tv Lockup Raw MSNBC April 11, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. >> msnbc takes you behind the walls of america's most notorious prisons. into a world of chaos and danger. now, the scenes you've never seen. "lockup: raw." it's a world where the threat of danger dictates every action and every decision. >> i have seen stabbings over drugs. i've seen stabbings over money owed for canteen. >> i was holding his head on the ground digging one of his eyeballs out. i didn't have the technical difficulties with that. >> i have seen child molesters
get stabbed. >> i hit the inmate. tried to get him by his arm. i slipped. i didn't realize when i slipped. it was all blood. >> a world that "lockup" producers and camera crews explore on a regular basis. >> when we walk into prison with our camera crews, inevitably we attract attention. but sometimes it's not the kind of attention you want to attract. [ bleep ] y'all. we don't need y'all around here no more. >> shooting in prison is very controlled for the most part until all hell breaks loose. >> a world where even the most heinous violations are common place. >> squeeze a water bottle and shot urine into my eye and mouth area. >> been advised by house staff that he has prepared feces and urine for us.
when our producers traveled to alaska, they quickly realized they were about to enter a prison unlike any other. >> i would argue, spring creek correctional center is probably the most beautiful prison in the united states. we're located adjacent to resurrection bay. we have mountains. we have a river behind us. we have a glacier above us. the setting is just perfection. >> but inside the walls of spring creek, natural beauty gives way to the harsh reality of a maximum security penitentiary. >> we're at the end of the road for the state of alaska department of corrections, the worst behaved prisoners end up here. >> those who pose the greatest threat to other inmates and staff are segregated in house one, the lockdown unit. >> basically, minimum rights. minimum, they're in their cells for 23 hours a day. >> on the day we wanted to interview him, house one inmate antonio robertson was in an especially foul mood.
>> [ bleep ], [ bleep ]. [ bleep ]. >> calm down. calm down. >> every one 6 you [ bleep ] [ bleep ] i'm going to start with you guys are [ bleep ] we need more food. what do you want to know? >> robertson, serving a 60-year sentence for murder has spent most of the last two years in house one. >> why are you in here? >> in house one. it's a long story. i been being assaulted, so i assault people back. okay? about my stuff. i refuse to let myself be assaulted and not fight back. >> robertson not only fights with other inmates. he fights with staff as well. >> i was disrespected. i decided to make the guys do a cell extraction. >> masks on. >> days before our interview, the prison's correctional emergency response team had to forcibly remove robertson from his cell for refusing to follow
orders. these cell extractions are videotaped by the prison for legal reasons. >> this use of force is authorized by the superintendent -- >> extraction team officers always prepare for anything the inmate might have in store for them. >> we've been advised by the house staff that he has prepared feces and urine for us. >> because they disrespected me, all this cuff up, robertson. see they want to talk all that mess. and in front of all these prisoners, and may be a little -- make me look like a punk. and say do you want to cuff up? i said no i don't want to cuff. no i'm not going to cuff up. you disrespected me. we're going to do this. >> cuff up. >> with robertson still refusing orders, the extraction team disperses pepper spray into his cell. but it appears to have little effect.
>> the stuff they use on me was the regular old cayenne pepper stuff. it does burn. i've gotten used to it already. i knew it was going to hurt. but i did it anyway. because, see, i'm doing a long stint and there's no way i'm going to let an officer disrespect me in front of another prisoner. >> a second round of pepper spray floods the cell. robertson, however, stands firm. moments later, the team rushes the cell. the lead officer activates an electronic stun shield capable of delivering a 50,000-volt shock. temporarily incapacitated, robertson is finally removed from his cell and cuffed.
robertson is then taken to a holding area to rinse the pepper spray from his eyes and face. >> oh, my gosh. are you guys going to leave me here forever? >> no, no. >> you could at least be proud that i fought back, i wasn't like a girl. [ bleep ] >> everybody okay? >> nobody really got hurt. well, i didn't get hurt. because i ain't trying -- i'm not trying to really get hurt until i'm ready to get hurt. but if i do get hurt, well -- that's just one of the
consequences of doing battle. >> not far from robertson's cell is an inmate also known to treat prison like a war zone. >> with most of my interests are like firearms and stuff, so this is one of my doodles. >> that's a pretty detailed doodle. >> well, i have plenty of time on my hands. >> for inmate john bright, plenty of time means a 99-year sentence for murder. >> i got in trouble for being a -- a -- a hitman for organized crime. i thought that organized crime was cool. i thought drug dealers were cool. i watched "scarface" 20 times, bought the video when it cost $100. 1984, the year it came out. i watched it 100 times over and over again. >> bright claims to be wrongfully convicted. but he doesn't deny his taste for violence. >> i never killed anyone. i'm a fighter. i'm not a hitman. i'm not a murderer. i'm not a back stabber. i'm a fighter. i've been in a fight in bravo mod. i've been in a fight in charlie mod. i've been in a fight in delta
mod. i've been in a fight on the rec yard. >> at this point in time he is one of our extreme management problems. he doesn't play well with others. and so he stays here. >> i don't go, hey, i'm looking for somebody to get in a fight with. this guy looks like a good candidate. i'll be watching tv one day trying to be nonaggressive, nonconfrontational, here comes mr. idiot inmate. crack-smoking child molester and changes the tv channel. well, if i get in an argument with the guy, he's going to want to fight. if we get in a fight, he's going to providence hospital, i'm going to house one. >> and bright has sent fellow inmates to the hospital. >> he got in a fight with a prisoner. he bit his finger off. >> i got a hold of one of his fingers, and when i seen i could crush through the bone, i got a better grip, and bit about a third of his right index finger off. he started screaming. he got up. it was bleeding all over and i
spit his finger on the floor. >> though bright bit off the inmate's finger, he didn't succeed in what he really set out to do. >> i was holding his head on the ground, digging one of his eyeballs out, and i'd been having technical difficulties with that. i've been trying that the last couple of times. >> what? >> popping their eye out. i mean, i beat on them and broke them. so i decided to try blinding one, seeing if that makes them understand to leave me alone. >> during our interview, bright indicated that he still maintains hope in prison. and if he ever loses it, there could be real trouble. >> if i woke up tomorrow and decided i'm going to live here and never go home, never have a life, i would be killing people. if i decided this is what i got coming and there's nothing to live for and they're not going to let me out of the hole they would have to weld my door shut forever. >> though he's an intimidating presence, bright maintains he's really nothing to worry about. >> the littlest guy here is not scared of me. i don't intimidate anybody. i'm like a gummi bear. what was that?
a marshmallow. >> you're a marshmallow? >> i'm a marshmallow. i'm a combat marshmallow but i'm a marshmallow. coming up on "lockup: raw: ever present danger." >> cracked his ribs, jaw, broke his collarbone too. >> the ghastly results when inmates unleash their rage on correctional staff. >> i broke my tv, made a couple shanks and assaulted him. ♪ ♪ attendant: welcome back. man: thank you. it's not home. but with every well considered detail . . . it becomes one step closer. no wonder more people. . . choose delta than any other airline. feel like a raging storm. i've tried laxatives, but my symptoms keep returning.
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shooting in a prison is a totally unique experience. but things can go to hell real fast. you sort of have to be on your toes. >> i haven't met a correctional officer who hadn't been involved in some sort of altercation or hadn't been stabbed or beat up by an inmate. it's part of the job. >> blink of an eye, something can go wrong. blink of an eye you can lose your life or be crippled for life. >> you never know one day to the next, you know. you come in here, you don't know if you're going home when your
shift's over. >> don't trust any of them. none whatsoever. because they're not in here for singing too loud in church. >> it really shocked me how cruel and emotionless these people can be. because they're humans but they're real hard inside. >> at the holman correctional facility in alabama, we met inmate kenny wilson. he was housed in the prison's administrative segregation unit. >> i had about five or six charges. main -- my most biggest charge is dealing with a teenager, which i was 16 and she was like 15, i believe. i ended up, know what i'm saying, just dealing with both of them, the mom and the daughter. came in 15 years, and i got 15 more.
>> originally convicted of rape and theft, wilson earned his second 15-year sentence while behind bars after he brutally beat a corrections officer. >> ended up i just gave him -- cracks hi ribs, his jaw. think i did something to his hips, too. broke his collarbone, too. to me it was no thing, it was prison. you don't come here and work here and think it's cake. no, he ain't die. he just won't be a correction officer no more. >> despite his attitude and violent behavior, some at holman are trying to help wilson turn his life around. >> i've known him several years. a long time. i have a history with him. he's a young man with a lot of anger problems. he acts out through his anger. that's what we're trying to deal with now. >> i got a bad anger problem, know what i'm saying? angry because i'm in prison. i'm angry because i ain't with my family.
i'm angry because of the way they treat you, the things they do to you. it ain't never a happy day in prison. >> at the time of our visit wilson had just completed an anger management program, that deputy warden tony patterson arranged for him to take in his cell. >> he needs to grow up. immaturity. you know. but he's working on it. >> i got kids, man. everybody going to change one day. >> for wilson, change is essential. most of his sentence for assaulting the officer will overlap with his original sentence. but just a day after we interviewed him, wilson's anger surfaced again. when he saw our crew on the exercise yard, he greeted them with an obscene gesture. >> one [ bleep ], y'all, two, retire. we don't need y'all around here no more. your time up. >> some days they like us. some days they don't want to see
us. i think that's kind of a function of being in prison. you're mostly pissed off all the time anyway. so, you know, if you can take it out on the film crew, why not? >> though wilson may enjoy his freedom again, it's too late for one other inmate whose anger has had disastrous consequences. >> my name is jesus garcia, i have been incarcerated for nearly 12 1/2 years. i'm incarcerated for first degree murder and i have life plus 26 years to serve. >> when we met jesus garcia at the penitentiary of new mexico, he had recently been involved in the bloody assault of two officers. >> leading up to that day there had been incidents where they messed with me. that was the third time. i said, that was it. that's enough. i broke my tv, made a couple shanks and assaulted them. assaulted one of them. i got him, and then another officer came to his rescue and obviously trying to defend myself, i assaulted him, too. >> they were slashed around the
head, neck, came very close to the jugular on one of the officers. >> i remember running into the pod. there was an inmate between both of them and they were both being stabbed. >> aaron bell rushed to aid his fellow officers moments after the assault began. >> i hit the inmate, tried to get him by his arm, and i slipped. and i didn't realize what i slipped on was all blood. >> it took a couple of minutes before we got other officers in there to respond, pull jesus off and get medical attention to the officers. >> i was covered from basically my neck down with blood. it wasn't the inmate's blood, it was my fellow officers' blood. >> had that guy not been there to save them, i probably would have killed them. i mean, who's to say? if he would have died would i have felt bad or had remorse? maybe. maybe. >> the matter of fact way that he talked about attacking the officers was really scary. it made you realize what a --
what a dangerous place a prison is. >> garcia went on to give us a chilling insight into the mind of an inmate bent on spilling the blood of prison staff. >> actually, i don't regret my actions that day. it was all to make a point. i mean, i could be the nice guy i've tried to do for all these years or i can be that kind of person. i look at it like this. those guys i did that to, they're people that just don't get it. i mean, there are some people that you can reprimand by words, some people you can encourage. there are other people that you have to beat to death. >> he's an inmate, i'm an officer. that's what inmates do. but as a job and what i'm sworn in to do for the department of corrections is to come to work every day. be fair, firm and consistent. and if i were to retaliate against him, obviously i
wouldn't have a job anymore. so in hindsight, you have to hold your tongue and go home every night. next on "lockup: raw: ever present danger." >> if you step out of bounds and disrespect somebody, you better expect that same disrespect back to you. >> cellmates in one of america's toughest prisons school a "lockup" producer on the art of survival. >> step on a man's foot. may very well go back and show up with a knife and come in and decapitate you. making a fist something we do to show resolve. to defend ourselves. to declare victory. so cvs health provides expert support and vital medicines. make a fist for me. at our infusion centers or in patients homes.
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♪ kellogg's frosted mini wheats® feed your inner kidult. it was built to handle the toughest of all criminals. its inmate population includes charles manson and some of the nation's most violent prison gangs. "lockup" crews have also been frequent guests at california state prison corcoran. >> you might have to fight. you might have to kill.
you might have to stab. you never know. depends on the situation. >> a lot of times it's just fist fights out here. but i would say maybe every other month we get a righteous stabbing. when they do stab each other they go for the kill. they don't just stab each other just to play around. >> every morning you wake up you dealing with a thousand different attitudes. so you never know what could happen on that certain day. all you can do is think the worst, hope for the best. >> we met two inmates on the yard at corcoran who are much more pro-active when it comes to surviving life in this powderkeg. they gave our crew a tutorial on how they do it. >> some of the rules that you want to live by behind these walls is you want to give everybody the same respect that you expect to receive from them. >> without order we have anarchy. when we have anarchy we have people die here. >> robert morales is serving 35 years to life for burglary under california's three strikes law. his cell mate, zachariah guzman, has a 16-year sentence on several burglary and drug-related charges.
>> you step out of bounds and disrespect somebody, you better expect that same disrespect back to you. you don't know in what amount that disrespect is going to be. you can have words with somebody. you better clean it up later. >> if you step on a man's foot, for instance, this man is doing 275 years and he doesn't give a [ bleep ] the sun don't shine. then you don't apologize he may very well go back to his house and show up with a knife and come and decapitate you. and it's happened. it's happened in prison. i have seen it dozens of times over the 30 years i've been incarcerated. >> guzman and morales warn that on this yard, even jogging around the track can have fatal results if you don't know the rules. >> when you get too close to somebody on the track, you cough, let them know you're there. especially if you're running and there's a man walking in front of you, you want to yell out "track." he's liable to perceive some kind of threat and turn around and nail you either with a knife or with his fist. every man that runs up to me even friend. first thing i look at their hand. i look at their hands. i don't know if they're going to kill me.
i don't trust anybody in here. i don't know if i somehow offended somebody. even my own people. i see two, three of my own people together. i'm thinking they're talking about me. but this place breeds is conducive to paranoia so i'm always looking at people's hands. this is prison. you can't trust anybody in here. >> can you even trust your own cellmate? >> yeah. because when you live with a person, 24 hours a day, you build up a brotherhood, a sense of -- you build up a rapport that you don't have with your family. and you're both dependent on each other for survival. and you have -- there is an unwritten code that if your cellie is attacked, then you're attacked. the honor of one is the honor of all. so if he's touched, then i'm involved. and so we're a team. we're a team. we're a force to be reckoned with. so you choose your cellies carefully. >> as their survival depends on their bond, the two men must be extremely sensitive of each other while living together in a tiny cell.
>> the space here is kind of small. no real room to exercise. i come off my bed. i got to step on his stuff in order to get down. so i have to ask him politely to move his stuff if i want to come down off my rack in the morning time. >> we use this privacy curtain that gives you the illusion you're in another room when you have to use the restroom. >> these are not allowed. we make these on our own. >> morales had a final message for those on the outside. he wanted them to know that the danger lurking behind the walls of corcoran could someday strike close to home. >> society doesn't understand the suffering that goes on behind these walls. i think that the greatest fear that the public should have is that some of these people are going home and if they go home and they're angry young men they have been traumatized, they have been brutalized, they've been desensitized, they've been dehumanized. they have no regard for the sanctity of life. when you get out there you're going to meet these guys in an
alley one day. if he asks you for your wallet and you don't give it to him he is going to callously pull out a gun and shoot you dead because he's been taught that in here. that, that to be sensitive is to be weak. coming up on "lockup: raw: ever present danger." >> i've had serious incidents of fecal matter and urine to where i was placed on aids inhibitors medication. i've had hepatitis-infected blood spit on my face. >> an inmate's most vile weapon. >> feces, spreads it on everything. i clean it up every day. every day he puts it right back on. scott: that's a bunch of ground-up paper, lad! scotts ez seed uses the finest seed, fertilizer, and natural mulch that holds water so you can grow grass anywhere! looking good, lad! man: thanks, scott. ez seed really works! so, how come haggis is so well behaved? scott: 'cause he's a scotty. man: oh. scott: get scotts ez seed. it's guaranteed. seed your lawn. seed it!
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killed by a white police officer last week. he's been fired and charge with murder. back to "lockup." >> 90% of prison life is boring. it's that other 10% that we worry about as producers, the safety of the crew. we take great precaution to make sure that we can do everything possible to protect our crews. sometimes they're going to wear stab vests. other times they're followed by a group of correctional officers for protection. >> but there are some things you can't protect against. there's a particular type of prison assault described to "lockup" crews over and over again. the nature of this assault is not only disturbing, it's disgusting. we warn you what you're about to
hear is extremely graphic. >> the common way the inmates assault staff now is, what we call gassing. where the inmate will throw a liquid substance on an officer, usually what the inmates use is a combination of urine and feces. what they do is they will urinate or defecate in a cup, and they'll stir the two human excrements together and they'll let it rot and when staff walks by they throw it in our face. i would say a gassing assault happens at least once a day here at san quentin. >> and, seemingly, at almost every other prison we've visited. >> i've had serious incidents with fecal matter and urine to where i was placed on aids inhibitors medication. and i've had hepatitis-infected blood spit in my face. >> they get as creative as putting feces and urine in a
toothpaste tube and squirting it through their door or under their door. those kind of things. >> about 5:45 at night, feeding chow, i was carrying an inmate tray, to feed them. inmate had his flap down, we were feeding his tray. at that time, inmate had a squirt bottle, water bottle they use on the rec yard. had it filled with a substance. and when i was carrying trays back down, he squeezed the water bottle and shot urine into my eye and mouth area. i was checked out, had a tetanus shot done by urgent care in nashville. had a blood sample drawn from me. to see if i had anything or contracted anything from the inmate. i'm worried. i do have a wife at home. my fear is taking something home to my wife and kids down the road. >> this vile form of assault isn't limited only to correctional staff. inmate cates works as a rock man. prison slang for a janitor at the maximum security unit at the brushy mountain correctional complex in tennessee.
>> i work in "b" pod and that's the punitive pod. so i have to deal with individuals who have been in a lot of trouble or some doing hole time. i'm going to have to deal with the ones that's off in they mind a little bit. so some days they may feel like, when i let their flap down that they want to throw doodle on me that day, or urine. this is what we've got to deal with. even they may feel like they may want to throw it on me that day. so, it's things you got to deal with. >> "lockup" crews also stay constantly aware. knowing all too well, they could wind up in the line of fire. >> in my mind that is one of the worst things that could happen. we were shooting at san quentin in alpine section, and we were down on the ground floor. and, suddenly i felt something hit me on the top of my head. and i had the worst thought, oh, my god i had just been gassed. luckily it turned out to be a banana peel. >> when we visited the
stateville correctional center in illinois, we encountered another bizarre practice involving human waste. >> feces, spreads it on everything. clean it off every day. every day he puts it right back on. >> this is unit "i," the segregation unit at stateville correctional center. basically this is where the bad people, being extra bad in the facility, come to be locked up. they urinate, bowel movement everywhere, i think they just kind of have gone crazy, prison life is probably getting to them. >> but we've never seen a more bizarre display of the gut churning activity than at california state prison corcoran. it happened during a routine shoot at the prison hospital. >> we were there for like ten minutes. did a couple interviews with a couple of doctors. initially it seemed like it was going to be mundane and going through the process. so we decided to leave. we were all packed up ready to go back into the other section
of the prison when all hell broke loose. >> we have four inmates in four different cells that are holding food trays, some of them have started flooding the tier which means they're causing the toilets to back up, causing water to come onto the floor. i'll first go out, try to talk to the inmates and try to get them to comply with staff instructions. inmates fail to comply with staff instructions we will probably have to extract them. >> one by one the cells just started popping off. you know, one guy is just started throwing feces, the other guy was covering up his cell. i was like, wow, this isn't boring. this is pretty intense. >> i'm going to talk to them. i want to make sure we get that on video. at that time, if the inmate doesn't comply we are going to go and use the gas masks. i want everything ready to go in no more than five minutes. i want everything ready to go in five minutes. >> knowing they might be exposed
to human waste, correctional staff suit up in plastic coveralls to protect their clothing but they encounter a few snags. >> they don't make them big enough. >> slide in there, it's wet, one of them might throw feces at you. he's ready. he's going to be pitching, i'm going to be catching. >> while the extraction team suits up, the hospital staff continues to negotiate with the unruly inmates. >> meanwhile, the extraction team readies a five-point restraint table to which they will secure any inmate who becomes combative. >> the time is approximately 1307 hours. i'm captain j.l. cobbs. we're going to attempt a crisis intervention in order to get him to submit to staff's instructions. >> captain cox and medical personnel continue to negotiate with the inmate in order to
avoid a cell extraction, where anyone can be injured. >> it's on you. you cooperate with us and you don't fight and you take the medication as we give it to you, then we can equalize -- medication as we give it to you, >> finally one inmate decides to comply. and officers move in to take him peacefully. with his cell still a flooded mess, and excrement covering part of the wall, the inmate is taken to another cell where he is medicated by a prison nurse. but another inmate in the hospital wing is proving to be less cooperative. >> you need to come in, give you some medications. >> nope, not taking no medication, you ain't coming in. >> are you going to come out? >> nope. >> you know i've got to take your medication? >> i'm captain cox, the custody operations captain. i'm going to give you one more
opportunity to comply with staff instructions. i want you to take the coverings down. turn around. submit to mechanical restraints. >> do what you got to do. >> okay. i'm telling you now. this is your last option. >> colonel, he has a mattress. so therefore i want you to go ahead and use the can. it's a barricade removal device. >> the extraction team prepares to disperse pepper spray into the cell using a cannon-like device that will also ram the mattress away from the door. >> this is the commander. open up. >> after a final warning, the team takes action. with other prisoners egging on the inmate, the team sprays a second round of gas and continues demanding that he cuff up. meanwhile, camera operator mike
elwell begins to feel the effects of the pepper spray himself. >> i was standing next to the correctional officer, he had the full face mask, gas mask. and all kinds of protection. and i'm standing next to him, just painter's dust mask that i put on. which needless to say didn't work. and after the pepper spray went off i was crying like a baby, coughing, and you know, i'm surprised it didn't show up on the videotape. >> nearly two minutes after first being sprayed, the inmate finally gives up. for their disruptive behavior, the inmates involved receive time in administrative segregation. once their treatment in the infirmary was completed. next on "lockup: raw: ever present danger." >> my crime is a serial rapist. >> they accused me of killing a little girl back in 1994. >> sex offenders. the pariahs of the prison yard.
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it's probably the most common of all emotions inside prison. and fear comes in many forms. as a group of inmates at kentucky state penitentiary explain to us. >> i don't fear none of these guys out here. the one i fear the worst is probably my clique. it's not a clique. my friends that i hang with, these 10, 15 people. i probably fear them most. because i know who they are. the rest of these guys i don't fear none of them. i hope they watch this. so they all know, the ones that don't. they all know they probably do anyway. >> only thing i fear is the end,
i believe that's what's going to get me in life. kicking the bucket. >> just because i don't fear them don't mean they can't take me out of it. you don't have to fear a man to get killed or hurt by him. if he fears you that's when you got to worry. in here especially because they'll sneak up on you with a knife, a rock, a choke, whatever they want to do. they'll get you because they fear you. >> to me, he's more dangerous than a stone cold killer. you know, he's scared. he's put himself in a situation where he's in a corner. >> that's his only way out. >> and no group of inmates feels more cornered than sex offenders. rapists and child molesters are the pariahs of the prison yard. >> as far as i'm concerned they can die. when they get around me and start talking and think it's okay to reveal they're child molesters, every time they say that, i'm going to smash them. >> most sex offenders choose between a life of constant threats or to serve their time in highly restrictive protective custody units.
but mark higgins takes a different approach. >> my crime is -- is a serial rapist. i was convicted of several different charges of rape, attempted rape, nine assorted counts in all for a total of 35 years. >> we met higgins at riverbend maximum security institution in tennessee. on the outside, he had a professional career and lived in a wealthy nashville suburb with his wife and four children. but he lived a secretive double life, and as he carried out his string of attacks against women between 1990 and 1995, the media dubbed him the gentleman rapist. >> the feeling we had on the crew was, wow, that guy is really scary. he certainly is not, you know, didn't appear dangerous or your stereotypical inmate, but, you know, i think that's what made
him really scary was that he was like your neighbor. the president of your city council or your best friend. i think that made it all the more creepy. >> rapists such as myself, pedophiles, people that murder children or women, they're at the bottom of that pecking order, okay? and there's a lot of men that will take advantage of your crime to try to manipulate you into doing something you don't want to do, be that giving them sexual favors, food from the commissary that you buy, different things like that. but at the end of the day we're all wearing blue jeans with a white stripe on them. we're all in prison for some law that we've broken. >> unlike most other sex offenders, higgins has stood up for himself. >> someone wants to make a big deal about my crime, i'll turn to them and look them in the face and ask, what exactly do you want to know about it? if this person thinks he's going to try to control me by holding that over my head, he's just made a terrible mistake. because i will absolutely
confront him on that. and, oh, by the way, what's your crime? well, is that really better than what -- do you have less of a victim than what i had? you're in here for murder. at least my victim is still walking around, living and breathing. >> one reason higgins can get away with defending himself is because he's housed in a minimum security unit where many of the inmates have similar charges. the sex offender we met at iowa's anamosa state penitentiary has a very different existence. larry morgan spends nearly every hour of every day inside a small protective custody cell where he never sees the sun. >> well, what happened is they accused me of killing a little girl back in 1994 and next thing i know i'm in prison. and then there's people talking about a contract supposed to be out on me. >> morgan was convicted of
kidnapping, raping and murdering a 9-year-old girl. he is serving life without the possibility of parole. >> there's been a lot of threats against me. it was a high-profile crime at the time. and everybody in the system knew about it, and of course they're all trying to stand up and be some sort of righteous convict. and it's like, oh, well, you know. i only rob banks, or i only do drugs, you know. i only sell crack to kids but this guy, he killed one, so now we're going to go and kill him. >> protective custody inmates like morgan are locked in their cells 23 hours a day to keep them from other inmates. >> at first it's kind of claustrophobic being in a little cell 23 hours a day. but it's -- you know, after a while you get used to it. what i miss most about freedom is being able to be outside. and i miss the sun. i probably miss that more than anything else. and fresh air.
i mean, these places don't smell too good. next on "lockup: raw, ever present danger" -- >> all of a sudden, the locks started rattling back and forth together, clacking. >> when a life sentence extends to the afterlife. >> i'm not a superstitious person. i believe everything has an explanation. but there are some things that i've seen here that i've not been able to explain. >> i'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it. come on out, flo! [house band playing] you have anything to say to flo? nah, i'll just let the results do the talking. [crowd booing] well, he can do that. we show our progressive direct rate and the rates of our competitors even if progressive isn't the lowest. it looks like progressive is not the lowest! ohhhh! when we return, we'll find out whether doug is the father. wait, what? hey, scott!. this is no time for lollygaggin', lad.
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correctional officers are well aware that some inmates pose a near constant threat and that many of them will be incarcerated until the day they die. but "lockup" crews have found that it might take more than death to keep some inmates down. >> i love a good ghost story. and anywhere i go that it looks like it has the potential, i'll always ask, do you have any
ghosts around? in new mexico they had a lot in the old prison. >> when we shot at the penitentiary of new mexico, major dean lopez took us to the old main. a now-abandoned building that used to be the heart of the prison before it was replaced with a state-of-the-art facility. >> this is where most of the murders from the riot took place, was this cell block right here. >> the old main was the site of a 1980 riot in which inmates slaughtered 33 of their own. reminders are everywhere. >> this is an area here where an inmate actually got chopped up with an ax. what you see here on the floor is indentures and ligature marks from where the ax actually went through the body and carved into the floor. >> one other remnant of the riot is just as grisly but has also been the source of an unexplainable phenomenon. >> they burned a guy to a crisp right there. down here on the floor is the
area where he was burned. and doesn't matter what we've done to try to cover that up. we've tried industrial gray paint, floor wax, stripper, everything. we paint it. within a month and a half, this whole burn mark would be back on the surface of the paint again. >> some people would look at this and say that's the ghost coming up through the floor. >> there's been a lot of things that certain people have seen in the old main from the time that it was open. i mean, at one point we had no electricity in this place and we'd find lights on. then we'd get to the facility and the lights would be off again. no explanation for why they'd be on. you'd hear noises that people would say were people screaming. i'm not very much of a superstitious person and i believe that everything has an explanation. as a matter of fact, i was one of the people they'd send down to investigate those noises. because, yeah, right. you know? but there are some things that i've seen here that i've not been able to explain. if somebody else can, i'd be more than happy to hear them try.
there are just some things that are unexplainable. >> the specter of inmates refusing to leave prison, even after death. "lockup" crews have found that at other prisons, too. built in 1852, california's san quentin is one of the oldest prisons we visited. >> approximately 1985, brand-new correctional officer here at san quentin, i was working graveyard in a section called donner. >> officer feudler is a member of san quentin's investigative services unit, an elite team of c.o.s who track gang activity and other threats to the institution. >> one night my partner and i were working graveyard. i was sitting with my back to a file cabinet just like this. there was a row of locks, padlocks, on the top handle. my partner and i were talking.
all of a sudden, the locks started rattling back and forth together. clacking. he looked at it. i looked at it. see, i'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it. we both ran out of the office. and we had no explanation as to what that was. we asked some other officers and they said that, you know, the unit's probably haunted. never can tell. there was no explanation for it. no earthquake. the inmates weren't complaining in the unit about the ground moving. there were no wild animals in there. i didn't bump it, he didn't bump it. so -- no telling. >> there's been a history of other strange phenomena here as well. >> this is san quentin's old dental clinic. back in approximately 1984 there was an inmate that was murdered here in this corner. late at night, our officers working in here have heard the same thing i've heard, footsteps walking in the floors above me right here. and i keep telling them that the
guy that was killed here, the inmate, that's him still walking in this building. >> how do people react? how did you react when you first heard it? did you go up and look? >> oh, absolutely. i thought somebody was in the building. so whether or not -- i didn't know whether or not it was an inmate or another officer. when i walked upstairs, everything was locked up, i no longer heard the footsteps. came back down, continued my work. got quiet again. heard the footsteps once again. and everybody in this unit has heard them late at night. >> with so many inmates bent on destructive behavior, it's no wonder that some would, if they could, carry on, even after death. because in prison, danger never dies
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. >> msnbc takes you behind the walls of notorious prisons into a world of chaos and danger. now the scenes you have never seen." "lockup:raw." >> you have a lot of people here that now that they're in prison they resort to what they have to as far as sex. >> we manage to connect some times. >> your lovely bride.