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tv   Lockup  MSNBC  May 3, 2014 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

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pens its doors. that's our report. thanks for watching. i'm john seigenthaler. due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. there are 2 million people behind bars in america. we open the gates. "lockup." >> i pled guilty to sexual assault. >> yeah! >> tried to go through everything in the cell, everything from matches 0 to guns. >> i look more female like more than any of the other ones here. >> i guess the sooner i die, the
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better for me. aside, i don't regret it one bit. i'm not going to lie. the crime rate in the historic town of ft. madison, iowa, is almost nonexistent and yet many of the state's most violent offenders call this small town home, sort of. they live at the iowa state penitentiary. behind this 40-fat stone and concrete exterior is a population of drug abusers, murderers, and the mentally ill. on the west bank of the mississippi river is one of the oldest prisons in the country, iowa state penitentiary. there is a separate facility at iowa state penitentiary called ccu, the inmates who are
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considered mentally ill are housed here. lieutenant john fedler oversees the correctional staff at ccu. >> the staff have been through specialized training to be able to deal with the mentally ill inmates. >> up to 200 men can be housed in ccu. most of them reside in single cells in one of the four general population pods. >> i am here for depression. i was out on work release. i escaped from a work release center because i couldn't find a job. i robbed a bank in my hometown where the work release center was. i got in a high-speed chase with state troopers of missouri and local law enforcement. i hit one of the state troopers head-on, trying to commit suicide. and i killed the state trooper. i got 20 years fed, and 5 years for escape. i got a detainer in missouri for --
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>> open 11. 22-year-old caleb etter's physical appearance is a testimony to his many crimes, beginning with an addiction to methamphetamines. >> i was about 18 years old, trying to make money. took in some dope, in a bathroom the size of the cell and we had ethernorum, the lab blew up. burned us. 67% of my body got burned. i did about a year in the hospital. two years to recover and three years later i'm here in prison. >> etter is serving a combined 14-year sentence for assault to commit sexual abuse, assault on a peace officer and methamphetamine manufacturing. >> one day i'm at my
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girlfriend's house. they kept talking about how great it was. how you've just never been so high in your life. stayed up 15 days off a trip. someone said some choice words to me i didn't like, did some things i didn't like. i was tired of it. i snapped. i wanted her dead. i plead guilty to sexual assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. it carries a two-year sentence. i'm not proud of it. that was my best friend. and i'm sorry to this day that i did it. they put me in ccu because i have a background of mental behaviors. they diagnosed me with schizophrenia, multiple personalities. >> a few hours after our cameras left ccu, etter got into a verbal fight with a female correctional officer that
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quickly escalated. c.e.r.t., the correctional emergency response team, is called it in. >> he's been banging his head on the door. spitting at the glass. refusing to follow any orders. have permission for use of force or extract him from his cell? >> for security reasons isp videotapes all extractions. >> you ready to move? >> hands up. >> open b-11. >> a mask is placed over etter's head to prevent him from spitting. >> let's go. >> but as they pass through a door, he bangs his head against the glass. >> oh, hey, hey, hey. >> i swear to god break my neck. yeah, i love pain! yeah! yeah!
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>> etter, stop, stop. stop fighting. stop. >> yeah, hurt me more! >> no more banging your head. you understand? >> i'll kill you all, you [ muted ]. i'll kill you all. i'll kill you! >> etter, calm down! calm down. >> put him down. >> on the floor. >> hurt me more! hurt me more! >> let's go up. stand up and walk normal. >> i can't stand up. >> etter -- >> etter is brought to the bubble, an observation cell in the suicide prevention unit. >> i'll kill you all. hurt me more.
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hurt me more. >> we're not going to hurt you. >> why [ muted ] if you didn't want to hurt me. >> to prevent him from harming himself, etter is placed in four-point restraints. >> the next morning lieutenant fedler and a nurse check on etter. >> at this point he's been down long enough that we need to get him up to do a complete range of movement, let him use the restroom. she'll do her thing as far as the medical aspect of it. >> i'll evaluate his mental health and see if he's feeling like he's going to continue to hurt himself, then i'll make a call to the psychiatrist. are you feeling like you still want to hurt yourself? >> i never wanted to hurt myself. >> now, were you banging your head last night? >> yes. >> that's not the right thing to do, is it now? >> it's better than hurting somebody else. >> what i'm going to do now is i'm going to call the psychiatrist and see if we can just discontinue the four-point order so he doesn't have to go back into them now. i really don't feel he's any
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threat to himself or others at this point. >> a short while later, etter gets released from the four-point restraints. he's given a suicide smock and told to stay under observation for 24 hours. the smock is specially designed and eliminates the need for clothing that an inmate could use to harm himself. >> i get real frustrated. i react off my emotions. i never think ahead -- never plan ahead about what i'm doing. >> four days after entering the psych ward, etter is sent back to his cell in ad seg. >> we're going to bring you out to my nursing station and redress your legs and i'm going to check your blood sugar, okay? you can deal with those, right? >> yes. >> you seem a lot better to me. i hope you feel you are. >> yeah, i'm doing better. >> okay. okay. glad to hear that. just keep it up. >> right now i'm fine, sitting back, relaxing, thinking about what i've done. i think how to do it different. i've done in the past.
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up next -- >> when i was 6 years old he was killing her. he had her on the bed and he was choking her and me and my little brother -- excuse me. me and my little brother was begging him. i can't go on with that part.
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prison is prison and there are only two people here, the predators or the victims. victims is no place for them. >> isp sits on 11 acres and houses only 566 inmates. more than half are serving life sentences. jack nutter is isp's longest serving inmate.
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>> this is a picture of me at 18 when i first came in. i was sitting down on death row. >> nutter is serving a life sentence for the murder of a deputy sheriff. >> i hate it. i was young and i lost all that time. in january of '56, me and four other kids were all going to california. i stole a car and we got stopped in independence. they said i was speeding. i grew up, if you get in trouble and somebody's with you, you try and help them out. that's what i did. a shot a police officer. i was convicted of first-degree murder, killing a police officer. i was sentenced to death. i have been here 50 years. i'm 68 years old. >> over the decades he has been at isp, nutter has watched the inmate population change drastically. >> when i came in it was bank
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robbers and forgers and car thefts. now it's mostly drugs and kidnapping and things like that. >> an awful lot of them are here by a virtue of their conduct at other prisons. this is the end of the road for them. >> estelle dunsmore has been at isp for 20 years. >> i got two life sentences, my charges are first-degree murder, attempted murder, going armed with intent, assault, escape and using a firearm while perpetrating a felony and kidnapping. >> dunsmore's long rap sheet includes taking a deputy hostage and attempted murder of an isp correctional officer with a weight bar in the gymnasium. he blames his assaultive behavior on the domestic violence he witnessed as a child. >> i grew up in poverty, malnutrition. my father beat on my mother a lot, almost daily. he'd get drunk and beat her up.
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when i was 6 years old, he was killing her. he had her on the bed, choking her out. me and my little brother were begging him -- excuse me -- me and my little brother was begging him -- i can't go on with that part. >> just give me the rough sketch of what you want and i'll put it down on paper. >> although the majority of prisoners at isp are older inmates, youth offenders are rapidly becoming the fastest growing population. >> how old are you? >> 23. i've got a five-year term, a violent felony. >> i came in when i was 16. i'm 23. i'll be out of here 25, 26 years old. >> i got arrested when i was 18. i turned 19 the next day in county jail. my uncle owned a tree service and we did work for a gentleman. he paid us in cash.
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so we went back and robbed him. i mean, my partner slit his throat. in iowa it's a law if you participate in a robbery and someone dies, you're a murderer, too. now i'm a murderer because i participated in a robbery. i'm not writing the prosecutor asking him to let me out because i'm a changed man. because, to be honest, i'm not changed. i'm just the same person that i was when i was out there. i'm 23 now. my sentence is 25. 85% of that and then i start a life sentence without parole. so i'll never get out. i'll die in prison. >> we're expecting 12 inmates coming in. they'll be processed in, photos taken, height and weight and they'll be processed and sent to the appropriate cell houses.
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>> 20-year-old jeremy pickling arrives at isp with a reputation of being a highly assaultive inmate. officers take extra precautions as they process him into their system. >> turn and face me. straight ahead. as far as your mental health, you're not feeling like you're going to hurt yourself or feeling like you're going to hurt anybody else? >> no. >> all right. we'll get your meds set up for you this afternoon. >> can i get on the list to see the doctor that prescribes the meds so i can get an increase on my dosage? >> what you have to do, they'll give you a sick call slip. you need to put on there why you want to see him. you get that filled out. that will be picked up first thing in the morning. we'll turn it over to the psychologist, they'll evaluate you and we'll go from there. any more questions? >> no. >> okay. we're done with him. >> pickling is processed without incident. he will spend the next four years inside iowa state penitentiary. up next, sex in prison.
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>> i know how to work around the guards pretty easily to get the sexual things i need done. >> and the high stakes for those who get caught. >> it certainly seems like there's sufficient evidence that there was something sexual going on.
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due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. >> there is a lot of sex in prison. the officers try to deter it as much as possible. because of the fact that, it is iowa. it's not the most openly gay state. >> any sexual conduct in this institution that is observed by staff results in a disciplinary report being written. >> it's here. it goes on. >> joseph gilchrist is currently serving a 40-year sentence for sexual abuse in the third degree. >> it was a boyfriend, get caught up in the drama.
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they came over and were breaking windows out of my car. i picked up a bat and went after them. it got out of control and i just ended up, people bleeding on the ground. >> two days before our interview, gilchrist was placed in ad seg for alleged sexual misconduct. >> i was down in the chapel. i was down there with another person. i knew the situation was the wrong place to be. as an officer walking by and seeing something that looked very inappropriate. they called the officers and they came and got us. >> this isn't gilchrist's first offense. >> unfortunately, i'm not very good at hiding. that's my problem. i stand out. i'm young. i have a red light above my head unfortunately is what the problem is. >> your report has not been heard, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> gilchrist meets with prison
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officials to determine if a prison infraction has indeed occurred. >> in checking your reports, you have a report of the same exact thing almost a year ago to the day in the same place with the lights turned down low a year ago. >> yes. they found nothing inappropriate was going on, yet i still get found guilty of it. every time i'm alone with somebody i have to go through this. people won't leave me alone. that's all that i want, right? is just to be left alone and do my time and go home. >> mr. gilchrist, what we're going to do is return you back to your cell. you'll remain in that status until such time as your report has been adjudicated. we'll determine what your next status will be. thank you very much. >> it really sucks to be in here. i was doing so good. you know, i told my mom, i'll stay out of trouble. and just to be good. you know? they take all the fun out of everything. sex is the only thing you have. and half the time it's not even
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worth having anyway. because it's that 30 seconds, get in, get out. what fun is that anymore? >> prison officials must determine if gilchrist will receive any additional time for his actions. in the meantime, gilchrist will not be allowed any work detail. >> i'm like the most popular one. they call me countess. the countess, above all, because i look more female-like more than any of the other ones here. >> randi stamper is an openly gay inmate at isp. he's serving a 25-year sentence for attempted murder. >> shot somebody. shot them for getting me like the wrong bottle of vodka. stole his truck, 18-wheeler. >> stamper received additional prison time for inmate stabbings and for kicking a correctional officer down a flight of stairs
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at another facility. >> it's easy to have the sex in this prison. the guards don't see everything they claim to see. you can talk a guard and have friends lure a guard away from some place so you can get into some place, have the sex and get out before the guard comes back. there are staircases, there are closets, other people's cells. it's kind of like a cloak and dagger game with the guards. my case, i'm just good at it. i never get caught. ten years. this is my fourth time -- fourth time in prison. i know how to -- i know how to work around the guards pretty easily to get the sexual things i need done. >> a week after getting caught in the prison chapel with another inmate, joseph gilchrist prepares for a disciplinary hearing.
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>> i'm going to go see the administrative law judge today. he didn't really like me very much. i see him too many times. >> disciplinary report. approximately 9:00 a.m. inmate gilchrist came to the chapel for buddhist services. he was approximately six to eight feet from the annex room where an inmate and gilchrist, i observed gilchrist on his knee, his face and hands were in pendleton's crotch area. signed off. >> i'm going to say not guilty. it didn't look like what it was. the video cabinet is tall. he was standing there watching the movie, rewinding it. i was in the bottom half of the cabinet. i was putting away videos we had already seen. and the officer came walking by. i knew it looked bad. i told him right -- >> certainly seems like there's sufficient evidence that there was something sexual going on. i'm going to find you guilty of group violation number 15, sexual misconduct.
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it is a class "b" which can be up to 90 days. i'm just going to go with 60 just like you had on the last one. 60 days disciplinary detention. do you wish to appeal this decision? >> no. >> no appeal? okay. >> he's going into dd because he was found guilty of disciplinary problems. so he is allowed two sets of clothes, two toothpaste, two deodorant, one toothbrush, two bars of soap, his bible. and there's what you're allowed. >> basically this is it. you are stripped of everything. this is my life in a bag. it's just us and the walls and it kind of pushes the limits on, you know, keeping yourself sane, really. i'm not going to go back in the closet and say i'm straight just to stay out of trouble. i came out, you know, i'm gay. it's who i am.
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and they just have to accept me. i'm just going to be who i am. and just keep going. next on "lockup," three inmates make a daring attempt at freedom. >> when an opportunity arises to escape like i did, you've got to take it while the opportunity exists. @ñ
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the iowa state penitentiary is more than 150 years old and is clearly showing signs of age. in 2005 while the prison was undergoing an update to its security systems, three inmates used the opportunity to make a brazen escape. the prison's correctional emergency response team or c.e.r.t. is on the front lines of that effort. >> we try to go over every square inch we can. >> take this camera and stick it down the conduits here and check for weapons, what they hide or behind this plate here. i was looking behind these brackets and we found weapons
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laying up underneath there. they use this strap for getting underneath the bed, because we've found shanks there and had to fish them out. >> success rate, that's hard to say. sometimes it goes in spurts. we might find a lot of shanks one month and the next six months might not find any. >> this is numerous contraband we've found throughout the years here at the penitentiary. this is a zip gun. stick a .410 shell in there. we have a screw in there. a shank made out of a pen barrel and a nail. these are nonlethal but they put your eye out. this is made out of a plastic comb. just a piece of plastic.
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a turkey leg bone. certain cell houses are not allowed to have chicken bones or rib bones because they can do this with them. these are the dangerous ones here. the ones you don't really see. when a guy carries something like this, he really means business. he wants to hide it. very sharp, very pointed. this is what we'd call a .22 zip gun. shoots a .22 round. put your bullet in there. screw it down until it's tight. made in one of the shops. if a guy didn't know this, if this wasn't together, he had this piece laying on one bench and this piece laying over here, you really wouldn't know what it was. >> the c.e.r.t. team constantly trains to respond to any incident within the prison, including escape attempts. >> what we're doing here today, we're repelling. we're pounding the bars. to see if somebody's been sawing on them. we have plastic hammers. when you hit a bar that's been sawed on it makes a special tink. at one point we have found some
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bars that had been sawed through. at one time we found three bars that were pulled out. they were glued back in there by toothpaste and then painted over with the same color paint. >> c.e.r.t.'s efforts are part of the prison's security crackdown following the widely publicized escape of two inmates in november of 2005. >> two murders are now in their 27th hour on the run. >> the two men escaped from the state prison in ft. madison. martin moon, the man on the left was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder out of clark county and 27-year-old robert legendre was serving a life sentence for kidnapping, weapons charges as well as murder. >> unmanned towers provided just the opportunity for three inmates to make their move. >> the two inmates that escaped were both captured in a week's period of time.
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one was returned to iowa. the other one was involved in numerous crimes in the state of missouri, i believe. and he is still in that state facing additional charges. the inmate that was returned to the iowa state penitentiary was charged for escape. he pled guilty and the sentencing is tomorrow. he'll receive a five-year consecutive term. >> one of the inmates, martin moon, now resides in cell house 220, a far cry from the freedom he had a few months ago. he is once again serving a life sentence for killing a man in a dispute over drugs. moon insists he is not guilty. >> me being an innocent person, i've been compelled more than say the person that knows they're guilty and have been found guilty. i feel they tend more to lay down and do their time and accept the punishment. i'm not willing to lay down and accept the punishment. i've been here going on my sixth year. i still got a couple steps in my
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appeal process left. when an opportunity arises to escape like i did, you've got to take it while the opportunity exists. the prison came up with a plan to cut back on expenses. they were going to put in new electronic fencing cameras. they started pulling out guard towers. that's when my plan developed. a lot of anxiety. because now you're going to be a hunted man. we started out with three. the last guy in the chain couldn't make it over one of the fences. went down the rope on the outside wall and as soon as his feet hit the outside of the wall, he broke his leg. we discussed a broken leg, what was going to happen. he knew at that time i was going to have to leave him. i did get him away from the wall where he had a chance. once i was away from here, it felt pretty good. i'm not going to lie. i covered close to 30 miles the first night. traveled out until i hit a small town. i scoped it out right before it turned daylight. i noticed the car business, a mechanics business. i know from prior experience, a lot of mechanics when you bring the car there, they'll have the customer leave the keys in the ignition. i tried a few cars, found one that ran and took that one. after i had got in the car, it had been four days without sleep. i didn't sleep any the night before i left. i had to pull over because i was about to run out of gas. i picked a bad spot to pull over. gravel road which the cops rolled up on me, which was a bad deal.
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>> moon had made it all the way to the southern tip of illinois before he was captured, a distance of almost 400 miles. >> the police didn't know who i was to start with. when i gave them an alias and wrote me a ticket for driving the vehicle with the wrong plates and alluding an officer. if i had $200 i could have bonded out. but i had my -- they found out who i was eventually. aside from getting caught, i don't regret it one bit. i'd do it again tomorrow if i could. i'm 35 years old now. hopefully if everything goes the way i hope it goes, i'll get my case overturned, i'll write a book and make a movie and become a millionaire. coming up -- >> i'm in here for causing trouble, i cut myself and stuff like that. >> an inmate struggles with self-mutilation. >> i was on razors but they put me on razor restriction. i find stuff in here like staples and plastic.
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çwçw;c3k?çwowowo there is a growing trend within the iowa prison system. gang violence. one out of four isp inmates is a gang member. >> what happens in the prison mirrors what happens on the street. we had a lot of influence from chicago-based gangs and crypts and bloods from the west coast, latino gangs. it all kind of came together in the middle of iowa. we had a lot of intergang violence. >> there's no doubt about that. records show i'm gang affiliated. >> ronnie ballou is doing ten years for felony possession of firearms. >> basically a gang program.
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some people go through it, some people don't, right? >> once these gang members get here, a lot of people are engaged in activities that put them in segregation. once they are in segregation, we are looking at a way to work them into the general population with our gang program. >> the security threat group program or stg was developed as an alternative to locking down suspected gang members indefinitely. >> you go through that program basically throw your hands up and you've fallen into what the state has, you know what i'm saying, what the state wants. >> there's a misnomer that it's a snitch program. that in order to participate in the program you have to tell on other people. i've always maintained the only person i expect you to tell on is yourself, own your own behaviors, step up to the plate, admit what you are and what you've done and be willing to change that. >> i'm not taking the program, my people ain't taking the program. none of us are taking the program. i'm just going to sit here and ride it out. >> if an inmate refuses to
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participate in the program, he remains in lockup. >> spending hours on end in a small cell is an ongoing complaint of inmates at isp. especially in cell house 220 or the hole. >> this is your maximum security unit inside of a maximum security prison. here's where we house the disciplinary detention inmates that couldn't be handled at another institution or couldn't be handled in our general population area. now we have to deal with them over here. >> brian murray is serving a ten-year sentence for stealing cars. >> i'm in here for cutting myself, stuff like that. i was on razors, they put me on razor restriction. i would find stuff in here. staples, plastic from deodorants. i've been in here so long, it kind of releases stress. it lets me go to the infirmary for a while to get a new environment for a while. >> murray is also facing charges
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for writing threatening letters to judges and the president. he's what's known as a special needs inmate. >> this is a very harsh environment for them. because the other inmates will egg them on. they're very easily persuaded, that type of thing. >> officers find murray cutting himself again. >> you have to tell me why though. >> because of being in this cell. >> why are you here, brian? >> in the cell? >> yes. >> right now? >> yes. >> been here since 2004. >> i know, why are you here? >> because i got in trouble. >> okay. i can't change that. >> murray is known as a cutter. and has required both medical and psychological treatment. >> why do you continue to cut yourself? >> i get stressed out in this cell. i cut myself to try to get a
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little attention. being in a cell 24 hours a day for the last six, seven years kind of gets to a person. >> he's telling the truth. he does it for attention. we come down and try to talk to him and get him to behave. generally he does for a while. >> officers search murray's cell for his cutting tool. >> he had taken the cap off his toothpaste. he had broken it off to make a sharp edge and started cutting his arm with it. reopened up scars from where he previously cut himself up. >> now what? >> i go back to my cell and wait another couple months, i guess. >> correctional officer christian bowyer has worked in cell house 220 for four years. >> one day you have a quiet day and the next day they pound all day long or two or three assaults. you just can't let your guard down. you always have to be prepared for something. when you open that flap you have to make sure you're awake. some of these guys have hepatitis or aids and they throw
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feces on you all the time. you have to be prepared for what's going on and be careful. >> there was a co here running his mouth. he was telling me to suck his [ muted ] and stuff like that. when he came and took me to the shower, i threw a cup of diluted shampoo in his face. i told him it was urine because i was so mad. i wanted to prove to them, it don't matter. i don't care. there ain't nothing they can do to me, make me do what they want me to do, right? >> robert harris is serving a ten-year sentence for forging prescription narcotics. he landed in cell house 220 a year ago after several staff assaults. >> hey, everybody knows you're special, brian. >> all there is to do in here is listen to other people banging on stuff. you know, officers constantly running in on them, and cussing. just a lot of crazy stuff, you know.
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i call it bugs. always somebody bugging out, always somebody causing trouble in the cell house. it's hard. it's really hard. they got me on a lot of medication. >> inmates in cell house 220 get an hour of recreation in the morning and a ten-minute shower several times a week. >> one of the worst things in this cell house is the compound day-to-day events, typical stress incidences that add up. and some of the things you're subject to, stabbings, hangings, self-mutilation, those type of things and the actual assault itself. i don't think there's an officer in this unit that has not been assaulted. >> correctional officer robert helmick was recently assaulted. >> one of the assaults i
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encountered, opened the flask, had an offender standing there with a homemade weapon. we call them shanks in here. asked him to pass his food tray. he tried to come out and stick my hand. >> you have to move there a little bit. >> but there are some inmates at isp who are constant threats to officers. luis antonio nieves is such an inmate. in 1992 at the age of 17, he went to the home of a neighbor in milwaukee, wisconsin. the neighbor, a 32-year-old mother of four, rebuffed his sexual advances. he stabbed her repeatedly in the face, neck, chest and legs, killing her. >> open two. >> since coming to prison 14 years ago nieves has received more than 130 major conduct reports including two near-fatal batteries of female staff. his nickname is the monster. >> i'm a laid back, quiet type of individual. i was born in puerto rico. when i was 10 i moved to new york. i spent most of my life in new
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york. when i was 16 i moved to milwaukee, wisconsin. lived with my mother and then in 1992, that's when i caught my case. i had a good life, good parents, even though they were separated. but it was a good life. never needed anything. i worked. it's just one of those things. i'm just another man in another prison, just one of the guys. >> "b" range, joe. >> i'm not an angel, i can tell you that. you understand? i'm not here for being an angel i can tell you but, you know, i'm not a monster like everybody believes me to be. >> both the wisconsin and iowa departments of corrections have filed attempted murder charges against nieves. he refuses to discuss any of his cases. up next -- >> as i was walking away, i turned around, i looked and one
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of the hunters shot me. he missed me. i turn around and i shot him. then i just start shooting all of them. >> we meet isp's most notorious inmate.
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ç??çwowog?w?k?o right now on msnbc, a deadly case of sport and violence. a minnesota man is under arrest this afternoon after fatally shooting five deer hunters in wisconsin. >> a violent rampage that led authorities on a manhunt that lasted several hours on sunday. >> we have a suspect. we took him into custody. >> chai vang committed a shocking multiple murder in wisconsin that grabbed national headlines in 2004. >> a sixth hunter has died following the deadly confrontation in the north woods of wisconsin. >> for his own safety he's serving his six consecutive life sentences at iowa state penitentiary. >> the relatives of the man suspected of killing the six hunters say they are stunned and
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they don't know what went wrong. >> i was hunting over in northern wisconsin. i got lost. i got to a private property. one of the owners asked me to leave and i start to leave, and another group come in about five people, two atvs coming in. as i started to leave, they call me racial slurs. and gook, chink, asian. as i was walking away, i turned around and looked. one of the hunters shot me. so he missed me. i turned around and i shot him. then i just started shooting all of them. i shot eight of them. two still lived. six died. everywhere i go i always have someone racial against me. just because who i am. >> vang is not eligible for work or programming until his case is reviewed. except for two hours in the yard, vang is locked down 22
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hours a day. >> i used to work all the time, 10 to 14 hours a day. i come here, sit here every day, just not do anything besides watch tv. i don't have anything to lose. i don't have anything to live. i've got no job, no house, no family no more. so for me, it's really depressed to be in here. for me it's really sad to be in here. i guess, the sooner i die, the better for me. >> the big thing with prison is that the guys are bored. prisoners are bored. life is a routine. many times they're genuinely seeking different religions. >> delwin vandekrol oversees the practice of over a dozen different religions inside the prison. >> a lot of the religions are a quieting, mellowing, peaceful type of thing.
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this is something they can do to empower themselves. so much power has been taken away, their ability to do things. so for them to pray and to see god answer something is very, very special. it's empowering. >> when we really do have the tools in here to have a decent life. there's a lot of things you can do to make your time fulfilling. >> at age 19, travis wolfkill was convicted of stabbing and beating his grandmother to death over a $300 tax refund check. he's currently on appeal but his sentence is life without parole. >> you don't really wrap your mind around it. because i'm not doing time. i'm just living life. it's a life different from out there. we have a lot of the same things in here that you do have out there. it's a little world in here. >> wolfkill devotes much of his time to his religion, satanism. >> i'm in a satanic group here.
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only about four of us here. it's a real small community. >> the thing about satanism, we don't encourage or condone the breaking of laws. one of the biggest misconceptions about satanists is that we worship the devil. we pay homage to lucifer. the truth is, we don't believe in satan, we don't believe in lucifer. satan merely is a symbol. who is satan? the original rebel. this actually has all of the teachings in it. this has what i call -- what's called the 11 satanic rules of the earth. if you look at number nine, it says do not harm little children. number ten says do not kill nonhuman animals unless you are attacked or for your food. that right there destroys all the bad stereotypes you have about this religion. there's no human sacrifice. this is probably one of my favorite ritual tools is the gong. which is just used for emphasis
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a lot of times. and this here, this bad boy, this is the destruction candle. in the name of satan, the ruler of the earth, the king of the world, i command the forces of darkness to bestow the eternal power upon me, open wide the gates of hell and come from the abyss and answer to your holy name. >> religious freedom behind bars is a hot topic for prison officials in many states. federal law protects an inmate's right to practice any religion he chooses. while iowa state allows satanic worship, there are still concerns that some of what they practice may put prison security and inmate safety at risk.
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that's our report. thanks for watching. i'm john seigenthaler > due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. there are 2 million people behind bars in america. we open the gates. "lockup." >> this place is infested with child molesters, rapists and murderers. >> you happen to be in the most beautiful place in the world, as a matter of fact, this place should be a resort instead of a prison. >> you are surrounded, you know. >> you are surrounded, you know. you're trapped in more than one way. >> i'm training myself always physically and psychologically to be able to combat these officers. >> if a guy comes up all
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