tv Lockup Raw MSNBC June 22, 2014 4:00am-4:31am PDT
metamorphis is fantasy. that doesn't take place. due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. >> msnbc takes you behind the wams of america's most notorious prisons. to a world of chaos and danger. now, the scenes you've never seen. "lock up: raw." ask any lockup producer where to find the most drama and tension inside 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 you wearing? >> 8 1/2. >> that is going to be your lucky number. >> the intake process varies from prison to prison. but each one brings stark reminders of how life is about to change. >> let me tell you this one more time and one more time only. no one will be allowed to have any type of gym shoes. we have shoes that fit you. there'll be no excuses. i have high arches, my feet are bad. that's your problem. >> at the joliette correctional center in illinois, a boot camp 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 listening to specific directions and you tell them what the expectation level 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 mo 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've heard stories about people getting killed. i've heard all sorts of stories. you name it. >> there's always that guy who's 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 animal. >> what's different about it so far? >> oh, man. the bars on the windows. it seems it's a lot more
serious. you know, this is real stuff here. it's scary. i'm worried about getting beat up by other inmates. 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. >> then our intake officer will take them one at a time back into a strip room, do a visual cavity search. >> shorts and all that too? >> yep. >> they try to do it with a level of dignity and respect so as not to make the person uncomfortable. >> okay. bend over, 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 the 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 with your toes. >> l.a. county, which is probably one of the largest jail systems in the world, is completely different experience. >> drop them. turn around. >> and inmate reception center is gigantic. you know, it's like 400 guys a day, 2,000 a week. >> head over. reach back. no talking. no laughing. just reach back, 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. you know, you can either manage it or it can manage you. >> what al harper and his sell mate soccer wren have created ways to break the mo notmy with
the few sparse items they're allowed in their cramped cell. >> the dice are made from toilet paper. >> we just mold them up. after that just draw them. that's basically it. you know what i mean. your mind get all creative once you ain't got nothing else to do. >> then we made dominos. dominos made out of soap. just different things to occupy your mind. >> shortly after meeting harper and wren, we discovered another pair of utah cell mates. >> i got five more. >> five more? >> with their own unique method of passing time. >> my name's tod luck. it's t-o-d. one "d." luck, if i had any, l-u-c-k. i am currently here for a 1 to 15, robbery. >> steve eichbauer. i'm here for a proviolation. 30 ua. 30 urine analysis for using drugs. it's lucky because we both want
to exercise. sometimes you get a celly who doesn't want to exercise. it's lucky to have somebody who does because you can use their body weight. >> you want to not look over your back as much. if you're just a stick figure walking in here with some new beef, you know, you've 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. >> 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. and this is the worst. but you have to do it. when i go to sleep and you have nightmares about this place and wake up and i'll still be stuck in the same nightmare. you got to do your time and be strong about it. there's nothing you can do but face your fears. coming up --
>> my t-shirt. >> the inside scoop on prison life. >> i keep my toilet fresh and clean. >> and prison ink. >> i'm really proud of it. i got the swastikas. i got the bolts. >> the tear represents several different things. it can represent the fact that you've killed somebody. erate to severe crohn's disease, and it feels like your life revolves around your symptoms, ask your gastroenterologist about humira adalimumab. humira has been proven to work for adults who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. in clinical studies, the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief, and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal events, such as infections, lymphoma, or other types of cancer, have happened. blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure have occurred. before starting humira, your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live in or have been to a region
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youngster is a first timer. he got 12 years. i only got 13 days now. so i'm really preparing him to what's ahead for him. keep our house clean. >> league gave both his cell mate and our producer a lesson on the finer points of laundry behind bars. >> i clean my t-shirt. grab my bar of soap. dip it in the toilet. i keep my toilet fresh and clean. scrub it out. use soap. when your 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 stove top burner. >> take this. you sit it on the edge of the toilet. because it's got to breathe.
might sit it here. i might light it at the bottom. as you see, it's like a fire. you hold your can over it. and you cook. there are, your water gets hot. flush it down. you grab a damp towel. because you don't want it to be on the toilet. you 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 into little pieces, tie them together to make a long rope as such. and then they usually use a real long deodorant bottle or something heavy they tie on the end of it to throw it from one cell, over the top range to the bottom range. a lot of times you'll see mail bags, envelopes tied to them
they can put letters in and magazines. a lot of times you'll see them tie a kite or letter to the end of it. 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're not going to get out there and catch it because, you know, they're looking out for each other. but we'll go up and tell us to give us the cadillacs. if they won't, we'll cuff them up, shake them up, go in, take the cadillac. then they'll have another one tomorrow. so, you know, it's where a lot of our sheets go. so you take one, they'll 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 artwork. i mean, i did this myself. >> where. >> huh? >> where. >> in a cell just like this. >> how? >> how? see this cassette player? got the motor out of it.
attack a pin to it with the needle. spin a needle on the can, go back and forth. i'll make the ink. i'll burn plastic and baby oil. soot will come up. i'll collect the soot. mix it with shampoo until it's 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 my back of my legs it says quantum physics. i got an atom on my hand. i study what the ultimate nature of reality is. it soothes 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. >> you know, i got a couple females down here on the old
legs. bull whips. kind of into that s & m thing, i guess. it's my thing. >> this tattoo right here is the joker. it's a representation of me. and 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 manic. this is me on crack. that's me. that's, you know, before i learned to manage my problem, that was me. >> 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 hollimon 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 who didn't give a [ bleep ] about me. i'm not trying to excuse my behavior. you know what i mean? i take full responsibility. you know, i pled guilty. >> 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 there in population. he was supposed to do some tattoos. i was going to get some swath kas tat tooted on the side of my neck. he didn't want to run it. he just need to give me my money back. and he didn't want to do it. pulled out a box cutter, and i cut the side of his throat. he went running away and tried to run behind an officer. like an officer is going to stop me for [ 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 would you want to get a swastika on your neck? >> because i just thought it would look cool. i like to -- i wanted to get two of them on each side like frankenstein bolts. big swastikas. just to let everybody know that, you know, i'm a racist son of a bitch, you know? coming up? >> i'm, like, the most popular one. they call me countess. the countess. above all. >> men who do their time while living as women. >> i'm the wife. he's the male. i got on my band and his. that's mine. that's his. yeah. got that right here. they get f,
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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're 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. me, i don't lift weights. i don't do any of that stuff. i just be me. i flirt. i flirt, yes.
>> but there's another side to randi stamper. he's serving a 25-year sentence for attempted murder. >> i shot somebody for stupid reasons. >> what? >> shot them for getting me, like, the bottle -- wrong bottle of vodka. stole his truck, 18-wheeler. >> in this previously unaired footage, stamper also claims to his 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. it doesn't have to be sexual. it's just the presence. you know, i know it's in their mind. but the -- the trick behind it is to try to not do it that way. and to still get the item. >> though it's against the
rules, stamper 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 the sex in prison. you know, what the guards are looking for, i know how to get around that. the places. cameras. guards. you can have friends lure 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, 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, it's this. again, this is my choice. it's nothing i was forced into like i walked into the door, they slapped me down and said you going to be my bitch. it wasn't like that. when i came in, i came in, the first day i got here, i went out and arched my eyebrows. i did what i did. and i let the camp know, i'm gay. >> having already served an earlier sentence for vag vated 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 male. i got on my band and his. that's mine. that's his. yeah. got that right here. >> this is my partner. this is my friend. this is -- this is, you know, the person that give me strength. you know, like i said, i don't have family or anything. this is the person that helps me out day to day zpl but despite
being in the fifth year of their relationship, marquis, 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 the lifestyle i would live when i get out. i mean, because i like women. i'm in prison. there's no women in here. but there are men that want to be women. >> though marquis 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. and that's not just me. that's part of what they call the tpen tenry rule. he doesn't even have to brush his teeth. he just smile, i brush his teeth now. >> what about women's lib? women are liberated now. >> right. >> 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 interview footage. >> if there's any sexual activities taking place, he is the man. you know, he's the server at all times. i'm the recipient of whatever it is. it doesn't matter if it's oral, anal, whoever you look at it. i could never penetrate him or get no oral sex or anything like that from him. if i choose to go and release myself, then i have to go get me a girl to go deal with. >> our producer then questioned whether the relationship between precious and marquis is motivated by more than just love and sex. >> are you doing this for protection. >> listen to me. please listen to me. i am 7-0 right here. i have not lost a fight here. i believe i can beat him. at he if healthcare changes,
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