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tv   Lockup  MSNBC  November 2, 2013 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT

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due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. there are 2 million people behind bars in america. we open the gates. "lockup." >> get on the ground! put your hands behind your back! >> prison is not a nice place. >> he was a big-time football player at lsu. in his life i guess it went in a different direction and ended up here. >> i wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. >> you act like you so high on a pedestal. you so much better than everybody. >> one count of rape, three kidnappings. >> aggravated sex offense. >> 21 years for manslaughter.
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>> robby is not trained to kill. he is trained to help apprehend. >> i'm comfortable out on my lines. i got my horse, my guns. >> because you never know what could happen. >> the judge says in her final summation, "you are nothing, mr. baker, but a pebble in the pond. you're nothing but poor white trash." >> in rural louisiana, halfway between new orleans and baton rouge, is the second largest prison in the state, the elayn hunt correctional center. although the facility is relatively new, it opened in 1979, the look is anything but modern. armed officers on horseback, work crews farming the land, and no air conditioning. in the next hour you will meet some of the men doing time including a former nfl player and two aspiring boxers who win the opportunity to compete against a rival prison.
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>> a mile and a half from the banks of the mississippi river, what appears to be a toll booth is the entrance to the elayn hunt correctional center. this all-male facility houses more than 2,100 inmates. >> every monday and tuesday the reception process will start at about 5:30 in the morning. the inmates will come from the various parish prisons and other d.o.c. facilities and they will all pool here. >> the men arriving today have been convicted of a wide range of crimes, everything from marijuana possession to murder. >> i'm here for one count of rape, three kidnappings, and aggravated burglary. >> we have a lot of inmates come up to us and said i didn't do it, they got me wrong. we're not here to judge. we're just here to make sure you serve your sentence out. >> new inmates are given a white jumpsuit and lined up single file for a medical evaluation.
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>> what we're doing this morning is we're drawing blood for sexually transmitted diseases, syphilis, gonorrhea, that type of thing. >> prison policy mandates that all incoming prisoners have their heads shaved and all facial hair removed. >> when i came here in '86 for aggravated burglary, i got 30 years. every time you come through here you have to have it cut for your picture and i.d. even though they just did this a little under two years ago. they think you change, i guess. >> as the final step in processing, inmates are given housing assignments ranging from general population to more secure units. >> open front. >> because the prison has a zero tolerance policy for rule infractions, any form of misconduct can send a prisoner to extended lockdown, where
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inmates spend up to 23 hours a day confined in their cells. >> d1 cellblock is the maximum security area of the institution. this is where we house the worst of the worst inmates, inmates that can't abide by the rules and can't get along with other inmates within the institution. >> ryan stinson, convicted of nine counts of burglary and possession of stolen property, is in extended lockdown for breaking one of the prison's cardinal rules. >> i'm in here for aggravated sex offense. copulation with another inmate. we was in a cell with each other, and i did sexual favors for him. one night the sarge come down and caught us and locked us up. >> sexual activity in this institution is against the rules. it's forbidden. those that get involved in homosexual relationships, it's very serious. and we treat it as such. i would say that would happen maybe once, twice a month where an officer actually has to cite
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somebody for doing that. >> i'm homosexual. i've been homosexual all my life. it is kind of hard, i mean, because i like to wear makeup and do my eyebrows and wear certain clothes, but due to certain policies we're not able to do this, so it puts us in an awkward position, you know what i'm saying? >> once inmates complete their time in extended lockdown, they transfer to the working cellblock, a 90-day transitional housing unit where prisoners must earn the right to return to general population. one of the inmates here is 24-year-old ahmad lawrence, who goes by the nickname, pimp. >> my nickname, pimp, i got that from my big brother and all my cousins by me having a lot of ladies when i was young, when they're girlfriends, you know, that's how i got the name because it didn't really matter what i did or how i did it, i
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still kept them. >> incarcerated four years ago on a cocaine charge, ahmad is doing time in the working cell block for allegedly selling drugs in prison. >> well, i was in general population, i got in an incident. somebody went and told the lieutenant colonel that some drugs were being sold on the compound. they ended up finding me guilty and sent me to extended lockdown and i won my appeal and i come to the working cell block. now i'm doing 90 days and i'll be on the compound soon. >> if and when ahmad earns the right to return to general population, with good behavior he could eventually be placed here, in the prison's most coveted living quarters. >> basically, this is a trustee housing unit, which you see no bars. the inmates have a little more freedom here. they're still locked in at night. at count times they have to sit on their bed and be counted. they do have a microwave they can use. they have the televisions where they plug in where it's real quiet. the sound you hear now is
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basically what you hear any time of the day or night. >> what's up, eugene francis? >> but while inmates are awarded certain freedoms for good behavior, officers and staff never underestimate how dangerous many of these men can be. >> we are dealing with inmates. you know, they are here because they committed a felony. >> we got it, captain. >> coming into the institution every day, i'm always on alert. i know i'm not walking into a college campus. >> i'm scared every day. you know, because it is prison. i don't take this lightly. >> mock extractions are performed routinely as training exercises. this particular drill is called a tier extraction, when an inmate is out of his cell and loose in the hallway. >> we take the officer, you know, put him in the suit to make him -- he'll pose as the inmate and we'll dictate the scenario to him. he'll pose whatever threats we'll put up against a team and the team will go in and extract him. >> are you ready?
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>> i'm ready. >> the mock inmate's objective is to get past the officers and out the door. the team's objective is to restrain the inmate with as little injury as possible. >> controlled aggression. you can't go fast. he's on the tier. you don't have a hostage, just him. you take your time. worst thing to do is get separated and an officer is in a one-on-one with the inmate. you all ready? >> mm-hmm. >> they're going to stack up side by side and vtd electric capture shield and have conventional shields. they're going to close the space in on the inmate until he basically has nowhere else to go. >> get on the ground! put your hands behind your back! put your hands behind your back! get on the ground! >> in case exercises get out of hand, officers use the code word "red" to stop all action. >> red, red! >> are you all right? >> i'm all right. >> okay.
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>> another way officers stay prepared is through arms training. [ siren ] full-scale escape drills give tactical squads the training to prevent escapees from reaching the prison's outer perimeter. >> we have a tac team and a chase team that's made up of correctional officers. we have dogs that's been trained on tracking. >> trained dogs play an important role at elayn hunt. this one has tracked down an officer posing as an escaped inmate. >> if this had been the real deal, the dog caught within five to six minutes. the subject wouldn't have got off the grounds. >> sic him. >> one of the newest dogs at the prison is named canine robby. >> robby is not trained to kill. he is trained to help apprehend an individual that may be either hiding in a building or is not
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cooperating with orders that's been given to him. if the individual is still fighting, then the dog has to be physically removed because the individual is moving. the dog won't come off. i consider canine robby as a partner. i feel confident he's going to assist me because handler protection is part of what he's certified to do. >> that's a good boy. that's a good man. that's a good man. up next, one inmate's fall from football stardom to a life behind bars. >> i lost my family. that's the biggest thing i deal with every day. did you know that if you wear a partial you're almost twice as likely to lose your supporting teeth? try poligrip for partials. poligrip helps minimize stress which may damage supporting teeth by stabilizing your partial. care for your partial. help protect your natural teeth.
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at first glance someone might mistake this for a college football training camp. but this team is made up of inmates from the elayn hunt correctional center. >> our philosophy at hunt is to keep the inmates busy. we feel like if we keep them busy they'll stay out of trouble. >> sports helps manage the inmates. it gives them something to do. it helps people learn how to work together. and to me good sportsmanship makes a good person. >> we have a full-time sports director who organizes team sports such as football, basketball, soccer, baseball, and we even have a boxing team. >> among the players on the elayn hunt football team is the prison's most famous inmate.
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>> my name is ramsey james dardar, sr. i've been here five years, and i'm serving a 32-year sentence for simple burglary. i admit i did commit a crime, but as far as being a bad person i don't think i'm a bad person. i just think i allowed a drug addiction to cause me to make bad decisions. and i stole for drugs. >> he's known here in south louisiana mostly because he was a big-time football player at lsu and kind of the hometown hero. >> i come from a little small town named cecilia, louisiana, probably the only time you see a red light in cecilia is probably around christmastime. it's that small. >> in the 1983 nfl draft, dardar was picked by the st. louis cardinals and later played for the houston oilers. >> i played with the great warren moon, some of the great players. mike rozier. guys like that. played for the man in black,
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jerry glanville. >> number 44 for the washington redskins. this right here is herschel walker, 1981. i can name you a few guys, famous guys, that got a few of the scars on me. >> ramsey's football career ended when a neck injury forced him to retire. >> from there it's like, i guess, downhill. got convicted in '91. got out, stayed out about a year, and here i go again. i chose drugs sociably, trying it out with the crowd, you know. ended up hooked. i feel like i let a lot of people down. i'm just trying to do what i can do right now to try to, you know, regain some of that
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swagger back. you know, i'm getting kind of old, but i still have faith that one day i could, you know, get back out and maybe contribute something to society. everybody knows prison is not a nice place. football helps me get away from the pressure of being locked up. >> ramsey spends much of his free time mentoring younger inmates, both on and off the field. >> they look up to him, listen to him, follow his lead in a lot of ways, especially in sports. i mean, he's like the coach and the player. >> let's go, baby, let's go. we've got to get it together. let's get it right, baby, let's get it right. >> this is mr. callaway, better known as kiki the bullet. he's an awesome athlete. like i said, i played with some good athletes, but that's one of the best i played with. >> full set right. 38 sweep.
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tackle forward. on one. everybody got it? >> ramsey dardar, i admire his style of play on the field and off the field. he's a perfect role model. you know? he's been to levels that i never -- that i dreamed about getting to, that i was deprived of going. i've been incarcerated since i was at a young age, 16. now 28. waiting to go home. all i did all my life was play sports. i'm in here for manslaughter. it was a faulty mistake. i was just young. >> with less than six months to serve on his manslaughter charge, kiona says prison has taught him not to judge people. >> everybody in jail not criminals. everybody in jail not animals. everybody incarcerated is not a warlock or a demon. you know, everybody have faults. it's just mistakes, we took the wrong turn in our life. >> for ramsey, one wrong turn
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cost him more than just his freedom. >> i lost my family, you know. coming to prison, that's the biggest thing, you know. that's the biggest thing i deal with every day. there's my queen. i lost her, but i might get her back. i trust. i believe. i have faith. coming up, officers take every precaution as inmates farm the fields. >> when you get it like this in here, like that razor blade there. >> it makes you watch your back, keeps you on your toes. ad two big goals: help the gulf recover and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i can tell you - safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge technology like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all drilling activity twenty-four-seven.
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in louisiana farming has been a long-time tradition at correctional facilities throughout the state, including elayn hunt.
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>> we have a farm here where they grow the food. that's why our food costs are so low, because we grow a lot of products we feed the inmates here. >> every weekday morning just after sunrise, a crew of inmates prepares for a day of grueling work in the fields adjacent to the prison. several armed officers on horseback supervise them. >> whoa. >> for security purposes all inmates are first lined up, counted, and frisked for contraband. after the count is checked and double-checked, officers and inmates make their way to the supply depot where inmates retrieve water jugs for the hot and humid day in the fields. they will also collect the tools they will need. >> knowing that they have tools that they could easily use as weapons and they have done it before, it makes you watch your back. >> you get it like this in here, like that razor blade there. i learned that sharpening them knives on the floors in them cells at angola.
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>> inmate joel baker, convicted of triple homicide, goes by the name white trash. >> the judge gave me my name. it's kind of ironic. upon sentencing they had me charged with three murders, drug deal gone bad in a hotel room, shootout. they shot me, i shot them, but the judge says in her final summation after the jury delivers a verdict, said "a great injustice has been done upon society this day. due to a conflict in the prosecution by the district attorney, you will remain in prison for the rest of your natural life, but you are nothing, mr. baker, but a pebble in the pond. you are nothing but poor white trash." all my life i was a bad boy. i look back and i see all the stupid mistakes that i made, and i see the young people that's here at this prison, and i hear all the stories because i listen and i think to myself, you do not know how fortunate you are. you're going out there with another chance, whether it's
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five years, ten years, or what. you're getting another chance. i'll never get that chance. i would give my leg, my arm for that chance. i'm never going to get it. >> after assembling with their tools, inmates begin the long march to the field where they will spend the day harvesting vegetables and picking weeds. each inmate earns two cents an hour. >> we have 63 acres of vegetable gardens that we grow vegetables on, anything from squash, tomatoes, mustard greens, collard greens. >> inmates at elayn hunt harvest more than 1 million pounds of crops a year, all of it used at the prison. >> one hammond, two baker. three, sheaf. >> early in the mornings it's not so bad. we still have a little bit of coolness in the air. but as the day progresses, the humidity starts to go up and the
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dew points go up, and it tends to slow a lot of them down. >> the temperature can reach up to 100 degrees. still, the three dozen inmates represent a formidable force. but the mounted officers keeping watch over them are prepared for any trouble. >> i'm comfortable out on my lines. got my horse, my guns. inmates are intimidated by it. >> they probably feel i'm the danger. i got nothing to lose. i mean, what you going to do, give me some more time? i can't do what i got. i do one life sentence, if you take back one life sentence i've still got two more. you take back both life sentences i've still got 35. i mean, i'm more of a threat to them than they are to me. >> to keep inmates from escaping, gun guards form a square perimeter around the farm detail by placing themselves at opposite corners. inside the square unarmed guards called line pushers supervise the inmates. >> the gun guard that you see out here, he has the area toward
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us and also the area going the opposite way. it's a 90 degree. the other gun guard in this area over here, he has a 90 degree angle the other way which watches the two guard lines that way. >> the gun line is there for inmates so they know what not to cross. >> the gun line is an imaginary boundary. an inmate who gets too close to the line is verbally warned. if he continues, a warning shot is fired. if he fails to heed the warning, officers are authorized to wound the inmate to stop him. >> we had at one time where an inmate took off running and we had to run them down, and we just run them down and caught them. in my career, which spans over 27 years, i have never had to use deadly force. >> in addition to preventing escapes, gun guards must be prepared to protect the line pusher. >> the pusher, he has to work the inmates, tell them what to
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do, different than the gun guards. the gun guards are just making sure they stay in their area. >> chris melchior has worked in the field for six months. recently he changed positions from being a gun guard to becoming a line pusher. >> me as a line pusher, i don't carry a weapon, and when you go from being a gun guard carrying two weapons to line pushing and you lose that security blanket, it's not a real good feeling in your gut. >> clean the front of your row. all that grass out in front. >> we watch these guys, make sure they're working. it's a mind game really. they'll test you. and you've just got to keep up with them. >> five is going to be the very end one. and then just work your way back. five, four, three, two, one. >> make it in their head that you're not out here playing. you're out here meaning the real thing. basically, you've just got to put your foot down and let them know you mean business. >> as their day of hard labor comes to an end, inmates load
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vegetables onto flatbed trucks, assemble in their lines, and begin the journey back to the prison. >> it's fun to break the law and dance with the devil, but when you've got to pay the fiddler, ain't nothing nice. trust me, i'm living it. i'm living it. coming up, inmates try to survive a military-style boot camp. >> i wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. avo: the volkswagen "sign then drive" sales event is back. which means it's never been easier to get a new passat awarded j. d. power's most appealing midsize car, two years in a row. and right now you can drive one home for practically just your signature. get zero due at signing, zero down, zero deposit, and zero first month's payment on any new 2014 volkswagen. hurry, this offer ends december 2nd. for details, visit vwdealer.com today at any minute you could be a victim
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operation. pakistani security forces on high alert after an american drone strike hit the leader of the pakistani taliban. i'm veronica de la cruz. let's get you back to "lockup." many prisons in the country offer military-style reform programs called boot camp. the elayn hunt correctional center in louisiana claims its boot camp is one of the best. the 200 inmates in the rigorous and challenging program can reduce their sentences by successfully completing the course. but you'll see it often comes at a heavy price. ♪ it's all right ♪ ♪ it's all right ♪ ♪ all i do is double time ♪ >> the boot camp program at elayn hunt is called impact. >> in my honest opinion, this is the best form of rehabilitation offered by the department of corrections. >> for every 100 inmates who
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complete the program, the state of louisiana says it saves more than $1 million. to qualify for impact, participants must be nonviolent offenders and free of pending felony charges. >> what motivated me to be in impact was i was trying to make a change in my life. i'm at hunt for possession of marijuana, which is actually my second felony. i mean, people used to tell me on the street that i was addicted to marijuana and i would be like, no, i just use it because i don't want to feel this pain or that pain. when the truth of it was is at first it may have started out as that reason, but after so long of using it i truly became addicted to it. after the first two possession charges i got, i never really got any help or tried to make any strides to change it. i really want to get over my addiction because i know all it did was harm my body and harm my mind mentally. >> impact staff feel the program can help trainees like goss overcome their dependency on
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drugs. >> you know, these guys can't drink. they can't smoke a joint occasionally. they can't work all week and decide i just want to pick up a six-pack of beer and drink it in my house. they don't have that opportunity anymore. >> not everyone is cut out for the rigorous requirements of impact. participating inmates must submit themselves entirely to their superiors or be expelled. >> i wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. it's not no place for anybody to be -- i mean where you got to be told when you can eat, when you can go to the bathroom, when you got to shower, you got to be within arm's distance of another man at all times, so i mean it's just not a place that anybody would really want to be. >> we're not trying to punish you. we're not trying to enhance your penalties for coming to jail. we're trying to make it so that five years from now we run into you on the street and you're
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just a normal, working, tax-paying citizen. ♪ daddy, daddy, don't you cry ♪ ♪ daddy, daddy don't you cry ♪ ♪ your little boy ain't gonna die ♪ ♪ your little boy ain't gonna die ♪ >> along with the discipline you're trying to instill that there's more to doing things than the road that they have chosen. they can educate themselves. they can get jobs. they can learn how to be better parents. we're giving them a sense of responsibility, you know. if you can do this the right way, it's going to pay off. you don't have to just sell drugs, you know, to feel important. ♪ i used to drive a cadillac ♪ ♪ i used to drive a cadillac ♪ ♪ now i pack it on my back ♪ ♪ now i pack it on my back ♪ ♪ impact life is not my style ♪ ♪ the impact life is not my style ♪ ♪ they got me looking like gomer pyle ♪ >> one of the distinct features of the impact program at elayn hunt is that it allows female inmates from a nearby women's correctional facility to participate alongside the men. >> louisiana correctional
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institute for women sits about a quarter mile to a half mile down the road from us. it's easy for us to get those females here and get them back to the women's prison at night. >> bravo company is one of the six impact platoons. among the inmates that make up bravo is female trainee teresa warren. >> 22 years old, and i've been at impact for three months now. my charges are access to vice fraud, identity fraud, computer fraud, and forgery. i was sentenced seven years. i did a plea bargain. i asked for impact. >> good morning bravo. i'm trainee warren and i'm -- >> teresa is the only female in bravo company and was recently appointed squad leader. >> females are always struggling, and they always put us in the front. they always want us to lead. and so it's pressure on the females because we have to meet up to that standard. you know, when you're tired, you have to dig deep and say, you know, i'm trying to go home. i have to do this. >> help themselves and each other. >> among the activities in
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impact's regime is a conflict resolution exercise called community group in which members of a platoon can openly confront each other and air their grievances. >> since you been the platoon leader, i feel like you only looking out for yourself. you're not worried about the platoon. and i feel like being in this platoon you can't do that. >> i mean, you've got to start talking and communicating with people instead of just giving us attitude like you don't care what's going on with them. we're a family. we got to make it through this one way or another. >> it's teresa's turn in community group. >> you act like you so high on a pedestal, like you so much better than everybody. you know, you got to realize that, you know, you be in the class. you the big show, you know. like you running everything. that ain't cool, you know. a lot of people feel the same way i feel but they just might not feel like they can say it without repercussions coming back on them. i done bit my tongue too long now and i'm speaking it out. >> i never claimed to be perfect
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because if i was perfect i wouldn't be here. every day i have to watch everything i do because they watch me because i'm the only female. you know, i don't have a chance to go individually and talk to y'all like y'all can to each other. and i don't think i'm better than anyone else in here. if i was i wouldn't be here. i feel like i put the platoon first. i do not try to stick anybody out. >> don't take it personal. i'm just saying how i feel. you know how i am. i speak my mind. >> at first, you know, i looked at it like this girl, she's a brat. you know. but as i got to know you, you know, i'm not on that one-track mind no more. i'm looking from different views. you know what i'm saying? keep doing what you're doing, you know? you strive hard. i love you for it. bravo sister, i love you, keep doing what you're doing. she ain't big and broad as we is, but she doing what she gots to do to hold us together. >> trainee warren is actually a good trainee as far as we're concerned. we all as a platoon, we like
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her. we like her because of the fact that she is a strong woman -- i'm not going to say young lady because she's actually a woman by the way she acts with everybody. we all have a deep respect for her. >> i feel that she's one of the females that just kind of fallen by the wayside and is trying to find her way and now that she's in impact, you know, she's pulling her own weight. she's learning how to get along with others and as far as physical fitness, she's adjusting also. >> while some critics may question whether six months of military-style boot camp can change a criminal's ways, the prison says its research shows more than 62% of elayn hunt impact graduates are out of prison and working in the community. >> we don't want them to come back, you know. we're trying to initiate programs that will help keep them out of prison instead of coming back. coming up, an inmate tries to box his way out of prison.
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>> get me out of jail. i'm willing to fight for free for two years.
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getting you back on a brand-new bike. now, that's progressive. ó every day at the elayn hunt correctional center in louisiana, the kitchen staff is challenged with cooking for the facility's 2,100 inmates and the 750 correctional staff members who work here. over the course of a year, some 2.5 million meals are prepared
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by inmates in this kitchen, serving staple foods and sides like cornbread and chocolate chip cookies can be expensive, but elayn hunt manages to keep costs down, in part because they grow much of their own food on site. >> i'm proud to say that we have one of the lowest food costs per day in the state. food costs $1.31 a day, not just one meal but three hot meals a day. >> while general population prisoners eat in the mess halls, inmates locked up for rule infractions have their meals brought to their cells. >> all right, let's go if you're on chow carts. you got an apron on, you need to take your apron off. >> sergeant kimberly smith oversees the transport of food items to and from the kitchen. >> we're on our way to the unit three compound, where the inmates do not come out of their cells to eat. they actually eat in their cells. all five chow carts will be taken to the gate on unit three, and all the inmates will be
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given a tray through their hatch on their cells. once they have eaten, they will pick everything back up, everything will come back into the chow cart and brought back to the kitchen. it will be recleaned and sanitized to be used again for our next feeding. >> pretty decent. >> one of sergeant smith's most important jobs is keeping track of the many cooking utensils inmates use to prepare food. >> any of these utensils in here probably look like they're just a regular kitchen utensil, but what's really important to remember, especially here in this facility and any other facility, is that these actually could be turned into weapons very, very easily. and they can be sharpened down, they could be taken apart. any number of things could be done to these. so we're very particular about keeping track of every utensil we have, making sure everything matches with the utensil numbers and everything. >> curtis merrells is one of the inmates allowed to handle the potentially dangerous utensils, but chances are if curtis wanted
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to hurt someone he'd save it for the ring. curtis is serving a 25-year sentence for robbery. he started boxing to relieve stress. >> i chose to go off the wrong side of the road. the result of that, i lost my wife, i lost my kids. i made one decision, one bad decision in life, and it got me 25 years, which i'll be 48 when i get out, which i was 22 when i came in here. >> the program at the prison gives inmates the opportunity to box against fighters from rival institutions. in just a few days curtis will travel with the boxing team to a nearby state penitentiary where he will compete for the title in his weight division. >> to just get in that ring and fight, you got to be a stone warrior to fight, especially in prison fighting because i think it's more harder than professional fights.
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if i take this belt, if i win, i'm the man. i mean, nobody has beat this cat for three to four years, and if i beat him i'm the big man on the compound. nobody tell me nothing. >> one way in which curtis draws inspiration is through his family. >> i brought him in. >> two days before this fight, curtis's mother, sister, and niece traveled to elayn hunt to wish him their best. >> i try to come to visit him every other weekend. in the beginning it was real hard because i knew i had to leave him here, but now it's getting better because i realize that it was just -- it was a mistake that he made, and it's just something that we're learning to cope with. >> we're behind him, we're with him, and whatever it takes for us to see him through this, then that's what we're going to do. and once he's released, then we'll be released. to me he's the heavyweight champion of the world.
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he's going to knock them out. >> curtis's teammate, 29-year-old derek rayborn, has been boxing since he was a teenager. derek is in prison for robbery and isn't scheduled for release until 2020. so his chances of fighting professionally are all but lost. however, derek knows that fight promoters often attend boxing matches between louisiana prisons. >> hopefully the right people see my box and they like what they see and hopefully try to help me get out of this situation i'm in. >> i'm in here fighting for nothing. i'm not getting it. i'm not benefiting nothing from fighting up in here. so if somebody likes the way i fight that's into promoting out there and willing to help me fight, i mean, i'm willing to fight for free for two years. just get me out of jail. >> derik's nickname is the outlaw. he knows that winning his next fight is critical. >> i'm fighting the number one contender fight which if i win the next time i fight in september i get to fight for the
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belt, which is good. i'm going to win. because they haven't seen me in a while. i ain't fighted in this year yet. i fought last year, not this year. everybody, they know i can fight. >> as members of hunt's boxing team, derik and curtis spar with one another, but never fight. >> we don't fight amongst the same people we be locked up with like, so it ain't that bad. coming up -- >> what are we going to do tonight? >> we're going to smash something. >> what are we going to do tonight? >> we're going to smash something. >> you heard. >> derik and curtis get their chance in the ring. when we made our commitment to the gulf, bp had two big goals: help the gulf recover and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company.
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it's fight day for the elayn hunt boxing team. only inmates who are well behaved and in good physical condition are allowed to fight. >> the boxers are screened by medical before they are cleared
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to box. you just can't get in there and start boxing. there are some procedures in place before you can become a boxer. >> as they wait for the bus that will transport them to a rival prison, the inmates are anxious to show off their talents. >> they have everything that is needed to win. >> derik rayborn has been waiting a long time to get in the ring. it. >> hoar is the star of the show. outlaw. fast hands, fast feet. he's going to be mighty hard to beat. with his speed and endurance the opponent is going to need life insurance. tell him what i say. >> they're going to need it. >> tell them what i say, son. what are we going to do tonight? >> we're going to smash something. >> what are we going to do tonight? >> we're going to smash something. >> there you heard it. live. >> smash something. >> from the hunt correctional center. >> i'm the outlaw. i'm going to bring it and bring it and bring the pain. >> i'm ready to beat somebody up. i mean, i ain't fight in a while so i'm ready to go fight now. >> anticipating his own fight, inmate curtis merrells is more
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reserved. >> the guy i'm supposed to fight, he's pretty good. he's been having the belt for like three, four years. ain't nobody beat him yet. so i got my hands full. i've been training like a mad russian. i really think i've got a good chance of beating him. >> when the bus arrives, hunt's 22-member boxing team sets out for angola state prison, the site of tonight's title fights. due to filming restrictions placed on our camera crew by angola prison officials, we are only allowed to show inmates from elayn hunt. inmate derek rayborn is the first to enter the ring. >> representing hunt correctional center, let's give it up for derik rayborn! [ bell ] >> the fights are limited to three three-minute rounds. [ bell ]
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>> put your hands together now. >> round one comes to an end and derek appears sluggish, raising doubts about his conditioning. the bell rings for round two, and both fighters come out swinging. as the second round of fighting comes to an end, derik and his opponent don't seem to notice the bell. [ bell ] with one round left, derik's opponent appears to have a slight edge over him. [ bell ] this is the last round for derik to impress the judges.
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♪ [ bell ] >> put your hands together for these two fighters. >> the final bell rings and the fighters return to their corners, waiting for the judges' decision. >> ladies and gentlemen, by way of split decision we have a winner. the number one contender in the light heavyweight division, give it up for angola's -- [ applause ] >> when they said the split decision, i knew he had it.
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i was like, oh, man, i knew he got it. they're going to give it to him because he's as home. >> it is now time for curtis merrells to step into the ring. the stakes are high, not only bragging rights but a title belt. both fighters start off slow in round one. neither impressing the judges. in round two curtis is aggressive and lands more punches. in the final round curtis starts to tire and his opponent gets some good hits in.
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>> let's give these fighters a big hand. and now, ladies and gentlemen, by way of split decision, representing angola, give it up for -- [ cheers and applause ] >> another split decision gives victory to the opponent. although the night is disappointing for derik and curtis, other members of the elayn hunt boxing team are successful. >> give it up for hunt correctional center. tyrone patterson. >> when one lose, we all lose. and when one wins, we all win.
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so i feel like a winner. you know, we brought home two belts. it motivates me. i've got to get out there and i've got to get out there and help them too. i have to bring mine in, too. >> at least we can see things when we're leaving, we can see people out there. we can see things that a bunch of people want to see that ain't boxing. they stay here every day. they don't get to go nowhere. so that's what i'm looking forward to. >> shortly after our cameras left, hurricane katrina destroyed much of the gulf coast region. the elayn hunt correctional center became home to many inmates from nearby prisons that were evacuated due to damage. that's our report. thanks for watching. i'm john seigenthaler.
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due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. there are 2 million people behind bars in america. >> got the browns and the whites against the blacks. the first rule of the game is watch your back. it's either kill or be killed. life and the next [ bleep ] will. i will find me some steel and make a strap. cut like a mercenary death trap. 'cause if i got to do time, i rather do it like a real [ bleep ], be down for mine. >> who i
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