tv Lockup Raw MSNBC March 20, 2016 4:00am-4:31am PDT
>> 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. "lockup: raw." >> most prisons have units designed for protective custody. they're for inmates who become targets. child molesters or gang dropouts. but one thing we've learned
about prison. doesn't matter where you're housed. your safety is never guaranteed. >> we believe you may have been a victim of a battery. >> joseph de la cruz is a gang dropout, serving nine years for attempted murder at california's san quentin state prison. and when we first met him, authorities had just discovered that he had been assaulted inside his protective custody cell. >> this morning you did come out of your cell. we did a sweep to find out how many people stayed behind, and you were discovered with injuries. and here's the medical report. >> despite obvious injuries, de la cruz refused to give correctional staff any information about the attack. >> they're trying to find out what happened. i won't tell them what happened. >> any specific individuals you know are your enemies? >> no, sir. >> how about any prison weapons offenses? >> no, sir. >> do you belong to a gang? >> no, i don't. >> i mean outside of what you're being accused of, being a victim, are you involved in any other batteries in your history?
>> no. >> due to this evidence, you're deemed a threat to the safety and security of the institution, to staff, and inmates. >> escort! >> without good information about what prompted the attack and whether this attack could lead to others the prison decides to place de la cruz into administrative segregation, where he will be isolated in a single cell 23 hours per day. >> it's very complicated, but in the process of asking questions, you're trying to cover all angles why he was assaulted. so i started my questioning whether or not it was more than one person or not, and he didn't want to say. >> a group assault is disturbing news for prison staff. it indicates the gang activity has penetrated protective custody, which at san quentin is also referred to as the sensitive needs yard or sny. >> it's supposed to be gang-free, but a lot of these i goes go into sny not because they want to.
a lot of these guys still want to be gangsters. >> many of these inmates come to sny because they have violated gang rules and now need protection from gang retaliation. >> the easiest way to describe it is that even though you walked away from the gang, it doesn't change your gang mental state because what happens is that you've already been trained by the gang. so it's easy, again, to re-establish yourself. >> so a lot of them they go in sny, they see older inmates, weaker inmates, and they band together again, you know, whether as a formal gang, we have dropout gangs, or even just a group of four or five, you know, bigger guys that just want to pressure other guys out of anything, out of money, out of clothing, out of food, out of anything they can get out of them. >> lieutenant munoz must now determine whether de la cruz is a victim of a gang or an active gang member himself, perhaps one
who has requested protective custody under false pretences. >> one of the two terms that they use is sleeper. it's one of the names. you know, he's a sleeper. he's coming in under radar. the other one they term they use, he's a torpedo. he's coming in and he's got a target and he's going to find his target, and explode on a guy. so i questioned him about that. >> while de la cruz still refused to give officials any information about the attack, later he was willing to tell us why he decided to drop out and seek protective custody. >> in my head they're all like 18, 19, 20 years old, attempted robbery -- [ bleep ] home boys killing each other. stupid stuff, you know what i'm saying? >> but then de la cruz told us there was an even more compelling reason to quit gang life.
>> stop for my son. that's my little boy. everyone says how do they see him right there i was like yeah, that's your junior right there. got the hair spiked up like that, too. that's the day we were at the hospital when he was born. >> the thing about joseph that stood out for me was the fact that here was this young man, who was obviously gang affiliated, in a pretty tough prison, who had made a very huge transformation because of his child. i rarely see people in his situation be moved to change because of children. his love for his son was so great that he made some pretty -- pretty monumental changes in order to try to get out and be a father. >> my son's always going to be loved. going to the best schools. he already got money for his college. he's going to be all right, you know what i'm saying?
not trying to start trouble. not little gangs whatever call themselves, right? just want to do my time and get out of here. >> after further investigation, lieutenant munoz found no evidence that de la cruz is still an active gang member. so now he suspects that de la cruz may have been beaten for refusing to join in a merging sny gang. >> we're hoping that through the interviews that we'll do in the same unit, we may come across eyewitnesses, or folks who will be able to confirm information that's floating around out there on the tiers as to why he got battered. >> what does your gut tell you? you're a veteran. >> these guys are trying to get away from gangs to do their time safely and they're getting beat up. so it just doesn't seem to end. >> eventually the prison decided the safest solution for de la cruz was to transfer him to a different prison. >> i just want to do my time peacefully, you know what i'm saying? >> but lieutenant munoz still sees challenges ahead. >> like i said, he's young, first time, and it's hard for him to understand how he is supposed to maintain an attitude, and protect himself at
the same time and not look weak. so it's an ongoing process that never stops. coming up -- >> love you. >> love you. you sort of get used to it. it sort of gets like a daily routine and everything. >> an inmate's wife watches her husband grow old behind bars. >> she's everything. i mean i don't know how to say it any more than that. i'm just crazy about her. now that's the smile i was waiting on. becoming a better professor by being a more adventurous student? is it one day giving your daughter the opportunity she deserves? is it finally witnessing all the artistic wonders of the natural world? whatever your definition of success is, helping you pursue it, is ours. t-i-a-a. [alarm beeps] ♪
home would be about six feet long by three feet wide. >> this is home. bed to bed right here. each one of these beds is like having a house in a subdivision out there on the street. only no walls, no doors, no privacy. so you just kind of ignore what's going on next door to you -- >> after 20 years of incarceration, 17 of them served at holman, tedder has developed an appreciation for simple routines. >> cup of coffee. first thing. cup of coffee and a cigarette. that's it. that's every morning. >> at the time of our shoot, tedder still had ten years left on a 30-year sentence for some very serious convictions. they include sodomy, public exposure, and enticement of a child. >> robert was one of those inmates who was adamant that he was falsely accused, falsely convicted.
>> ever since his 1984 conviction tedder has said his charges were trumped up in order to run him out of town. >> i found out a bunch of people in alabama needed a good contractor. i moved up to alabama. five years later i got a warning to get out of town and quit contracting or we're going to stop you. i laughed at them because i was licensed for everything, plumbing, electrical, everything, and they stopped me. they pulled the rug out from under my feet, put some fake charges on me, and took me to court. i've been here since 1990. and -- it's a long time. now i got three grandkids out there, and i'm a great grandfather, i was told. and all this has happened while i've been in prison the last 20 years. but the hardest part of it is being without my wife. it's like she's everything. she's the bubble i live in. >> i'm here to visit my husband,
robert tedder. >> ava tedder lives just a few miles from holman. and visits regularly. >> all right, thank you. >> you ready? >> yes. >> all right. come on. >> usually you visit every two weeks, and you can stay from 8:00 until 1:20. for a long time, it was real stressful. but then you sort of get used to it. it sort of gets like a daily routine and everything. just like everyday life. >> you okay? >> yeah. >> my wife comes over to visit, i feel like i'm 25 again. about three days later after she leaves, i'm back to 70 again, you know. age catches up with me. she's everything. i mean i don't know how to say it any more than that. i'm just crazy about her.
now that's the smile i was waiting on. >> what are you allowed to do affection-wise? >> i can kiss her, hold her for a little bit when i first get here. and we sit here and talk and when it's time to leave i get to kiss her again. and that's it. >> not much. >> no. not much at all. >> while we were at holman the couple was also dealing with the anxiety of an upcoming parole hearing. if things go well, they could be reunited again on the outside. but they've been down this road before. >> in '95 i came up the first time. that was eight years, and then they put me off a year at the time and then they changed the law then and put me off five years to 2002. and then again five years to 2007. >> how are you feeling about
your next chance? >> after what i know about the state of alabama, i don't know. >> i got to the point where i don't trust people. i don't trust the law. i don't trust anybody. >> i'll probably never live to get out of here. i don't know. i'm just going to go in there and hand them the paper and answer his questions and just kind of like playing florida lottery, you just pick a number and wait. >> prior to parole hearings the board sends a representative to conduct a preinterview in order to prepare a recommendation on whether or not the inmate should be paroled. >> come on in, robert. please have a seat. okay. this morning i'm going to be interviewing robert tedder for a parole hearing that he has set in august. any time you have an inmate that's coming up for parole as a sex offender, you know, red
flags go up anywhere. when someone gets on parole, you know, everybody's got guidelines. of course, in your situation, the guidelines are a little narrower because of the case, and that's just something that you'll have to just stay within those guidelines just a little more tighter than someone else. now, according to your record i saw -- didn't see anything in there where you had been on probation for parole before, is that correct? >> no. >> i see you were in the air force. >> yes. >> you wasn't the parole officer here the last time, were you? >> no, i don't think i was the officer that interviewed you. >> every time they've come here before it was what's your home plan and your job plan. i give them that and that was it. no talk. >> see, i do mine a little bit differently. >> that's good. >> you know, as far as his chances of making parole, you know, that's difficult to say because the parole board has the final decision. any time you have a case that's a sex case, sex offender and it's dealing with children, and i wouldn't even speculate what his chances are. i mean, i know what's stacked up against him. all right, robert. good luck to you. >> mm-hmm.
>> and, you know, i hope it works the way you want it. >> okay. >> all right. good luck to you. >> the parole hearing for robert was interesting in that, robert believed every time he might have a chance. he felt very hopeful. he'd been turned down many times before, so he obviously carried that realism with him. but i think that there was a piece of him that thought maybe this could be the time i get set free. so what are your thoughts, feelings about the whole thing? >> well, the way he was talking, he may give a good report. so things may go my way this time. >> what's your main goal, robert? >> going back on the street. getting back to work. letting my wife sit back for a while. >> i'm hoping this time that it will go through because things
are going a little bit different than it has in the past times. i've done got everything prepared to where we can have a little time together and everything whenever he does get out because we got a lot of time to make up for. >> but the wait would continue. tedder was once again denied parole. he will most likely not leave holman until his 30-year sentence is complete. >> i have two daughters, and i look at it from that perspective. do i want these people around my family? no. but there again, some day, in this case robert tedder is going to walk out this door free. so you have to look at it from that side. he's going to go free. it may not be on parole, but he's going to eos his sentence in 2014, and he's coming out. and society is going to have to accept that. >> see you later. coming up -- >> i'm making a birdhouse right now. >> two inmates seek a creative respite from hell. >> art is my sanity and my salvation.
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the majority of the maximum security inmates we meet might describe prison as hell. but at indiana state prison, we encountered a pair of old-timers who figured out how to make the best of it. >> what are you doing there? >> sitting here occupying time, living on air and prayer, that's all. that's all i'm doing. you know. >> steve robbins was serving 90 years for murder. but he had a sensitive eye when it came to color. >> this is cerulean blue, very beautiful color. you see i have to use it sparingly. you know what i'm talking about? sky. all right? creativity, i got you, no problem.
this is oil paint. it's not acrylics. you know, you got to let this dry. at least that's how i do it. i don't try to put too much of a buildup on the paint because i want to control it. >> darrell mayman, serving 40 years for multiple counts of burglary and fraud, had a different hobby. >> i'm making a birdhouse right now. i also do chess sets. when i was in florida, i worked in a hobby craft shop, and we had saws and band saws and everything that we could just cut regular wood with. here we don't. here we got popsicle sticks. and i buy them 1,000 at a time. then i cut the ends off. good old elmer's glue. and this is my little saw, which happens to be the bottom of a pringle's can. it's not sharp. it won't cut a person, but it
will cut these sticks just like a little saw. that's the only tool i use to make these. you can see why it takes eight to nine months to make one. >> why? >> just to pass time, basically. >> it's a farmhouse right here. a rough draft. okay? little dimensions to it so i know where i'm at. art is my sanity and my salvation. i mean that's what keeps me stable. >> i just come up with all kinds of little ideas. you have two of these like a little protection vent to keep the rain out of the chimneys. i found this out in the yard. it reminded me of air conditioning. that trips everybody out. they like my little grill. the bird can grill his worms i guess. and you get the exclusive of
looking inside, with the fireplace and the light switch and the plug-in outlets. it won't be seen once this is completed. i put those in because right now, people seen it in progress. >> what i'm doing now, i got to put some grass in here. in order to show the land, i'm using yellow ochre, and crescent green is a soft green color. separate this to give it just a little distance. it doesn't take that long other than drying time. that's more important. this is oil paint. it takes that much time to get it going. but once you get it in there, just like the rest of these paintings. get that first stage of paint in and then you let it dry, then you repeat the process. and that's what it's about.
>> well, the top part is about done. everybody kept saying where's the bird going to get in? so i decided i would go ahead and stop all the questions and add the international symbol for a birdhouse. >> starving artist, for real. yeah. believe me. no one's knocking my door down for work. i mean the average person here can't afford my services. now, fortunately we have an exhibit coming up in indiana university northwest in january, so, hopefully we'll get the exposure we need. let's highlight this grill here. see that's what i'm trying to get. public support. there you go.
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