Skip to main content

tv   Lockup  MSNBC  August 2, 2015 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT

9:00 pm
there are 2 million people behind bars in america. we open the gates. "lockup." >> -- when i came here -- >> beat on that [ bleep ] door again. beat on the door again. you, you, i want you to do it. you do it. >> 98% of these son of a bitches in here ought to be taken out somewhere and shot in the back of the head. >> sell it, sell it, sell it, sell it. that's right.
9:01 pm
♪ tell me what i'm gonna do oh, baby, just tell me what i'm gonna do ♪ >> idle hands is the devil's playground, you know, so i stay busy. ♪ >> you think this can get me on "american idol"? >> the execution team will escort the condemned from the death cell into the execution chamber and place him on a gurney. >> you ain't here for going to church. you ain't here because you was doing something constructive. you been doing something constructive, you never would have been here. >> i was doing something constructive until they [ bleep ] pulled me down the hall. >> oh, [ bleep ]. yeah. >> in southern alabama, the holman correctional facility houses some of the state's most dangerous criminals. over the years, holman developed a reputation for inmate stabbings, and ambulances were often seen coming to and from the prison. but in recent years, the number of serious incidents has been reduced, partly because of strict policy changes and the
9:02 pm
supervision of a new warden. the farmland outside atmore, alabama, looks much as it did in 1969. that was the year the holman correctional facility, one of alabama's maximum security prisons, opened its gates. all of alabama's executions are carried out here. the prison was originally built to house 540 inmates. today, that population is nearly doubled, and most inmates, including serious felons, live in one of five open dormitories. >> i've been locked up 12 years, and it's not getting any better around here. instead, they try to pile us in and pile us in more and more. >> at holman, 630 beds are dedicated to general population. 200 accommodate inmates in administrative segregation, and
9:03 pm
172 are set aside for death row inmates. >> you have anything from a property offender here all the way to self-proclaimed serial killers. >> because of a lot of difficult inmates or inmates that other camps can't contain, they will send them to us, and we take them, and we deal with them. >> you'll be out in 30 damn seconds. >> people can get tied up. people can get shot up, you know. people can get stabbed up. >> wrong place, wrong time. you might get hurt. >> so it's up to you to maintain and weave. you know what i'm saying? if you can't weave, then you're gonna be another statistic. either you're gonna get messed up or locked up. >> when i was growing up in this area, we used to be literally scared to pass by the road because we would hear all these horror stories of, like, people getting killed. >> i've seen a guy, you know, get opened up. i've seen stabbings.
9:04 pm
i've pretty much seen it all. >> over the years, holman's reputation for violence has earned the facility a number of nicknames. >> the slaughter pen of the south, the house of pain. >> some call it dead man land. >> the bottom. the pit. the beast. >> this place is savage. it's a messed-up prison, you ask me. >> it's the bottom of the barrel. >> people call it the bottom. >> the bottom. everybody calls it the bottom. it was terrible at one time. you know, you might have two or three fights going on at the same time, stabbings. quite a few killings. >> it's not like working at a walmart. >> since becoming the warden at holman, grantt culliver has tried to steer the prison away from its violent past. he has set up procedures enabling inmates to settle disputes with words, not weapons.
9:05 pm
>> back in the day, they fought it out, and later on, someone more than likely get killed. today, they'll come to a staff member and discuss it with a staff member, and they will end it right there. >> i expect an officer to be a professional, treat the inmate population firm, but fair. >> anthony fuller, i got you for a shakedown. >> officers also keep things under control by conducting surprise shakedowns, random searches for hidden contraband. >> i found a knife. in this jacket on the floor up on the head of the bed. i would say 80% of them can put their hands on a knife within a minute. >> you find a piece of metal or something, file it down on the concrete. you don't need -- you ain't gotta be sharp. it just gotta have a point. put your hand on it and do what you need to do.
9:06 pm
>> one of holman's most notorious inmates, bobby gilbert, is serving multiple sentences for crimes committed inside prison. >> i'm serving a life without parole sentence, two life sentences, two 99-year sentences, a 40-year sentence, a 20-year sentence and a 10-year sentence. all together. >> gilbert has attacked several prisoners and stabbed one man to death at another prison during an argument. >> everybody wants to talk about, you know, i killed somebody over a carton of cigarettes. it's not a carton of cigarettes. that may be the catalyst that leads to something, but if somebody owes me a soda pop, and they come to me and say, "hey man, i need to get that soda pop you owe me," i'll spit in their face and talk to them like they're a bitch or something and
9:07 pm
then they kill me, whose fault is it? it wasn't about the soda pop no more. you on the street, yeah, you call the police and put a stop to it. what do you do in here? i tell you what you do. you go get you a knife, and you stab that son of a bitch, and you say, "you ain't taking nothing else." that's the end of that. here's what happens when you come to take something from me. 98% of these son of a bitches in here ought to be taken out somewhere and shot in the back of the head. maybe -- maybe i'm part of that 98%. >> at holman, inmates like bobby gilbert who commit a violent act are sent to administrative segregation, or "seg." here, they spend 23 hours a day in solitary confinement. >> in seg, they can't smoke. they can't be out without being handcuffed. have to have someone escort them everywhere they go.
9:08 pm
>> treat me like i'm an animal. i ain't no animal. i'm a human being like everybody in this world. >> i think the idea is a deterrent, to keep -- to make 'em want to do right. so maybe they spend their time back here in this single-cell lockup, they might want to, when they get out, want to do better and do the right thing. >> depending on the offense, time spent in seg can be anywhere from 90 days to an indefinite period of time. >> i'm in lockup because i escaped about six years ago. they ain't told me when they gonna let me out or not. it's been almost six years in a one-man cell. >> seg time is worse during an alabama summer when temperatures inside the cells can become extremely high. >> tremendously hot, and it gets -- it don't cool off none. it's just waiting at nighttime, too. the best you can do is get two or three hours of sleep early in the morningtime, and then after that, just get up and pace this floor and try to get cooled off the best way you can. >> one of the inmates here is
9:09 pm
steven parker, a self-proclaimed shot-caller in the aryan brotherhood gang. parker recently landed in seg for slashing a fellow inmate's throat with a box cutter. >> i was gonna get some swastikas tattooed on the side of my neck 'cause i just thought it would look cool. i wanted to get two of 'em on each side like a frankenstein bolt, and me and him had worked a deal, and i kept going back to him. and we kept going around for about two months. he said he was gonna pay somebody else to run 'em. i said, "well, you just need to give me my money back." and he didn't want to do it. so -- so i went for the [ bleep ]. >> parker has been in trouble before. at another prison, he nearly strangled an inmate to death. he's serving a life sentence for murdering his stepmother and almost killing his father. >> i went and rang the doorbell. when they opened it, i shot 'em at point-blank range. a lot of people, you know, they
9:10 pm
villainize me for that, but like i said, i grew up with parents that didn't give a [ bleep ] about me, and i'm not trying to excuse my behavior. i wasn't racist until i started landing in jails and in prisons and kept getting jumped on over and over again. then i became racist. and i wear it proudly. i got the swastikas, and i got the schutzstaffel bolts. >> steven parker is crazy. he's a nut. i mean, no more, no less. he's not a person that's very intelligent. >> we stand for racial supremacy. we want to control the penitentiary system. it won't take much to incite a riot or whatever, you know. you could take four officers hostage at the same time, and it's gonna domino. it's gonna domino. they don't have control. it's just a delusion. >> forbidden to write letters in seg to general population, parker says he's able to communicate with fellow aryan brotherhood inmates by writing
9:11 pm
to friends on the outside. >> they're lazy. they don't read the mail. the mail clerk doesn't -- i don't think she would have time to read the mail, even if she wanted to. >> this letter is from steven parker to an inmate named reese. >> kyra gyden is in charge of reading the mail at holman. she has just intercepted one of parker's unauthorized letters containing insulting language about warden culliver. >> he wrote "culliver," i'm not going to read all of that because it's a lot of cussing in it. "he's an idiot, treats everyone like inferiors or children. i cannot stand that, and he's a supercilious jackass." steven parker is a weirdo, anyway. very weird. that's why he stays locked up in the back. >> coming up -- >> i don't think there is any good way to have to take a life. the sidebar to that, of course,
9:12 pm
is the individual is being put to death took a life. >> inside alabama's only execution chamber. which saves . they settle claims quickly, which saves money. they drive an all-hybrid claims fleet, which saves money. they were born online, and built to save money, which means when they save, you save. click or call. nbut your dell 2-in-1 laptoped gives you the spunk for an unsanctioned selfie. that's that new gear feeling. get this high performance
9:13 pm
laptop bundle for only $399. office depot officemax. gear up for school. gear up for great. feel like a raging storm. i've tried laxatives, but my symptoms keep returning. my constipation feels like a heavy weight that keeps coming back. vo: linzess can help. once-daily linzess treats adults with ibs with constipation or chronic constipation. linzess is thought to help calm pain-sensing nerves and accelerate bowel movements. linzess helps you proactively manage your symptoms. do not give linzess to children under 6, and it should not be given to children 6 to 17. it may harm them. don't take linzess if you have a bowel blockage. get immediate help if you develop unusual or severe stomach pain, especially with bloody or black stools. the most common side effect is diarrhea, sometimes severe. if it's severe, stop taking linzess and call your doctor right away. other side effects include, gas, stomach-area pain and swelling.
9:14 pm
bottom line, ask your doctor about linzess today.
9:15 pm
this is the execution chamber of the holman correctional facility. in alabama, death row inmates are executed on this gurney. the sentences are always carried out at 6:00 in the evening. >> i was 16 when the crime happened. i was 18 years old when i was sentenced to death. i was charged with capital murder, which is, you know, four more deaths in one active scheme. i was sentenced to death by the jury and judge. the jury voted ten votes to two for death. i was living with my father. me and him couldn't get along. looking back, it's -- a lot of the trouble that me and him had was my fault.
9:16 pm
things kept escalating. we got into fights. it just got to the point where in my mind at that time, i didn't feel like i had any way out. the next time we got into a fight, as soon as i got him off of me, i started shooting. i didn't stop shooting until the gun was empty. during the fight with me and my father, my stepmother and two stepsisters were in the house. when the fight started, they ran upstairs. my friend went after them. he kicked in a bathroom door. he shot the woman, cut the little girl's throat. and he found the other little girl and cut her throat. and when he come back downstairs, he told me what had happened. we decided to make up a cover story. we made it try to look like a robbery. the police knew right away that there wasn't nothing going on with that. so, they arrested us and charged both of us with capital murder.
9:17 pm
>> the execution team will escort the condemned from his death cell into the execution chamber and place him on the gurney. the microphone is basically used to read the death warrant to the condemned and also to allow the condemned to make a last statement. >> prior to being arrested and going to arraignment, i didn't even know alabama had a death penalty. so, when the judge told me the sentences that i faced, i didn't think he was telling the truth. from that point on, yeah, i knew i was coming to death row. i knew i was going to death row. >> the warden stands at this point to look back into the execution chamber. there's an intercom system that allows the warden to communicate with the commissioner for any
9:18 pm
last-minute stays. and once he's given the okay to proceed, then in the state of alabama, the warden has to perform the execution by lethal injection. the drug concoction is made up of three different drugs. seven syringes are used. >> sodium pentothal renders the prisoner unconscious. pabalon paralyzes the muscles. potassium chloride stops the heart. >> there are times when i wanted them to execute me. maybe because the weight of dealing with the issue, it gets unbearable. i mean, you wanted to say, man, look, i quit. i'm going to drop my appeals. >> i don't think there is any good way to have to take a life. the side bar to that, of course, is that the individual who's being put to death took a life. i look at it as just the general public or the state of alabama
9:19 pm
actually carrying out the execution. i just happen to be the tool in place to be able to do it. if i refuse to do that, then i'm actually refusing to carry out a law that i said i would uphold. >> i started it. i'm responsible for all four deaths because if i'd have never started the killing, none of it ever would have happened. in some way, i wish that there was something i could do to help the victims' families find closure or make peace with what happened. i can't do anything but apologize. >> in 2005, the u.s. supreme court ruled it unconstitutional to impose the death penalty on juveniles who commit murder before their 18th birthday. since he was convicted of a
9:20 pm
killing at the age of 16, his sentence was changed to life without parole. >> i was outside. an officer called me to the red door that goes back into death row, told me to pack my stuff, that i was being moved to the segregation unit. i packed my stuff and left. you hear a lot of stuff about prison. and i was scared of leaving the environment that i had become known in, people knew me and i knew people, to a new environment that everybody says is worse. so, in that respect, i was scared. i was happy not to have the death sentence, but i was scared to go to the seg building. it is still a death sentence. i was scared to go there. i still feel like i'm a walking dead man. i'm not going to be executed. but i'm going to die in prison. the difference in the sentence
9:21 pm
isn't that great. now i wait 20, 30 years before i die instead of maybe three or four. up next, prisoners find love behind bars. >> i love him. and if i could marry him in the state of alabama, i would. where's the salesperson? at the dealership. nice buick! i guess that test-drive last night went well. actually, i'm still on it. you know, we're test-driving this buick for 24 hours, right?. yeah. so what are you doing? test-washing it. okay, well let me know when you're done, i'm gonna take it test-shopping. introducing the buick 24-hours of happiness test-drive. it's on your terms and a better way to take a test drive. fresher dentures with polident. for the best first impression. love loud. live loud. polident. number 1 dentist recommended. ♪
9:22 pm
fresher dentures with polident. for those breathless moments. hug loud. live loud. polident. number 1 dentist recommended. (ee-e-e-oh-mum-oh-weh) (hush my darling...) (don't fear my darling...) (the lion sleeps tonight.) (hush my darling...) man snoring (don't fear my darling...) (the lion sleeps tonight.) woman snoring take the roar out of snore. yet another innovation only at a sleep number store.
9:23 pm
sure! i offer multi-car, safe driver, and so many other discounts that people think i'm a big deal. and boy, are they right. ladies, i can share hundreds in savings with all of you! just visit today. but right now, it's choosing time. ooh! we have a winner. all: what? [chuckles] he's supposed to pick one of us. this is a joke, right? that was the whole point of us being here.
9:24 pm
at the holman correctional center in alabama, prison officials impose strict policies on sexual activity. conjugal visits are not allowed and anything considered pornographic is screened by mail clerk, kyra guyton. >> the breasts can actually show, but the nipples can't. one of the things they cannot have is "playboy," "hustler," anything like that that is way revealing. even pictures from home they can't have like that. and i've had several of them. >> but when it comes to relationships between inmates, warden culliver takes a different approach.
9:25 pm
>> if an officer finds an inmate participating in a homosexual act, disciplinary action is taken. that individual will go to segregation for a period of time. but if we know that two people are in a relationship, generally we don't do anything with that. if they are not openly having sex -- you can have a relationship that doesn't have sex involved. >> as far as the sex part is concerned, it is very, very frustrating and uncomfortable, especially if that's something you really want to do because you have to try to beat the police and inmates. what i mean by that, it's done quick and quietly. >> keith mason, who goes by the name "precious," is a divorced former pastor serving a life term for robbery and aggravated assault. marquis nobles is serving 15 years for robbery and kidnapping. for the past six years, the two
9:26 pm
men have enjoyed a relationship behind bars. >> he had a shy innocence when i first met him. so i think that was another part that really attracted me to him. by the same aspect, i really fell in love with him. >> every morning, precious gets coffee for marquis. he sews for him and keeps their area clean. in prison terms, marquis and precious are man and wife. >> here you go, baby. >> i got on my band and his. that's mine, that's his. i love him. if i could marry him in the state of alabama, i would. i have his name right there. come on, baby. >> while precious and marquis freely admit to having a sexual relationship in prison, marquis says he prefers women. >> i'm in prison. there's no women in here, but there are men that want to be women. so i have to deal with it while i'm in here. i'm straight.
9:27 pm
i mean, i like feminine men, so, you know, however you want to look at it. as you call is homosexual, being gay, everybody has a different word. but as far as in here, you know, he's a woman and i'm a man. >> marquis and precious insist their relationship isn't just about sex. both speak of a bond rarely shared in prison. >> yeah, i love him probably harder than i loved any woman. you know what i'm saying? and i have 13 children. i have nine daughters and four sons. >> this is my partner. this is my friend. this is, you know, the person that gives me strength. you know, like i say, i don't have family or anything. this is the person that helps me out day to day. so i can't just deny him when i get out, but you have to understand that this is just for -- this lifestyle, as far as the sexual thing, this is just for now because i'm locked up. >> i do this because i want to, not because i have to. actually, i do this because i like it.
9:28 pm
>> while some inmates stay out of trouble in committed relationships, others act out their sexual frustration in public. >> rule violation number 38 is indecent exposure/exhibitionism. >> there are times where you're going to the shower and you look over and a guy is standing there looking at you, masturbating. it's bizarre. >> they masturbate. they'll curse you out and call you all types of names, or when you walk on the tier, they'll try to deliberately hold you at their cell while the guy across masturbates. all right then. >> i don't play that. if i catch them, i'm going to write them up, and i just don't play that. now since warden culliver has been our warden, he don't play that. >> there's a sign of disrespect. but you know, it's disrespectful to just expose yourself even to the man that's standing next to you. is it deviant behavior? we're trying to help guys change the deviant behavior.
9:29 pm
coming up -- >> i can't breathe in here. i can't get nothing out of here. my toilet was full over with feces when i came here. >> one inmate's outrage over conditions at holman. for an unsanctioned selfie. that's that new gear feeling. get this high performance laptop bundle for only $399. office depot officemax. gear up for school. gear up for great.
9:30 pm
9:31 pm
9:32 pm
hello, i'm betty nguyen. mess police in memphis are recognize for 29-year-old tremaine will burn, accused of shooting and killing 33-year-old police officer sean bolton during a traffic stop. investigators believe the officer interrupted a drug deal. metal debris found on reunion island is not part are of malaysia airlines flight 370. the piece was discovered after a wing flap from a boeing 777 was found ashore. more news later, now back to "lockup." there are 2 million people
9:33 pm
behind bars in america. we open the gates, "lockup." >> as is the case at many maximum security prisons, some inmates locked up for rule infractions at alabama's holman correctional facility complain of unfair treatment. warden grantt culliver maintains regulations at holman are not only fair, but reflect what the public expects of the prison system. >> once a year, every prisoner in holman comes up for a progress review before warden culliver and supervisor james powers. >> this is your annual progress review. we'll come up with a determination of his needs, whether his needs can be met here or needs to be moved to a facility where programs to meet his specific needs. >> for inmates confined to segregated lockdown, the process review board comes to them. >> we want to do bobby gilbert
9:34 pm
first and get him out of the way. >> 801 to a4. 1084 to your unit. >> bobby gilbert has asked for a transfer to another maximum security facility closer to his family's home. he waits while a table is set up in the hallway. >> what is you chewing on? >> gum. >> where are you getting the gum from? >> nicorette gum. >> i don't even know that? how long you been on that? a year and a half. >> only thing that stops the cramps. >> is that right? does it really work? how much they give you? >> ten pieces a day. >> ten pieces a day? how much you selling? >> i had to discover that in population. >> how much you sell? >> i don't sell [ bleep ]. you all hooked on it, too?
9:35 pm
--. >> you selling some of it. >> so, see that's what's going on there, you automatically assume the worst. >> whatever you way. >> i'm going to make my money in football season. >> come on, have a seat over there. >> knowing the cameras are rolling, inmates disrupt the proceedings by banging on their cell doors. >> who beating? where he at? beat on that [ bleep ] door again. beat on the door again. you, you, i want you to do it. you do it. you beat on the [ bleep ] door again. i don't [ bleep ], beat on the [ bleep ] door again. [ bleep ] put his ass out the door. the sooner we get his [ bleep ] out of here. >> after the inmates quiet down, gilbert's review gets under way.
9:36 pm
gilbert has made little, if any, progress while in seg, and prison officials have confiscated his most treasured possession, a chess set. >> right now, your behavior warrants no transfer. okay? anything you would like to talk about? >> you about summed it up. i sure would like to have my chess pieces back. why can't i have my chess pieces? >> this is segregation. what are you going to do with chess pieces? >> play chess! >> let me tell you what you do, get you some paper, draw you out a checkerboard -- >> i saint playing in my head. i just don't see where it can hurt anybody to let somebody
9:37 pm
have something semiconstructive to do in their cell. >> ask the law library clerk to bring you a copy of the reg and see if you're supposed to have chess pieces. >> you run this place. >> i follow the regs. >> that's what i'm saying. that's your decision. >> and i follow the regs. >> the regs say we're supposed to be able to have books in here, don't it? >> nope. >> it's segregation. it wasn't meant to be nice. you ain't here for going to church. you ain't here because you were doing something constructive. >> sure. >> if you had been doing something constructive you never would have been here. >> i was doing something constructive. [ bleep ] >> too late. >> it's always somebody else's fault. you want us to be -- exhibit some form of model behavior, but then every avenue is closed to us to do anything constructive. we can't read a novel because we can't have none. i can't play chess through the mail like i used to because my chess pieces took away from me. i was jumping up on the door sticking [ bleep ] through the door every time a female came up here, i guess that's model behavior. >> you have to come in stern.
9:38 pm
you need to come in firm, need to be fair. you need to be able to say no. >> denied possession of his chess set, gilbert is outraged, claiming his punishment would never happen at other prisons. >> donaldson don't do this crap. st. claire don't do this, anywhere else. i received a lot -- i ordered 10 or 15 books a week at donaldson. i have art supplies at saint claire. only here they strip you of everything but a naked cell. that's rehabilitation at its finest. >> gilbert isn't the only inmate in seg expressing frustration. >> are you going to give me? i've been in seg since i been here since 2004. they beat me, jumped me, sprayed me in my mouth with four cans of mace. they made me [ bleep ] myself. excuse my french. >> inmate jammy bell, convicted of receiving stolen property, claims the conditions in seg are intolerable. >> i can't breathe in here. i can't get nothing out of here. my toilet was full up with feces
9:39 pm
when i came here. they did not flush it or nothing. it was stinky and bugs and everything running around. they throw me in a cell. and i had to wait all day yesterday to get somebody to come turn the water back on. >> the following day, when seg inmates are allowed back outside for an hour of recreation, jammy bell expresses himself through his music. ♪ oh, baby ♪ tell me what i'm gonna do oh, baby ♪ ♪ tell me what i'm gonna do because if i lose you ♪ >> bell admits acting out in seg to draw attention to his case. ♪ baby tell me what i'm gonna do if i ♪ being taken away from, you know, my family, my life, my children, my mother, i'm going through a lot.
9:40 pm
i just need somebody to hear my voice, like a voice crying out in the wilderness looking for some help. up next -- >> you can smell the aroma coming out of this box. >> a random search leads to the discovery of prison moonshine. >> got a strong whiskey aroma. toenail fungus? seriously? smash it with jublia! jublia is a prescription medicine proven to treat toenail fungus. use jublia as instructed by your doctor. look at the footwork! most common side effects include ingrown toenail, application site redness, itching, swelling, burning or stinging, blisters, and pain. smash it! make the call and ask your doctor if jublia is right for you.
9:41 pm
new larger size now available.
9:42 pm
they recently rated their care experience at over 3,500 hospitals nationwide in a survey conducted for the centers for medicare and medicaid. just seven percent received five stars. among them were four hospitals that are part of cancer treatment nters of america. learn more at cancer treatment centers of america. care that never quits. appointments available now. esurwhich means fewer costs, which saves money. their customer experience is virtually paperless, which saves paper, which saves money. they have smart online tools, so you only pay for what's right for you, which saves money. they settle claims quickly, which saves time, which saves money. they drive an all-hybrid claims fleet, which saves gas, which saves money. they were born online, and built to save money, which means when they save, you save. because that's how it should work in the modern world.
9:43 pm
esurance. backed by allstate. click or call. inside the crowded dorms of the holman correctional facility in alabama, inmates' personal space is limited. >> this is me right here. and that's about it. you try to respect everybody's little space, but this is it.
9:44 pm
these are my trial transcripts. there's my scrabble dictionary. family pictures. got two of these full of pictures. this was my -- my mom give me this. this was her first bible. i don't necessarily believe in god, but if anybody ever did something to this or that, then i'd have another murder charge. >> in these tight quarters, many inmates occupy themselves with hobbies. donald hargrove is sketching blueprints for a strip club. >> that's the dance stage. these are the pool tables. this is the main club. that's the main bar. this is the dance stage. dancers' dressing room and all that's the v.i.p. lounge. i've really designed houses. i got a whole bunch of them up under my bed. >> idle hands is the devil's
9:45 pm
playground, you know, so i stay busy. >> robert tetter, incarcerated since the mid 1980s on several sex and obscenity charges, was a general contractor. in prison, he uses his construction and electrical skills to build homemade guitars. >> okay. the guitar is made out of boat kits. this is -- 2 1/2 boat kits makes this one. >> model boat kits are an approved hobby item for inmates in general population. tetter combined his with scrap transistor radio parts. >> all of these are stood up together, glued together to make this neck like this. the inside of the guitar is all wood. we have one radio. the tone control. have three controls down here, the set of batteries. then we break it down further. we pull this apart. this comes completely out. this is the pickup. dowel sticks is used for the tuning keys. it has a mike built into the top of it here and then a mike plug
9:46 pm
in the top of it and additional plugs in the tail end. ♪ ooh, baby, the boogie-woogie do no more ♪ >> with headphones, tetter can play in the crowded dorm and not disturb his neighbors. ♪ and the boogie, woogie baby >> after success with the first, tetter crafted another guitar for his friend, jerome berrard, who is serving life without parole for a drug-related double murder. ♪ >> i paid the prison equivalent of $25 for it, which is nine packs of cigarettes. >> and he's had more highs off the guitar than he ever had off of drugs. he don't even fool with that anymore. >> learning to play guitar has been one of the high points of my life.
9:47 pm
it's a shame i had to do it here, but it's a miracle i did it. ♪ >> think you can get me on "american idol?" >> while tetter and berard pass the time playing guitar, a contraband brew called prison julep provides an escape for other inmates. >> of course, yeast is the catalyst for that. they're not able to steal the yeast, per se. they will take raw dough and try to hide raw dough and keep it. they'll take bread to use. any type of a juice that has any form of sugar in it, they will use that. >> today, officers perform a random search in one of holman's general population dorms. though looking for any type of contraband, they keep a nose out for prison julep. >> you can smell the aroma coming out of this box.
9:48 pm
it's got prunes in it. they just wait until it ferments good. kind of a strong, whiskey aroma. they keep it in these airtight jugs so it ferments good, gets good and hot. then they sell it for bags of chips or cigarette smokes or cold drinks or whatever they can get for it. that's how they make their little living in here. just to survive. >> there are ways to make legitimate money at holman. here at the tag plant, inmates make license plates and are paid 30 cents an hour. prisoners can spend their hard-earned cash on food items in holman's sandwich stores.
9:49 pm
>> i buy candy, cokes, zoo zoos, wham whams, honeybuns. i crave honeybuns. i buy honeybuns. >> we have our jumbo honeybuns, we got the blueberry and we got the butterhorn. >> i can't buy no wine. i can't buy no kind of alcohol, nothing like that. >> armen power received a life sentence for auto theft after threatening to kill his trial judge. >> i told him to kiss my [ bleep ] i ain't going to take that, i'm going to kill him. and i jumped for him. and they jumped me. police got me walking me upstairs laughing at me. saying, i ain't never seen nobody short as i am jump a judge. they thought it was funny. i didn't think it was funny. >> power, who has worked at the tag plant since 1983, tries to stay optimistic, in spite of his
9:50 pm
circumstances. >> you're in prison. you might as well make the best of it. so that's what i'm doing. i'm making the best of it. i'm having fun. the judge thinks he got me. the judge ain't got me. >> in the past 23 years, power has worked nearly every job at the tag plant, from operating the presses to changing the dye. while the work fills his time, power's mind is never far from the life he led before prison, hopping freight trains. >> my nickname is hobo because i love freight trains. love freight trains. get me a gallon of wine, water, sardines, crackers. all that, get on a freight train and hang my foot out the door and just go. i enjoy it. one time, went over a bridge and some girls were down there skinny dipping. they hollered at me. but i loved it. to me, it's fun. i wish i could do it again but i can't.
9:51 pm
coming up -- >> legally and everything, and moralistically, yes, it was dead wrong, i had no business with a 16-year-old girl. >> a convicted rapist finds redemption by writing to his victim. [touch tone] introducing freeze it, from discover. it allows you to prevent new purchases on your account in seconds if your card is misplaced. not here... ♪ and once you find your card, you can switch it right on again.'re back! [touch tone] freeze it, only from discover. get it at
9:52 pm
9:53 pm
9:54 pm
at holman, some officials maintain the greatest obstacles to rehabilitation is often the prisoner himself. >> i've known kenneth for several years, a long time. i have a history with him. he acts out through his anger. and that's what we're trying to deal with now. >> sell it. sell it. sell it. sell it. that's right. that's right. i'm angry because i'm in prison. i'm angry because i ain't with my family. i'm angry because of the way they treat you, the things they do to you. it ain't never a happy day in prison. i got to live this choice.
9:55 pm
i see other people get tortured. so i got to live. it's going to make me angry and angry and angry. >> kennie wilson has been behind bars since the age of 15 on charges including auto theft and sex with a minor. he has spent the last four years at holman, in seg, after an incident with a correctional officer at another prison. >> cracked his ribs, his jaw. i think i did something to his hips, too. broke his collarbone, too. >> hoping to help inmates like kennie wilson, deputy warden tony patterson helped develop an anger management program. >> and i kept brushing him off, because i feel like, you know what i'm saying, i don't have time to be sucking up to those people, you know what i'm saying, coming by my cell, talking to me. but he wouldn't give up. just kept coming by my cell and pulling me out of my cell and
9:56 pm
talking to me. >> we have a history. we're trying to help kennie, and he is responding to it and he's responding well and we have high hopes for him. >> as far as being a fair warden, you are one. >> i appreciate that. that means a lot. >> i do give you that part. >> i told you we wasn't going to give up. and we're not. >> through good behavior, some inmates at holman earn the right to live in a faith-based honor dorm. >> it simply means you believe in a higher power, whether it be god, buddha, jehovah -- whatever that is. it's the higher power. the faith-based dorm has been a real winner for us here. >> willie williams is one of the 170 inmates living in the faith-based dorm. he admits to killing a woman 17 years ago while high on drugs. >> we both were smoking cocaine. it ran out. i asked her if i could pawn her
9:57 pm
vcr. she smoked most of the dope and she said no. i got mad, you know, and i took her life. i stabbed her with a kitchen knife. and after i killed her, then i took the vcr and went and pawned it for some more dope. i come to a place and realized that she didn't deserve what i did to her. you know, i was a bad person and i want to change. i want to be different. that's when i got saved. i embraced jesus christ as my lord and savior and i believe he's really real. my hope is that people will see that people can be redeemed. >> would anyone else like to share concerning the letter at this time? >> as an exercise in empathy and self-awareness, inmates seeking rehabilitation are encouraged to write, but not mail, letters of apology to their victims.
9:58 pm
at the age of 23, dale faulkner raped a woman and went to prison. at 42, he was paroled and started a new life. >> i was very fortunate there were people willing to help me and so i was able to get out, start a life, start with a good job and worked my way up. i got married, had a beautiful daughter, but i got too prideful. i started thinking, okay, i've got this. i can start back drinking a beer or two every now and then. then i started getting deeper back into the old person that i was before. i started cheating on my wife. >> on parole, falkner had an affair with a woman and her 16-year-old daughter. >> there's no excuse for it. i had no business with a 16-year-old girl. i got arrested and i got charged with second-degree rape. they gave me 20 years running concurrent with the original life sentence. >> now, dale falkner is trying again to rehabilitate himself,
9:59 pm
starting with a letter to his rape victim of 26 years ago. >> i would give anything to be able to turn back time and remove the harm that i caused in your life. the things that happened the night that i met you were completely my fault. if there is anything that you have felt bad about on your part, please let it go. it was totally on me. >> i think a lot of the guys here have been able to see a way of changing their lifestyles. i have hope one day that they'll get back outside. >> 40% of the criminals who enter state prison in america are former inmates who have violated their parole. while this statistic may raise doubts as to the effectiveness of rehabilitation behind bars, officials at holman maintain that rehab programs not only improve inmate behavior, they help reduce violence inside the institution.
10:00 pm
that's our report. thanks for watching. i'm john seigenthaler. there are 2 million people behind bars in america. we open the gates. "lockup." >> the whole setting is like out of a movie, something i've never seen before, something i never thought i would be a part of. >> it's kind of depressing. this is prison. this is the first time i've ever seen it, so i'm kind of nervous about it. >> if somebody who commits premeditated first-degree murder tells you they have remorse, they are a liar.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on