some poor choices like a lot of the kids that end up in our program. it's frustrating because we don't have the ability to get to every kid.
1:39 am
we don't have the means or the availability. we're a small operation in a large facility in a world of broken lives. that's the business that we're in. coming up -- >> that full sense of i'm living that lifestyle when you don't have a pot to piss in. or nowhere to throw it out. >> the youth tier's mother figure shows tough love. >> they say you don't understand where i come from or live. i'm like i understand 100%. and -- >> requesting east again, group goes west again. >> and weapons search enters a new phase.
1:40 am
1:41 am
1:42 am
pay attention here. this is what we got. that's the blade right there. >> one hour later after suffolk county jail correctional officers discovered two shanks one in a drain basin in the yard and another in a gak member's cell, sergeant investigator
1:43 am
lundquist orders a top to bottom shakedown of the entire facility. >> one group will go east again. my group will go west again. >> while no new weapons turn up. >> close 40, close 39. >> the sergeant says the two that were discovered share something in common. the blades were wrapped in sheets of electrical tape which might help it pass through metal detectors. >> would that go off in a metal detector. >> we're going to try it out. put in your pocket and see if it sets the metal detector off. if it does you have nothing to worry about. go back through. okay. gracias. >> what's that tell you? >> could be walking around the building with it. >> everything sets it off. have to keep it -- a fine line of what you can set it at otherwise fillings go off. .
1:44 am
>> while the 16-year-old immate who was possibly slashed by one of the weapons recovers in the jail's medical unit -- >> gentlemen, get your cups and your spoons and have a seat. >> officer mccray makes her rounds on the youth tier, where violence among 18 and 19 year olds is lower than other parts of the jail. >> you forgotten where you are supposed to go? you have to sit down. i guess they kind of look at me as a mother figure because i make them make their beds. don't sit on tables, pull their pants up, don't say the "n" word, watch your profanity. i know you didn't curse while i'm standing here. >> that's not a body part, that's not a curse. >> really? all that cussing is not necessary. you can find something else to say. this is my thing. i can relate to them in a way that works. i used to be a homeless teenager. my mom left us when i was 12. i was out on the street. i stayed homeless almost two years sleeping in an abandoned house. >> how did you get from that to this woman with this career?
1:45 am
>> faith in god and just the will to survive. i knew what i wanted to do. i knew what i wanted to be and i stuck to it. you really don't have a plan. that's why i said put it on paper. if you put it on paper nothing can go wrong because you say where am i going? what am i going to do? you start looking at it like this is what i'm supposed to be doing. you have a plan. you can't just keep walking around maybe this or that. life is not like that. >> i share a lot because the first thing they say is miss m., you don't understand, you don't understand where i'm coming from or where i live. i'm like, i understand 100%. i have a razor blade cut in my face that i am reminded every day of where i came from. you guys keep telling me you have options. >> i was doing good until i got locked up. seriously. >> you can't -- we have these -- >> i was at the wrong place at the wrong time. that's all it really was. >> you know better than that. the lifestyle is what gets you caught up. it's that hype, that false sense
1:46 am
of i'm living that lifestyle when you don't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out. when you talk about being in the hood and my homeys, you are still talking as though you enjoy being in the hood and you enjoy being around the hype, the violence. >> the thrill of it. >> like i said, there is nothing wrong about being real about who you are. if that is what you like that is what you like. just know there is a consequence for that lifestyle. when they tell me something, i can kind of read through all the lines. i know when they are not telling the truth or i know what they could do to get out because i got out. >> you with the big boys now. >> i'm going to get home. >> adalino santiago and deshawn barry stevens are hopeful that their participation in the jail's youth tier program will help them avoid further trouble.
1:47 am
>> i came in here as a mistake. this is a mistake to me. other than that i was doing good. >> something to learn from. you learn from your mistakes. >> yeah. you got to learn from your mistakes. >> you ready? >> you ready? you ready? >> officer yipp of theheriff emerncy response team is not part of the youth ti program, he has come to see potential in barry stevens who was charged with second-degree robbery. he's pled not guilty and is awaiting trial. >> uno. uno out. >> first time ever that i played cards in here. >> what inspired you today? officer? >> he's got potential in him. he's got talent. he's smart. so i took it upon myself to say let's play a game. >> you think you will see this young man again after he leaves here? >> always better on the outside but i prefer not to see him here. i don't think he belongs in here. i don't think he should be a regular in here, definitely not. i hope he makes something of
1:48 am
lot of these guys do have talent in here and the worst thing in the world is wasted talent. >> victor cartagena hopes to make the most of his talents as well and says the officers assigned to the youth tier have had an impact on him. >> i feel work in the youth program, you can talk to them. they will take the time to talk to you, have conversations with you. they are different from the other c.o.s. when i came to jail i had the same mentality from the street, i'm in violence. i got to survive here, so i became just like that. they want to fight i'm going to fight. i just didn't care. >> cartagena just returned from a court hearing and charged on first-degree gang related assault and robbery, for a crime that left his victim badly injured. >> i'm out of here, this boy is out of here, you heard? >> he just returned from a court hearing on charges of first degree gang related assault.
1:49 am
he pled guilty. >> i'm going home, well not home but a place better than this. >> which is what? >> hope house. >> hope house is one of dozens of outside agencies that work with the youth tier initiative. it provides housing, education and transition for young offenders back into society. cartagena could have gotten up cartagena could have gotten up to seven years in state prison, he will now spend the next three years in hope house. >> congratulations, victor. >> thank you. >> excellent working with you. best of luck to you. >> thank you, thank you. >> all right. >> i want to see you outside, too. >> maybe a corona or presidente together? >> clean up. this place could use a cleaning. what you looking at, holmes? >> cartagena is waited to be picked up about i his family, who will drive him to the hope house. >> about to get commissary. >> as he celebrates with his friends by giving away his commissary snacks, sergeant arrives with troubling news. >> i just got off the phone with
1:50 am
the record room. record room is saying their order to release you is only to hope house, not to your family. nobody from hope house has come here all day i don't know if you've been in contact with them or anybody's been in contact with them. >> i spoke to the lawyer from hope house. they told me i could go with my mom. >> that is inaccurate. your court-ordered release specifically states only to hope house. >> all right. >> so you've got to get somebody on the phone >> i guess i have to call my lawyer, then. >> if cartagena does not get to the hope house within the next few hours, his entire plea deal could fall through. >> it seems the arrangement with the judge is that he gets to hope house today, and if he doesn't get to hope house today that deal is off the table. >> their emergency line went to a homeless shelter that helps people. and he's calling his supervisor to get a direct line to hope house. and then they're supposed to
1:51 am
call me back right here. i told the story three times to different people so it should get through. >> cartagena's attorney. >> hello, hello? the way it was explained to me from the record room is that this has to happen today. this is a one-day offer. if i got the order correctly would be midnight. okay. thank you. she's going to see what she can do. she said we're trying to get a representative of the hope house up here to pick him up. i just spoke to your attorney and she's trying everything she can now to get somebody here to come get you. all right. as of now we've got to get you out -- >> all right. >> 25 after 8:00. they're probably a half hour, 40 minutes from here. hopefully there's somebody available. we'll see. we'll see how he makes out.
1:52 am
coming up, victor cartagena gets his answer.
1:53 am
1:54 am
1:55 am
there we go. >> only six weeks after artist kirk larson first introduced paint and brushes to the 18 and 19-year-old inmates in the suffolk county youth tier initiative program, the group has completed work on the seven-foot-long mural. >> environment is everything. where you are, what you're looking at, can have a real effect on your life. so for people in here there is an opportunity to lighten the intensity of that environment a little bit. >> this is like the walkway to your way out to start a new life. to discharge. actually, it's kind of a good -- >> yeah. that's amazing. it's nice. >> i'm out of here. your boy out of here, you heard? >> not every inmate in the program will take that walk. but victor cartagena turned out
1:56 am
to be one of the lucky ones. his plea deal which will allow him to serve three years at a residential facility for young people instead of 70 years in a state prison, came down to the wire. >> we got victor cartagena out of here right before midnight to comply with the judge's order. two weeks later we had a representative from our jail go over and check on him, and he's doing really good. there's five other guys that got released from here that he's getting along with. he is in plain clothes. in two weeks he has a probationary period where he gets approved if he can go to college or not. >> i got some very good fate in him that he's going to stay out of this place, stay out of trouble in the future i've seen kids go out and never come back. i've bumped into people at stores. "oh, you remember me? i was in youth program. i got a job now, i'm getting married." i hear some good stories. unfortunately i've seen some excellent people leave here and come right back. would i be shocked? no. would i be upset? yes.
1:57 am
>> another youth tier inmate has not made it as far as cartagena. three weeks after officer yip praised the efforts of lesean barry stevens, barry stevens is no longer on the youth tier >> i heard he got kicked out of youth program so i was up on the fourth floor and he was there. he came right up to me and i said, what happened? and he said that he messed up. it was fighting. you know you can't fight in the program. so he's in the regular housing unit. >> got into a little incident, a little problem, altercation with somebody. i wasn't built for the youth tier. it was too much stress. too much stress. too much stress in my head. always worrying about the other kids around because they get on on your nerves so bad and the type of person i am, i like to fight. you can't do that so everything is built up. it's stressful. >> i'm disappointed. i put a lot of man hours into him talking about his future, he could go, what he could do, and
1:58 am
it was all right here. for him to make this choice to try to beat somebody up, such a short vision to the long term picture. that's the hard part with kids. they're incapable of addressing the future. they live for here now. gimme, gimme, gimme, but they don't think that far ahead. >> let's go, baby, how are you? how y'all doing, man? >> while barry stevens' setback is a disappointment, officer malfatone says it will not deter him or the other youth tier officers from their mission. one which involves returning meaning to a word that many of today's jails and prisons has been forgotten. >> corrections, the actual word. so when we apply the actual corrections to what we do, i can't explain to you the reward that comes from it because we have had kids leave here and have success.
1:59 am
i ran into a former inmate in a public setting. he was at work. his dad was visiting him at work. i'm walking in and i hear -- "c.o.!" there's that moment of -- i turned and i knew who it was. he came over and hugged me and his father grabbed me by the hand and shook my hand and said, "thank you for bringing my son back." you know welled up in the eyes, chills. good stuff. stuff you don't get paid for.
2:00 am
it just sounded like most of the other jobs that i have had ever done. it was a new club in the caribbean. >> there something not right here. >> you are taking drugs back to england. >> and putting them in a shampoo bottle. >> it is ludicrous. it is mental. and in prison in the caribbean for 20 years, and good luck with that.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on