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tv   Lockup Raw  MSNBC  September 24, 2017 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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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 most inmates, life boils down to three words. the first is respect. >> you going to do time in prison, respect is the only thing that matters. >> the second, reputation. >> every time somebody goes missing up said i did it. >> the third, revenge. >> if you cross me, i'm going to give it to you. you know what i mean?
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because i'm a good [ bleep ]. you know i'm going to beat your ass. >> just about every inmate story we tell on "lockup" resolves around the three rs, respect, reputation and revenge. at indiana state prison, we met one inmate whose story revolved around his search for all three. >> don't know what the hell is blinking. battery must be going dead. or something. >> during our shoot at indiana state prison, officials allowed us to give select inmates handheld cameras to express personal thoughts in the privacy of their cells. >> my name is cephis pasco. c-e-p-h-i-s p-a-s-c-o. i am a convict at the indiana state prison. >> we learned a lot from them. including the importance of
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reputation in prison. >> i've done the time. i've stayed out of trouble. i'm not a punk, bitch or any of the lesser areas of being in prison. >> two things that were notable about cephis. he was always alone. i don't think i ever saw him hanging out with another inmate. his fixation on food. whenever you bumped into him, he was talking about food, looking forward to his next meal. >> breakfast at 6:15 in the morning. chow for lunch about 12:00, give or take. and supper's 5:30, give or take. they're giving us reruns two nights in a row. if i only had pork chops, i would really be going. >> he had these little rituals with his food. it was almost like he was sitting in a barcalounger at home. with a big tv tray. and he'd store up his food from all day long and sit there and eat it happily in front of the tv screen. >> this is the way i eat when i'm watching tv.
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in the old days when i had pork chops, i'd put on a show. have nine, ten portion chops, chips, beans, six pack of soda. guys [ bleep ], pass and you know what? [ bleep ] tear it up. >> but if he initially saw pasco as a foodie behind bars, the footage he recorded on the camera we gave him revealed the troubled past. >> i'm in prison for 60 years, for murder. i killed my nephew's ex-wife. i was drunk, high on marijuana at the time. i'm not the boy that i was. 20 years later, i'm a man. i live my life as a man. and here i am, a convict.
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>> by cephis saying he was a convict, he was basically saying his crimes were not against a child or of a sexual nature against a woman, and he lives by the convict code, which in prison is a big deal. >> the laws of the convict is you don't respect others, you don't steal, you pay your debts, you can never become a punk or a bitch. i've done that. my reputation is clean. >> but pacific pasco's status as a convict was threatened by another distinction in prison's complicated social structure. >> are those animals out so we can go eat? feeting time at the zoo. >> we were interviewing cephis at his cell. and he was awaiting the bell for chow hall. he came out. he was walking down. we were following him. i heard some inmates scream out something. i wasn't actually sure what they had said. but his reaction was so severe, i assumed it had to have been a major insult.
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>> what? who called me that? who's talking [ bleep ]? which of you [ bleep ] said chomo? >> chomo is prison slang for child molester. but it can also be used to define anyone who has a sexual offense. >> we caught up with pasco later that day. he was at the cell block microwave preparing his evening meal. >> call that spaghetti. i call that wet noodles. >> at first, pasco was reluctant to talk about the earlier confrontation in the hallway. >> talk out there later. oh, [ bleep ], i'll talk now. i've been down 20 years. i'm a murderer. i'm a convict. nobodyisretse like that. i got some little punk coming in. he's been in for a little time and [ bleep ] runs his little mouth, [ bleep ]. fine. that gets you killed in here.
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i'm a murderer. straight-up convict. >> the more cephis tried to convince us he was a convict, the more i wondered if there was something else going on. >> a few days later, pasco told us what did go on the night he committed murder. >> i was at a bar drinking one night. had nine shots of whiskey and several beers. and gave a ride to my sister-in-law, i think it is or something like that. nephew's ex-wife. we -- she lured me on to the dogtown, which is the river camps. and we started to have sex. and she backed out of it and got into an argument. and she started smacking me around and i had a hair-trigger temper back then. so, i snapped on her and went off. oh, to hell with it. i stabbed her, i broke her neck and smashed her skull in.
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>> pasco claims his rage erupted because his victim rejected him and that they never did have sex. but some of the evidence indicated otherwise. >> well, they turned it into a rape trial. they did their tests. and there was a presence of spermatozoa. she was partially nude. >> i heard an inma offa cer yell something. and cephis' whole persona changed. what are you looking at, cephis? >> i'm marking someone. >> why? >> because he just said child molester. i'm going to break his [ bleep ] neck. total disrespect for anyone in a prison. especially for some convict like me that's been down for so many years. and i got some kid talking trash. i know who he is. and i'll [ bleep ], i'll find him.
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i'm going to have a little discussion with him. >> today? >> no. i'll find him. i'll wait until you all leave. when i find the guy, i'm going to put him in the hospital. i don't kill no more. but i'm damn sure going to mean it. that's all there is to it. >> later that night, pasco again recorded himself on the camera we left him. he indicated that he had exacted revenge. >> at one point, i was doing an interview. and a bunch of wannabe inmates started yelling chomo. these idiots had to be taught a lesson. they were properly disciplined in the ways of prison etiquette. >> we checked with the authorities to see if anybody had been injured that night. and there were no reports that indicated that. >> but later, pasco shifted his
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thoughts from his tormenters to his victim. >> many guys ask me why i'm doing this tape. the reason why is i want to do something for my family. as well as for the -- rosie's family. the victim. she was a good woman. a good person. and she would -- snuff out that light. this is cephis pasco signing off from isp prison. indiana state. good luck to us all. coming up -- >> if you cross me, i'm going to give it to you. you know what i mean? because i'm a good [ bleep ]. >> one of the maricopa county jail's most notorious inmates solidifies her reputation by
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entering into a forbidden relationship. >> yeah, they wrote me up for being with an officer. pasco. ah, dinner.
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throughout history, the one meal when we come together, break bread, share our day and connect as a family. [ bloop, clicking ] and connect, as a family. just, uh one second voice guy. [ bloop ] huh? hey? i paused it.
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bam, family time. so how is everyone? find your awesome with xfinity xfi and change the way you wifi. at every prison or jail we visit for lockup, the safe management of the inmate population is the staff's number one priority. violent inmates are usually confined to their cells least 23 hours a day. when movement throughout the facility is necessary, it's usually under close supervision. and with the inmate shackled at both the wrists and ankles. but at the maricopa county jail in phoenix, arizona, we discovered that for some inmates even these precautions were insufficient. here, a pod that would normally hold 32 inmates had been cleared in order to manage just 4 female inmates with violent reputations.
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>> it just limits their ability to threaten other staff, to go after the officers. it's just a very, very controlled setti. >> when i first went in there, i was surprised to see there were only four inmates that were actually housed in that area. once i met them all individually my impression kind of quickly changed. and i realized that there's a reason why these four women are kept away from the rest of the population. >> the four inhabitants of this pod were all well known throughout maricopa. but none had a more notorious in-house reputation than rosalvo, "rosie" travino. >> if you cross, me i'm going to give it to you. you know what i mean? because i'm a good [ bleep ]. i'll give you everything in one package. if you [ bleep ] up little by little and disrespect me, i'm going to beat your ass. you know what i mean? >> travino spent the last six years inside maricopa fighting a murder charge that could have earned her the death penalty. during that time, she was involved in numerous assaults on staff.
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>> rude dude with attitude. that's what they call me. the officers. >> in fact, travino told us she couldn't even remember how many times she had been tased. >> my whole back, i have, like, scars. this is a big one. this one's where i could put my finger -- see how big it is? i just didn't care. i was in here for the death penalty case. i didn't have nothing to lose. i mean, i have my family, don't get me wrong and my son and everything like that. but i just had that mentality. i was like, [ bleep ] that. i'm going to give them hell. >> sometimes you get the nice, sweet rosie, if she wants to be nice and sweet. and sometimes you get the crazy, i'm going to kill you rosie. >> travino proved both rosies could be equally dangerous. >> i want to touch it. >> staff warned me about this. she can actually draw people in. which she did on many occasions. and one of the stories that's very well known about rosie, among the detention officers, is that she actually developed a
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personal relationship with one of the detention officers. >> we just started flirting around. and i don't know. one thing led to another. i really thought she was going to set me up. i really thought she was working for the prosecutor. >> when travino entered into a relationship with one of the jail's female detention officers it was considered a serious breach of security. >> yeah. they wrote me up for being with an officer and that i was a danger to the facility because of her. because she knew the blueprints or whatever, you know? >> an officer and an inmate having a relationship is a tremendous issue from a security perspective. the concern is that the officer can do favors or can even potentially smuggle things in to inmates, whether that be a weapon or whether that be drugs. >> they think that i manipulated her. like, she never brought me no drugs or nothing like that. it was, like, food, you know, things. >> the inmates call that hooking an officer. that's a game for them.
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and in the past, there has been contests between travino and other inmates to see how many or if they can hook an officer. >> she does have a reputation for actually, you could say, sucking the officers in. getting them to play her game. i mean, it's an easy enough thing to avoid. but some people are weaker than others, i'm assuming. >> when the relationship was discovered, the officer chose to relinquish her badge rather than turn her back on travino. >> she moved in with my mom. and she's like, she raised my son. i cared about her. but i wasn't, like -- i didn't know how serious it was until after i had her in my house with my mom. and it was like, she helped my mom, my dad out a lot. >> if an inmate wants to be your friend, that's your first warning sign right there. the officer in question, she listened and believed exactly what travino told her. she said, yeah. great. wow. i'm interested in you. gets fired. comes back to be, you know, i guess in love with this young
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lady. and now travino's done because she can no longer be a help to her. she's no longer an officer. >> it's crazy, huh? what love does. >> travino says although the former officer is still close to her fami, the twof them have cooled their relationship. >> i wouldn't say we're dating no more. i mean, she went her way. i went my way. i'm looking at death penalty. you know what i mean? but i'm -- i have good memories >> during our final days of shooting at maricopa, rosie travino continued to prove unpredictable. after a difficult court hearing concerning her murder case, she attempted suicide. though it was quickly thwarted by jail staff. >> i was kind of shocked because she was actually a pretty happy person. she seemed really comfortable in her environment. she seemed to have built a really strong relationship with the three other females in her pod. >> then just days later, travino and her lawyer reached a plea
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bargain which spared her the death penalty. she was sentenced to 18 years in the arizona state prison system. coming up -- >> i stabbed him in his lungs and his kidneys. and he basically drowned in his own blood. >> in prison for manslaughter, one inmate's past can come back to haunt him. >> before i was an inmate, you know, i was a correctional officer here at this facility.
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in prison, we often find unusual stories can found in the mo mundaneettings. that happened at the penitentiary of new mexico when he met inmate daniel rapatz during his shift in the prison laundry. >> we do the facility laundry on a daily basis. one day we'll do yellows, one day we'll do whites, one day we'll do blankets. the leg irons are for security reasons. that way we can't run. there's really nowhere we could go anyway. >> rapatz was serving time for
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manslaughter but we discovered a different story in his past, one that threatened his reputation among staff and inmates alike. >> before i was an inmate, you know, i was a correctional officer here at this facility. at the penitentiary of new mexico. you know, about 13 years ago. >> an inmate who was former law enforcement is going to always be perceived as the enemy as far as the other inmates go. so, it's usually a precarious situation. given his circumstances, i thought daniel was pretty secure. going from being a former c.o. to an inmate in the same prison where he once worked, i would have expected him to be a little more nervous, uptight, what have you. but he acclimated quite well. >> the officers, some of them treated me the same. some of them treated me different. for the most part, though, i've always gone along with people. i came into prison. and i ain't here to prove a
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point. i'm just here to do my time. >> was it weird at first dealing with officers? did you run into people you knew? >> yeah. i mean, i ran into a few people. they said, hey, rapatz. they call me by my last name, que paso? what happened, how did you end up here in the joint? what happened? i tell them, i ended up wrong place, wrong time. i was out drinking and using drugs and alcohol. and i messed up my life. >> as we continue to interview rapatz, we learn although this was his first conviction as an adult, it was hardly his first brush with the law. >> i started stealing cars at a young age and breaking into schools. i broke into my junior high and my high school. at 11 years old i was living like i was 21. >> between the ages of 13 and 18, rapatz did time in juvenile detention centers in several states. >> once i turned 18 i got my files sealed and i actually got my life together until i was about 24. i did do good. and i was trying to change my life around.
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>> with his juvenile files sealed, rapatz had a fresh start at life. at age 19, he was hired as a correctional officer at the penitentiary of new mexico. but for him it wasn't a career. it was a stepping stone to the job he really wanted. >> basically the reason i was a c.o. was so i could get the training i needed so i could work security at the casino which is where i'm from up in northern new mexico. i knew if i came and did the academy class here and got all that training that i would have no problem getting where i wanted to go work. >> rapatz eventually landed the casino job. but he also began using drugs again. he says he was drunk and high when he got into an argument that ended with him taking a life. >> i stabbed him in his lungs and his kidneys. and he basically drowned in his own blood. >> rapatz was convicted of manslaughter, along with several
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other charges including resisting arrest and battery of a police officer. he soon returned to the penitentiary of new mexico, this time in a yellow inmate jumpsuit. >> people say you don't live with regrets. but anyone who says that is a liar because you do live with regrets because i do regret. i didn't even hardly know the guy and i killed him. i took a guy's life and i didn't hardly know. >> his last day as a correctional officer was about five years before his first day as an inmate. he was hoping to stay under the radar, but he couldn't. >> the prison obviously had to put daniel into protective custody because he was a former c.o. and daniel abhorred this because you're perceived in a negative light by the other inmates if you actually have to live in protective custody. >> i don't like being in p.c. i hate it. it sucks. because i'm around a lot of people that are shady. i'm not in prison because of messed up charges like rape or child molesting. i've never, ever ratted or snitched on no one in my life.
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>> he wanted to make it clear to everyone that he was being forced into protective custody by the prison administration. but that was not his choice. he chose to align himself with the inmates. he completely identified as an inmate. >> but rapatz recognized his past would always make his safety in prison a gamble. >> all it takes is one inmate trying to get his bones, what we call stripes. he might come and try and hit me on the line somewhere. that's a chance i was willing to take, you know? i wanted to do a waiver. i wanted to be on the line. and you know whatever happened happened, you know? to me it sucks. i'm not going to lie. it sucks. it ain't no good. here's the paperwork. i think back and say, what did i do? i messed up my life big-time. and look at me now. coming up -- ♪ comes out blasting ♪ i'm about as hungry as -- ♪ tappy ban fasting >> rap unites two gangsters.
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but age has them on two very different paths. >> everybody's like that, they don't see the big picture. they can't see it. it's just whatever happens happens.
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due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. ♪ oh, you know what i need in
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you ♪ during our time at any prison, we meet inmates who want to share their talents with us. more often than not, rap is the artistic expression of choice. ♪ pull the trigger suddenly ♪ locked up, locked up ♪ thinking about some things thinking about some things that never change in the game ♪ the penitentiary knows ♪ ♪ i my game takes flight ♪ love is just a feeling ♪ but pain is life and all the bad that i've seen i'm trying to make it right ♪ >> with so many rappers to choose from, it's difficult to decide who makes the cut. ♪ i got a chip on my shoulder ♪ that went from a chip to a boulder ♪ >> i get solicited a lot by the inmates to hear their raps that they've been working on while eye carcered in fact, it happens so much i had developed a system for it which is i use the associate producer, jake, to audition them
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before hearing their raps. and if jake gives them the thumbs-up, i'll take a listen. >> the plan went into effect at the maricopa county jail in phoenix, arizona. >> he kind of used me for the litmus test, so to speak, on if they were good or not. at one point i was told, come up here. and i went up and there they were. they were two of the most interested inmates i've met working on "lockup." ♪ i comes out blasting yeah ♪ i'm about as hungry as a taliban fasting ♪ ♪ so just like the clumps on my plate ♪ ♪ it's a crime buffet >> i was actually blown away. for being two different artists from two different locations they actually worked well together. ♪ just remember if you like it or not ♪ >> cousin ice is really 45-year-old titus fisher. he's at maricopa, awaiting trial on a charge of firearm
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possession by an ex-felon. >> they were making toilet music. you know, write on the toilet and you got to make your own beats. you know what i mean? ♪ >>isher's cellmate is 20-year-old dinell thompson. better known here as dooker. >> it is the south side. >> thompson was at maricopa appealing two murder convictions that could land him in prison for at least 32 years. >> keep the noise down over there. >> rap has helped the two men bridge their generation gap. >> trying to film [ bleep ]. >> the cellies share one other thing in common. they're both members of the crips street gang. >> but they were at very different stages in their life. cousin ice was no longer in love with the lifestyle.
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>> i haven't actually went out gang-banging, shooting at people just because they're from across town and all that. i haven't done that in years. but i still hang with my homeboys. and if something happened to one of my close, close ones i'm going to have to help retaliate. you know what i mean? >> dooker loc, on the other hand, was still caught up in the game. he was still infatuated with this romantic notion of being a gangster. >> what do you want for your future? >> money, power, respect. top of the food chain. >> everybody's like that when they're young. they don't see the big picture. they can't see it yet. you know what i mean? it's just whatever happens happens. >> having been in and out of state prisons in california, fisher sought to share his wisdom with the younger thompson. >> i've got him out of situations in here, he was just reacting to [ bleep ]. i'm telling him you can't always just react. you know what i mean? you got to slow down and think about something real quick. he thanks me later on, like yeah. i'm glad i didn't do that.
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>> he keeps me cool. i'm real hot headed. quick snap on somebody. real quick. no problem, don't worry about nothing. he keep me out of it, cool. >> despite the fact there was sort of a mentor relationship, you could see that cousin ice couldn't totally impart all that he had learned in his years on to dooker. >> a new generation. >> check all you old folks out. >> fisher told us that gang-banging has changed since he was thompson's age. >> we just wanted to protect our side of town. you know what i mean? i mean, none of us owned nothing over there. but we called it our side of town. when i was 18 there wasn't -- you heard about somebody getting shot maybe once every three months. now, it's every day somebody's getting shot. >> dinell thompson can attest to that. he's been shot eight times. >> i ain't scared of death, though. death's scared of me.
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>> prosecutors allege thompson has been on the other side of the gun plenty of times. besides the murder convictions he's currently appealing, thompson was charged with three additional drive-by murders while we were at maricopa. he has pled not guilty to the new charges. >> cousin ice. >> they're trying to say everybody that dies in phoenix he had something to do with it. >> just because i'm dooker love. every time somebody's body comes up missing, they say i did it. >> dinell thompson had other on the persona of dooker loc. >> he would have been a star football player. dooker had scholarships to colleges, running back. he chose to do the alley. you know what i mean? so, that's the mentality. >> yeah, i was ranked. i wasn't ranked in the nation -- i chose the streets over that. >> why? >> streets attracted me the most. i loved the streets. streets are my bitch. >> what excites you about it?
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>> the banging, guns, the money, the killing, all of it. >> to thompson's cellmate and some time mentor, wasting such potential is the real crime. and that's something titus fisher was determined to see not happen to his own children. he moved his family from california to arizona to help them avoid a future of gang-banging >> i've seen my son gettg ready to start when he was only 14. so, i hurried up and got him out of there. that's another reason i moved out here. when we moved out here, i said, you can be whatever you want to be. you know what i mean? now he's straight-as. he hasn't got a "b" in, like, three years. he's straight-as. he's on the football team. star football player. so, he's on his way to do something. you know what i mean? >> thompson also has three children. but their future seems less certain. >> i had a son. he go bang what daddy bang. >> really, is that what you want for him? >> he'll have the same life. but if he choose the other way, hey, go ahead.
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>> for you it's not a negative for him to spend a lot of time in prison, for your son? it's not a negative for you? >> nah. >> in another context, in another environment, it might be a parent saying to their child, if you don't end up being a doctor, i'll still love you. with dooker, it was like if his son didn't end up being a crip, he would still love him. ♪ the gang banger ♪ so back back what you catch a full clip ♪ ♪ and your family really feel it man ♪ >> my children. i was born into it, you know what i mean? you're going to end up in prison or in a casket. you know what i mean? ♪ coming up -- >> i'm part of a pretty intimidating group. when we're on the yard, we're 20, 30 deep. pretty big white boys. nobody really challenges that. >> a gang leader with a twist. >> i was expecting this mean,
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tough hard core guy. and instead, it was this tommy that we came to know.
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it's been said that inmates in maximum security prisons live their lives based on the three rs, respect, reputation, and revenge. the same could be said of prison gangs. >> no matter where we're filming, whether it's the united states or around the world, gangs are a big problem for prisons. it's a secret society with a code of silence. but when we went to a prison in colorado, limon correctional facility, we met a gang leader there that seemed to be different. it might be something to do with the two officers we met there. >> those two officers are lieutenants jim fox and andy piper. >> we're not going to quit
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coming in here and shaking you down so you better quit. >> not for sympathy. >> i'm not. >> check yourself. knock this off. so, maybe you can get into a program. >> they were completely in sync with each other when they were doing their work. they were obviously good friends as well. but they were complete opposites in terms of how they looked, how they acted, their whole personas. but they were extremely effective at what they did. what did you do before corrections? >> worked on a ranch mostly. this was a culture shock to me when they drug me off a horse and put me in here. i never seen anything like this in my life. >> working on a ranch, what did you do? >> roped, doctored. >> you were a cowboy? >> basically. >> lieutenant fox had that cowboy persona on the job. he always told it like it was. >> you're not going to manipulate the system here at limon. you're going to go through the process like every other inmate that comes in here does. if that means you go out in population, that's where you're going to go.
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>> lieutenant fox was the more gregarious of the two. while lieutenant piperas very quiet. when he did speak he was very direct. >> you know we never crack. >> he could be tough. >> you speaking? are you speaking? you're saying something. don't. >> and sometimes he had a very dry sense of humor. >> stay away from the ice cream. >> one of the men's specific duties was to gather intelligence on the prison's various gangs. >> we're probably unique in how we deal with the gangs out here. we've accepted the fact that there are going to be gangs and there's nothing we can do about it. so, we try to control what they do. and we use the leaders a lot to control that. and they know if there's problems out here they can come to us and not be a snitch. >> how? how is that possible? >> part is the clout that they carry. out on the yard, there's not hardly anybody out there that's going to walk up to a leader and call him a snitch. that's part of it. the part of it is the rapport we build over the years with them. they trust us and in turn we trust them somewhat.
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>> one of the gang leaders the officers cultivated a relationship with was tommy holloman. >> these guys, they know everything. there's a lot of rats at this place. these cops know everything that goes on pretty much. >> we've been hearing about tommy holloman for a while while we were at limon as the shot caller of the white supremacist gang. when we first encountered him, i was a little taken aback. i was expecting this mean, tough, hardcore guy. instead it was this tommy that we came to know who seemed shy, a little timid. a little withdrawn. >> i have a pretty good heart. my mom, she's always had foster kids. and she's worked in a group home. so, i mean, i've always wanted to do what she did. i always wanted to help somebody. and i really think i can. >> during our shoot at limon, holloman was brought in for questioning when another inmate accused him of. >> watching lieutenant fox deal
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with tommy was very interesting. they had a certain rapport. i would almost call it a professional rapport. >> come on in. have a seat. so, you want to give me your story? >> to be honest, i don't really have one. i mean, i feel like this dude is trying to get out of trouble. he knows who i am. i go under the bus every time. >> they seemed to know what each other's boundaries were. they talked in a very amicable way. and fox was giving tommy advice on how to stay out of trouble. >> if you're doing anything, quit. >> i'm not. >> go over there and lay low. you know they have a target on you. >> yep. >> the good thing about fox and piper, they don't ask questions they know they shouldn't. they're not going to ask me straight out what happened and why. they're going to ask if i know anything about it. they don't push me if i say no. >> all right. >> appreciate it. >> the extortion investigation eventually led fox and piper to conclude that the inmate who had made the accusation was actually angling for a transfer to another prison.
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and holloman was cleared. but holloman has had his share of trouble. he was originally sentenced for 30 years for assault and attempted robbery, after he stabbed a man during a street fight. >> i was charged with first-degree assault which i thought really wasn't that serious. i thought, oh, it's not murder then maybe he wasn't too bad. it turns out that i stabbed him in his lung and he bled out, like, twice. had to go through a couple surgeries. and i got the attempted robbery because i was going through his pockets. that's where i found the knife. it was his knife. and took off. and that was it. really. >> during his early years at limon, holloman gained a reputation for violence, as well. >> when you have a 30-year sentence you have to go in with a mindset that you're probably never going to get out or if you do you're going to be an old man. so, you don't really care about anything. that's what you're supposed to do in prison. supposed to do heroin and fight, i mean, who gives a crap?
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so i did a lot of that. >> he was like a tony soprano of sorts. just like tony soprano he was a personal and likeable guy. >> i'm kind of a momma's boy. >> on the other hand, i probably wouldn't want to cross him. >> i'm a pretty big guy. and nobody's going to call me out. i'm part of a pretty intimidating group. when we're on the yard, we're 20, 30 deep. pretty big white boys. nobody really challenges that. so, it wasn't as hard as i thought it would be. >> holloman made it to the top of his prison gang. but then the unexpected happened. he caught a break in his case. a reclassification hearing on his 30-year sentence was influenced by an unlikely source. >> so, the day before my hearing this guy that i stabbed wrote a letter to the judge saying that i deserved a second chance. and that i was given a long time and it's not fair because of my mistake that my family had to suffer and lose a son, you know? you know, it was pretty amazing. i mean, i had a lot of people,
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they spoke at the hearing. >> the judge cut holloman's sentence in half, to 15 years, with the understanding that any violent acts in prison would restore the original 30-year sentence. >> you get this whole new perspective. you get this chance at some kind of life outside of prison. >> but for holloman, nothing seems certain. >> i get my sentence cut in half when i don't deserve it. i wasn't doing anything to better myself in prison. just because i gave back all that time, you know, i'm still a convict now. and this is still my world until i get out. so, i mean, it was tough to balance that, to you know, try to do good and better myself and, you know, hope for parole or something. but at the same time, you know, stay true to how i was schooled in prison. and, you know, not kind of showing weakness and things like that. >> here's why you're in a conundrum. you certainly seem to be someone that has a lot of potential. >> yeah. >> you're a leader. we all established that. you're smart.
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but you don't seem to want to give up criminal lifestyle. that's why i'm curious as to what you really think is going to happen five years when you get out of here. >> well, i'll say this. i -- i'm not going to let the hope or chance of getting out soon change how i'm going to do my time now. because my reality today is this is where i'm at. when i get out, this is -- that's a different world. it will be a different life. i'll be able to do different things, learn new things. you know what i mean? but my reality is this place. so, why would i change that? you know what i mean? i can't. the minute i do, i lose my identity. >> i was hoping for his sake that he makes the right choice because he has all the things where he could succeed on the outside. he has family support. he's a smart guy. he has a desire to change. so, we all left hoping that he was going to do the right thing. >> i can't think of tomorrow because tomorrow isn't here. i have to do things this way because, you know, this is where i'm at.
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coming up -- >> all you could hear were the sounds of birds, birds, birds, birds. >> one of the most unusual prisons we've ever seen.
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while the pursuit of the three rs of prison, respect, reputation, and revenge, seem to permeate the lives of most inmates, our trip to a serbian prison for "lockup world tour" revealed a potential fourth "r." roosters. >> we had been told that this was the prison that houses the most notorious criminals of serbia. >> but you would never know that by touring the grounds of zabala, a maximum security prison located in the serbian countryside outside belgrade.
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>> they had done the grounds up beautifully and you heard birds everywhere. all you could hear were the sounds of birds, birds, birds, birds. that was very surprisingme. you couldn't escape it. >> the prison's garden-like grounds and collection of birds, including peacocks, are part of a renovation project. prison officials felt a relaxing natural environment could help their rehabilitation efforts. >> it did have, actually, a much calmer feel than i expected. the buildup was pretty big. serbia's biggest, most notorious prison, then here i am with peacocks and birds and cats wandering around. >> in fact, when we wandered into the prison's shoe factory where inmate workers make dozens of shoes per day, the scene was more reminiscent of a disney film than a prison. >> this is our pet. >> this shoe shop was a pretty unique area that we got to film
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in. and just the fact that all the shoes were being made by hand. and then, we're in the middle of a conversation with a guy. and a parakeet comes and lands on the guy's shoulder. it just -- everything combined it was just really, really unique. as a cameraman, you know, those are kind of the moments that you really look for and you enjoy filming. >> we met one inmate, however, who seemed to have a closer connection to the birds than most of the others. >> i would see this guy off in the distance. and he was surrounded by birds. he was surrounded by all different types of birds. and obviously i keyed on him because it was kind of interesting. he was interacting with the birds. and one of the staff members said, oh, yeah. he takes care of the birds, blah, blah, blah. i then dubbed him the birdman of zabela. >> rasha radisov is serving 15 years for murder, a crime he
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claims he committed in self-defense. >> translator: we have pigeons, various breeds, fancy pigeons. fantails, which are inside t cage right now. we have hens, peacocks, geese, roosters, and since recently, goslings. i feed them. i look after them. i don't allow a single bird to go missing. if a bird gets injured or ill, i report it to the administration. >> he told me that he could tell by the sounds of the birds the different species, what was going on with them. if they were fighting. if they were mating. if they, you know, were friends. he had -- he said he really felt he understood the birds and that they understood him. >> translator: it's relaxing to see all the different birds. we have a small pool for them here. and it's fun to watch them gather there, drink water, bathe, fly around. >> it was obvious he had a relationship with these birds. we were watching him interact. they weren't frightened of him
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in any way. >> along with his unique relationship with the birds, rasha had a unique living situation, as well. he lived on his own, away from the other inmates. >> he had this unique situation. he lived in this little shack on the prison grounds. he didn't have to dwell on the dorms or cells. his whole job was to take care of the pump system at the prison. >> translator: this machine sometimes breaks down in this place. the other one can break down, too, when there's a lot of rain and mud. that's why i keep watch here. >> the fact that rasha, the birdman, existed on prison grounds was unique for me in my experience. he could live on his own there. he had this little hovel of a home that he created. i've never seen anything like it ever.
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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." >> on the ground. >> we're going to run military style. strict. >> before any inmate sees the inside of a prison, he's most likely seen the inside of a jail. >> i'm just sitting in a room. i don't know if it's night or daylight. >> and notng

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