tv Lockup Raw MSNBC August 2, 2015 4:00am-4:31am PDT
the distinction of being tougher prisons, kentucky's most violent inmates are still sent to the castle on the cumberland. that's our report. thanks for watching. i'm john seigenthaler. 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." >> one of the most intense things our "lockup" field groups encounter when they go inside a maximum security prison is conducting interviews with murderers, sitting five, six feet away from a very violent offender. but more often than not they
leave those conversations feeling like they just talked to somebody who's a normal every day guy. >> when our crew went behind the 40-foot walls of indiana state prison, they had ample opportunity to meet killers among the 2,000 inmates incarcerated there. >> the number one charge at this facility is murder. approximately 70% of the offenders housed here are housed here for taking the life of another human being. >> one of those offenders is jocco bailey. at age 16 he received a 40-year sentence for murder. >> i was selling marijuana. two older guys wanted to buy some weed. when they seen i was young, i guess they could figure they could take the weed. they figured, well, because i was carrying a weapon, it was a gun fight. one of the guys ended up dead. the other ended up wounded. and i ended up in prison, to my
regret and family's regret and the person that's dead's regret. >> when we met him. bailey had been in prison at indiana state for 17 years and spent more than 11 of them confined to a 23-hour per day lockdown cell in administrative segregation. >> a person ends up in administrative segregation, usually are problem childs, are security threat members, the people that want to make money in the institution by trafficking. they're troublemakers. >> but bailey seemed more interested in creature comforts than violence. >> this is my la-z-boy, my chair. sitting in this sell for years and years and years will mess your back up because these steel beds. through the years people jump up and down on them so that makes them uneven and they give you back problems for the rest of your life. that's it. this is my home. this is my -- this is where i
live. >> bailey is also allowed out of his cell once a day for an hour of recreation in an enclosed yard. >> you know, why is it important to keep someone like this segregated? it seems to be a sociable kind of guy. >> a lot of sociopaths are. a lot of jocco's problems are substance abuse related. that leads to other problems, such as violence in the institution. that's why he is where he is. he hasn't been successful in open population. >> i've stabbed offenders for snitching. i've had drug activities. i've organized gang group demonstrations. i've been incorrigible and been all-around troublemaker for most of my years here at the prison. >> but bailey says there's a practical side to his behavior.
>> prison is a delicate balance. some guys here are never going home. and for those of us who are, if we lose our edge one bit, then, like wolves, your own could turn on you, right? being in this environment, i've had to become and to be a predator in order to avoid being prey. >> finding appropriate housing for convicted killers who have continued their violent ways behind bars is always a challenge. a fact dramatically illustrated during our visit to kern valley state prison in california. >> it's always work, work, work. >> when we met james randall he was working his prison job, helping officers serve food to his fellow inmates. when we sat down to talk in his cell, randall seemed to only
have one concern. how his shaved head looked on camera. >> there ain't no lint on my head or nothing. >> want some gel. >> if it ain't light enough i'll be shining like new money. >> you look good. >> when you interview people in prison you know they're in there for a good reason. when you meet him, sometimes they're very likable, they could be somebody you might even think you could be friends with. sometimes you end up hearing a jaw-dropping story. the day we met james randall, we heard a jaw-dropping story. >> i originally came to jail february 21st, 1981. i was convicted in san bernardino county for murder and robbery. >> given a sentence of 34 years to life, randall was 18 at the time of his conviction. but his rap sheet started much earlier. >> i've been gang banging since i was 9 years old. coming from an impoverished neighborhood, southern california, my mother, father, tried to move to pomona to establish a better life for us.
by the time we moved to pomona, which is mostly a middle, upper z class neighborhood, being already bit by the gang bug we just exported the gang life out there. >> randall's gang activity led to his incarceration by the california youth authority and soon after, prison. there, he joined a militant gang called the black guerrilla family. >> ended up spending 15 years in solitary confinement for prison activities and conduct. tried to get back into the main line. it was hard after facing walls for 15 years in handcuffs everywhere i went. i didn't adjust too well. i still became more assaultive, more combative, more violent. >> after 25 years of incarceration, randall had plenty of violent episodes to share. >> i had threw a bomb in an inmate's cell and blew his toilet off the wall, you know, blew a patch of his leg off. officer came to my door, i made
a zip gun out of a magazine and shot him in the face. >> as the story unfolds about why he's there and what he's done in prison, it can send chills up your spine. it occurs to you, i'm sitting right in front of this guy. anything could happen to me. >> most of randall's violence was directed at his cellmates. >> i don't have a problem taking no cellie. what i have a problem with is crack heads, people who don't know how to jail. people who expose themselves to female staff. i have a mother and sister. i don't play that. >> one cellmate sent him into a rage. >> he had raped and cut these females up, and put b and g all over the wall and he's laying up in a cell bragging to me about what he did. i said man, you really did that? what got me is when he blew a 9-year-old girl's head off. they put him in a cell. i said, man, you really did that? he start laughing, like yeah. what i did to him, i said i'm going to treat you like you treated them woman. i stuck my hand up my forearm,
and made him drink out of the toilet and took the towel and strangled him, almost threw him off the tier. they said that's it, you can't have any more cellies, man. >> randall eventually quit his gang and his behavior improved even more after correction officials told him that despite his violent record he might one day be released. >> after all these years i never gave that no thought 'cause i didn't care. i was playing tag with satan. i didn't care. now i look back on it and i think, wow, they're seriously considering letting me go. i haven't had a write-up in three years. that's like a dope fiend going through withdrawal. >> for somebody who led such a violent past, it was very interesting to find what james randall did in his spare time. he made cards, cute little cards for kids. >> draw mickey mouses. i love you. happy birthday. you know? it was therapy for me instead of acting out, i draw. >> though randall has attempted
to put violence behind him, he knows his past can haunt him. in prison or out. >> in my mind, coming from the dark side as i like to call it, you're out but you're never out. if i walk up and i'm in like sears or one of the department stores and say i got my son or my daughter or my wife with me and some gang members that have heard of me see me, i might be dead right there along with my wife and kids. so once you're in, you're never out. even when you're dead it's going to always be there, no matter what i do. bye. next on "lockup: raw" -- >> decide to shoot at somebody. >> when i was 12 years old, i killed some guy, tried to kill my brother. >> teens who kill and one father's determination to end the cycle. >> this is our son, evan. tomorrow he would have been 10 years old. he's not here to celebrate it.
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one of the more unique facilities ever profiled on "lockup" is the stark youth correctional facility in southern california, referred to as wards rather than inmates, the young men incarcerated here were all convicted as juveniles for serious crimes. they transfer to stark when they turn 18. depending on their sentence will remain here until age 21 or 25. we met several wards convicted of murder. they ask that we not use their last names. >> when i was 12 years old, i killed some guy who tried to kill my brother. it was gang related. i retaliated and have been here ever since. >> you shot him?
>> no, we beat him to death with tire irons and bumper jacks, mops, stuff like that. >> the guy walked through the gate. i drew down on him with a tech .22 and told him why he was selling dope over here. we told him not to sell dope in this particular area. he looked at me and tried to hit the gun out of my hand. he ran up the stairs, i fired. he got shot seven times. i killed him. me being 15, it excited me to shoot at somebody because it made other people look at me and say, see that guy, that's a cool guy. that made me proud. >> what made you proud. >> them knowing i would kill somebody and not worry about it or worry about getting caught. >> this is our son evan. tomorrow he would have been 10 years old. he's not here to celebrate it. >> on our second day of shooting
at stark, some of the wards were getting a tough lesson on the consequences of violence. >> i'm leading prayer at a church as a licensed minister. i get a phone call saying we need you to come to the park. because there's been a shooting that involves your family. we need you to come right now. >> the father of evan foster told the group how a bullet found his son at a neighborhood park. >> my wife has taken him to play basketball. pick up a trophy. trophy's not there. they go to leave and she sees some guys in the parking lot and basically the guys came, and they were seeking to kill somebody. they actually told the authorities later, they came to kill somebody. and since it was two rival gang situations, they saw a red car and they decided they were going to kill that person. they approached him, pull out assault weapons and he takes off running. unfortunately, he runs toward
our vehicle and my wife sees all of this as she's putting the kids in the car, she's trying her best not to frighten them. so she just floors it, she puts it in reverse and she tries to get out as fast as she can. and she's talking to evan and everything, and she's saying, i'm sorry that we didn't get your trophy. and he's saying that's all right mom, i -- and he stops talking. .he took him in her arms and one eye she said was hanging out like a slinky you could see all the veins and everything, the eye was hanging out. he had gotten destroyed on this side of the face an he also had a big gash in his forehead. so she stroked his head, she said, she told him, i'm sorry that i didn't get you out of here. you know, these are the kind of things we have to live with. >> for foster, sharing the story of his son's death helps relieve the pain. he spoke to the wards for more than an hour. >> i'll keep trying until there's no breath left in me, because the cycle needs to stop. but if you don't begin to look
at the cycle or touch the cycle, try to impact it, it just continues to spiral. >> one of the gang bangers involved in shooting evan had once been incarcerated at stark. one of his former dorm mates also convicted of murder raised his hand to speak to foster. >> just on behalf of all of us, i want to apologize for the mentality that we grew up with, the state of mind that we're in and the decisions that we made to make that kind of action or take that kind of action towards other human beings. on behalf of the men that are incarcerated, i want to apologize for that. thank you for sharing that with us. >> my reaction was sincere appreciation. that he could be that sensitive or that charitable and take in an odd sort of way, some
ownership or some responsibility for the maladaptive actions that this other person did. my son evan was about love. he wrote this campaign speech that was a class assignment, one of his last class assignments. one of the things he said in the campaign speech is, i will tell those who bring harm to others to go to church. >> next on "lockup: raw" -- >> i think the greatest fear that the public should have is that some of these people are going home. >> a freed convict commits murder on the outside and then again back on the inside. >> i held him in a choke hold and my friend started hitting him, beating him up. you feel about your car. so when coverage really counts, you can count on nationwide. because what's precious to you is precious to us. just another way we put members first.
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does live next to me, i can worry about asking him to turn his music down, maybe share a 40 with me, have a barbecue but not whether or not he's hiding automatic weapons. >> we've also heard the warnings from inmates. >> i think the greatest fear that the public should have is that some of these people are going home. when they get out there, you're going to meet these guys in an alley one day. if he asks you for your wallet and you don't give him that, he's going to pull out a gun and shoot you dead. because he's been taught that in here. that to be sensitive is to be weak. >> for johnny estrada, the warnings turned into reality. >> when you're in prison you learn a certain mentality. and that was my mistake when i got out. i took that mentality that i learned in here out there. and it didn't get me nothing but back here. >> here is colorado state
penitentiary. this time, estrada is in for murder. a crime he committed after being released from his first prison term. >> in here you take things a lot more serious, somebody calls you a punk, somebody calls you a bitch, somebody says i'm going to kill you. in here, that means, you know, you hold them people to that word, to them words then. when i got out and them guys were saying that about me, i'm going to kill john, i'm going to do this to him, the first thing in my mind is well i better go kill him before he gets me, you know? even though he was probably talking out of his ass. he really didn't understand the type of person that i am and where i've been and the thought process that i've learned in here. and he's dead now for it. it's kind of like a kill or be killed. >> estrada's prison education started early. >> how old were you when you were first arrested? >> when i first -- about 13, 14. >> what did you do? >> stealing a stereo out of a car. that's how it all began.
start out stealing bubble gum at the stores, all the way to snatching purses, stealing car stereos, stealing bikes. stealing the whole car, breaking in houses, robberies, escape, just graduated all the way to murder. seemed like it was a never-ending chain. >> estrada added more links to that chain. when he returned to prison on the murder charge, he was involved in another killing. >> another inmate came up behind a friend of mine and stabbed him in the eye. i got up, he tried to come stab me, i grabbed him and i held him in a choke hold. my friend started hitting him, beating him up. all the officers were aware of this already at the time and they have a policy here. they won't intervene unless there's four officers to one inmate. this pod, there's 16 of us out on the pod eating breakfast.
that's, what, 64. they need to come in. they just sat there and watched. and i didn't want to let go of the guy because he still had a knife tied to his hand. i never let go. he ended up dying. >> estrada was, again, found guilty of murder. but he hasn't given up his kill or be killed outlook. >> i can't sit here and say, well, i'm remorseful for what i did, because better him than me. they chose their own fate. taking human life, that's the worst you can possibly do. i'm not going to let anybody hurt me or do anything to me. and i have to live regardless of the consequences, if i have to pick up 40-year sentences, 50-year sentences for defending myself, i'll do that. you know, i'll do everything i can not to be carried out in a
box from in here. >> together, estrada's sentences almost guarantee that the only way he will ever leave prison is in a box. >> first murder case i got 36 years for, the second one i got 48. so now i'm doing 84 years. >> though estrada could be spending the rest of his life in this super max penitentiary, he isn't losing sleep over it. >> is there a bible down there? do you read that much? >> no. it's just there for good luck. peace. i'm at peace with myself. you have to be. i mean, i think there's a certain time you have to look at reality and say, well, this is home. this is home. you can't focus on what's going on out there. can't let it get to you, you just have to forget about the outside world and understand this is your world now and this is reality. this is home. i can sit here and say i did what i had to do. regardless of the consequences. can't sit here and kick myself in the ass for it. [ bleep ] happens.
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