tv Lockup MSNBC May 24, 2014 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
>> most will die here. >> i'm maintaining my ability. >> two ways out, dead or alive. 90 miles from new orleans up the mississippi river lies louisiana state penitentiary. commonly referred to as angola, at 18,000 acres, it's the largest prison in america. started as a slave plantation in the 1700s, converted to a prison plantation at the end of the civil war and taken over by the state in 1901, this storied land has seen more than its share of
pain. it was once considered the bloodiest prison in america and its current population so long, that many will die here. things have changed over the past decade and much credit goes to the warden. >> it's the mission to not torment and torture but to correct bad behavior and the root way to do that is morality. more old people, obviously, don't steal. >> right here in angola, i have seen jesus. >> warden's approach to morality works on two levels. one, spiritual and religious.
the other, engaging employment opportunities. church is optional. work is not. >> i've been with the production now for nine months. >> perhaps the most unusual example of innovation at angola is the tv station. the only big house production company in the united states. >> you have to step back and ask what would they ask? >> i chose angola by the lifestyle that i have chosen. i'm not going to layover. i want my lives to mean something and it can, even though i'm in prison. >> every one but one is serving a life sentence. >> well, i really enjoy it. it's a challenge. of course, i like learning new
things and i hope to make a career out of it. >> lsptv broadcasts on a closed circuit system 24 hours a day, seven days a week. there are religious shows, educational programming and the most popular of all, sports. >> there is a boxing team here and they play the boxing team there. >> sports keeps their mind off of time and few sports are more popular than boxing. for those who make the team, it's a paid job. albeit the salary range is only 4 to 20 cents an hour. >> you're doing what you love. this is what i will do until i die. >> if boxing spices up the tv
schedule, it's the rodeo that provides the year's greatest highlights. the stadium holds 10,000. all free people coming to see the spectacle. >> it seems like it just all took place. >> inmates in good standing can participate. no skill required. >> are you nervous or excited? >> i'm not nervous. >> >> does it hurt?
>> just a little bit. >> the inmates also get rewarded for winning the rodeo events. $200 for poker. $80 for winning the bull riding event. cowboy of the year awarded to the highest scoring inmate. it's a championship buckle. >> these are the worst inmates that you could have in the country but yet they are rehabilitated that they can mingle with people. >> some criticize the event's brutality. others say that the prisoners don't deserve the excitement of the rodeo. >> these inmates who participate can be king for a day. that's something that they don't get in prison. some say, who cares and i say what is one day?
>> this is unique to angola. >> it's about challenging the bull, see who got the biggest. >> the biggest prize is guts and glory. the goal, pull a chip off a bad bull's head. it's a brutal event and many have sacrificed their own bones to take home more than a year's worth of wages. >> he said let him the beast of
the field and every creature on earth, god gave this. thank god. coming up, while some an angola find freedom in the brutality of the rodeo arena, there are those that barely see the light of day. >> you're too severe for me. >> for them, there is camp jay. >> you will be held here until you can get through the program. >> i have been without food now for seven days. don't just visit new york. visit tripadvisor new york. with millions of reviews, tripadvisor makes any destination better.
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thing as an unemployed prisoner. most of the inmates have bought into warden cane's program but for those who refuse, there is camp jay where the men spend their time in solitary confinement. >> we want them to hate being at camp j so they alter their behavior and when they are out in general population, they don't commit another rule infraction. maybe it's an aggravated fight, an assault on staff, it may be for attempting to traffic drugs inside the prison. >> inmates on level one only get out two days a week. if you make it to level three, you get out three days a week. >> i got busted on this charge of aggravated rape and second-degree kidnap. i'm not saying that i'm no
saint. but i'm saying that everybody is -- everybody did wrong. everybody in this world, stole, lie, killed, they did everything. ain't no crime is greater than no other crime on this earth. you've got some inmates supposed to be here. and you've got some free that are supposed to be here. supposed to be locked up and in here. not working, but in here. >> trouble is not hard to find if you're looking for it and if you're not careful, trouble will find you. >> yes, sir? >> how you feeling? >> normal, i guess. >> about normal? >> yes. >> you're not ready to eat? >> no, sir. i'm not going to eat anything until i can get out. >> he tried to pass through the program as quickly as possible but then there are some men,
like billy mccoy, who have been in and out of camp j for over a decade. >> you get yourself back on track. >> yes, sir. >> i'll see that we can do everything to get yourself to ccr. >> okay. watch this. i am. i have always been on track. i will maintain my ability when i'm dead and in the ground, i will not lose my mental stability. this morning, since you mentioned that, the captain dashed a bucket of ice water on me because i won't eat, trying to force me into eating. he also would not put a trail of food -- >> you and i both know that is not true. >> your restriction is too severe for me being 63 years old. >> you will be held here until you can get through the program and conduct yourself according to the program. >> i'm conducting myself.
i will die first. i have been without food for seven days now. >> he claims that he's been on a hunger strike for seven days. it's documented that it's been almost three days. he'll eat soon. he'll eat a meal and then probably go on a hunger strike right after that meal. >> for those who refuse to cooperate, even the most meager amenities. >> different sanctions we can place on an inmate. one of the sanctions is called a food loaf. a food loaf will be issued to an inmate who has been caught holding food in his cell, holding utensils or cups, gets caught throwing food or other objects. >> basically, you have a serving of everything from every child, like for lunch, everything that is on the lunch tray with the
exception of dessert will be placed in the food hold. >> measure everything up. >> for men serving solitary time. >> a lot of playing chess, it's a thinking man game, you know. >> the hardest part is not letting the pressure get to you. not being able to have the proper spacing and just not being able to get out alive.
that's difficult to maintain your sanity. >> it's your move. >> i think they probably will be out of camp j soon. both of them have done well while they've been here. it's all about attitude. we can't help somebody if they don't want to help themselves. but i'm more than willing to help any of them who are willing to make that effort on our behalf. coming up, two ways out of angola. one is hard-earned freedom lurking just beyond the front gate. the other path is death. >> 2,000 pounds on my back. >> it takes about a minute and a half to breathe the two breaths and then they will stop breathing. ...failure to disappear. a backyard invasion. homeowner takes matters into his own hands.
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only town in america built behind prison walls. the citizens call it the safest town in america. >> each one of them that lives here provides a special service, more than just their job, like medicals are here, emts. >> indeed, angola not only has its own zip code, it also has its own golf course. death row is the most ominous. executions have been temporarily halted, awaiting a ruling by the supreme court. in the meantime, the cells have been filling up. >> this is my buddy.
>> are you good in here? >> yes. >> are you getting used to the cell? >> these cells are bigger. >> are you liking it better? >> it's much better. >> it is better? >> yes. >> manuel ortiz has been on the row since 1996. >> if you don't exercise your mind or body, you start to deteriorate. we try to use pushups and squats and things of that nature because, imagine 14 years in a cage. it takes a toll on your body and your mind. >> all right. there's my friend. >> men spend up to two decades here. others would just assume give up. >> also we like to get it over.
you wake up with 2,000 pounds on my back every day. you carry that penalty, it's something that -- it's reality, you know. >> until recently, contact visits have been prohibited. >> let me tell you, these guys have mamas and sisters and grandmas. i don't think you ought to touch them when you execute. i'm pretty passionate about letting them know that they can have that contact visit if security prevails but you're doing it not so much for them but for their family. they say they shouldn't have a contact visit. well, his mother didn't commit the murder, you know. and you have to think about all sides of it when you're making decisions. >> contact visits or not, their
time at angola ends at the death house. the method is lethal injection. >> i'm going to close the curtain and outcomes the emts and they start the ivs. we have until 6:00 tonight to do it. there are two phones. they never ring. i give a signal and nod my head and start to process it. they will start pushing the drugs in. then it takes about a minute and a half to breathe the two breaths, usually, and then they will start breathing. >> did you find a vein? >> he got a rush. and he raised up in the straps. i wound up having to put my thumb over here and push him down with my hand and push him
over to the table and hold that so the iv wouldn't run on the strap and dislodge. at the same time, i'm holding his happened. you kind of get in conflict with yourself. you hold him down and hold his hand for comfort. i couldn't have been there to hold the victim's hand, but i would have so you do what you can here. >> warden cain has overseen six executions during his tenure. death by lethal injection might have been temporarily stalled but death by incarceration never falters. the population is aging with hundreds of men with 60 years of age or older and even them dream of freedom. >> i have hopes. i just got denied a hearing.
two weeks later, sent back and said at this time we can't put you on parole because of the nature of your crimes, which is never going to change. never. so here i am with hope. if not, i'll die here. >> since death is it a reality, most men here must face, the casket shop never lacks for work. >> 30 years, you know, as time goes on, people get old and i've buried a bunch of my friends up here, people i've been friends with for 30 years. >> after a man fell out of the bottom of a poorly made coffin in 1997, warden cain opened the
casket workshop. >> you can have a good life anywhere. it's what you make of it. i mean, prison, you know, it's a terrible aspect that you have to be away from the people that you love, your family, my daughter wasn't born when i got locked up and now i'm a grandfather. >> some deceased are picked up by family members and are buried as free men. for most, there's point lookout. >> definitely prepare to die if you're in prison but ultimately tough die. they have a nice service and they bury you with dignity and respect at angola. coming up, the battle to keep the prison clean require as
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comcast business built for business. here's what is happening. california police are investigating a deadly rampage friday night that killed seven people, including the gunman. he stabbed people in his apartment before going on a shooting spree in santa barbara. an aum video shows the young men and his intentions. pope francis arrived to the middle east today. now back to "lockup." >> while the beeline families celebrate the hol i idays, manye
lonely. >> they are people. we have to watch out for mental health issues around christmastime because it's depressing. >> i really like christmas but if i stop long enough and think about it, i'll get teary-eyed. but it will pass. january 1st, it will be all over with. >> there is no place in angola where the spirit of christmas is stronger than at the toy shop. the toys are distributed to needy children throughout louisiana. >> what we're going to make for you now is a little car. it's basically an all-year process. the only time we stop is when we run out of wood. >> this is the best job in
prison. you're doing something you want to do and you're helping children. it's a lot of fun. this is the time of year that you enjoy being in the toy shop. >> when i was small, i -- very seldom did i have any toys. although in prison, i'm still a human being. i love christmas and i love children. it makes us all feel good. >> when you mount these on here, that's your axles. now you've got a little car. >> while hard work and faith in god help keep the prison running smoothly, order cannot be maintained without a shakedown crew in pursuit of inmates not wanting to play by the rules.
>> it's kind of random as far as the shakedown. they are in their cells 24 hours a day, seven days a week. it's probably not a spot in this cell that something hasn't been found in. it's really amazing just where all they can hide stuff. >> do they know you're coming? >> no. when we get to the gate, the majority of them probably will. >> finding contraband, such as food or nonprison approved merchandise can lead to writeups. the less severe have few consequences. the more severe get you back to camp j. random searches are the norm. the odd tip or simply good police work, the most effective. >> tips are good.
we get a lot of tips. the majority of time we find stuff. you just come across it, right time, right place. >> once upon a time, weapons were required for an inmate to survive. today, drugs, the most common contraband found. >> i found a syringe. use that to shoot up with. can't pin it on nobody, you know what i mean, so you confiscate it and let the wardens know about it. >> i'm going to ask you while i'm talking but, be straight up with me. don't make me find out different when i leave here. >> i had that at my party yesterday. >> did you have that at your party? >> don't lie to me. you see that right there, that makes me very angry. the needles where are they at? i could have stuck myself with that. i was very, very close to this. i don't know what you do with
this so don't do that, okay? >> don't keep them there. put them somewhere. you make sure you tell them that you have needles in this box, okay? >> that's the only ones i have right there. >> although needles are not allowed in personal lockers, they rarely result in a personal writeup. >> you don't do tattoos, do you? >> no. >> none? >> no, i can't draw at all. >> i'm not going to find parts to make a tatoo? >> you won't find anything. >> why do you keep your antenna in the wallet? >> so i know where it's at. >> i'm going to check on a few things and get back with you. >> i haven't lied about anything that you've asked me about. >> i want to make sure that you're telling the truth. >> all right. >> i'm going to check on some things. >> you see my stuff, they just
throw it around and i'm just living, you know what i'm saying? i don't have anything that i'm not supposed to have. all of this is official. >> how do you feel after they go through it? >> i feel violated. checking on my tattoos, like that make as difference. this is free where i work. you know what i'm seeing? i got this in california, new orleans. i've been around, you know what i'm saying? and people playing games because we live out of boxes. there's nothing here that is violated. i'm used to steak and shrimp. got me eating out of a bag, you know. >> while no contraband turned up in donald's shakedown, a pipe made from a pen is found at another dorm. >> it was found in an inmate's box. apparently they have been using
it to spoke marijuana. i'm going to give it to the investigators to see if they can get the residue out of it and test it. >> a full-time criminal investigation team has been set up at angola with drug testing capabilities. >> it could have been positive for marijuana but we may not have enough substance so we're calling this test an inconclusive test. >> just because it didn't test positive doesn't mean it wasn't being used. once it's smoke and burnt, it's harder to test for something that hasn't been burnt. >> but he'll still be charged with contraband for the ink pen because he used it for a source other than what it's supposed to be used for. >> today's second catch appears all the more promising. >> i got a hunch that that's marijuana. >> we're like an unit that
investigates officers and inmates. that's everything from stealing bacon to murder. >> while a certain percentage of contraband is brought in my prison staff, most comes from prisoner relationships. >> most of the drugs that come through come through by girlfriends, wives, family members. they can bring it inside with their false teeth, body cavities. if the dogs don't hit on it at the gate and it goes through and we have no mechanism to stop that. this file will be the same color or close to the same color that you see on that package. it will be a red. as soon as she breaks this, it will happen. see that? so this is some good stuff. they will have a very, merry christmas and a happy new year.
>> coming up, 6,000 inmates trapped after katrina hits. >> there were people breaking windows, starting fires, most of us were afraid that we were going to die there. >> warden cain leads a rescue team while under attack. d energ. but the energy bp produces up here d energ. creates something else as well: jobs all over america. engineering and innovation jobs. advanced safety systems & technology. shipping and manufacturing. across the united states, bp supports more than a quarter million jobs. when we set up operation in one part of the country, people in other parts go to work. that's not a coincidence. it's one more part of our commitment to america. who would have thought masterthree cheese lasagna would go with chocolate cake and ceviche? the same guy who thought that small caps and bond funds would go with a merging markets. it's a masterpiece.
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i'm from louisiana and i'm coming because of a parole violation. i was here at the wrong time and place. it happens. >> in the days following katrina, 6,000 inmates were trapped in orleans parish prison. martin was one of them. >> the whole businesses were under water. no guards. we don't know where they were at. we were just stuck on the fourth floor. that's when we realized we were stuck here. it seems like it's for death. >> five days after the levees broke, they were finally rescued by warden cain and his tactical team. >> we came here to get the first 150 prisoners but the water was
up. we came right down here to this underpass and right here was a man laying dead. we put the scaffold right here and it went down from here. you can see the road is still there and men would climb down that scaffold and line them up in this road, about 6,000. probably the largest mass movement, obviously, of inmates in the country. we put the boats right here on the road. meanwhile, folks on top, at first they threw things at us. right here. remember that? that's a sphere. >> transported by bus, some were perhaps victims of bad luck. >> we were on a long vacation of 35 days traveling cross country all the way down to cabo san
lucas where i have a timeshare. we came back through arizona and texas where i was looking for property. we came to new orleans, bourbon street. we were picked up by the police and accused of being drunk in the public. i've been here 21 days. first few days we were in the new orleans county jail. we were left without food or water for three days. riots broke out. there were people breaking windows, starting fires, most of us were afraid that we were going to die there, it was so horrible. they put us in small boats and took us to this bridge area. i saw my friend for about two minutes. first thing he said to me is, this is a goddamn nightmare. >> a nightmare for some. for female inmates, the first to
sleep at angola. a blessing. >> they put me in a boat to come out of there. we had that much water to drink in three days. the warden came and got us and stay the hell out of jail. the prisoners are full. >> can't go back to the same crime and just going back and when actually i should have been moving forward with my life and focusing more on me being a father to my little girl. it's a transition. i'm on a mission. i hear my mom wishing that i
should have listened but i wouldn't listen and got a pot to piss in locked in another prison. [ applause ] ♪ >> more rehabilitation is the only true rehabilitation. we teach them the skills and trade to read, write, and all of that but we just made a smarter criminal if you don't have another component with it. >> accused of some by turning the prison into a christian revival camp, warden cain has a response. >> i said to him, don't let your inflection built make you ineffective. we don't care what religion you are, we just need this church because this is a line of freedom and we get them in here and then we can start working on them to be a more moral person and our recidivism rates go down we leads to less crime.
♪ one is worth it and so no one, no one in his right mind would object to trying to have morality in a prison. this is an idiot. coming up on "lockup: angola" time runs out for two men. >> i am going to maintain my ability. >> one walks. the other stays forever. it doesn't operate out of basements or back alleys. it grows more sophisticated every day. if it were a business, it would be a fortune 500 company. fraud has evolved.
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and camp j, billy mccoy, age 63, had a heartone month after we f and camp j, billy mccoy, age 63, had a hea >> one day later, he died. no one came to claim his body. >> there was no family to be contacted. >> is there anybody else that would like to share something about mccoy at this time? >> defiant until the end, billy, better known by his nickname understanding left a fellow impression on his fellow inmates. >> a lot of people didn't
understand the understanding. but on a more serious note, i think the common denominator that we all have, mr. mccoy died in prison, that's a fate that a lot of us have to undergo if the situation and circumstances don't change. i think we all want to leave a legacy but if we have an opportunity to leave a legacy, start right here and change some of the things that we're doing and how we're thinking, i want to encourage you brothers, stay focused, stay diligent, look for the future. when it's all said and done, people can have something good to say about it when it's all said and done.
[ applause ] >> let this be an example to your own life. his life is here and to be with the father, that's just testimony that the rest of you and we conduct ourselves as we should and we conduct ourselves as moral people and perpetuate that throughout the whole community. >> earth to earth, ashes to ashes, and dust to dust. ♪ >> while one man is buried, another gets his second chance. >> how you doing? are you happy today? >> i'm the happiest man in prison today. >> all right. i'm fixing to send you out.
>> right now? >> right now. right now. >> i'm going to go pack up my stuff. >> what do you think about this? >> it's great. i've been waiting on this a long time. >> 24 years. >> a long time, warden. >> when you know you're innocent and you should think about it and kind of mess with your head and so all you do is try to work on getting out. >> ricky johnson was cleared of rape based on dna evidence. he was serving a life sentence. >> what do you think about the innocence project? >> oh, man, i love them. >> you love them. >> i love them, warden. >> they did you a good thing. i love them, too. i think it's horrible that you had to be in prison and you were innocent and it makes me think about it and i feel real bad for you being here this long. the transfer is in my office and that's why i came back here.
so congratulations, you had 24 years with us that you didn't need to have. you're going home. congratulations. >> thank you. >> before stepping into the free world, ricky says good-bye to his brother federick. he is serving a life sentence for murder. >> about two days ago. >> i had a dream. >> what was the dream like? what was in the dream? >> i had a dream that it went on. a dream that someone had told me your brother's gone. >> you nesneak out of here? >> you're my little brother.
>> don't think i'm going out of your life. >> you take care of yourself, man. >> take care, man. >> all right. take care. >> we are going to interrupt this service for one moment. this is spin doctor, kicking it from the station that kicks behind the bricks, the only incarceration station in the nation. we've got somebody here who want to just say hello to everybody and, actually, he want to say good-bye. rick, how long have you been here? >> i've been here 24 years. i've been here ever since 1984. i've been locked up 27 years. >> rick, you've been saying that all the while you were innocent, huh? >> yes, from the first day. they tried to get me to say i was guilty and give me ten years, but i couldn't lie.
i couldn't say i did something i didn't do. it was a nice stay here with you all, which i didn't really want. but i got to depart, i'm going. all right. dna cut me loose and i just want to say good-bye to inmate population. everybody at camp f, catch d, catch c, keep your head up. don't lose hope and one day it will be you walking out of this gate. you've got to remember, one, one. knife to the throat, gun in the face. you save one, it's worth everything we do. one little girl, one mama not murdered or raped, just one
daddy, it's worth everything we do. 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." >> i think it would be inaccurate to say there is never a dull moment in prison. actually, there's plenty of dull moments in prison. it's just that all that monotony is broken up with moments of sheer terr