tv Lockup Wabash MSNBC November 26, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. to me, this place is dr. frankenstein and we are the monsters. >> one of the state's most infamous inmates tries to convince the prison officials he's changed. >> that sounds like a threat. >> it's water under a bridge. >> corrections officials investigate a potential escape plot. >> we have concern with an 11
foot rope. >> there is nothing for me to do. >> we have given cameras to the inmates to tell their own stories. >> it's me, the stone. >> and one of them is a familiar face. >> going to stoney land. >> oh, no. >> how are you going to deal with the bunch of punks challenging you? >> sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me. on the western edge of southern indiana is the wabash valley town of carlisle where main street conjures images of a by gone era and besides the daily passing of a csx freight
car this town might be forgotten. just a couple mines down u.s. 41 is evidence that carlisle is hardly forgotten. >> it's out in the middle of nowhere. what going on out here? prison. >> surrounded by little else but big skies, the wabash valley correctional facility houses more than 2,000 convicted felons, including some of the highest security prisoners in the state. it's a fortress morning farms. >> we have a total of seven towers blanketing the facility including one tower in the center of the south yard. we have two sets of fences around the if silt. the inner fence is a nonlethal stun fence. the inside fence is a 14 foot fence coughed with razor ribbon.
shaker alarm on the motion detectiver. we think the perimeter is secure for us. >> security is tight inside the perimeter as well. especially in the secured confinement unit which houses the prison's most violent and disruptive inmates. internal affairs investigators frank littlejohn has been called to the unit to determine if escape paraphernalia has been found inside a cell. >> last night an officer observed a sculpture object or like a dummy which is escape paraphernalia. so they conducted a shakedown of the cell. and in that cell search they found an 11-foot rope. when you put the rope with the face that gives concerns that the guy might be planning an escape. >> this here is the head that removed from the head.
and this here is the rope. and it looks like an intertwined sheet that was braided together. it is about 11 feet long that was also removed from the cell. if he was to get outside of a cell and have this covered up and a body like object in the cell the staff might walk by if the lighting is bad and at first glance looking through a cell door it could possibly be somebody laying there when it is this. >> the inmate in whose cell the items were found is a nigerian man serving 38 years for the armed robbery and battery of two other nigerian immigrants and his record inside prison is troubling. >> he has a violent history. assaults on staff, possession of weapons. he is a serious risk to the facility. >> sit right here. what was found in your cell right now. >>. >> it was a sculpture of i was
making of my son and i was skipping the rope. i was using it as jump rope, my skipping rope forever my high blood pressure. >> what was the rope made from? >> from the clothes. i use that as the skipping rope. >> did you make the rope? >> no. >> how long ago was that? >> when they moved someone out of there. >> you had the rope two months. >> he says he got the rope off the range a couple months ago. >> the head isn't as big of a concern. the rope is what is concerning. and he said it was for exercises. but i'm not buying that. do you understand why we are concerned with an 11 foot rope? >> i don't know what the concern is but it has nothing to do with me. >> did you know you are not allowed to have a rope.
>> where am i going? >> you can climb with it. >> i'm in a secure dorm. >> i have been in here several years and i have had offenders climb with a rope in the secure unit. he has an assaultive history on staff. account be used to hang or choke somebody or to escape or to climb a fence. there is multiple things this could be done with that would not be a good thing for us. >> he is placed in a separate holding cell while a team of corrections officer assemble to search his cell again more closely than the last time. >> we've got a ball piano hammers to tap on the blocks to make sure that nobody's trying to get through the cell wall. >> start on this side and i'll start on this side. just two around the room. >> we are just making sure checking the bricks. make sure we don't have soft
spots. >> when we do shakedowns like this we look through all their books and paper work see if we can find snitch notes or kites. we get a lot of our information. >> sometimes they like to hide them in the bible. they will stick them in the middle usually right in here. >> officials find no other escape paraphernalia in the cell. >> right now he is pinning a class b conduct report for what was found in his cell last night. >> without knowing his intentions you don't know if it's an arts an crafts issue or if he would be out on the streets and us looking for him in his bed. if you make the wrong choice it has consequences. >> one of the most infamous inmates in indiana starts a new life at wabash. and the investigation takes
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most of the inmates at indiana's wabash valley correctional facility measure their sentences not in years but in decades. it is a lot of time to think about the fast. so prison officials allowed us to give some inmates personal cameras. >> don't worry about people think you're a coward. just walk away and have another day than to stand strong and end up wrong. words never hurt you. what people think never hurts you. losing your freedom, losing your life. losing your family, that's what
hurts you. >> james stone has been incarcerated for the past 26 years and still has a long haul ahead of him. >> i have another 50 years to do. and i think it's more or less an overkill. i mean, 26 years it doesn't matter the you do the crime or didn't do the crime. none of that matters any more. 26 years is enough time for anyone. i've done more time than guys are doing for murder unless their on death row and there's no murder involved in my case. attempted murder, come on really. i don't let it get me down. sometimes i do lose my cool and i'll snap off at someone but then i'm cool. >> we first met stone three
years earlier during our extended stay shoot at insz state prison. >> it's a glamour job but someone's got the do it. >> stone was an admitted thug who fought frequently. but the james stone we met considered himself a changed man thanks to indiana state prison's cat adoption program. >> he's my buddy. he's more end dependable than anything i have in here. he takes away the anger and temper and makes it easier to cope in here. >> stone has been at wabash for a year and a half ago now. >> guys from other prisons say you're the cat man, ain't you? i'm like, dude, really? best thing i can do is say i'm him, meow, see you later. >> a staff member reported that stone threatened him. stone denies the allegation but
the bigger concern is leaving his cat behind. >> i couldn't bring my cat with me. that was a heart break separation there. i raised the sucker. >> just before his transfer he gave the cat to an inmate. >> i did like an indian commercial. i didn't want to let go of my little buddy. but at wabash stone has found another annale to take under his wing. >> i have a bun can out back. i throw him a couple apples to keep him fed. he has been here the whole year and a half. i open the window. he will be sitting by the fence the whole time. he's like clock work. i don't know what he likes about the area unless it's me feeding him. apples, coffee cake. he's a sophisticated rabbit.
>> like stone inmate christopher trotter has been behind bars since the mid 1980s. >> i came into prison to serve a four-year prison sentence for petty threat. i came in with four years and ended up with 142 years.eat. i came in with four years and ended up with 142 years.t. i came in with four years and ended up with 142 years.ft. i came in with four years and ended up with 142 years. that's what could happen in prison if you make the wrong choice. it has consequences. >> the wrong choice trotter refers to was being one of the instigators of a 1885 riot at an indiana prison. seven corrections officers were stabbed and two others and a counsellor were held houston for 15 hours. >> it was a massive riot and chris trotter was one of the main players in that. trotter has done his share to
maintain his image of that. >> trotter maintained he was defending another inmate from abusive staff. >> some were stabbed and some were beat up and some went to court and overexaggerated their wounds. >> the judge in the case saw nothing to laugh about. >> i was found guilty of one count of attempted battery, and count of rioting and sentenced to 142 years. i was like, wow. most violence is spontaneous. that's what that was. it was spontaneous. one incident led to something else led to something else led to something else but it is never the solution. >> trotter has been in prison for 26 years. due to his role in the riot and disciplinary problems he has spent 16 of the years in the secured confinement unit. >> due ho to his behaviors in the past, we consider him to be
a risk to our safety therefore he was placed on administrative segregation. >> trotter has spent many years in confinement reading and writing. he has found meaning in mary shelly's frankenstein. >> i have watched the movie "frankenstein" and i read that one and i was like hey. i started to look at the monster differently. i was who is really the monster. to me this place is dr. frankenstein and we are the monsters. we are the belly of the beast. we're the outcast. we're the forgotten. in my spare time i like to write and i have been contemplating writing a book. i started out like this. frankenstein, the moment you created me, you condemned me, rejected me, crucified and
despised me. abandoned me emotionally, unleashed the very held in me, often overlooked stepped upon crushed, no one stops to notice that my movements are poetic. my stride is determined. my love is unconditional. my spirit is free. although i'm a monster, there is a soul inside of me. >> i do not believe there is an employee in the indiana department of correction in any state facility that does not know the name christopher trotter. >> beverly gilmore is the confinement unit's case manager. one of her responsibilities is to evaluate trotter's ability to return peacefully to general population. >> i know the notoriety of offender trotter very notorious. i believe he has aged out of
that inmaturity. he has developed good communication skills, good social skills. it's yes, ma'am, no, ma'am to me. it's not fake. i can tell when it's fake. i believe he will be ready for general population before long. but there are so many more people above me that will also have the input and have known him so much longer than i have. so i'll have to respect whatever their recommendations will be. >> i'd rather not see him come out. i don't think he's changed. he's going to hurt somebody. >> are lieutenant gary mcmillan has been at wabash for the past 16 years. >> this is my opinion. he's a violent individual. >> they may look at it like everybody's still a potential threat. but am i a threat? no. >> coming up -- >> my biggest concern about being inside is getting in
trouble. >> fresh from the youth unit an 18-year-old inmate spends his first day in the big house. >> i used to be a violent person. okay-y... okay??? i've been eating progresso and now my favorite old jeans...fit. okay is there a woman i can talk to? [ male announcer ] progresso. 40 soups 100 calories or less.
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there's no hard labor here. and makes it sort of hard to keeping yourself in shape. you see a lot of guys that's been here after two or three or more years and they get that couch potato look on them, you know, hang gut and all that there sagging everywhere. me? i like to try to keep myself in shape. >> at indiana's maximum security wabash valley correctional facility most inmates work out on the yard or inside on the weight machines. but not zwrams stone. >> i have 16 work outs using the bag at the box. >> stone developed a workout routine to do inside his cell.
>> water bottles. getting it closed is the problem. one set of everything every day until i burn out. i do them until i can't do them no more. and i record it each day. my goal is to do one more better than what i did the day before. you can't get it out there at rec. there are too many people in the closed area and the weights are not real weights. i like to concentrate on the weight and work out the body and not work out with training wheels. after you get to a number that's just unbelievable, then you start walking around wearing a cape because you're like superman which i ain't reached that level yet. i'm still in the bat cave. >> stone who was convicted of
attempted murder won't be eligible for patrol for another 25 years. he says his workout is designed to prepare him just in case he is released. >> rotate around like i'm working on a loading dock or something. call it a workers' workout. that why if i do get out, job ain't going to kill me. i'm ready for it. when you get to be my age you got the stay in shape. that way when the guys half my age want to mess with the old man it ain't my fault. >> there is always a new guy or two arriving every week. for some it's just a short walk from a special unit at wabash for minors who have been convicted as adult. miles has been in the youth unit for two years but today is his
18th birthday. he is serving 36 years for armed robbery, criminal confinement and burglary. >> it's a lot bigger of a side. most of the people are my father's age, you know. i never thought in my wildest dreams i would ever come to prison. never thought about prison. it sounds kind of stupid from my standpoint. looking back at the things i was doing if i would have thought about it there was no way i couldn't have not ended up in prison. i have been in trouble since i was nine. acts of violence, vandalism, things like threat. you know, the police know me. and they were sick and tired of me. they took everything and slapped it on me. >> folsom was 15 when he was tried as an adult when he was
convicted. >> this is my newspaper article. the heading says reign of terror comes to end. folsom was sentenced to 36 years behind bars. you are a very dangerous young man harper said. >> the charges revolve about the brutal beating of an acquaintance he believed stole his ipod. >> we got in his truck because it was cold and i started banging his head off the window repeatedly. i was real high on cocaine. like it is really like a fog. and i got really angry and i get i did some pretty good damage banging his head off the window. the judge was strict giving me the 36 years. i hope it was her trying to slap me in the face to wake up. truthfully i was lost. >> folsom completed his g.e.d. at the youth unit.
he plans to earn a college degree in prison. >> i biggest concern being inside is getting in trouble. i hope no one tries testing me. i used to be a violent person. i ain't that person no more. i don't want to revert to that. >> with good behavior, folsom may only have to serve 18 of his 36 year sentence. >> a can of pop. a special occasion. sometimes it's hard to keep hope. sometimes it's easy to fall into negativity especially in the juvenile block when there are so many kids that just don't care. it took getting 36 years to wake me up to realize that's not what i want to do that it's not a game no more. coming up -- >> just hit a man while you're down. >> james stone is challenged by
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the u.s. is planning a probe into a nato air strike that killed 24 pakistani soldiers. pakistan's government is furious and demanding that the u.s. vacate the air base in the southwestern part of the country. nba owners and players have reached a tentative agreement to end the lockout. that means the delayed season will start with a triple header on christmas day. more news later. now back to "lockup." >> due to much subject matter viewer discretion is advised. at indiana's wabash valley correctional facility the men
considered to be the most dangerous and disruptive are housed in the secured confinement unit. most inmates have assaulted staff or other offenders and are in windowless single man cells 23 hours a day. they take their meals alone and phone calls made once a week are made from the isolation of their cells. >> in this confine mt. unit we have to deliver all of their services. i try to make contact with every one of my offenders at least once a week. that's all 144 of them. >> case manager beverly gill more is the link to the rest of the world for the inmates. >> i came from the south. i was so protected and so green when i came here. and when i started learning more about the needs of offender population i thought why can't i be an advocate for them?
on a daily basis they will send letters or notes to me requesting information or maybe complaining or some of them just tell me have a nice day ms. gilmore. that's nice. it's better than getting cussed out. >> one of gilmore's inmates is luke mon at big by. >> i'll say luke mon you okay mon? he says you okay mon? when i understand him. he gets to talking fast. >> despite gilmore's efforts, he has been a challenge for corrections staff. >> his acting out has been extreme such as maybe he didn't get an apple for his lunch or an officer or anyone will be happy
to get the apple and take it to him but he would react to that by banging and throwing things to the point where the response team would have to go in and take him to the ground. he's a strong little dude too. >> he'll throw stf. he'll throw pop and fee seize. >> when he's like that ms. gilmore cannot calm him down. i'm a mama substitute to him. i will say would you talk to your mama that way? >> at big by found himself in a different kind of trouble when an 11 had the foot rope and sculpture of a head were found in his cell. he says they were for exercise and recreation. internal affairs investigator
frank littlejohn says that it seems to support his story. >> with his history of violence where he is in this place you can't take it at face value. >> the rope was taken away but he was given permission to keep sculpting. >> his art controls his anger. it is beautiful. >> everything is made from newspaper and water and i mix with the the soap. so now you can see what it turns to. this is just the beginning right here. so once i'm done making it i have to let it set for, like, two days before i put a painting on it. this is coffee with soap and a little bit of hot water. i use that for the paint for the sculpture i am making so far.
it feel good. it keeps me from thinking of negative stuff and getting out of trouble. >> it gives him an outlet. i'm proud of him for that. >> once everything is done it will come out and look real beautiful and real great. miles folsom has found a constructive way to spend his time in prison. he was given a job in one of the prison's industrial shops which makes electronics for businesses in indiana. >> they send a lot of things through here to be made. but i'm sure this wire harness is for the light in a vending machine. i have been working for a week and a half now. 7:00 in the morning, come down here and work until 3:00 in the afternoon. folsom hopes after a few years of good behavior he can file an appeal to have his sentence reduced. >> i have been working and earning money and stayed out of
trouble this many years. i don't want to stay here. i got plans and goals and looking to get out and go for them. >> but folsom's goals are dependent on his ability to stay out of trouble, which in prison isn't always easy. >> i stay reserved no matter what. you never want to put yourself on the line. when something hits the fan you are left out to dry. you are just hanging there. these people don't care about you. >> there is one inmate whose advice folsom values. >> one of the few i talk to, i call him stone. he has been down a long time. if you look at his record that is not someone who wants to stay out of trouble you would want to hang around with. but hen they took the wrong path at that time they don't want to see me take the wrong path so they are guiding me the right way. >> going to stoneyland.
>> taking you to stoneyland. >> look at that little vein. you have a vein popping out, dude. your brain. he's gone. you ready? >> i've been ready. >> don't depend on others. that's how i made it 26 years. i don't depend on nobody. a lot of these cats might seem cool but they ain't cool. >> there's a lot of joemos and homos too. and you pea pea men on here. if you have questions or someone wants to run his mouth don't jump out there like a fool and end up with your ass on lockup. let us know and we'll take it to them ourselves. do it the hard way or the easy way. they'll go the easy way. >> i appreciate it.
>> on one condition, quit beating my ass in handball. let a [ bleep ] win sometimes. >> ball. >> baa be the master teaching the grasshopper and now i'm the larva. >> it's easy to fall into trouble. people will say something smart. on the street i would be so messed up there would be no thinking about it. i would just blow and someone would get hurt. you can't do that. that's not normal. you have to control himself. >> he's young. he's got a long ways to go. i was in the same boat. you know? i used to do the same stuff. but at least he's got a chance. at least he's got a chance to get back out there. that's what he's got the think of. screws up he's like me and done
lost everything. you know? >> even his handball game. >> he's got to go there. just hit a man while he's down. >> old man nothing. if i had an s right there. that's right. it means stone. >> sucks. >> james stone. that's it. >> stone sucks. >> hey, sir. >> coming up. >> some staff here have been recommended you be released and some haven't. >> christopher trotter makes his case for returning to general population. >> nobody said kill the police or anything like that. i'm not in here for killing the police. he just took it out of context. [customer:] we need to protect the environment. [worker:] we could do both. is that possible? [announcer:] at conocophillips, we're helping power america's economy with cleaner, affordable natural gas. more jobs. less emissions. a good answer for everyone. well, if it's cleaner and affordable.
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at indiana's wabash valley correctional facility, inmates that have committed violent acts are deemed safety threats are housed in windowless single man cells in the confinement unit. they are allowed one hour a day for recreation. >> sometimes we come out here and say blessed. it's sunny today. >> when weather permits, inmates may spend that hour outdoors although they are contained in a single man metal enclosure. >> i airport good at basketball but in africa we play soccer. today, i'm happy to come out here and see the sun, smile. you know. do the time you get everything off your chest. once i go back to that room. it's like night and day.
>> having spent the last nine years and 16 of the last 28 years in confinement, christopher trotter values every moment outside. >> okay. this is what i call the old man workout. this is how we do it. one -- >> i haven't lost touch with humanity. i refuse to lose touch with humanity. when you lose that, that's it. that's it. when you let this place strip you, that's it. >> one -- >> trotter recently filed a request to be transferred from confinement back to general population where he would have more freedom. >> five, six, seven -- >> because he was at the center of a 198 r5 riot one of the most violent incidents in the history of the inlz state prison system, the request must be approved by multiple levels of administration. including wabash's
superintendent, dick brown. >> i'm coming down to talk to chris trotter. he asked to be released from administrative segregation. i am peeking to him about that review. he will be meeting with two others and myself. >> hello. hi sir, how you doing. haven't seen you in a long time. >> it's been a long time. some staff recommended you be released from administrative segregation some staff haven't. with that being said it's in my hands. >> though trotter has shown improvement one of the first things that superintendent brown wants to address is a conduct report he received several months earlier. >> trotter started saying over and over f the police and kill the police. >> we were working out together on the range and we had our chin after the workout and he took it
out of the context and nobody said kill the police or anything like that. i'm not in here for killing police and i didn't kill the police. he took it out of context and it was basically to discourage us from showing a sign of unity. >> someone approaches me and states if i'm going to kill me -- >> he was up in the pod. i'm way in cell 6. he was up in the pod. how can he determine who said what. >> you have a distinctive voice. do you not? >> i'm saying several of this. this is a range of people hollering the same thing. let me say this, in 1985 when i was involved in that prison riot, i don't regret it for the simple fact is this. i felt that i was doing the right thing in my hearts of hearts. i wasn't committing a crime i
was preventing a crime. but am i remorseful? yes. for the simple fact is people got hurt. not just staff, not just prisoners but families. so i'm reforceful in that sense. and what did i do about it? i haven't involved myself in anything sense then. >> you know, that if you go out into general population, this new generation is going to want to challenge the infamous christopher trotter. how in the world are you going to deal with the bunch of punks coming up challenging you? >> first of, sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me. so i don't care what you say. you know. as long as you don't put your hands on me we all right. i haven't had no situation with nobody. i mean nobody, none. the only situation when i first came here i was here a month
without my personal property. and i dealt with that in a good manner. >> you dealt in that with a loud manner. i remember. >> i have a tame tongue not an untamed tongue. >> that's the difference. >> you think highly of yourself. >> i would like to see christopher trotter go back to general population because of the length of time he has been in segregation. but should he go? i'm so thankful i'm not making that decision. >> bottom line here is we're at. it is up to me to make that recommendation. some staff here in this unit have recommended you be released and some haven't. >> i'd like to know who haven't? >> you are not going to know who did and didn't. the important thing to know is it is in my hands right now. it's up to me now. the responsibility is at my level. i appreciate your time. that concludes the questions i
had for you. >> thanks so much. >> thank you. appreciate it. >> unfortunately if i make the wrong decision here and recommend he is released and something happens that burden is upon my shoulders. >> coming up james stone reaches out to an old friend. >> do you time with the cat for 15 years and you just miss having them around. came to louisiana... people they came to see us in florida... make that alabama... make that mississippi. the best part of the gulf is wherever you choose... and now is a great time to discover it. this year millions of people did. we set all kinds of records. next year we're out to do even better. so come on down to louisiana... florida... alabama... mississippi. we can't wait to see you. brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home. you noticed! these clothes are too big, so i'm donating them. how'd you do it? eating right, whole grain.
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survive 26 years. >> i stay in stoneyland. i don't need a psych therapist. i don't need medication. i [ bleep ] a lot. i'm not a saint. i'm far from a saint. that's why i'm i love today. i should have been dead several times ago but heaven doesn't want me and hell's afraid i'll take over. >> but stone has not resigned himself to life at wabash valley. he has requested a transfer back to the prison he used to be housed, indiana state. >> they didn't have a problem moving me out. there shouldn't be a problem moving me back up there now. >> the motivation for the transfer is to reunite with his cat. >> when i feel like i'm about to do go do something stupid you think about these eyes and you
remember this guy depends on me i have to take care of you. >> he received the cat as part of a program at indiana state but it's he had to leave him behind when he was transferred to wabash. for the first several weeks, the cat lived with another inmate. but then he moved out to the country. he was adopted by stone's parents. >> he is not used to carpeting. and claw furniture. everything was claws. i mean he clawed up carpet, everything else. but, it was worth it because it was jim's. >> some people might not quite understand it. but my family we view our pets as family members. so you know, this was sort of like jim's kid. >> talk about your daddy. yeah. >> it's really, really hard for me to talk about jim. i love him so much. when he was a little boy, he
loved to go for these walks. and we'd go for a long walk. he'd give out and i'd put him on my shoulders and bring him on in. i'm 69 years old and my worst fear is i'll never get to walk through the woods with him. jim would love it out here. he's such an outdoorsman. one of the reasons we got this place. it's everything that he would want. >> we all miss him. yeah. every day. there's not a day that goes by that i don't think of my brother. we just love to see him home. >> but for now, stone's family and his old friend communicate regularly by phone. >> i call home every once in a while and my family's got a speakerphone. >> to accept the call press zero. go ahead with your call. >> hello? >> hi, jim.
>> everybody doing all right? >> when he is in a room i will holler for him. i got it from an tarzan movie. when i holler it to him, his fat ass stampedes to. >> he's there, jim. >> [ meowing ] >> he starts purring and stuff. what's up? >> talk to jim. >> [ purring ] >> dad all right? >> he got his tail going 90 miles per hour. >> you can hear him purring real loud into it. so he might have forgot who i am but he knows the call. >> well, tell everyone i said hello. >> okay.
love you. >> you all be good. >> okay. >> bye-bye. >> miss jim? >> yeah. >> i miss my buddy. when you do time with a cat for 15 years you miss having them around. you know, but, yeah i said i hope i get out of here so i can pick him back up. >> not a whole lot everything i know to say except if you are looking at the tv screen right now, it's me you little feller. you know what that means little feller. my little fur ball buddy. hopefully i'll get out there soon. you can show me what the free world's about.
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