Skip to main content

tv   Lockup San Quentin--- Extended Stay  MSNBC  August 9, 2015 3:00am-4:01am PDT

3:00 am
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. america's prisons, dangerous, often deadly. there are 2 million people doing time. every day is a battle to survive and to maintain order. >> down on your feet. down. >> among the nation's most notorious institutions. san quentin state prison. our cameras spent months documenting life on the inside where gangs, drugs, and sheer boredom make up a violent mix. this is "lock up: san quentin:
3:01 am
extended stay." >> they treat us like animals in here. >> don't let me catch you up in here. this ain't no regular penitentiary. it's the hole, man. >> basically, it's the same thing every day, you know? you sit in your cell. sleep in your cell. >> strip out right now. >> get down! >> as long as i keep busy, then i'll be all right. but the second i'm at a standstill, i don't know what to do and i'm looking for something to do, i'm going to get myself in a wreck. i'm going to get in trouble. >> pacing back and forth, two or three hours at a time. everyone here is like animals. back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. nothing happens. so it's like one day goes into another. and the next thing you know, weeks go by, months go by, years go by.
3:02 am
>> a new day begins at san quentin. >> good morning, gentlemen. >> how are you doing? >> california's oldest and most notorious prison. with its own zip code, almost 6,000 inmates and more than 1,500 staff members who walk through its gates every morning, a typical day at san quentin is, more often than not, just like hundreds, even thousands, of other days. for 19-year-old troy commiskey, the best part of his morning is a cell made cup of joe. >> i sleep all day, drink coffee, read a book. this is your good class "a" folger's. if it ain't folger's, it ain't nothing, you know what i'm saying? well, my hot water is broken thanks to this wonderful place. but i get it from my next-door neighbor nick. you probably don't want to talk to him. he's probably talking to his
3:03 am
demons right now. hey, nick. >> yo. >> hey, i need some hot water from you homey. thank you. thank god he's got long arms, huh? and we got some hot water. we make do. you know, we do what we got to do to live and survive in this nice little space of ours. i smoke cigarettes. but i can't get a cigarette here anymore, so i cut myself. then they think that i'm trying to kill myself. they put me in a butt naked room which is bull [ bleep ] because i'm not trying to kill myself. if i was going to kill myself, i'd just slice up or hang myself, know what i'm saying? i carved c-14 in my arm. it was a jail gang i was in. i just did it with my fingernails. i liked the feeling of the pain. it relieves stress. the walls started talking to me. and, you know, when you got a thick slab of cement, you know, and you can't talk to the next person, you ain't got nobody to
3:04 am
talk to the whole day, you kind of lose it, you know? so what else are you supposed to do? ♪ ain't no game life ♪ you know my name man >> do me a favor. don't come back, man. this ain't no playground, man. >> even for the "lockup" production crew who spent three months inside san quentin, one day can look a lot like the next. back in ad seg, inmates are locked up 23 hours a day and are confined to tiny, windowless cells. >> hey, weasel. all right, let's do this. took a poll. let's do this, blue eyes. all right, check this out. ♪ she a little tea cup short and stout ♪ ♪ you can tell what this chick is all about ♪ ♪ cool to the touch cool to the touch ♪ ♪ hey ♪ cool to the touch cool to the touch ♪ ♪ hey ♪ she's a little tea cup short
3:05 am
and stout ♪ ♪ hey ♪ you can tell what this chick is all about ♪ ♪ she's cool to the touch cool to the touch ♪ ♪ she's cool to the touch cool to the touch ♪ >> nice. nice, nice. >> i've never, ever captivated anybody like i've captivated these people's minds because the way i sing, they love it. i love it. it took me coming to prison to realize how much i enjoy doing this. >> while demetrius jefferson finds solace in music to drown out the deafening noise, across the tier, angel rodriguez begins his day painting a mural that represents a personal transformation. >> i'm trying to get spiritual now. god has a plan for you, whatever. that's how i'm seeing it now. might be some reality to it.
3:06 am
might not be, i don't know. >> i start with the hearts because that like represents me for my girl, and the hearts are coming over the bars so like she'll be with me throughout this time. right now the grim reaper that's overall is running this earth. you can see it if you look around you, death, death and then deception, trickery against man, right? how we do each other wrong. that's what that represents. hourglasses represent the world's going to change. it's biblical stuff. people out there will see i believe in god also and maybe give the youngsters a different perspective. seeing i've been into the life and i'm trying to change my ways. >> the judge could have gave me a misdemeanor, but she said because of my past i'm violent, all the violence i got in my past, she said something could have happened. i could have hurt my girl, she said. so that's why she didn't keep a misdemeanor. she elevated it to felonies. i was on drugs, so my mind wasn't even focused. and i was thinking about me, and i was being selfish and i wasn't thinking about her nor my son, nothing like that. i promised her i wouldn't bring that into our lives. i used to sneak it and it started pushing her away and i didn't realize it.
3:07 am
that's where it started. it got worse and worse. >> when you're locked inside the walls of san quentin, the nearest art supply store may as well be a million miles away. jailhouse artists like angel have to use their ingenuity to create the right tools to get the job done. >> it's regular ink from the pen. i just take off the tip and i blow it out in a little container, and i mix a little drop of shampoo. i use a white toothpaste because clear don't work. i stir it. and then i cut my hair. i make some paintbrushes. i wrap it with paper and string. made two paintbrushes. trying to take different ideas, what can i put into there. this one right here says my son and wife, i was thinking about putting a scene here. where a guy at the fence and i want a little boy crying. so it shows that even though he's young he's aware of the sadness, you know what i mean? he sees me getting locked up, he comes to visit me, he sees my
3:08 am
girl, sees the tears in her eyes. so even though he's 3, he's sharp. know what i mean? smart. i want to put that in there. that will depict he's aware of what's happening. not fully aware of why i'm being locked up but he knows something bad is happening, you know what i mean? if you believe in god, you have to say it's a given. i never went to school for it, just on my own, i learned. nothing specific. if i didn't have that, i'd be mad. i'm going to be mad at the judicial system, mad at being here, mad at the inmates in here. right now i'm not. i'm at peace right now. coming up on "lockup: extended stay" -- >> nobody wants to go down in that shower with all kinds of freaks. >> when inmates refuse to shower with the group, it's the officers who wind up all wet. i've smoked a lot and quit a lot, but ended up nowhere. now i use this. the nicoderm cq patch, with unique extended release technology, helps prevent the urge to smoke all day. i want this time to be my last time.
3:09 am
that's why i choose nicoderm cq. before i had the shooting, these feet grew up in a family diabetic of boys... married my high school sweetheart... and pursued a degree in education. but i couldn't bear my diabetic nerve pain any longer. so i talked to my doctor and she prescribed lyrica. nerve damage from diabetes causes diabetic nerve pain. lyrica is fda-approved to treat this pain. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new, or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or blurry vision. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness,
3:10 am
weight gain and swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. now i have less diabetic nerve pain. and i love helping first graders put their best foot forward. ask your doctor about lyrica. just in case you were wondering what cheerios are made of whole. grain. oats. this is a great place to work. not because they have yoga meetings and a juice bar. because they're getting comcast business internet. comcast business offers convenient installation appointments that work around your schedule.
3:11 am
and it takes- done. - about an hour. get reliable internet that's up to five times faster than dsl from the phone company. call 800-501-6000 to switch today. perks are nice. but the best thing you can give your business is comcast business. comcast business. built for business.
3:12 am
it's late morning on west block, and inmates are released tier by tier to the showers where they're given an extremely brief opportunity to wash up before lunch. >> when you shower, you shower with a whole bunch of other men that's not fully clothed, that's naked, you know? where's the privacy at? >> you only get to shower every other day here. and nobody wants to go down into that shower with all kinds of freaks. you're in the shower that has,
3:13 am
what, 12 shower heads, and you got 50 dudes down there all trying to shower in five minutes, so you've got people all bumping into each other, you know? [ bleep ] that. >> okay. wash up. get out of here. >> hey, hey! all right. right here. let's go. >> i'm going back to my cell. i hate my life. >> you're live on tape. >> how's it going? >> oh, no. san quentin showers. >> this is my shower. i plug this into my sink. this right here plugs right into the hole in the sink. i designed this. i ought to market this [ bleep]. i'm actually kind of lucky in a sense because i don't have a celly. i can't have a celly. i've had in-cell violence. i had incidents inside my cell with me and the person i'm living with. i stabbed one of my cellies 36 times and another one i cut his throat.
3:14 am
and i just hold this, and that's how i do that. i pick up everything off the floor and wet myself and i get in here naked and i just put the soap all over, wash all over. it's a small stream of water. that's my shower. it isn't a big shower, but it is a shower. that's my shower. it isn't a good shower, but it works. i have to improvise. >> not only are birdbaths a nuisance, but they also pose a safety risk as officers and inmates can easily slip on the tier. >> four tier. >> four, four, now. >> what you're looking at now, people would say it's flooding the tier, but i guarantee you've got a guy in a cell taking a birdbath as they call it. and that's something i can't -- i hate. yeah, you get that all the time. one time we had like, i don't know, probably about 50 cells
3:15 am
that did it one time. on the front bar here, it was like niagara falls, it was beautiful. >> what's up with the water? >> i don't know. >> shut that [ bleep ] down. take a shower with everybody else. don't flood my tier. >> okay. >> all right? >> why you hollering now? ♪ >> give me two. >> more than 3,000 inmates eat their meals in the same dining hall, which can only hold up to 400 at a time. the groups are released by tier to ensure everyone gets a chance to eat. >> let's go, gentlemen. let's go.
3:16 am
>> i'm the eyes and ears of this south block rotunda. and it's the eye of the storm because everyone's relying on me if we have an incident in the kitchen or in the -- inside the unit sometimes, but mainly the landing areas. let's go! my main job is to make sure these inmates come from their housing unit into the chow hall, sit down, come back out. but i also have other officers that are inside. at the same time i'm watching my officers inside, watching their backs because who's watching their backs? you kind of see what i'm saying? because when you got two officers in the chow hall, i try to keep the traffic where i can control it on the steps and have a gap here so if something were to kick off from there, from this point where we're talking, i can have a visual. you've got five landings right up in here. as you can see, i can't see what's going on there, there, i can barely see what's going on on here, so i'm relying on body language on the inmates and also my officers. this is where it becomes tricky
3:17 am
up inside of here. >> that's it. >> stand by. stand by. >> this is my house. this is my home. this is what i do every day, eight hours a day. >> look at this food right here. >> look, we got to get something out of here. this ain't cool. >> what is this? >> despite having four meal options prepared by inmates, many prisoners attend chow for the social benefits but refuse to eat there. >> supposed to be spaghetti, broccoli, and salad, and i don't know what this look like. shampoo. i don't know who made this. do i know it's safe for my body? i don't know. would you eat it if you didn't know who dished it? i don't think so. that's all i got to say.
3:18 am
i cook my own food in my own cell. >> you know what i mean? you want to be eating out of trays? go ahead. bring it here. >> inmates like david monroe have found a more creative albeit more expensive option in cell cooking. >> i am making roast beef and corned beef tacos and in here, in prison, we have to cook in bags. we just get this off the canned goods, take the top off, flatten it so you can cut. other than that you don't have much to cut with. it's a whole lot harder than having a knife. as long as you ain't using it as a knife, the officers ain't -- they understand that you have to cut your meat. i haven't eaten anything in the chow hall in a really long time. i'd say a good year or so. yeah, i can cook pretty good. it tastes very well. i can definitely hide the fact that it's coming from an inmate. you wouldn't know the difference. you just mix it up like that in a bag, and then you put it in here and it will cook itself and give it like 10, 15 minutes. i grew up with all girls, so i learned from them.
3:19 am
and then most of the times i was by myself because i was always skipping school, so i had to cook for myself. i was basically the same as the kids that i talked to, troubled youth. bad family, you know. father was alcoholic. used to beat my mom. he ran out on us. i grew up around a lot of gangs. and it was just a 15-year-old kid trying to find an identity. didn't have one. i got caught up doing that stuff. skipping school. hanging out. doing stuff like that that gang members do, thugs do, whatever you want to call it. and i ended up killing somebody. i was at some girl's house, and i seen somebody walking by. we had a confrontation. and it resulted in me shooting him. i was 15 when i committed the crime. at 16 i pled guilty to second-degree murder for 15 to life plea bargain, and that day just changed my whole life. celly! >> i know you like that. >> you've got to have the hot sauce. this is the best part of the
3:20 am
day. coming home to a hot cooked meal. can't beat it. >> i was scared to come to prison. go do a life sentence in prison with adult men, that has its own fear on its own just knowing that you're going to do a life sentence with a bunch of adult men, but you're still a kid. >> so now we got to eat together. >> from a 15-year-old kid, i'm 24 now, almost 25. i'm absolutely nowhere near that person anymore. coming up on "lockup: extended stay" -- >> this is a very important tool for us. that's how easy it would show up. and it picks up the smallest things. >> even the laundry isn't exempt from random searches.
3:21 am
you stay up. you listen. you laugh. you worry. you do whatever it takes to take care of your family. and when it's time to plan for your family's future, we're here for you. we're legalzoom, and for over 10 years we've helped families just like yours with wills and living trusts. so when you're ready, start with us. doing the right thing has never been easier. legalzoom. legal help is here. i built my business with passion. but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy for my studio. ♪ and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business... that's huge for my bottom line. what's in your wallet?
3:22 am
i'm reworking the menu. mayo, corn dogs... you are so out of here! ahh... the complete balanced nutrition of great tasting ensure. with nine grams of protein... and 26 vitamins and minerals. ensure. take life in. a new sea chance to tryew look. something different. this summer, challenge your preconceptions and experience a cadillac for yourself. ♪ the 2015 cadillac srx. lease this from around $339 per month, or purchase with 0% apr financing. iand quit a lot,t but ended up nowhere. now i use this. the nicoderm cq patch, with unique extended release technology, helps prevent the urge to smoke all day. i want this time to be my last time. that's why i choose nicoderm cq.
3:23 am
♪ inmates do whatever they can to overcome the monotony of prison life. and the more than 900 officers of san quentin have their own ways of escaping too.
3:24 am
>> get started right now. go ahead and put your shirt on, do all that back there. >> you got to pull your pants up. you're still in prison, all all right? all right, all right. walk around with your ass hanging out, it don't work. keep your pants pulled up. >> i have little tolerance for [ bleep ]. and if the inmates don't know me, they'll get my attention and i'll straighten them out. i demand respect right off the top. >> are you paroling? >> because i came up through a time in the early '80s when it was really violent. we had officers killed, a lot of staff hurt. a lot of inmates killed. savagely beaten. even still to this day our officers get hurt, get beat up quite a bit, and a lot of people don't know about this. straight ahead all the way from the back to your left. i don't want to cut that because i don't want to nip your ear by accident. >> what i got to do? >> because it's your ear. it's got to come off. i always have my -- i call it spider senses kind of up in case
3:25 am
something happens. i put on a different -- just a higher -- higher level of like security because i'm in the walls. anything with stone on it is considered contraband, so you mail it home or donate it. you got a lot of room to cut that off. good job. you'll be all right. what about them gold teeth? just wondering, just asking, man. gold teeth, that's a hot commodity too. >> hey, hey. >> nice of you to show up. nice. nice shot. >> when he is not processing the 350 incoming inmates each week, he's talking game strategy on a basketball court. >> are you going to bomb threes on us? >> no. >> what are you going to do? what do we say? >> drive. >> drive to the hoop. i'm the assistant coach of the windsor girls varsity high school basketball team. >> good job. good job. >> stop the ball, stop the ball! all the way! there you go. i have the hardest time with tattoos and stuff. the parents look at me like, who's the felon on the bench with the coach?
3:26 am
usually. >> the ball, the ball, the ball. >> good job. good job, ladies. >> one, two, three. >> good game, blazers. >> officer thompson is 1 of 35 correctional officers working in ad seg. >> so we have weekly laundry exchange in the ad seg. so we're setting up two sheets, a pair of socks, and a towel right now. >> while sorting laundry may seem mundane, it's critical to both the officer's and the inmate's safety. >> we don't wash it here anymore. so it comes back in locked carts and we run it through the rapid scan machine, and we check it for contraband. the last thing we'd need to do is have a piece of metal or something get inside these sheets. that's a real potential hazard
3:27 am
for the staff in here. that's plastic, so it's really -- it's a very important tool for us. that's how easy it would show up. and it picks up the smallest things. >> but when his shift ends, he trades in his uniform for a pair of jeans and hits the open road. >> i'm off work. i'm me. and this is how we get down. yeah, this is cutting loose. >> in the early afternoon, officer grant begins his shift in one of the ten towers surrounding the prison. >> how you doing, bird? >> i'm doing okay. how you doing? >> you're looking pretty good for a young kid. i'm 79 right now, and i'll be 80 august 7th.
3:28 am
and i am the oldest correctional officer here at san quentin. >> you can check that. >> all right. >> i first came to san quentin when i was 60 years old. i just wasn't ready to retire yet. >> and your impact rounds are over there. >> primarily my job is to prevent escapes. this is a mini 14. it's a high-powered rifle. we use these as a last resort to stop a situation that could be lethal. they say, "you're too old to be working here, grant." i just laugh it off. >> for officer grant time off brings him outside the walls into the bay surrounding the prison where he swims a mile and a half in a little more than an hour. >> i never, ever felt like quitting because i always kept myself in good health.
3:29 am
coming up on "lockup: extended stay," the yard can be a dangerous place, especially for an ex-nazi low rider. >> you got a problem. >> i have a huge problem. >> come on. what the [ bleep ]. how many times i got to serve the ball? why is everybody looking at us, man? find you some business.
3:30 am
just in case you were wondering what cheerios are made of whole. grain. oats. to breathe with copd?ow hard it can be it can feel like this. copd includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiriva is a once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that helps open my airways for a full 24 hours. spiriva helps me breathe easier. spiriva respimat does not replace rescue inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate. these may worsen with spiriva respimat. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops. if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, vision changes or eye pain or problems passing urine, stop taking spiriva respimat
3:31 am
and call your doctor right away. side effects include sore throat, cough, dry mouth and sinus infection. nothing can reverse copd. spiriva helps me breathe better. to learn about spiriva respimat slow-moving mist, ask your doctor or visit
3:32 am
19-year-old christian taylor was shot and killed following an altercation with the officer after taylor vandalized the car and crashed his jeep through a car dealership. beach areas on reunion island are being inspected for the search of flight 370. back to "lockup."
3:33 am
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. ♪ line twisting a concrete tenement welcome to prison ♪ ♪ community compassion i doubt it ♪ ♪ arms on top of legs ♪ system's overcrowded ♪ they have more power ♪ all races quick to return ♪ familiar faces three square meals in confined places ♪ in the afternoon, inmates from the sensitive needs unit are making the most of the yard time. they only get about ten hours a week. >> this yard is protective custody.
3:34 am
administration protects child molesters, rapists, and sex offenders, so they put them out here to protect them from people like me because they know that i'm not going to no longer do anything to them because i can't unless i go back to the shu. >> nine serving six. come on, womack. >> last time we were out on yard was probably about a week and a half ago. yeah. >> you think i'm treating you bad? i'm not treating you bad. [ bleep ] [ bleep ] >> i always treat you good. >> [ bleep ]. >> you got a problem? you got a problem? >> come on. what the [ bleep ]. how many times do i have to serve the ball? >> [ bleep ]. [ bleep ]. >> they're all considered my enemies. >> oh, man, come on, man. pick somebody else, man. god. >> that's game. >> good game. >> i'm the king of the court.
3:35 am
i run that court. that court was mine for about an hour. >> since weights have been banned from san quentin, inmates like speedy have found other ways to keep in shape. that's our weights. yeah. that's how we work out. we got to make water bags. we don't get weights no more. arnold schwarzenegger took those away from us. >> why is everybody looking at us, man? find you some business. >> while recreational options are limited on the sensitive needs yard, back in ad seg they're even more restricted. angel gets his first real human contact for the day when an officer escorts him out for his one-hour yard time. >> i thought you was coming with me. >> yeah.
3:36 am
>> you got one open? >> like a dog pound. get an hour out here. it's better than nothing. but they put this because too many people getting stabbed. now what am i supposed to do? i don't need to work out in the yard. you don't work out because you don't want no one to see what you can do. so you keep the secret if you're in shape or if you're not in shape. you know what i mean? you usually don't work out so the next man don't know what you're capable of. because then you expose your hand. it's like when you're playing cards. keep everything so no one knows what you have. your abilities or whatever. know what i mean? >> blinky was a paid hit!
3:37 am
>> angel spends most of his time talking with other inmates rather than engaging in any sort of physical activity. >> are you validated or what? >> yeah, they got me validated. they validated me in '91. since then i ain't been out. since '91. yeah. they validated me in solitary. i been debriefing. you know what i mean? they tried to come up when i was in pelican bay, wanted me to go back to the main line. asked me to debrief. i said, i don't know nothing. keep your head up, man. >> officers. >> ready. >> once back in the privacy of his own cell, angel begins his daily workout. >> i was standing on the toilet. it's easy to do like this. if you don't work out, you going to go crazy in here, you know what i mean?
3:38 am
it's like -- >> how long do you work out? >> maybe two hours. i start with 1,000 push-ups, right? after i do that, i come and do these. >> fights inside the prison can initiate a lockdown at any time, revoking yard privileges for all inmates, making the in-cell workout their only option. >> they call it burpees workout. we do different kind of stuff. we do burpees. we do abdominals. we do arms. tomorrow we get yard. we only get yard two times a week. that's our routine every day. we get bored. and we don't know what to do, so we work -- so working out is
3:39 am
wasting the mind out, you know what i mean? my english is not too perfect. so after, that birdbath and everything, we wait for chow. it's just wasting time. we got a long time to go. coming up on "lockup: extended stay," it's the bottom of the ninth. and for these inmates there's more on the line than just a game. >> if we don't get down, then somebody might get shot. i've smoked a lot
3:40 am
3:41 am
and quit a lot, but ended up nowhere. now i use this. the nicoderm cq patch, with unique extended release technology, helps prevent the urge to smoke all day. i want this time to be my last time. that's why i choose nicoderm cq. can a a subconscious. mind? a knack for predicting the future. reflexes faster than the speed of thought. can a business have a spirit? can a business have a soul? can a business be...alive? why should over two hundred years of citi history matter to you? well, because it tells us something powerful about progress: that whether times are good or bad, innovators with great ideas will continue to drive the world forward.
3:42 am
as log as they have someone to believe in them. for more than two centuries we've helped progress makers turn their ideas into reality. and the next great idea could be yours.
3:43 am
within the walls of san quentin prison, each inmate has to find his own way to get through his time. for nghiep key lam, america's favorite pastime is his way to escape the realities of prison life. >> right now i'm going down to the baseball field to see what's going on. thanks. this year i'll be playing for the san quentin giants, and i'll be a starting left fielder. >> hey, guys.
3:44 am
listen. breathe. make him throw strikes to you. here we go. san quentin giants baseball. come on. >> let's go, let's go. >> let's go now. >> one for a single. one for a home run. >> when i first got in in 2003, there was the giants and the pirates. so i went out there for the pirates. >> he don't even want to throw a strike, curtis. he don't even want to throw a strike. >> first day, i suit up in a pirates uniform. i felt like i was a kid again. >> let's go. stay focused. >> attack mode, baby, attack mode. >> being familiar with something i grew up with, playing baseball. and so i felt alive at that point. baseball, no matter where you are, in prison or on the street, it's baseball. >> yeah.
3:45 am
>> go, go! get him, get him! he's out of there. whoo-hoo! >> my year, i hope to hit over .400 and still be the leading base stealer on the team. >> go, go, go! go, go! >> in prison, you know, base stealing, that's not a good term to use, but baseball-wise, that's the best term to use. stealing bases and throwing people out. now i know why baseball is america's pastime sport, you know? >> key is serving a 25-year-to-life sentence that began when he was 17 years old. >> at 17 i was just confused. i didn't know who i was. i wanted to play sports because i wanted to go to college, you know, and play baseball, you know. but then somewhere down that line i just -- i kind of gave up hope. i was a kid and looking for --
3:46 am
looking for companionship. looking for a place to fit in. the point of joining a gang was for the value of being connected with somebody. being accepted. being, you could say, loved. i was 17 years old. and i got in a gang fight with somebody, and i ended up stabbing them -- stabbing that person to death. and when i reflect back, when i was stabbing him, i wasn't stabbing just him. but it was -- i was stabbing my -- everybody that i had anger against. i went back to my buddy's house. and i just told him, man, i did something bad, you know. i did something bad. i was shaking. i didn't know what to do. next day i went to school, you know, like trying to make everything normal again. but in reality, it wasn't normal. i took somebody's life. you know, somebody's son, somebody's brother. you know, and thinking back on it, it's sad, because -- because that didn't have to happen.
3:47 am
you know, that didn't have to happen at all, but it did. and now i got to deal with it. in the process of this, i want to try to help somebody else that is going -- like a guy that might have three years, make sure he don't come back as a murderer. that's my new life now. >> yay! >> whoo! >> alarm. all inmates down in the prone position. lie flat down on the ground. >> but no matter what's at stake in the game, the all-too- familiar sound of an alarm reminds the inmates whose yard this is. >> why is everybody down? >> there's an alarm. so that's just -- everybody in this, every time you hear an alarm, all inmates, everybody has to get down, all inmates. sometimes there might be a fight, might be somebody hurt. so they have to press the alarm. make sure the cos know what's going on. most of the time you get a lot
3:48 am
of false alarms. but we don't know whether it's real or it's false. >> alarm clear. >> it's off now, so everybody can get up. that's a precaution. >> nobody rises, nobody moves. >> business as usual. >> if we don't get down, then somebody might get shot. >> good throw, thank you. >> good job, old man. >> nice beating you, home boy. good to beat you here. >> underneath the towers surrounded by razor wire, level 2 inmates from north block and "h" unit get in one last game of tennis before the end of the day. >> just a little long.
3:49 am
>> mohamed is the captain of the san quentin tennis team. >> hit it, squirrel. >> i started playing in the '70s on the street. when we first came to prison, a few places don't have tennis courts. so when i first saw this, it just kind of like touched my heart. my release date is 20 years from now, if they don't fix the law. and they better fix it. no, just kidding. 20 years from now, that's the release date they gave me. 2027. i had a drug -- drug problem. you drugs became a big picture. and not just being under the influence. just being in part of drugs, period, will get you involved in doing different things.
3:50 am
what happened, cocaine makes you feel like you're on the top of the world. you saw the movie "scarface." what can i say? i wanted to be scarface. the real special thing, really it takes you away from here, if you want to know the truth. it kind of takes you to where you've been before on the streets, playing tennis, because you forget about the madness. so when we into a game or into a good rally, you're just like, oh, man, that was good. and then sometimes, you know, you've really got to wake up. oh, man, remember where you at. coming up on "lockup: extended stay" -- >> number 32, checkmate. >> when boredom sets in, these inmates get inventive with household items. >> this is a castle. that's some strawberry kool-aid and a piece of toilet paper. >> yeah, i make roses for mother's day and all that stuff. this is made out of toilet paper, right? see this? >> anybody would never think that was made out of soap and paper. dotcom superstar. and us, we'll be right there with you, helping with the questions you need answered to get your brand new business started.
3:51 am
we're legalzoom and we've already partnered with over a million new business owners to do just that. check us out today to see how you can become one of them. legalzoom. legal help is here. just in case you were wondering what cheerios are made of whole. grain. oats.
3:52 am
no sixth grader's ever sat with but your jansport backpack is permission to park it wherever you please. hey. that's that new gear feeling. this week, filler paper and folders just one cent. office depot officemax. gear up for school. gear up for great. i built my business with passion. but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy for my studio. ♪ and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business... that's huge for my bottom line. what's in your wallet? great time for a shiny floor wax, no? not if you just put the finishing touches on your latest masterpiece. timing's important. comcast business knows that. that's why you can schedule an installation at a time that works for you. even late at night, or on the weekend, if that's what you need.
3:53 am
because you have enough to worry about. i did not see that coming. don't deal with disruptions. get better internet installed on your schedule. comcast business. built for business.
3:54 am
as the hour grows later in san quentin, all inmates are required to remain in their cells until lights out. >> 13 and 64. >> 19 and 61. >> 12 and 32 checkmate. >> 13 to 31 check. >> 22 to 29. >> i'm going to have to move the pawn. i'll show you how to play chess. >> it's fun, you know what i mean? and you see how we work. this is all made out of toilet paper right here.
3:55 am
this is a castle. that's some strawberry kool-aid and a piece of toilet paper. >> it's dyed with kool-aid. >> it's dyed with kool-aid. that's where you get the color of it. that's the bishop. we made the pieces. you know what i mean? we got to work with what we can. >> this is a king for you. that's a queen right here. and the queen, that's a queen. she got the little "v" indention. this toilet paper and this kool-aid dye is our entertainment. >> his numbers are exactly the same as our numbers. i make a move, he can put it on his board too. if he doesn't do it right, it's going to mess the whole game up. >> 39 to 46 check. my pawn takes your pawn. >> your game's weak, man. >> you took my queen, man. >> with nothing but time, inmates are able to turn the most basic household items into pieces of art. >> there it is. that's the tread of the tire made out of soap. once i paint it with black marker, which i put in toothpaste to mix it, use pastel
3:56 am
as color, i put foil inside to make it shine. on the other side i'll carve the "v" twin, the motor, out of the soap. i'll indent lines into it so the motor will look like a motor. takes a long time. so i like motorcycles. i been doing it for like six years. and i mean, anybody that would -- likes art would never think that was made out of soap and paper. you know. i like doing it. it keeps me out of trouble. that's a whole other friend right here. that's what keeps me from being depressed and angry and everything else. this has been my life for 22 years, prison. ♪ >> while these hobbies simply kill time for some inmates, for joe aske, it's a source of income. >> yeah, i make roses. for mother's day and all that
3:57 am
stuff. these guys -- i sell them. this is made out of toilet paper, right? see this? it says -- the poem, here's a special flower to say i love and miss you. made from 14 little squares of prison toilet tissue. finding new and different ways to make you laugh or smile makes running out of toilet paper almost seem worthwhile. and people, they actually put them in the letter, send it home. but i make -- i should make two bucks off this tonight so i can smoke a cigarette later. that's what it's all about. >> cigarettes are expensive, huh? >> $2 a cigarette, wow. >> in our three months inside san quentin, our production crew barely found a quiet moment. the noise on the cell block can be deafening. and now at nearly 10:00 p.m.,
3:58 am
most inmates are about to call it a night before a new day of the same old routine starts all over again. >> shutdown is at 9:30, 10:00, shutdown, everybody goes quiet. everybody says good night. respectfully, hey, you hear it from the front bar to the back bar, showing respects, so we can actually have peace and harmony amongst everybody. everybody says good night, buenas noches, whatever, right? >> it is now 10:30. we ask your cooperation, and participation. designed to facilitate peace. to all my brown brothers, buenas noches. >> it's like a shout, everybody will say it at one time. one person will direct it, to
3:59 am
all my northerners, whatever, all my hispanics, all my africans, good night. everybody will shout, hey, good night to each race. >> to the whites, skins, asians, souls and others, good night, god bless. >> in the morning it's good morning, too, right? they do that at like 5:30, 6:00 in the morning. hey, and start shouting out, right? then seal will come in and clown too. he'll say, to all my cambodians, you know, good morning. everybody will go, hey, good morning. and he gets a kick out of that. you know what i mean? you got humorous times in here too, you know what i mean? because this is our life, so we got to laugh, you know. we can't be always mad. >> god is good.
4:00 am
all the time. >> god is good. >> all the time. >> good night, man. >> good night, bro. due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. msnbc takes you inside the the walls of america's most notorious prisons, into a world of chaos and danger. now the scenes you've never seen, "lockup: raw." >> listen up. there's to be no talking, period. one behind the other, single file line, on the wall. >> a prominent research study


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on