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tv   Whos Your Friend  MSNBC  February 20, 2016 2:00am-2:31am PST

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due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. msnbc takes you behind the walls of america's most notorious prisons, into a world of chaos and danger. now the scenes you've never seen, "lock up, raw." >> for inmates to survive they have to make alliances for security purposes. here's the dilemma. you have to make friends for protection but they can be the friends that end up killing you.
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>> finding true friendship in prison might be a dicey proposition. but at the spring creek correctional center in alaska, we found a pair of cellmates who seem more like frat house brothers rather than inmates at a maximum security penitentiary. >> when we met them, the high-spirited duo recently reunited as cell mates after boshears release from the hole. >> i was in the hole for tattooing. >> on this guy right here. this is the one we got caught doing right here. we got ran up on while doing this, gun in hand. >> are you going to bust us for real? >> thank you, gentlemen, thank you.
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>> i do 14 months in the hole. hangs out here, coming to the window. >> what's up dude. >> i'll be right out. >> suntanning. >> i'm helping you. you sure you don't want more bread. >> we've developed a nice relationship. i'd do anything for this guy. >> same. >> he's my twin sister, older sister. >> i'm glad you came back. >> but this bond also has a dark side. the cell mates share a strong appetite for methamphetamine. >> what am i in for? >> cooking meth. back in 2002, i get pulled over, i have a whole lab in the car, microwave, everything. they pulled me over for a traffic stop and said look what we got here. cooking meth. what a surprise. i was cooking it, dealing it, doing it, anything i could do with it i was. i can't lie. i like it. you know what i'm saying?
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the meth and the whole lifestyle that comes with it. it's living like a rock star, going to clubs, you know, naked girls dancing. oh, what's up? yeah, baby, that's right. >> never have to sleep. >> never sleep. >> boshears landed in prison after a robbery to support his meth problem landed him 18 years. >> i went through the progressi progression, cocaine to heroin on up. >> my whole life has been dope. >> dope, dope, dope. >> i was a crack head. i know crack was disgusting. i was a crack head for two years of my life. my wife left me, took my kid, all because of crack. i thought, crack is bad, i'll do meth. >> meth is better. >> meth is better. >> then i ended up here. >> go figure. >> i know meth is addictive, how do you do with it here? >> in jail? >> we don't deal with it here. >> we work out. >> we work out and we build it
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up to break it down. >> in fact, we had first met boshears during his workout a few days earlier, right before he shaved his head. >> i work out pretty much seven days a week. just part of my program. this is every morning i come out here and do this. feel like i'm doing something productive, start off the day right. >> while boshears and evans have seemingly beat their habit and gained their health in prison, they told us this might all be temporary. >> i'm going to try and get out and do the right thing. i really can't say i'm going to get out, i'm going to get high. i'm not going to lie. i love doing dope. i'm going to see my mom and then i'm going to get high. >> presumably you'll be back together again. >> i'm trying to do something positive while i'm here. i have 6 1/2 years left.
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i work out, go to school. it will be 6 1/2 years. you know what i mean? i love getting high. that's all i've been doing for half my life. next on "lockup: raw" -- >> i hate cops. they're diabolical. >> natural foes walk side by side in a kitchen stocked with weapons. >> all it takes is one of those guys to pick this up and he can almost cut my head off. helped the residents with homeowners insurance. they were able to get the roof repaired like new. they later sold the cow because they had all become lactose intolerant. call geico and see how much you could save on homeowners insurance.
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just add a customized message to your wifi pro splash page and you'll reach your customers where their eyes are already - on their devices. order up. it's more than just wifi, it can help grow your business. you don't see that every day. introducing wifi pro, wifi that helps grow your business. comcast business. built for business. though there is an inherent distrust between them, inmates and correctional officers come in close contact every day of the week. it's rare these relationships ever cross the line into friendship. but having a friendly rapport is
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essential to keeping the peace. >> we let our guard down for a moment, observe and tension can rise. we could have a volatile situation here. in the blink of an eye, that much time, it can change. >> we saw firsthand what the lieutenant meant. at one point, we caught him joking around with an inmate. >> does it qualify to wear shorts with legs like that on the track? >> we'll see what it looks like when you're in your 50s. that's all right. >> i have 20 years. >> i'll carry you. i'll put you on my back and carry you through. >> a piggy back ride. >> that's all. >> when two inmates flash nazi signs in front of the lieutenant and our camera, the lieutenant was in no joking mood. >> what building are you in. >> five. >> you go to five, tell him you're going home. you don't do that on my yard.
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you know that. if i catch you out here and you go home, i'm going to be looking for you. go home. >> sorry, what? >> when it comes to inmates' feelings about correctional staff, our producers have heard a wide range of opinions. we met christopher inside a heavily grated cell inside quent quenton. >> give them respect, you get respect. a lot of guys say they don't treat us right. sometimes they don't. you can't ask for too much in prison. it's not disneyland. >> i hate cops. they're diabolical, petty. they present to the public that they're law and order and they're this and that. in here, they'll stab you in the back. they write false write-ups. they have a hidden agenda. they want to keep us locked up in here so they make money. this is a prison industrial complex. it's all about money. >> there is one place, however, where trust is put to the ultimate test. it's the prison kitchen.
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>> everything here can be made into a potential weapon. the sheet pans are thin and sharp on the edges. it only takes one of these guys to pick one of those up and he can almost cut my head off. >> we met officer epperson in california. armed only with pepper spray and baton, he's the lone officer responsible for supervising the inmate kitchen staff. >> i have six, seven inmates. i have four or five cops outside that door. that door is locked. there's only one dude out there with the key. you have to trust him to a certain extent. they have no reason to assault me unless they're totally pissed or i disrespect them. >> this is the number two cook, carter hill. >> you're here for mushd? >> yes. >> what's your sentence? >> 51 to life. >> it's interesting sometimes there's a dynamic in prison when you're interviewing somebody, if
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there's a corrections officer and inmate together, they'll pretty much watch their ps and qs, they'll tell you into the camera what the other guy wants to hear but when we met carter hill, we got some real brutal honesty that day in the kitchen. >> when i first come here in '82, game the co. now i look at them like we have gang members in green suits. >> hill was willing to make an exception for officer epperson. >> this man here, he's fair. he treats me like a human being. that's a rare occurrence. >> i'm all right. >> i might not be able to walk out the door but he all right. you know? >> i give these inmates nothing more than what the state says they have coming. if i can give it to them, i'll give it to them. if they don't have it coming,
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they don't get it. because i give him what he has coming, nine times out of ten i won't be the staff member that gets asalted. >> as we roll tape, these guys were getting to know each other. >> tell them. tell them. put it out there. >> they were joking, establishing a rapport with one another. >> his co-workers, they look different because they treat us as humans. in their eyes he's a bad guy. >> respect never trumped security. every knife, fork and every other utensil in this kitchen is accounted for prior to and after each shift. >> before i let them go back to their cells i recount and make sure all the metal is there. if it's not there, strip them out, lock them up and find that metal. program will stop if i miss metal. that's weapon stock. >> besides working together in the kitchen, there's one other time inmates and staff have
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close contact in less than secure circumstances. it's during a medical emergency. >> be advised a man down in the section. >> our cameras were at california san quenton state prison when officers received word that a 20-year-old inmate was suffering severe chest pains. >> the thing you have to realize about san quentin, is that this is a -- this prison was bill prior to the civil war and the cells are stacked five stories high. no elevators. so of course the emergency that we were covering was on fifth floor. so not only did we have to haul our stuff up there but so did the responding correctional officers. >> up on the fifth tier, officers tend to the inmate inside his cell. >> you're going to have to take deep breaths, man.
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i know you might be in pain, but you have to try to help. >> moments later, paramedics arrive on the tier. >> the par med picks had to make the five-story climb as well. it's difficult to respond right away because of that. but the bigger challenge, though, was getting the inmate out of his cell and back down all those stairs. >> be advised we have inmate in stretcher en route to urgent care clinic. >> the officers and paramedics did a really great job of getting him down using the handrail to support the stretcher. it was prim pressive how swiftly they were able to move him down. >> sometimes the effort is all for nothing. >> it happens. where a guy might decide he wants fresh air, take a trip to the hospital. my foot hurts, whatever, we have to take them. >> everything is an emergency to
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to them. they might say i'm having back problems. the nurses say nothing wrong with him, we can't find anything wrong with him. the guy goes back to his house. within that time period you've wasted an hour. just so he can get fresh air. >> on this day, the emergency is legitimate. >> is that major pain? >> they took an ekg. that turned out fine and it turns out he's possibly got chest problems from trauma as a child that are still recurring. >> the inmate was treated and returned to his cell. meanwhile, responding officers return to their normal duties. >> you'll get a lot of that. up next -- >> we try and have a disciplined environment but we also try to be able to co-mingle. >> "lockup's" most memorable
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warden reaches out to his inmates. >> you had been doing something constructive -- >> he's a narcissist. he loves attention, he loves to micromanage. he loves to give everybody at his mercy a hard time.
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you don't see that every day. introducing wifi pro, wifi that helps grow your business. comcast business. built for business. the mood at a prison can be affected by any number of factors, the institution's security level, the setting it's in and perhaps most importantly the personality and policies of the warden. some wardens have little direct contact with inmates, others have a lot. >> i tell you what, how many meals you eat? >> as many as i possibly can. >> how many did you eat? >> warden greg culver of the holeman correctional facility in alabama falls into latter category. >> we try to have a disciplined environment but also try to
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co-mingle, communicate with people. there's an old saying or adage you can get more flies with sugar than salt. >> i got possession of the knife in september. >> you have to realize, too, that the inmates that are here, they're not here for going to church. a lot of them have preyed on other people. >> warden culver would tell it like it is. he was an ex-correctional officer that became a warden and was down there in the trenches. >> every time i see you you look ragged. why don't you try to do no better? you've been working all night or something. you need to shave. >> i have. >> he cared about his inmates and he wanted them to do well. and it pissed him off when they screwed up. >> we just came back out of lockup. >> culver became warden at
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holeman in 2002 when the prison was face something serious problems. >> it was a violent facility. if you talked to some of the people in the community, probably a great number of times they saw an ambulance coming this way, they thought the ambulance was coming to holeman prison. that was the case then. that's not necessarily the case now. >> culver knows all too well that at a maximum security prison like holeman violence can be reduced but not eliminated. >> if you come in and you look meek and mild, those guys who are seasoned and have been here, they run games on you, get you into debt. once you get into debt, if they're not soliciting sex from you, they solicit that you have family members send you money. if that doesn't happen you get threatened, bodily harm. >> we met a number of predatory inmates at holman but few more memorable than steven parker, a self-proclaimed leader of a white supremacist gang. parker is serving life without parole for murdering his stepmother and attempting to
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kill his father. >> about six months ago i cut a dude's throat in population. >> what happened? >> he beat me out of some money and me and him had worked a deal. i kept going back to him, i said, you need to pay me my [ bleep ] money. you need to pay me what you owe me. he knew me from other prisons. he knew what would eventually happen if he didn't pay me. i finally got tired of it and cut his throat. >> parker assaulted numerous other inmates and staff members he's spend most of his time at holeman in the administrative segregation unit. >> he's in here for violence. he's impulsive. apparently time has not taught him any differently. >> can i be rehabilitated. >> yes, if i figure out to get over the hatred. i have a lot of hatred, for people in general and society. >> that includes warden culver. >> he's a narcissist.
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he's super -- he loves attention. he loves to micromanage and he loves to give everybody that's at his mercy a hard time. he's trying to be somebody. he's trying to define his identity off the demoralization and dehumanization of other people, trying to boost his own ego up. >> how would you describe steven parker? what kind of inmate is he? >> crazy. he's a nut. he's not a person that's very intelligent. >> culver combats predatory behavior and other problems by knowing his inmates well and enforcing his rules, even the smaller ones like being clean shaven. >> if i see somebody with a beard or looking like they need to shave, i generally talk to them about that. >> you need to either shave or go to health care, one or the other. >> i've been to health care. >> culver never hesitates to get involved in the seemingly endless array of disciplinary problems.
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our crew caught up with him on a monday morning as he was trying to resolve an incident that kurd over the weekend. >> there was a use of force that i got a call about yesterday. this guy acting out, cell cleanout day, they put a broom in his cell, he refused to give the broom back. they ended up taking him out of his cell, putting him outside. >> culver often has uncooperative inmates move to outdoor holding cages until they calm down. this time it caused more problems. >> once we got him outside, he refused to come back inside. he's high strung, he does things basically to irritate the staff. sometimes he has rhyme or reason for it. sometimes he doesn't. >> our crew followed along as culver went to confront the inmate, james brodhead. >>
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>> you broke the broom? >> i broke the broom. >> why? >> i needed to clean up. >> that ain't no reason to break the broom. >> i needed to clean up. >> you could have waited till tomorrow, just like you asked to see me this morning, you could have asked to see me yesterday morning in your cell to tell me the same thing. even if the broom wasn't working properly, if it was a broom, that still wasn't a reason for you to break the broom. yes or no. >> a few minutes later, the conversation talks to his disciplinary record at holman. >> but 39. >> all in all, just another monday morning for a warden who's always walking the line between friend and foe. four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth--
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