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tv   Lockup  MSNBC  August 2, 2015 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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capacity. to alleviate the overcrowding, about a third of alaska's inmates are sent to private facilities in arizona. 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'm not disappointed in anything i've done. i've made the decisions that i've made. you have to be a strong-minded individual. >> i have seen staff assaulted. i have seen staff die. >> i have lost over a pint and a half of blood. and the doctor says i don't know how much more you could have taken. >> i wish i could touch and hug them but i guess this is better than nothing. >> i shot a man and i burned him up in a car after i had shot
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him. >> i've got to be here until i die. i got double life and i've got to stay here until i die. >> i don't know how you feel about it, but i'm ready to receive something from god. >> with my retirement pending, i was in jail for having taken someone's life. >> the day of an execution, the entire facility goes on lockdown. if there's no last-second appeal, the offender is then advised the execution is to commence shortly. >> denial is rife in the death penalty. i don't think my mother especially ever thought that i would be executed. the oldest maximum security facility in the state of indiana is the indiana state prison, located near the shores of lake michigan. for years isp, as it's known, had a reputation as one of the toughest in the state. but as you're about to see in the next hour, new policies and philosophies are trying to make this a place where history won't repeat itself.
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fortressed behind a 40-foot-high wall that stretches a mile long is a highly secure city known as indiana state prison. originally built to hold prisoners during the civil war, isp has a history of housing some of the state's most serious criminals. nearly 2,000 maximum security inmates spend their days behind these century old walls. >> the number one charge at this facility is murder. approximately 70% of the offenders housed here are housed here for taking the life of another human being. >> while the majority of prisoners have committed violent crimes, the prison has worked hard to create a safe environment for both staff and inmates. one improvement was the administrative segregation unit. >> back in the early '90s we had problems throughout the whole institution where we had violence every place. we had assaults, fights, stabbings, all the different stuff that goes along with that. and what we did, we came up with administrative segregation unit
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and isolated the ones doing it. and after we did that, we pretty much stopped the assaults and everything else. we still have assaults over on these units up here in our disciplinary segregation unit but it's down about 85% in population. >> the men housed in ad seg are allowed one hour of recreation per day in an enclosed yard. the rest of the time they're confined to their cell. >> this is my la-z-boy, my chair, sitting in the cell for years and years and years. it will mess your back up. because of the steel beds. through the years people jump up and down on them so that makes them uneven and give you back problems for the rest of your life. >> convicted of murder and attempted murder as a teenager, jocco bailey was given a 40-year sentence. he has spent more than 11 years in ad seg. >> it's challenging being locked up. here in the a.s. unit because
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you have the opportunity to be still and decide what you want the rest of your life to look like. it's boring and it's cold and it's lonely. it's not a fun place to be. >> in ad seg, food, books, legal materials, and even spiritual guidance are delivered to the inmate's cell. >> god bless you. i'm just going to get out of here and i won't bother you anymore. >> father tom mcnalley, a retired priest, works as a volunteer chaplain. he routinely visits the men in ad seg but must wear a protective stab vest at all times. >> i come out here, just sort of talk to the men, see if any of them want to talk to me. some are catholic, some are not. if i can do anything to help them, maybe get them a greeting card or a magazine. some want me to pray with them.
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i'll pray for them, for their intentions and just sort of be with them for a while. tell me, have you taken a look at that book yet? i don't want it back unless you're finished it. >> i've read it about halfway. >> good seeing you. i'll pick up the book next time. i'd like to get it back in the library. >> later. >> see you later. >> there's nothing i do in here. i stay in my cell 23 1/2 hours a day. it's hard to get through the day. you see the conditions of these cells. i need all the help i can get. >> ernie johnson, serving 26 years for robbery, was sent to ad seg for assaulting another inmate. >> i got into a fight. i have a real problem with child molesters and i don't like them around me. i don't want them near me. i don't even want them in this prison. as far as i'm concerned, they can die. and when they get around me and they start talking and they think it's okay to reveal that they're child molesters, every
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time they say that, i'm going to smash them. >> seg gates. >> before an inmate is sent to ad seg, he must first serve time in the i-detention unit or idu. in this highly secure cellblock offenders have even fewer privileges and almost no contact with each other. >> kind of like the prisoner jail inside the prison. they're not allowed to have hot pots up here or anything they can cook with. they have limited property they're allowed to have up here. anytime they come out of their cell they have to be restrained behind their back with an escort. the offenders that are up here are the most violent offenders in the prison so at any time, i mean, they might try to reach out and stab you through the bars. if you're on the catwalk, if they have a homemade weapon they can try to stab you that way. an offender who is good can slip the handcuffs if you're not careful and assault you that way. >> nicholas corbin was sentenced to one year in idu, the maximum amount of time. a fight went down in my cell
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house and i was accused of being involved with it. the individual needed to be taken to an outside hospital and because of that, i was sent up here. i'm not disappointed in anything i've done. i've made the decisions that i've made, you know, we're caged like animals for 23 hours a day. we're given food that's of poor quality. there isn't enough of it to keep us full in between meals. and that's just how we live our lives. up next -- >> my life almost ended right upstairs. it was just that easy. within seconds your whole life can change. >> an officer returns to the scene of a brutal attack that almost killed her. and later, we'll take you inside isp's death row. >> this is the holding area of the condemned offender.
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65% of the people employed by the indiana state prison are custody officers who work directly with offenders. most armed only with handcuffs, a can of mace and a remote radio. >> what's the biggest challenge inside the walls? >> making it back outside the walls. that's the biggest challenge. >> all aspects behind the wall can be dangerous. it's how you handle yourself in a situation and how you present yourself to the offenders. we're ready in charlotte. >> these guys will not give us a lick of respect unless we respect them first. we treat them like men. we treat them like human beings. we don't talk down to them. i go out of my way not to know what particular crime they're in here for because i don't want to be judgmental. >> most correctional officers agree that maintaining authority without provoking hostility is a delicate balancing act. >> you have to pick a line, draw it in the sand and stick to it. you can't vary every day you
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come in. you can't be their buddy tomorrow and then be hard on them the day afterwards. you've got to stick to your guns and just hold true to what you believe in and just do your job. you don't have to be super cop. you just have to do your job. >> how are you doing? >> i'm doing all right. >> everything going good? >> yeah. >> all right. >> lieutenant edward howard currently runs "c" cell house. >> "c" cell house is the largest cell house in the state of indiana, second largest in the nation. we have 386 offenders here. i've been here 13 years. i spent half of my time in this cell house from an officer to a sergeant to a lieutenant and i've always said if you could run this cell house, you can run anything here. holiness, how are you? >> i'm fine and yourself? >> i'm great. staying out of trouble? >> no doubt. >> i see you're making your hollywood debut? >> is that what it is? all right. my secret to running the "c" cell house is respect, communication, talking to these guys like men. i don't treat them like children. they're grown men. they ask me a question, i give
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them an honest answer. if i don't have the answer, then i'll find the answer for them. i've responded to many emergencies, fights, stabbings, numerous medical emergencies, hangings, but personally, me, no, i've never been assaulted. >> lieutenant kris st. martin was one of the first women to work at indiana state prison. an isp veteran of 16 years, she was promoted to become the first female lieutenant at the facility. >> when i came in, the only place a female could work was in front of gate three. the only other females were medical staff at that time and then with the change of population, change of the schematics, we finally started to work our way behind the walls. a lot of the females actually quit when they found out that they had to go in. i was one of the lucky ones. i had joined the k-9 units prior to coming inside the walls. by the time they opened it up for us, most of the fellows knew me already. i wasn't this strange oddity coming inside. like i said, it's all in
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internal affairs' hands now while you're on key lock. it's all in internal affairs. right now i need you to lose the sheet and i need you to lose all the posters off that back wall. acceptance of staff by inmates is a hard thing to earn in here. sometimes respect comes a little bit quicker than it does with males. a lot of it is ego when they're bucking the male staff, where they don't have to prove anything to a female. hey. i need you to take the clothes off the conduit because that's not allowed and that extra little shelf you've got going, that's a no-no. okay? you always have to have your eyes and ears open. you have to sense the atmosphere or the environment. but i have seen staff assaulted. i have seen staff die. it's a very violent environment and it can happen. nobody, i don't believe, really knows the true reasons why sometimes. >> i'm really nervous. i'm really nervous. >> two years ago officer karen
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talley was brutally assaulted and nearly died. today is her first day back behind the walls of "b" cell house. karen originally started work at the prison in 1997. >> in the michigan city area there's not a lot of jobs and i had two small children, and i had to find a job that could pay the bills, you know, and be able to support them. >> at the time officer talley was responsible for supervising "b" cell house, an important part of her job was securing the inmates back in their cells with a system called rolling of the bar, an archaic locking device left over from an earlier era. >> that day, chow lines were running late. i said, come on, guys, in your cells. if you miss roll-in, you know what happens. i figured all of them would be in. i rolled the bar. bigger than anything, here are three of them didn't make it. so i went down and i started at the end and worked my way up,
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the last cell that missed roll in was 424. i locked his door, went to 418. locked his door. went to the next cell, 410. i said, come on, go on in your cell. he said, i'm not going in. i said, just go in. and i had never had an incident. never had cross words with him, and he kept slow walking and this was totally out of the norm. at that time a sick feeling just overcomes you and you think, wow, something is not right. so i called for my sergeant on the radio. he said it'll be a minute. and the guy just hit me. and the first hit, i believe, knocked me out. i remember going down and i don't remember the actual impact of hitting the ground. >> she was up against the expanded metal in the fetal position and he kept kicking at her, aiming at her head, her stomach, trying to get to her
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kidneys. another officer on the unit, assigned to the unit, had come up the back stairwell and seen an incident, called the signal seven and came to her aid. >> both of my eyes were busted right in the eyebrow. i had 50 stitches in my eyebrow. he broke my jaw. it was broken in two places. i had on my forehead -- he kicked the skin from my skull. i had lost over a pint and a half of blood that day and the doctor said i don't know how much more you could have taken. had he kicked you one more time, he could have killed you. without a doubt, you could have died. >> you're all right. you're okay. you're okay. we'll get you through this. good job. good job. good job. good job.
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almost there. almost there. there you go. safe and sound. do you want my chair? take the big black one. yes, you can. sit down. sit down. there you go. seeing her come into that emergency room and the fear in her eyes and one of the first things she said to me was, why me? why did this happen? and i didn't have the answers for her. and that really is difficult when you can't answer a fellow staff member why. >> close three. close two. >> currently officer talley
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monitors the trucks that deliver food to the prison. the inmate who attacked her faces aggravated battery charges and was moved to another facility. >> the only contact i have is with the pdr officers and the tower officers. that's it. i only have contact with personnel. i never have offender contact. coming back was really difficult. it was really, really difficult, but i have small children and in life you have to adapt and overcome things and pretty much i've had to do that. i've had to come back to show them that, you know, some days you have to face your fears and you may be scared to death but you know you're going to be okay. up next, the harsh price one inmate pays for breaking the rules. >> i wish i could touch and hug them but i guess this is better than nothing.
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isp's department of internal affairs investigates all
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criminal or potential criminal activity behind prison walls. >> basically what we have is we've gathered intelligence, the offender phone system that indicates several visitors may be, in fact, in possession of narcotics or other contraband. they're coming down through the shakedown area now. we're going to basically confront those individuals. the first suspect is being searched with the ion scan right now. >> the ion scan is a small vacuum like machine that screens for drugs by collecting and identifying particles from clothing. >> the second suspect, he also is being scanned at this time. we scan the hands and basically the arms, the collar, anywhere somebody might reach with their hands after handling their contraband. he's very apprehensive about what's going on. you can see the first suspect is standing with her arms crossed. she's very closed in. he also did the same thing, basically that's, you know, a kind of protective type stance. >> officers move in to question the suspect. >> what they're doing now is interviewing them to see if they
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have enough probable cause to make an arrest on the spot which allows you to make a search and then obtain the material that they would have on themselves or if they don't have enough probable cause and the people are not cooperating and they say they want to leave, then we have to let them leave. but in that case, if a superintendent is going to bar them forever from ever visiting anybody in the department of corrections. because the evidence we have is so strong. >> they have elected to leave the grounds instead of going through a more thorough search. and so that's where we're at right now. i would suspect that one or both of them were carrying something and that's based on all the intelligence, the whole picture put together but obviously we don't have -- i can't prove that by any means. basically that's my gut feeling. >> for the offenders who traffic
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or use contraband, including tobacco, the consequences are severe. >> i've had three dirty urine tests since i've been here for marijuana. >> jerry bonds, serving 85 years for holding up a liquor store and killing the owner is now on permanent noncontact visits with his family. >> it hurts me. to come up here and know like my daughters, i have one 11 and one 12. my son, he's going on 9 and it's like, how can i tell you guys to be good, do good in school and stay out of trouble and every time you come and see me i'm on restriction, i'm in trouble. or i can't have visitors because i'm in trouble. and they're like, well, you're kind of a hypocrite, dad. you're telling me to be good but you're not being good. my father, i've never met a man like him. that's the rock of the family right there. a lot of times i feel i disrespected him by coming this way. everything he was trying to tell me, i needed to pay attention to and didn't. i'd like to say i'm sorry i didn't.
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i have to prove, too, that i have changed because if i can be half the man that he is, i'll be a better person. i'm just anxious, man. want to see them so bad, i wish i could touch them and hug them. i guess this is better than nothing. >> what's up? grab the phone. what's up, man? how are you all doing? you're looking cute. did you get your present? >> the hardest part is like
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seeing him behind the glass and he's in here and stuff. so i really want him to get out. >> when his kids can't hug him, like i told him, he's hurting his kids. i can stand the hurt. sometimes kids can't. >> thanks for bringing them up for me, dad. >> no problem. we were running a little late because of problems on the interstate. >> we only have an hour when we come up here with the contact visit and so for them to be able to hold his hand and touch his face and give him a kiss, that carries them to the next visit. >> what's up? how are you doing? i haven't seen you in, what, two, three months? have you been good? are you doing good in school? >> uh-huh. >> are you? you just get in this morning?
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>> uh-huh. >> look up. i haven't seen you in a while. >> i want him to be here and i don't want him to be here. i want him to learn his lesson while he's here so he knows right from wrong and knows what to do and what not to do at the right time so that he won't do it again. >> i want to let him know that we love him no matter what, but make it easier on us when we come up here. >> if bonds maintains a clean record for one year, he can petition to get his contact visits restored. >> i'm praying and hoping, hoping this is the last time they have to come up here like this and see me behind the glass. it's not a good feeling. not a good feeling. up next -- >> ultimately the worst thing i think they have to deal with is that you get up one morning knowing that you only have 12, 18 hours to live. i mean, that's an awesome thing to have on your mind. >> inside indiana state execution chamber.
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due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. indiana state prison is the only facility in the state with an execution chamber. not every inmate facing the death penalty in indiana is on death row at isp, but many of them could be put to death there.
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the death penalty was reinstated in indiana in 1977, nearly two dozen men are housed on isp's death row. >> how are you doing? okay. let me know if you need anything. >> we get this perception that these guys are total monsters but there is a chance that every individual can, in the heat of the moment, do something they're not proud of and regret very much. ultimately the worst thing i think they have to deal with is that you get up one morning knowing that you have only 12, 18 hours to live. that's an awesome thing to have on your mind. >> death row cells are larger than most, measuring about 10 feet by 12 feet. but this section of the prison operates like a segregation unit. >> a day consists of being in their cells for 22 1/2 hours. currently they get an hour outside of the cell for recreation and then after their recreation period is over, they
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get 30 minutes for a shower. and unless they're going out on a pass to medical or on a visit, most of their time is spent in their cell. >> each week superintendent ed buss visits face-to-face with every offender in the unit. >> segregated offenders tend to have a higher rate of suicide. they tend to develop mental illness quicker than offenders who are walking around in open population. by doing that, we get a chance to see, talk to every one of them, gauge how they're doing from week to week. and on death row that's really important. >> hey. >> how is the cat? is she shy? >> to help inmates cope with their heavy sentences, superintendent buss approved a feline adoption program. >> everything in your cell working? >> yes. >> i was chosen to adopt and i got one the day after i asked to be put in the program. >> convicted of murder in 1982, mark has been on death row for 23 years.
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>> when they sentenced me to death, 23 years ago, i thought i was going to be dead before five years was up. instead, i've watched the men i knew for 20 years go in front of me and that's been hard. i didn't know if i wanted to bring a cat into a place like this where she is going to have to be restrained and i can't really take her outside but i think she knows i love her and it's a tradeoff, i guess. i've never been responsible for anybody but me in my whole life. and i have to care for her and she cares for me. she loves me and i love her. i think that's pretty cool. >> the big things you tend to handle well, it's the little annoyances every day that tend to get under guys' skin, just the little petty things that mount up. when you've had this amount of stress level, you don't really need those type of things. a lot of times you get them anyway and you have to find a way to handle them, to deal with
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them. everybody deals with them in a different way. some guys exercise. some watch tv. some read. do crossword puzzles. it just depends on whatever. but we don't have a whole lot we can do in here because this is our world more or less. >> eric wrinkles was convicted of shooting and killing his estranged wife, her brother and sister-in-law. >> a combination of drugs and a divorce, child custody and visitation, and i was into methamphetamines pretty heavy at the time. one thing led to another and here i sit. i think that my kids don't want to deal with it at all. my mom, she's just now coming to grips with the situation. >> for inmates on death row, their day of execution is never far from their minds. >> the day of an execution, the general population goes to breakfast in the morning. after breakfast, the entire
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facility goes on lockdown. at approximately 5:00, the offender will be seen by medical one last time. he will say good-bye to his family, friends and loved ones and he will be walked by the death watch team over to the death chamber. this is the holding area for the condemned offender. he is brought here six to seven hours before the execution will occur. he will be placed in this cell. he will then have access to a spiritual adviser, he'll have access to television and to a telephone so he can make any last-second phone calls he needs to make leading up to the execution. this is where the visitors are brought to witness the execution shortly after midnight. the blinds are closed. when the team is ready to commence the execution, the blinds will be open, the offender will be allowed to acknowledge the witnesses and then the execution will proceed. >> the condemned offender will
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be placed on the gurney. the mechanical restraints will be taken off and he will then be put in these leather restraints. as well as extra mechanical restraints. the i.v. team will then insert i.v.s into the offender's arm. the final words are audio recorded and written down. if there's no last-second appeals, the offender is then advised that the execution is to commence shortly. he is told to look over and acknowledge his witnesses. after he's done that, the order for the execution to commence begins. >> denial is rife in the death penalty. i don't think, my mother especially, ever thought that i would be executed. but you know, you can't say that. because they didn't put me on up next -- >> i've been in this business 26 years and i've had offenders tell me, boss, i'll never be back, or this is the last time
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i'm doing time. and, unfortunately, they've said it to themselves many times. >> how isp tries to cut down on repeat offenders. >> and what did you do in prison to prepare you for your release?
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on any given week, an average of ten offenders are brought to indiana state prison. >> gentlemen, right this way. we'll get some paperwork taken care of. so come on right over here. whether they are a returnee or brand-new arrival, first you have to remember they are a human being like anybody else. by the grace of god, we could all be here. you don't want to treat them with any disrespect. but you want to answer any questions they have. if they have any fears try to put that aside and make the process as easy as it can be. if you go ahead and fill this out for me, sir.
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>> reginald smith, a convicted robber, was recently released from another maximum security facility for crimes that include felony possession of a firearm and conspiracy to escape. he will spend the next 16 months at indiana state. >> sad to say i was out only nine months and i was only out nine months. dirty drops, i mean drugs, and this is where i find myself, back in another maximum security facility again. >> smith is not alone. a large number of inmates who are brought to isp have previously served time. >> i've been in this business 26 years and i've had offenders tell me, boss, i'll never be back. or this is the last time i'm doing time. and, unfortunately, they've said it to themselves many times. but when they get out of an institutional setting like the maximum security prison that we're in today, there is a true barrier in front of them. >> to cut down on the number of offenders who end up back behind bars, the state of indiana has mandated an intensive re-entry
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program. >> re-entry really is about preparing individuals to return to their community. i've had offenders that were the toughest of convicts inside a system and their lip quivers when i tell them they're getting ready to go home because they're fearful of the whole transition. these guys have been given the structure of life that you and i aren't accustomed to. they know when to get up, when to go to bed, when to process everything in their day. and you know what? in the free world those are choices that we make. we have to teach them to acquire the skill set necessary to make good choices. >> re-entry courses are mandatory and begin two years before an inmate's release date. >> we'll separate them from general population and put them in a separate housing unit and give them intensive classes on life skills and cognitive thinking. >> expect some changes when you get out of here. society itself has probably changed a lot.
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buildings and people themselves, attitudes. you never know what you're going to run into when you get out. >> one of the main things you have to realize and understand, you have to accept yourself first. you have to accept the terms, you know, that you've come to and things that you've done. and as long as you can accept yourself first, that's a start. that's a start to dealing with society. >> we talk about social skills, how to choose your friends and make sure that you're choosing the right friends, the people that are going to help you instead of people that will help you to get back here. >> good morning. >> good afternoon. >> it's nice to meet you. >> you, too. have a seat. today we're going to interview you for the position of material handler. >> mock job interviews reveal the harsh reality of making it in the real world. >> and what did you do in prison to prepare you for your release? >> i had to look inside myself and decide what i wanted out of life and i went through substance abuse. i went through some anger
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management training. and i decided what i wanted for myself. >> ricky collins appeared confident until it comes to the subject of his incarceration. >> oh, yes, i was incarcerated for armed robbery. i was in for five years. >> and where were you incarcerated? >> i was incarcerated in several joints throughout indiana, you know. >> the biggest problem is they tend to look down a lot. and i tell them, you know, whatever you did, whatever crime you committed, you've done your time for that. so i want you to lift your head up. you have nothing to be ashamed of because you've done your time and that's why we do this because it's very important that they know that. >> at isp, self-improvement is also available to those whose release dates are decades away. >> i tell my mother all the time, don't think of me as being in prison. i'm in here trying to better myself. she's really worried about me
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because i am a sex offender and it's really hard on sex offenders in prison, in this environment. i have a class "a" felony child molestation. we had sex one time, she came up pregnant and had a baby. when we found out she was pregnant, i turned myself in. i'm 35. i'll be 56 if i do the whole bit. i made the worst mistake of my life. i made the really wrong decision. and now i'm paying for it. >> last week we did lesson six. >> mark receives psychological counseling and attends anger management classes. >> i struck out first, violated others instead of being the one violated. and that seems to get me in a lot of trouble with myself. a lot of times just to get what i want, whatever i wanted it, when i wanted it. >> and you would do whatever you needed to do? >> do whatever i needed to do. i'm more than willing to be in
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all the programs that i can find out there, you know, and do whatever i have to do to be part of my family's life. and make up for the wrong that i done. >> prison saved my life. i hate to say that but prison saved my life. how are you doing today, ken? >> joseph is serving a 60-year sentence for a murder he committed as a teenager. when he entered isp, he wound up in "d" cell house, a housing unit with a tough reputation. >> all right. everybody kept telling me, you need to come out of "d." you need to come out of "d," but i'm so wild i felt like just coming out, that was the thing to do. and a couple of the old school brothers, they kind of cornered me. they said, we see some potential in you because you seem like you're leading this pack. and they said you're going to school. you're going to go to school. you're going to quit running
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around and doing this and doing that. so i was forced to go to school. i hate to say that but they forced me. it sounds harsh but a lot of people that sign up, they can't even get in school. here i am sitting here, i was forced to go to school. the first day was hard because i was just ignorant. i never read no books, you know, even in school. i never did. nothing that has something to do with reading. i always had somebody there that could explain something to me. oh, you read that? what was that about? that was my apple so i didn't have to read no books. >> monagan eventually passed the ged. >> the first time i took it, i passed. then they gave me an option. you could take a vocational trade or you can take 90 days free time, you know, just kick back, 90 days, you don't have to do nothing, or you can go to college. college? i never heard of that, not where i'm from. i signed up for college. >> monagan now tutors other
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inmates. >> if that person you're trying to teach does not want to learn, he's stubborn, he stonewalls, that's when guys like me come into play because i was stubborn and stonewalled. i know what it feels like. i'm willing to endure all those hardships that it takes just to help you get your ged or whatever it is that you're trying to get, if you're trying to bring your grades up, that's what i'm here for. anything less than that, you can keep the change. up next -- >> with my retirement pending, i was in jail for having taken someone's life. >> a preacher convicted of murder finds a new congregation at isp. >> brothers, we need to know today that change is possible.
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while an average of five to ten offenders are released per week from indiana state prison,
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the majority of inmates will spend the rest of their lives here. willard lucas has spent 29 years at isp. >> i'm in here for kidnap/murder. i caught a guy in bed with my old lady and i blowed my top. and i kind of hurt him. i've got to be here until i die. i got double life and i got to stay here until i die. and hopefully i can stay right here where i'm at. but there's a lot of us in here doing multiple life that won't ever get out. and i'm one of them. >> open table. >> open table. 11 in the corner. >> calvin holmes has been in prison for 25 years. >> i have a total of 102 years and two life sentences.
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i was charged with bank robbery and murder, first-degree murder, and habitual criminal mdn. i shot a man and burned him up in the car after i had shot him. >> as a younger man, holmes tried to escape from prison twice. >> i was 26 years old and was determined i didn't want to die inside these walls. now i'm 51. i'll be 52 this year. so age and time slows a person down, changes your perspective, attitude, and i've come to accept the fact after several attempts that i can make my life hard in here or i can make it easy. and now i look in the mirror and i don't have the same "i don't care" attitude because i find in the end i do care. it matters what you do in here and it matters what you do out there. >> holmes eventually earned the right to live in one of the prison's minimum security dormitories. >> in here, you look around, you'll find no bars. you have windows like on the street. it's a state of mind. you look at the bars 24/7 and
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you can't never get away from the fact that you're locked up. it's a lot better. you have a lot more freedom of movement. the reality is i'm going to die in here and once i come to realize that i slowed down on the things that i was doing. i tried not to dwell on what's on the other side of the walls because if i do, i get to thinking about my freedom. >> we need to know today that change is possible. >> that's right. >> the word of god is proof. >> yes, it is. >> i said the word of god is proof. >> amen. >> facing years behind bars, one inmate at isp tried to find strength through their faith. >> until we get there, you'll never really live in the light. you've already lived in the dark. >> come on, pastor. take your time. >> what's different about this church is that one of the most popular preachers is also an
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inmate. >> how many of you brought your bible with you? let's just pray together. heavenly father, thank you for hearing me in the name of jesus. >> i started preaching when i was about 15. and by the time i was 17, i was preaching at a little church in texas. and from there to kansas city where i served with the church for about 20 years or so. >> there comes a time when no matter how hard it is, we have to get on with the business of seeing ourselves the way that we really are. >> amen. >> i had announced my retirement to the church. then within three months of having left kansas city with my retirement pending, i was in jail for having taken someone's life.
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so i was charged with murder and given a 50-year sentence. >> he's a very important and compelling figure in the chapel and in faith in this institution. there's an adage that all people in prisons aren't bad people. they just did bad things. i think martin is kind of a person who falls within that realm. >> as a convicted criminal, martin feared that other inmates would never accept him as a man of god. >> and one of the first things that we're going to have to do is we're going to have to learn to talk. i don't know how you feel about it, but i'm ready to receive something from god. >> amen. >> there's a large percentage of the prison who will not come to church because of my role. some don't believe that i have the right to stand where i stand. and i certainly understand that. on the other hand, the fact that i do live here and i have fallen on these circumstances allows me to speak to things in a way that others cannot.
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>> i need to know when i get out on main street god will be out there with me. >> the men tell me that they come here because they have found hope. the church continues to grow because it does offer real hope to those who live in a hopeless kind of negative destructive environment. it's an oasis for men who live in a desert. rather than ruling with an iron hand, officers spend time talking to offenders, solving problems immediately and rewarding good behavior with extra privileges. violent offenses at isp have been reduced by 50%. that's our report. thanks for watching. i'm john seigenthaler
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due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. there are 2 million people behind bars in america. we open the gates, "lockup." >> life, doing 15 to life. >> got the browns and the whites against the blacks. the first rule of the game is watch your back. it's either kill or be killed. life and the next [ bleep ] will. i will find me some steel and make a strap. cut like a mercenary death trap. 'cause if i got to do time, i rather do it like a real [ bleep ], be do
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