tv Lockup Raw MSNBC May 17, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm 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." this is the hardest part because you're in here with very little to do. you sleep. and you eat. and you sleep some more and you eat some more. >> it is a life of profound monotony. >> can't do nothing.
just sit in here and look stupid. same thing every day. just lay down, read a book, and that's it. >> day after day. >> it's hell. >> year after year. >> it's like an animal in a cage, you know. >> spent in cramped, uncomfortable confinement. >> this is a 9x6 cell. i can put my hand from here to here and i can't even stretch my arms all the way out. >> where boredom is interrupted by moments of sheer terror and occasional bursts of inspiration. >> i've been working on this dollhouse for two years now. ♪ you've got a brother locked up once again ♪ >> inmates have a lot of free time on their hands. it's what they do with that free time that separates where they are going to go with their lives. will they make use of the time in a positive way, or will time
make use of them and they will go to the dark side? ask any "lockup" producer where to find the most drama and tension in prison and the answer is usually intake. the place new inmates cross the threshold into a world where they will be known as much by a number as by a name. >> what size do you wear? >> 8 1/2. >> 10 is going to be your lucky number. >> the intake process varies from prison to prison, but each one brings stark reminders about how life is about to change. >> i'm going to tell you this one more time and one more time only. no one will with able to have any type of gym shoes. we have shoes to fit you.
there'll be no doctors' excuses. i have high arches, my feet are bad. that's your problem. >> at the joliet correctional center in illinois, a boot camp-like orientation begins the intake process. >> you may keep 12 envelopes. you can keep 24 pictures. anything after 24 pictures will be sent home or destroyed. >> you start with specific directions, and you tell them what the expectation levels are. if anybody causes a problem, you take them out of the equation immediately. and by doing that, you maintain that control. >> some people have been there several times before, and it's, quite frankly, almost a homecoming to them. and then you can always read what they refer to as the fresh fish. >> oh, man, i've heard stories about what goes on at night here. i have heard stories about
people getting killed. i've heard all sorts of stories. you name it. >> there's always that guy who is wide-eyed who absolutely doesn't want to be there. you get to go home, and they don't. >> such was the case with 23-year-old andrew dykman. we were there the day he arrived at utah state prison on a statutory rape conviction. >> i've done some jail time, but i've never been here before. it's a whole different enemy. >> what is different about it so far? >> bars on the windows, it's a lot more serious. this is real stuff here. it's scary. i'm worried about getting beat up by other inmates. you know, they try to make it as safe an environment as possible, but you never know what's going to happen. >> we've accompanied these inmates and many others through one of the more discomforting aspects of intake. the strip search. >> our intake officer will take
them one at a time back into a strip room, do a visual cavity search. >> searching all that too? >> yep. >> they try to do it with a level of dignity and respect so as to not make the person uncomfortable. >> bend over and spread your butt cheeks. thank you. what size of underwear? >> because utah receives a relatively small number of new arrivals on intake days, officers can make the process more comfortable for inmates. we found a very different atmosphere at the sprawling and constantly bustling los angeles county jail. >> stand up, spread your feet. shoulder width apart. lift up your left foot, wiggle your toes. >> l.a. county, which is probably one of the largest jail systems in the world, is a completely different experience. >> drop them, turn around. >> and the inmate reception center is gigantic. you know, they get 400 guys a day. 2,000 a week. hands up. hands over in place. reach back. no talking.
no laughing. just reach back and pull them apart. spread them wide. >> while intake can be a traumatic experience for new inmates, settling into the day-to-day routine of prison life provides a very different challenge. >> the time isn't hard if you keep yourself busy. you know, it's a point of managing it. you know, you can either manage it, or it can manage you. >> waddell harper and his cellmate, sakha ren, have created ways to break the monotony with the few sparse items they are allowed in their cramped cell. >> the dice are made from toilet paper. >> roll them up. draw on them. that's basically it, you know what i mean? your mind gets all creative once you're in here. you ain't got nothing else to do. >> and we make dominos out of soap. just different things to occupy your mind. >> shortly after meeting harper and ren, we discover another pair of utah cellmates with their own unique method of passing time.
>> my name's tod luck, just t-o-d, just one "d," luck if i had any, l-u-c-k. i am eternally here for 1 to 15 robbery. >> steve hightower. i'm here on a parole violation for a dirty ua, dirty urinalysis for using drugs. it's lucky because both of us want to exercise. sometimes you get with a celly that doesn't want to exercise. and it's nice to have somebody that does because then you can use their body weight. >> you want to not look over your back as much and if you're a stick figure and walking in here with some new beef, you know, and you got your chest all puffed out like this, you know, and you're talking like bubba, you know, then, of course, you're going to have some problems. but if you're consistently working out, then people know that you're pretty much physically fit. they'll leave their hands off of you. because you don't want to end up
somebody's girl, you know, something like that in here. yeah. >> as for the new arrivals, they'll have to come up with their own methods for coping with life behind bars. >> you know, it's cold, and it's depressing. this is the worst, but you have to do it. when i go to sleep and have nightmares about this place and wake up, and i'll still be stuck in the same nightmare. you've got to do your time and be strong about it. there's nothing you can do but face your fears. coming up -- the inside scoop on prison laundry. >> keep my toilet pressure clean. >> and prison ink. >> i wear it proudly. i got swastikas, and i've got gustafa bolts. >> the tear represents several different things. it can represent the fact that you killed somebody.
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we've met inmates who have not only devised ingenious ways to pass time, but to take care of routine domestic chores. few, though, made as lasting an impression on us at solon league of california's san quentin state prison. >> i'm a third timer. he got 12 years. i only got 13 days now. so i'm really preparing him to what is ahead of him. we keep our house clean. >> league gave both his cellmate and our producer a lesson on the finer points of laundry behind bars. >> i get my t-shirt, grab my bar of soap, dip it in the toilet. keep my toilet fresh and clean. scrub it out. like so. and once the toilet fills up, it's fresh water now. i can just rinse it. i fold my towels. put it here. right up under here is my
clothesline. >> league went on to give us a cooking demonstration, using toilet paper like a stovetop burner. >> take this, set it on the edge of the toilet. because it's got to breathe. set it here, light it at the bottom. as you see, it's like a fire. you hold your can over it, and you cook. therefore your water gets hot. flush it down. grab a damp towel because you don't want it to be on your toilet. don't want to burn your toilet up. i get my bowl, crack my soup open and do my eating. >> over the years, we've also seen another trick of the inmate trade in the majority of prisons we visited. it's called fishing.
>> they rip up their sheets in little pieces, tie them together, to make a long rope and such, and they usually use a roll-on deodorant bottle or something heavy that they tie on the end of it that they can throw from one cell or from the top range to the bottom range. and a lot of times, you see mailbags and envelopes they can put letters in or magazines. and a lot of times, you'll see them tie a kite or a letter to the end of it and that's the way they communicate. >> the packages tied to the fish lines are sometimes called cadillacs, and hard as they try, correctional staff can rarely keep up with them. >> 99% of the time you are not going to catch it because they are looking out for each other. we will go up and tell them to give us the cadillacs, and if they want, we'll go in, shake them down, and take the cadillac. and then they'll have another one tomorrow. you know, that is where a lot of our sheets go. and you take one and they have another one the next day. >> at kern valley state prison in california, we met inmate aaron yost who participates in
another illegal, yet very common practice behind bars. tattooing. >> mine's art work. you know what i mean? i did this myself. >> where? >> in a cell like this. >> how? >> how? see this cassette player? i ripped the motor out of it, and i attach a tube to it with the needle, spin the needle back and forth. and i make the ink. burn plastic or baby oil, and the soot will go up. i collect the soot and mix it with shampoo to make a thick black ink. >> tattooing in prison is illegal and poses a variety of health risks, but we've met countless inmates who have gotten their ink both on the outside and inside. many tattoos represent gang affiliation and are documented by prison officials. most of the rest have a meaning all their own. >> what my trip is is physics. my tattoos represent it. on the back of my legs it says quantum physics.
i've got an atom on my hand. i study what the ultimate nature of reality is. it sooths me. it soothes me to try and figure out what i am, what all this is, what it's all about. you know, the deeper thinking philosophy, i guess you would say. >> i have a couple of females down here on the old legs. bull whips. kind of into that s&m thing, you know. that's my thing. >> this tattoo is the joker, a representation of me. the women is a representation of my way or the highway. you know, i mean that was my thoughts in dealing with women and relationships. this is the madness. this is me on crack. that's me. that's before i learned to manage my problem, that was me. >> this is a memorial to my mom. she passed away while i was in here. of course, you know what the word "deviate" means. straight from the norm. other than the standard.
and this is kind of like me back in the day. and this is me pulling my own strings. you know, it's like i made -- i became a puppet to myself. >> the tear represents several different things. it can represent gang membership. it can represent the fact that you've killed somebody. or it can represent the fact that you've done a lot of time in prison. in my case, i've done a lot of time in prison. i've never killed anybody. >> tattoos in prison often lead to violence, as we learned when we visited the holman correctional facility in alabama. >> you want to be interviewed? put your clothes on. come on. >> steven parker is serving a life sentence for the murder of his stepmother. >> a lot of people, you know, they villainize me for that. i grew up with parents that didn't give a [ bleep ] about me. i'm not trying to excuse my behavior, you know what i mean? i take full responsibility. i pled guilty. >> parker claims to be a leader of the aryan brotherhood prison
gang. >> i wasn't racist until i started landing in jails and prisons and kept getting jumped on over and over again. then i became racist. i wear it proudly. i got the swastikas and got the bolts. >> when we met him, he was serving his time in administrative segregation because his desire for another tattoo nearly turned deadly. >> about six months ago, i cut a dude's throat down in population. he was supposed to do some tattoos. i was going to get some swastikas tattooed on the side of my neck. he didn't want to run them. i paid for them. he didn't want to run them. i said, well, you just need to give me my money back. he didn't want to do it. i pulled out a box cutter and i cut the side of his throat. and he went running away and tried to run behind an officer. like an officer is going to stop me [ bleep ]. >> what happened to him? >> they put him on a helicopter,
flew him to the hospital, did some kind of surgery, put his jugular vein back together. >> our producer learned that the total debt owed to parker was $60, payable in snacks and toiletries purchased at the prison canteen since inmates are not allowed to carry cash. but behind bars, the true value of a tattoo can only be determined by the person who wears it. >> why did you want to get a swastika on your neck? >> because i just thought it would look cool. i like -- i wanted to get two of them on each side, like frankenstein bolts, big swastikas. just to let everyone know that i'm a racist son of a bitch, you know? coming up. >> i'm like the most popular one. they call me countess. big countess. above all. >> men who do their time living as women. >> i'm the wife. he's the man. i've got on my band. that's his. that's mine, that's his. got that right here.
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every prison inmate must make decisions about how to do his time and how to create a life behind bars. we've encountered a number of prisoners who have made an unusual choice. they are not only openly gay, but for all practical purposes, function in prison as women. >> i'm like the most popular one. they call me countess, the countess, above all. because i look more female like more than any of the other ones here. i don't lift weights. i don't do any of that stuff. i just be me. i flirt. oh, god. i flirt, yes. >> but there's another side to randi stemper. he is serving a 25-year sentence for attempted murder. >> i shot somebody for stupid reasons. >> what?
>> i shot them for getting me like the wrong bottle of vodka, stole his truck, an 18-wheeler. >> in this previously unaired footage, stemper also claims to use his sexuality to manipulate other inmates. >> you target people with weaker minds. easier targets. like, kind of like what i would be in a rougher prison. i target that and start talking and flirting with them. to them it's like having a woman in here. so they are willing to give up more things. doesn't have to be sexual. it's just a presence. you know, i know what's in their mind. but the trick behind it is try to not do it that way and still get the item. >> though it's against the rules, stemper has found ways to engage in another activity that makes life in prison more tolerable for himself and other inmates.
>> it's easy to have sex in prison and know what the guards are looking for and know how to get around that. places, cameras, guards. you can have friends who are a guard away from some place so you can get into some place. have the sex and then come out before the guard turns around and comes back. there are staircases, closets, other people's cells. it's kind of like a cloak-and-dagger game with the guards. in my case, i'm just good at it. i never get caught, ten years. >> when we visited the holman correctional facility in alabama, producers met keith mason, who also assumes a female persona. >> what's your first name again? >> keith. but they call me precious. what makes me a girl, first of all is this, again, this is my choice. so it's nothing that i was
forced into, like i walked in the door and they slapped me down and say, you're going to be my bitch. it wasn't like that. you know, when i came in, came in -- the first day i came in here and i arched my eyebrows and i did what i did and i let them know at home, i'm gay. >> having already served an earlier sentence for aggravated assault, precious was doing life on a robbery conviction. and when we met him, he was living in a state of domestic partnership with fellow inmate marquis nobles. >> i'm the wife, he's the man. i got on my band and his. that's mine, that's his. got that right here. >> this is my partner. this is my friend. this is, you know, the person that gives me strength. you know, like i say, i don't have family or anything. this is the person that helps me out, day to day. >> but despite being in the fifth year of their relationship, marquise, nearing the end of a 15-year sentence for kidnapping, made it clear, the situation will likely change
once he's out. >> this is not a lifestyle i would live when i get out because i like women. i'm in prison. there's no women in here. but there are men who want to be women. i have to deal with it when i'm in here. >> though marquise might not be in it for the long haul, that hasn't deterred precious from being a surrogate spouse. >> he doesn't have to do anything. i make sure whatever he needs, whatever he wants, he has that. that's not just me. that's part of what they call penitentiary rules. you take care of the man, the man lay back, that's all he has to do. he doesn't even have to brush his teeth. he just smiles, i brush his teeth for him. >> what about women's lib? you know, women are liberated now. >> right. they are. >> women don't have to wait on their husbands anymore. how do you feel about that? >> i choose to. i choose to. >> housework isn't the only way in which prison marriage is less than a union of equals. as precious explains in this graphic never-before-seen interview footage -- >> if there is any sexual activity taking place, he is the
man. you know, he is the surrogate all the time. i'm always the recipient of whatever it is. it doesn't matter if it's oral or anal or however you want to look at it. because he's my husband. he's the man. i can never penetrate him or get no oral sex or anything like that from him. if i choose to, you know, go and release myself, then i have to go get me a girl to go do it with. >> our producer then questioned whether the relationship between precious and marquis is motivated by more than just love and sex. >> listen to me. please listen to me. i am 7-0 right here. i have not lost a fight here. they have been with men. as a matter of fact, i believe i can beat him. we just never got to the place where we had to fight. yeah. now we were wrestling one time and i put him to sleep. yeah. coming up on "lockup: raw" life behind bars for one inmate involves an ongoing battle with this warden. >> let me tell you what you do.
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hi. cooler temperatures and calmer winds are helping the fight against wildfires in southern california. 27,000 acres have been burned this week. one pepper was killed. >> there's been a third case of the mers virus in the u.s. an illinois resident has tested positive but he shows no signs of being sick. he had contact with the man who first brought the disease into this country. now back to "lockup." due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is
advised. >> i don't know what else you want. this is it. this is life. okay? you know, you've got your cell, you've got this, and the yard. that's all there is. there's nothing else. come out, go to a table, play chess, get on the phone, get a drink of water, and that's it. prison consists of nothing else. inside the cell, a couple hours maybe in the day room, a couple hours maybe in the yard. and that's it, day after day after day after day after day after day after day. it's the same thing. nothing changes. >> 90% of prison life is actually boredom. and it's what the inmates do with this down time, this lack of stimuli, that has led to some of the most interesting parts about "lockup." >> chill. you do your time. don't let it do you. >> the monotonous grind of life in prison can push some inmates to the limit. in trying to understand how they deal with the specter of never being free again, we've met some of our most memorable characters and recorded some of our most dramatic footage.
>> i'm serving a life without parole sentence, two life sentences, two 99-year sentences, a 40-year sentence, a 20-year sentence, and a 10-year sentence, all together. >> at the time of our visit bobby gilbert had been at alabama's holman correctional facility for only four years. but he first landed in prison at the age of 18. he told us how a minor dispute over money led him to murder an acquaintance from his town. >> he said basically the only way i would get my money is over his dead body. you know. i was hot-headed then. so that's how i got it. >> how much money did he owe you? >> he owed me $36. and i paid $37 for the gun i killed him with. so, you know -- >> once behind bars, gilbert's violent temper led to numerous other crimes, including stabbing another inmate to death. this time for much less than
$36. but gilbert made it clear to us, in prison, things aren't always as they seem. >> everybody wants to talk about, you know, i killed somebody over a carton of cigarettes. you know, it's not a carton of cigarettes. that may be the catalyst that leads to something, but, you know, if somebody owes me a soda pop or i owe him a soda pop and they come to me and say, hey, man, i need to get that soda pop you owe me, i spit in their face and talk to them like they a bitch or something and they kill me, whose fault is it? it isn't about the soda pop no more. on the street, you call the police to put a stop to it. what do you do in here? i tell you what you do, you go get you a knife and you stab that son of a bitch and say you ain't taking nothing else. that's the end of that. here's what happens when you come to take something from me. >> a-1 to a-4.
>> gilbert's life behind bars is often punctuated by his frequent battles with holman's warden grant culliver. at the time, culliver and a disciplinary committee were about to review gilbert's behavior and his request for a transfer to a prison closer to his family's home. within moments other inmates had seen that "lockup" cameras were present decided to disrupt the hearing in the shoe by banging on the cell doors. that's when warden culliver decided to take matters into his own hands. >> beat on that [ bleep ] door again. beat on the door again -- you, you do it. beat on the [ bleep ] again. i don't beat no [ bleep ] beat on the [ bleep ] door again. [ bleep ] put his ass out the door. [ bleep ]. >> once the inmates calmed down gilbert's hearing got under way. his appeal for a transfer was quickly dismissed.
but it didn't take long for gilbert to make another request, one to help beat the boredom of prison life, the return of his recently confiscated chess set. >> i sure would like to have my chess pieces back. why can't i have my chess pieces? >> this is seg gre gags segregation. what are you going to do with chess pieces? let me tell you something. get you some paper. draw you a checkerboard. >> i just don't see where it can hurt anybody to let somebody have something semi-constructive to do in their cell. >> ask the law library clerk to bring you a copy of the admin regs. see if it says you're allowed to have chess pieces. >> you the man, you run this place. >> i follow the regs. >> that's what i'm saying. that's your decision. >> i follow the regs. >> the regs say we supposed to
be able to have books here. that's what i'm telling you. if they said that, you'd have them. >> it's segregation. it wasn't meant to be nice. you ain't here because you were doing something constructive. if you had been doing something constructive -- >> i was doing something constructive until they [ bleep ] with me down the hall. >> it is always somebody else's fault. >> you want us to exhibit some form of model behavior. but yet every avenue is closed to do anything constructive. we can't read a novel because we can't have none. i can't play chess through the mail like i used to because my chess pieces took away from me. i was jumping up on the door, sticking my [ bleep ] every time a female came up there, i guess that's the model behavior. >> our cameras followed gilbert back to his cell where he continued to fume over his chess set. >> that's the only thing i had going for me. you're locked in a cell 24 hours a day. i would play in chess tournaments through the mail. i'm a member of the u.s. chess federation. that's how i did my time.
and the warden walks by one day sees my chess pieces on the table. well, you can't have those. and that was the end of it. i would like somebody to give me one reason, just semi-intelligent reason, why it would hurt somebody to sit in a cell, locked in here by myself, with some cheese pieces. i ain't hurting nobody in the world. but that's d.o.c. for you. that's rehabilitation at its finest. next on "lockup: raw" -- >> there is nothing i have done that god has not forgiven me for. >> a serial killer claims he found god. >> is it a greater sin to steal a cracker or kill someone? and another "lockup" inmate finds satan. >> in the name of satan, the ruler of the earth, i command the forces of darkness to bestow the infernal power upon me. they think salmon and energy. but the energy bp produces up here creates something else as well: jobs all over america. engineering and innovation jobs. advanced safety systems & technology.
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until we get there, we'll never really live in the light. we'll always live in the darkness. >> come on, pastor. take your time. >> few events in life can motivate somebody to find religion like a life sentence. >> you know, you hear a lot of people who come to prison and say, oh, i found god. well, i did. >> robert fry's religious conversion came only after he found himself on death row in the penitentiary of new mexico. >> i'm in for four counts of murder, and i'm currently serving three life sentences. >> i thought maybe we might do "what a friend we have in jesus." >> today fry is a regular at a prison bible study. the inmates, all death row and maximum security, are confined to their cells. >> i apologize for the filming
going on here. this isn't about me. this is about this fellowship, showing what prison fellowship in christ is doing for us. >> fry's crimes were both numerous and gruesome. >> i was very angry, very confused. >> fry received a death sentence for bludgeoning and stabbing to death a 36-year-old mother of five in 2000. >> you best show your love for god by the way you show your love for your fellow man. >> he has three other murder convictions, as well. fry beat one man with a shovel and threw him off a cliff. another victim was nearly beheaded. but when he sat down with us, fry told our producer he was confident of one thing. >> i believe i'm going to be with my lord. when i die, i go to my maker with a clear conscience because i have accepted him as my savior, and i have asked forgiveness of my sins. >> do you feel like your god forgives you? do you feel -- >> he's your god, too. >> okay, does god forgive you? >> god forgives all. god loves everyone regardless.
>> fry would not discuss his crimes with us. but our producer pressed him on whether his victims would be as forgiving as he believes god will be. >> what would you say if you showed up to the afterlife and there were the people you victimized? >> hello, brother. you know? when we go to the kingdom of god, there is no anger. there is no strife. all that will be taken from us. ♪ amazing grace ♪ >> the people i have hurt directly, i do beg forgiveness. you know. but i've already asked god for his forgiveness. and all i can do is ask you to please forgive me, and if you don't, okay. and then you get to live with the power of your own hate. >> fry surprised our crew when he placed his four brutal murders on the same plane as another crime. >> let me ask you a question. is it a greater sin to steal a cracker or to kill someone? god doesn't see it that way. you break one sin, you break all
sin. if you are guilty of the least of this, you are guilty of all. so what does it matter what sin you perpetrate? sin is sin. >> you're not the best singers. >> sounds like someone running over a cat with a lawn mower. >> today fry remains on death row at the penitentiary of new mexico while continuing his appeals. >> even at the hour of your death, if you turn to god and are truly repentant of the things you've done, he'll forgive you and he will accept you. and he knows. >> what if that's not the case, though? >> that is the case, though. >> but what if it is not? >> it is. you can say what if and why about anything in the world, but it's faith. >> does it come into your mind that maybe the interpretation is not quite there and you may be meeting a different kind of maker? >> no, no. it's faith. faith brought me to god. faith cleansed me of my sins, and faith will see me through. that's all there is to it.
>> when we visited iowa state penitentiary, we found the prison attempts to provide services for a wide range of religious beliefs. >> a lot of the religions are a just quieting, mellowing, peaceful type of thing. and so for them to pray, to see god answer something is to have something answered is empowering. >> then we met an inmate named travis wolfkill. >> in the name of satan, the ruler of the earth, the king of the world, i command the forces of darkness to bestow the infernal power upon me. >> i'm in the satanic group here. there are only about four of us. it's a real small community. the church of satan is about enjoying life. it's about doing what you want to do. we believe in indulgence rather than abstinence. we believe in doing what makes us happy and what improves the quality of our life. >> such an attitude may have been what led wolfkill to a life
sentence without the possibility of parole for murdering his grandmother over a $300 tax refund check. but he told us he has found a salvation of sorts in his religion. >> this has what's called the 11 satanic rules of the earth. and if you look at number nine, it says, do not harm little children. number ten says do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food. so that right there destroys all the bad stereotypes that you have about this religion. there is no human sacrifice. >> later in our meeting we asked wolfkill to clarify a few points about his church's doctrine. >> you pointed out number nine. >> yeah. >> tell me what that is again. >> it says do not harm little children. >> tell me the next one. >> it was do not kill animals unless you are hunting, unless you need them for food. >> it said do not kill non-human animals.
>> no. is that what it said? non-human animals? okay. do not kill -- >> that begs the question. >> -- non-human animals. that sounds about right. >> but yet you are here for murder. >> yes. yeah. it says do not kill little children. i'm not in here for killing a child. coming up -- >> if i'm not busy, i have a tendency to get in trouble. >> "lockup" discovers true talent behind bars. ♪ it's either kill or be killed ♪ ♪ if you're scared to make a knife then the next [ bleep ] will ♪ olive garden's signature favorites, just $10 including creamy fettuccine alfredo and our classic lasagna. plus unlimited soup or salad and warm breadsticks. signature favorites, just $10 all week long at olive garden. will you help us find a new house for you and your brother? ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ woooooah. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer
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>> "lockup" producers only had to walk to the other side of keith mason's dorm at the holman correctional facility in alabama to learn how right he was. >> i play blues, country, no rock 'n' roll. i don't mess with the hard rock stuff. >> while robert tedder passes time playing music, that's not what amazed our crew. it's that he builds his own guitars out of one of the few recreational resources allowed inmates, model boat kits. >> this is 2 1/2 boat kits makes this one. all of these are stood up together, glued together to make this neck like this. and down inside of it, we have one radio. the tone control, three controls down here, the set of batteries. and this one back here is the mike mixer. then we use magnets here in the corner to hold the lid on it. ♪
>> tedder always includes one other element on his guitars. it's for his muse. >> everything i do i dedicate to my wife. the blue heart is because we have been separated for 23 years now. she is still with me. she is sticking with me through this. i always put a blue heart on every letter i mail to her, every card i send to her. i put a blue heart on the case and the guitar. it's just our symbol, being separated so long. ♪ was that good enough? >> while music helps him cope with life at holman, we met another inmate who finds his aggressive tendencies are soothed in the prison hobby shop at the spring creek correctional center in alaska. >> tell me your first and last name.
>> patrick harrington. >> patrick harrington. >> yes. >> i've been in this prison since june of 1988. august will be 20 years. the charge is murder. murder in the first. i try to be in the hobby shop here as much as i can. for me, if i'm not busy, i have the tendency to get in trouble. when the place first opened up, i wasn't really busy. i was in fights, basically beating up other people. >> but in the hobby shop harrington focuses those energies on something far more delicate. an incredibly detailed dollhouse he was building as a gift for his niece. >> i've been working on this dollhouse for about two years now. it's for that young girl. the young girl, she has no idea i'm making it. she has no idea it's coming down there. >> harrington gave our crew a tour of his masterpiece. >> the windows work. up and down. all the doors open and close. all the lights work, the doors open.
all the yellow-colored wood is the natural color of the wood. this door up here, this pulls downstairs so a doll can come up and come around on top. the shingles are individual. this is real brick. 900 individual bricks. yeah, it's a lot of work. it's a lot of fun, you know. >> with hobby shop security consisting of little more than surveillance cameras, time spent here is a privilege accorded to only the most trusted inmates. >> you know, there is no officer in here. officers do walk through here at times. they look through the windows. but while this hobby shop has been here, there's been no fights, no trouble in here. >> just a few months away from finishing his niece's present, harrington already has his next project lined up. >> my brother has another daughter that's a year and a half. so will i have to make another dollhouse for her other daughter? maybe. if i do, yeah, i'll do it. >> with a 99-year sentence he'll have plenty of time to build more dollhouses.
>> i can go to the parole board in 2019. will i get it? i don't know. but there's a chance. >> in the exercise yard at california state prison corcoran, we met an inmate whose art is inspired by his life. >> tell me your name. spell your last name for me. >> my name is kevin moore, m-o-o-r-e. >> what were you convicted for? >> i'm doing a parole violation for sales of marijuana. >> the yard is an interesting place because you never know who you're going to run into, you never know who you're going to talk to, you never know the personality, who they are. i kind of just started looking around and tried to find interesting-looking faces. i happened upon kevin moore. he started telling me that he's a rap artist. he is a ghost writer. >> i have a record deal waiting on me. death row records. for anybody, any rap fans that's listening, my akassassoon. and i got a demo coming out in a few months. if you're a rap fan, listen to it. >> when you start talking to inmates you are not sure what to believe.
they start telling you these stories. you're kind of like say, all right. >> i have been a ghost writer in the rap industry for about 13 years. a lot of stuff i have written from behind these walls i have sold to other artists. that have been out there and been successful. >> i said, well, do a rap for me, and he just like rolled one right off his lips. it was called "15 to life." >> here we go. ♪ 15 to life doing 15 to life ♪ ♪ brother locked up once again chained like a slave on the bus once bound for the state pen ♪ ♪ it's going to be a rough ride ♪ ♪ because i'm about to do time for the crime of a homicide ♪ >> when he we met him, moore was 17 days away from his release date. >> finally my head's straight and i'm going to go for that because i'm burned out on this. you don't see no females. you don't see no laughter. this is like a cemetery. once you're here, it is like you are dead here. you stuck. it's like you're dead here. there are a lot of cats here. you might as well consider them dead. you know, i got home boys that you can consider deceased that
are right here that have been forgotten. i don't want to be one of those cats. >> still, moore could not guarantee he would stay clear of conflicts that might keep him here. >> i'm 17 days away from going home. there ain't no way i'm going to do something to delay my stay here unless it's something that can't be avoided, like a racial situation somewhere where i have to react. ♪ now it's back to the zone ♪ ♪ and if the race were a zone, i might not make it home ♪ ♪ you got the browns and the whites against the black ♪ ♪ the first rule is watch your back ♪ ♪ kill or be killed ♪ ♪ if you're scared to make a knife then the next brother [ bleep ] will ♪ ♪ i'm going to feel some steel ♪ like a mercenary death trap ♪ ♪ if i got to do time ♪ ♪ i'd rather do it like a real [ bleep ] ♪ >> i'm sitting there and listening to the words. he's basically writing about every little experience that he's had inside there. >> doing 15 to life. that's it
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. >> america's prisons, dangerous, often deadly. there are 2 million people doing time. every day, it's a battle to survive and to maintain order. >> down! on your feet! down! >> this is "lockup." ♪ in rural indiana stands a maximum security juvenile facility charged with rehabilitating some of america's most dangerous teens.