tv Lockup MSNBC November 9, 2013 8:00pm-9:01pm PST
there are 2 million people behind bars in america. we open the gates, lockup. >> would i kill somebody? if i had to. >> you got seven layers of skin you got to go through before you get to the bone. >> there's nothing that goes on that at least one gang member is not involved with. nothing. >> the outside world probably don't want to know what goes on in here. >> these places can make a monster. it's a struggle to stay sane. >> there's a growing problem affecting correctional facilities in this country. how to confine and treat the mentally ill.
an estimated 16% of u.s. prison and jail inmates have psychiatric problems. this edition of "lockup" is one of the most graphic and disturbing ever, as we take you inside a facility in indiana, where nearly one-third of the prisoners have been diagnosed with a mental disorder. they tell us in detail how they got there and how they survive. situated in america's heartland, among acres of indiana cornfields, is a prison that houses not only the state's most violent offenders but a large population of the mentally ill, the wabash valley correctional facility. the challenges of running a maximum security prison are compounded by the increasing number of a new kind of prisoner. >> approximately 700 of the 2,200 offenders we have at this facility are diagnosed with a mental illness. i think these numbers are increasing throughout the country. increasing for everybody to deal with. >> superintendent craig hanks
has been working at the prison since it opened in 1992. >> this is a multi-security level facility. it's a large facility. we're on over 500 acres of property. the perimeter is approximately a mile and a half around the facility. we have maximum security, medium security and minimum security offenders. what probably sets us apart is the different segregation units. >> offenders who assault staff or other inmates are moved to the secure housing unit, a prison within the prison, known as the shu. >> there have been discipline problems, they've been assaulted and they've had issues at other facilities. so they send them here. >> designed to look and function like pelican bay, a maximum security prison in california, the shu is composed of windowless, concrete cells measuring 7 by 12 feet. of the 288 inmates housed here, 179 have been diagnosed by psychiatric staff as mentally ill.
>> i heard the horror stories of this place back when it first opened up. >> sergeant dan haskins is a veteran of the secure housing unit. >> out of sight, out of mind. the outside world, out of sight, out of mind. they don't -- probably don't want to know what goes on in here. >> the population of the shu lives on 23-hour lockdown. leaving their cells only for showers and solitary recreation. >> some people will tell you that segregation unit is not the place for people with mental illness because we didn't design that particular unit for treatment. particularly for mental health treatment. we just didn't anticipate us having the numbers we have and going the way it's gone. >> although acute cases are referred to the psychiatric unit at a neighboring correctional institution, the staff in the shu deal with a variety of mental behaviors. >> there are those that are dangerous people, that you have to be very cautious of when you interact with them. >> inmate douglas mccombs, who is serving time for burglary,
has spent three months in the security housing unit at wabash. >> since he's been inside the shu, he's been in a stripped cell. when you see a offender come out of the cell, and all he's wearing is his underwear, at that time he was on strip cell. i think it was for resisting staff before. we had trouble with him on about every range we put him on so far. >> say, i got a mental disorder, or they say i do. they say i got a mental disorder. they say schizophrenic disorder. i can't get along with people too much, especially when they're evil. >> officer sachtjen has been working in the shu since 1997. >> an average day in the shu can be pretty mundane. you have recs and showers to do, md, sick call and so on and so forth. some days like today do get a little more exciting. we had an offender who became belligerent in the shower. >> and they come up here talking crazy to me, okay? she come up there and talking to me, well you called me a
[ muted ]. i said what? i said, wait a minute, [ muted ] win just asked you for some [ muted ] and i snapped on her. >> when we tried to get him to come out of the shower, he was refusing. then he started throwing toilet water on myself and several other staff members. >> i got it all through my face, all down my back. >> he threatened to kill everybody out there, staff and all. we put him on the wall first. what we say, put them on the wall. have him face the wall. we want him facing the wall. we don't want him turning his head and getting mouthy and this and that. this way you're going to get spit on. you want his nose to the wall. when you want to talk to him, he can talk to the wall. >> face the wall. turn around. face the wall. >> you've got to fix your [ muted ] and set up and talk to a [ muted ]. >> face the wall. face the wall.
face the wall. >> you just busted [ muted ]. i'm tired of your [ muted ]. >> stand still. >> your constantly dealing with an evil force that's trying to destroy you, what do you do? >> each one of them is big. i don't care how big or how small they are. they can spit, throw feces, urine. spit blood. the whole nine yards. >> you can't be scared working in here. you can't let something like that determine how you're going to do your job. >> you get up in the morning, you're going to come in here thinking everything's going to be okay. it's not always so. there are good days and bad days. >> i need to go on 11. >> 11 range? >> 11 range. thank you. >> there are five psychologists assigned to the shu. dr. mary ruth sims routinely checks on the shu inmates. >> i've been here for 7 1/2 years. what i do is different every single day. some days i do groups. some days i do individuals. some days it's crisis all day.
hey, did you want me to pick up a letter? was that meant for me? >> yeah. >> how are you doing? >> so i see people when they need to be seen, when they asked to be seen, when somebody else thinks they need to be seen. i will see what's wrong, see what can be done in the institution to help them cope. >> the only way i can get out of this mood, i mean, i don't care, you can give me drugs, alcohol. the only way i can get out of moods is through self-injury. >> okay. >> group therapy in the shoe is conducted with each inmate locked in a separate holding cell. dr. sims moderates this small group of self-mutilators. >> once i see my blood, i'm in another world. i'm a different -- i'm someone totally different from myself. i mean, that's the only time i actually, you know, can actually feel real, feel alive, and feel like everything's going to be okay. >> for me, it's being in control. my whole life, i felt like i wasn't in control. but then when i had times when i do cut myself, i'm in control of the situation. >> there are a group of people
that self-injure when they come to prison as a way to control their level of pain, that when they're in so much pain that they don't know what to do, that they are starting to feel like suicide, that self-injury cuts their level of pain down, so it's pain control. >> self-injury really isn't bettering yourself. and sometimes people die. but i mean, it's just -- >> it's the survival tool that you developed. some people self-injure as a manipulation. they're not getting what they want and they self-injure and then everybody's attention is focused on them and people are more willing to do what they want because they self-injure. >> it's like a baby crying wanting his bottle. you give the baby his bottle because he's crying or change his diaper. me, you give me something sharp to hurt myself with, and then i'm fine. >> we had people break tvs and cut their throats with them. so we don't want to give people stuff that they are going to use to hurt themselves badly. >> one. >> to ensure the inmates are not
making weapons to harm themselves or others, the staff conducts routine cell searches, also known as shakedowns. >> shakedowns are for many things. we're looking for contraband. we're looking for prohibitive property. we're looking for weapons. everything can be utilized in this facility as a weapon if that's their mindset. >> no contraband was found in this inmate's cell but as quickly as one cell is cleared, contraband is passed between inmates using whatever tools they can find. they use what they call kites, which are messages tied to string and cast out like fishing lures. >> 24 hours to set in this cell without communication, without contact from any other humans besides officers. a tree, when is the last time i saw a tree? oh, man, years, it's been years. years. it's been years since i saw a tree.
>> i don't live under any great idea that we're gonna cure everybody, because that isn't true. sometimes the only goal we can have is to control the person's behavior as much as we can so they don't hurt themselves and don't hurt other people. next on "lockup" -- integrating the mentally ill into general prison population. '. what if my abdominal pain and cramps end our night before it even starts? what if i eat the wrong thing? what if? what if i suddenly have to go? what if? but what if the most important question is the one you're not asking? what if the underlying cause of your symptoms is damaging inflammation? for help getting the answers you need, talk to your doctor and visit crohnsandcolitisadvocates.com to connect with a patient advocate from abbvie for one-to-one support and education. in the nation, what's precious to you is precious to us. ♪ love is strange so when coverage really counts, count on nationwide insurance.
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most inmates at wabash prefer general population. for a number of those diagnosed as mentally ill, the only place they feel safe is the shu. >> in population, sometimes mentally ill people get victimized. so some mentally ill people are purposely in the shu. they do what they need to, to get in the shu. >> one such action that gets inmates sent to the shu is self-mutilation. >> i did that scar about ten years ago.
i got it from the ankle all the way up to the hip bone, all the way down to the bone and i cut across sideways so the surgeons had to take about 12 hours to sew me up. you got seven layers of skin you got to go through before you get to the bone. and when you're going through one of them phases, you don't even feel the pain. you don't even know you're doing it. >> joe carr is serving an eight-year sentence for robbery. he is taking antipsychotic medication and under staff supervision, he agreed to tell us his story. >> i was anti-sociable. i didn't want to be around nobody. i didn't want nobody around me. i wanted to be by myself. everything made my angry. i would take a lot of it out of myself and then i would feel better. i was cutting myself up every day, every day, every day. so they ended up putting me in the shu for hurting myself. and then my time was up in the shu and then they put me back into the general population, and then i'm going right downhill all over again. >> after moving back and forth between the shu and general population, joe was eventually
diagnosed as bipolar and moved to the residential treatment unit, or rtu. through counseling and medication, the rtu's ultimate goal is to integrate these inmates into general population. dennis profitt is one of the psychologists who works in the unit. >> the rtu program is set up on a three-phase system. the initial phase is set up to receive offenders who generally have been isolated from other offenders because of having been living in segregation. so generally in phase one, a person stays to themselves a lot. phase two is where they're really introduced to the rest of the unit. they have chow together in the day room, they rec together. rehab together. have a lot more groups. so we're getting them oriented to being more socially involved. so the final phase is phase three, and it's set up on ten steps. the first step allowing them to leave the unit all by themselves if they choose, and then each successive step opens them up a little more to general population.
so we are gradually moving them back into dealing with general population and the stress involved. >> joe has spent a year in the rtu. >> the last six months i have been kind of easing out with like two or three people at a time that i hang around with or walk and talk with when i'm out for recreation. when i'm on my medication, it don't bother me. it's when i'm not on my medication, i get real, real paranoid and i'm not going to let you around me. i'm on about ten different kinds of medications. i really don't know the name of them. because they're so long, you know, and i have been on them the last year every day. i haven't missed it. they don't let you miss it here. >> although joe is involved in ongoing treatment, his most recent self-injury involved swallowing pens. >> this is still trying to heal up on my belly here where they took me to surgery and they cut me open, they had to go in there and take them ink pens out and they left one in, so they had to retake me to surgery for the second time to get the other stuff out. and that's why it's taking so
long to heal up. >> the rtu offers joe and other inmates constant counseling. >> my office is a jail cell. it's a prison cell that's been converted. but it does make me more accessible. >> they don't got more trust in me than what they got. they don't believe in me at all. that's how i feel. >> today joe is extremely agitated. with dr. profitt's help, he tries to find a solution that does not involve cutting himself. >> how are you going to manage how you feel the rest of the evening? >> i'm all right. i'm all right. i'm not going to let anybody put any hands on me and that's over it. >> so you're going to go about this the right way then? >> yeah. >> excellent. i think people are going to listen to that more than the more outrageous attempts at getting that attention, you know, doing things like self-injury and those sorts of things. so i think you're going to be heard more that way. >> all right. >> and i'm proud of you for making that decision. i really am.
i think you're doing the right thing. i'll be here for another little while, another 45 minutes at least if you need to holler at me again, please do so, all right? >> i'll be all right. i'm just going up. nice to see you. >> all right, but if you do, you know where to find me, all right. >> all right. >> all right, man. see you later. >> all right. thanks. >> but even after marked progress, joe still has doubts as to whether or not he can function on the outside. >> this is all i know right now. this here is my world. this is what raised me. two years ain't far away. i'm getting out in two years. >> if joe leaves prison from the rtu, an after-care program will be set up at an outpatient treatment center. >> you set and you think about it, it scares you sometimes. you don't want to fail. you want to go out there and do right. then again, you don't know if it's going to get away from you or not. this is all you know. you're used to a population of, what, 1,200 people, and then they turn you back into society of billions of people. are you ready for it? that's -- that's something i
don't know right now. next on "lockup" -- >> there's nothing that goes on that at least one gang member is not involved with. nothing. >> dealing with threats inside the prison. [ cheeping ] [ male announcer ] you hear that? that's the sound of car insurance companies these days. here a cheap, there a cheap. everywhere a cheap... you get it. so what if instead of just a cheap choice, you could make a smart choice? like esurance for example. they were born online and built to save people money from the beginning. that's what they've always done. not just something they...cheep about. that's insurance for the modern world. esurance. now backed by allstate. click or call.
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in a maximum security facility like wabash, the safety of the officers, as well as the inmates, is a top priority. >> the perimeter is two fences and on the interior fence is a shaker system. in between the fences is a microwave detection system. we have two vehicle patrols. we have seven towers which make up the exterior security. >> one of the most effective tools for prison officials comes to work on four legs. >> we also have a k-9 unit, we have a drug detection, tobacco detection and some aggression-trained dogs also. >> we use them for patrol inside
the facility, and we use them for crowd control and used for situations in open areas. >> they are called aggression dogs, and they live and train at the prison. >> what i need each one of you guys to do is get -- one of you get in front of each one of the dogs and i want you to keep two to three feet distance in front of the dog. i want you to flail your arms, get really high voice, high pitched, as high as you can, and just keep agitating the dogs. >> this training exercise helps the younger dogs build confidence as they imitate the behavior of the more mature dogs. >> we utilize the aggression dogs for protection of staff and offenders. >> release the dog! release the dog! >> if you see any chance of serious bodily injury occurring or death, then we utilize the dogs to protect them. we've never actually had to release a dog in our facility but just sometimes the mere presence with the dogs in the yard, a fight is ready to break out and the dogs in the yard, it may also deescalate the violence.
>> while the dogs are used to respond to a threat, prison gangs are the biggest danger to security. >> what people don't realize is that almost everything that happens in a prison setting has some sort of gang involvement. whether it be extortions, intimidations, trafficking, narcotics. there's nothing that goes on that at least one gang member is not involved with, nothing. >> robbie marshall is in charge of monitoring the gang activity inside the prison. >> i believe we have about 455 confirmed or suspected security threat group members out of 2,000, and that's just the ones that we know about. right now our probably most radical group is our white supremacist group, specifically the aryan brotherhood. i say they are the most radical because typically if there's an incident that an assault has occurred in, most of the time you'll see aryan brotherhood behind that. but that goes hand in hand with drug trafficking and extortions and intimidations.
they are into all of it. the aryan brotherhood is a very structured, very, very structured. and they have bylaws, pledges, oaths and decrees, just like any other organization has. they believe in the expansion of the white race. christopher genrich is a confirmed aryan brotherhood member. >> i've been down eight years now down for business burglary 13 counts. we were basically burglarizing veterinarian clinics for special k and pcp, stuff like that. >> since his incarceration in wabash valley, genrich has been involved in many fights with staff and other inmates. >> say i want to get into a fight with somebody. there's a problem i have with one of his brothers or whatever. we can make it to, all right, he's going to shake me down, and i'm going to shake him down, you know what i mean? there are people who are going to shake us down and our people are going to shake them down and we're going to go on fighting. we can only fight for what we are and we are white. >> chris is currently in our transition unit. he also has the opportunity to go home within the next six months.
so far he's been maintaining a decent conduct behavior. but, believe me, we are monitoring him and will continue until the very day that he goes home. >> even with the aryan brotherhood as the major threat in the institution, the gang rarely engages in racial violence. >> i wouldn't say that we have a lot of black on white or white on black conflict. most of the time our incidents that occur are usually white-on-white incidents. a white supremacy organization will see that they have a weaker individual amongst their race and they usually pursue them as an easy target, as someone they can get money off of or have them traffic their drugs for them or sometimes they just out and out assault them. >> you're looking at your own people, all right, somebody's saying something. somebody's doing something, to where they cause a divide amongst people. so that's the time whenever we say, all right, we need to resolve this. in here, you strengthen yourself to where you can either even the
playing field with people or you want to be the person that's at the top to where you can have more control over the environment. >> another security threat is a group called the gangster disciples. >> back in 1999, 2000, 2001, that was the most radical and dominant group we had here was the gangster disciples, and that they were pretty much in control of the whole facility. >> 36-year-old inmate bobby lomax is a confirmed member of the gang. >> i first came to the prison system, i was -- i had no more than a year. first time going to a prison on a dope case, i'm like, man, why do they send me to a level four high security prison? i could have went to a level one on an honor camp. so i got there and made some of my friends. big fights, gang fights. stayed on lockdown for a long time. i was in one of those state of minds. i didn't care. i didn't have too much time. what can they do to me? but it wasn't like that. because you get caught with a weapon now, they can charge you with an outside case for having a weapon now. you mention the status, that's an extra 15 years on your record.
>> i haven't had any problems with mr. lomax for some time. he's not been radical recently. i think that in his past, he has probably been a little more vocal and disorderly. >> and i moved away from all of that 'cause i did that, done that, been in lockup, been in lockup with status cases before. so i leave that all alone. >> we spent a lot of time and a lot of effort and a lot of resources on making sure we stay on top of all of our gang activity. there's always a new group being formed or in the process of being formed. there's always people coming together and wanting to have their control of their environment. and it's something you have to stay on top of and make it part of that balance. next on "lockup" -- >> my crime is murder and i cannibalized during the process. >> crimes of the unspeakable. >> i just said, you got to eat some of her brains for her to
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a slightly weaker typhoon hayian is heading toward vietnam after wreaking havoc on the philippines. a local official says up to 10,000 people are dead in the central philippines most killed by drowning and from collapsed buildings. secretary of state john kerry says iran and six world powers made significant progress in talks in geneva. the meetings ended with no agreement on limiting iranian nuclear activities. now back to the program. due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. while many prisoners at wabash have committed horrendous acts, both to others and to themselves, you're about to meet two men whose shocking crimes are simply beyond our description. we warn you again, what you're about to hear is extremely graphic.
>> i believe that people coming into our system, i think, our are bringing their illness with them. i think that a lot of times they have no structure out in society to make sure they're taking medications and getting treatment. >> within the residential treatment unit at wabash valley are some of the most violent and disturbed inmates at the facility. once again, with the permission from the prison and mental health staff, as well as the inmates, our cameras return to the rtu where the prisoners tell us their chilling stories. >> i'm frank street jr. i'm 38 years old. i have been down since 1993 for shooting my mom. i started having delusions that people were out there hurting me. so i came home and i loaded up my dad's 30/30 because i thought people were coming after me. my mom came running up and said, "frankie, frankie, what are you doing? what are you doing?"
and she came charging after the gun and i shot her right in the head with the 30/30. >> inmate frank street was 26 years old when he killed his mother but it's what he did after that, that's most disturbing. >> i've become delusional. they say insane. i heard a voice that said, you got to eat some of her brains for her to become part of you. i wasn't a sane person who did that back then. you don't eat brains from somebody's body if you're sane. back then i was insane. and i -- i went to prison. i don't think i should have gone to prison. >> sometimes my feeling is that many courts are having to deal with these people and don't know what to do with them and kind of throw up their hands and say, hey, i have nothing else to do but send this person to prison and we end up with them. >> frank is being treated in the residential treatment unit for advanced schizophrenia, regularly receiving medication for his illness. >> probably one of the biggest things that we're able to monitor here and what we watch here, is this person taking their medication?
many times, as long as they're taking their medications and keeping their contacts with the mental health professionals, they can function and do pretty well. >> proliction and haldol and progentin. i need medication. until i die, i may need medication. >> frank also receives counseling to deal with his horrific crime. >> you know, i'm not as bad as i used to be. you know, i probably remember things. i have a track of mind. i'm not acting crazy or nothing. i'm not going crazy acting anymore, you know. so i just -- we all do the best we can. i have gone through umpteen gazillion psychiatrists now. i can't talk about it now. i can talk about it now. years ago i couldn't. ♪ >> some inmates have a hard time finding mental balance. timothy anderson has been in and out of most institutions in the state.
in the rtu, he has found some semblance of stability. >> how are you doing, boys? >> everybody's mentally ill here and they're all on medication. that helps me to sort of fit in. they think i'm silly, but they're silly too. everybody's silly. this is a place where you can get away with just about anything. sometimes a person gets in my face because i'm a little tall and i'm a little big, and i wish i was really big and strong for sure, you know. they say, man, you're nothing but a snitch and a juggler and i'm gonna kick your ass. i'm going to throw you over -- i said, grab ahold of me and see what happens. i will just strangle your little puny ass. i'll just strangle you. that's all. that's what i'm in here for. that's all. >> anderson is being treated for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. >> this is tommy. i'm dick's mother. >> bipolar disorder, there are two poles. hypertension, you're really hyperactive and you just want to stay up all night because you feel really good and then you start dipping. it could be five minutes and you go to another pole. >> $50 on the bag.
>> you just -- you just -- i was like, man, i just wanna kill myself. this is ridiculous. and then oh, man, i'm glad i'm alive. but the lithium carbonate keeps you like this. >> our goal is to get people with mental illness out into general population, to have jobs, to go to school and to do everything that everybody else does here. so they're all throughout the facility. >> most of these guys are going to be returning to the streets. not everyone is sent to prison with a life sentence. and with that in mind, i think i would feel safer and feel better about these people going back to the streets with the kind of skills that we can provide them, instead of just opening the doors when their sentence is done and hoping the best. >> there are successful graduates of the rtu program. terry mahler has 35 years left on his sentence for his sex offense crime. he was not able to function in general population. >> i've been diagnosed with clinical depression and extreme
stressful situations. i hear voices, noise-induced paranoia. anxiety attacks. sometimes when you get into a big crowd, you know, your mental illness seems to just explode. and it got to the point where i didn't want to live anymore. i just wanted to kill myself, you know, my mental illness was so bad. >> terry was transferred to the rtu, where he received treatment to help him cope with this stressful environment. >> i was given some one-on-one therapy, and i was also put into group therapy. they got me into school. i was able to get my ged, which helped my self-esteem. >> terry now lives in general population. his cellmates also came from the rtu. >> it seems like they kind of seem to put us together when we get out here because we better understand, you know, our illnesses and our little idiosyncrasies. they go along with being mentally ill. where a lot of people in general
population don't understand that. i wish they had more programs like rtu all over, you know, the country because a lot of mentally ill people are ending up in prisons. >> for inmate joseph garner, processing his horrific crime has been the hardest part of his punishment. >> i have been down 9 1/2 years. i got 22 1/2 more to go. i've been -- my crime is murder, and i cannibalized during the process. >> on christmas night, 1996, joseph thought his father was preventing the second coming of christ. >> i tackled him from behind and somehow got around behind him and slit his throat. and i remember him saying, "please don't kill me." and that's when i realized, oh, my god, what am i doing? i said whatever is done has already been done. by this time, i'm totally wigged out and i pulled his brain out, you know, and took a bite out of it.
>> joseph garner's treatment in the rtu helped him assimilate into the level four general population, but still he struggles with his crime. >> oh, it's -- it's heinous. if i had -- i believe in an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. if i had my way, i believe they should take my life. even though there were extenuating circumstances that were both mitigating and aggravating, still having crossed that line, it would, therefore, be that much easier to go back across. that's always the case. there's less inhibition to take another life now, especially even my own. i have threatened that several times. >> in the stressful and often predatory environment of this maximum security prison, the rtu is helping mentally ill inmates live a relatively balanced life. and hang on to a thread of hope for the future.
>> got me some shots, you know, some hygiene, some food. i'm glad that the people here do their job to the extent that they -- they help you out. they help you out. next on "lockup" -- >> he's just going through that stage and developing into that state that he is. >> shakespeare in the shu. humans. even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why, at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
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life with crohn's disease ois a daily game of "what if's". what if my abdominal pain and cramps end our night before it even starts? what if i eat the wrong thing? what if? what if i suddenly have to go? what if? but what if the most important question is the one you're not asking? what if the underlying cause of your symptoms is damaging inflammation? for help getting the answers you need, talk to your doctor and visit crohnsandcolitisadvocates.com to connect with a patient advocate from abbvie for one-to-one support and education. serving time in the shu at wabash means being locked in a 7 by 12 foot cell 23 hours a day. >> these places can make a monster.
you know, you can come to prison and you can halfway educate yourself on how you're going to stay out, get an education in life. or you can come in here and learn how to be a better criminal. a lot of people just -- just can't deal with isolation. >> oh, man, you read my eyes like -- >> in an attempt to help inmates come to terms with their crimes, one unique program uses literature. ♪ this particular group is discussing "macbeth," shakespeare's tragedy about a general's murderous rise to power and eventual demise. >> i'm from the hood, you know, i'm from the hood. and since i came in contact with shakespeare, i see a lot of those parallels that correlate with urban life, you know, to urban lifehood, you know, the 21st century in comparison to the 1600s, the time shakespeare wrote the play.
>> "macbeth" mirrors a life of tragedy but also brings about understanding because when you look into something and you see yourself, and you understand yourself, you understand the world. >> what is the relationship between "macbeth" and banquil? shakespeare doesn't fill in that gap. are they friends? does he feel some loyalty? does he feel some ambivalence? on the one hand, this is the prince and the father of the prince they have to get rid of. >> professor laura bates from indiana state university has been volunteering in prisons for more than 20 years. she founded a unique program called "shakespeare in the shu." >> we chose "macbeth" as our main text for a lot of important reasons. the idea of looking at the choices that this character makes, someone who is in aristotle's terms a tragic hero. he's a noble man, an honorable man, a good man who made bad choices. >> i'm in prison for murder.
um, i got 60 years for murder. >> i will say for whiskey, to recruit these gutter tramps. they ain't trained and they are going against this valued general. what i'm saying is, that's risky, right? >> everything he's doing from the beginning to the end of this play is risky. once he decided to take that turn to go back, he got so much to lose, you know what i'm saying? so he's risking everything from that point on. yeah, he's taking risks. >> for every action, there's a reaction. so i can relate to "macbeth" by the choices he made, you know, taking his punishment, no matter how much he tried to go in and around it to fix it, it just got worse and worse, you know. and that's what it's like with our cases. choices was mistakes and now we're paying for it. >> his mind still ain't fully
focused on the deeds ahead and now he stumbles along making plans and that's why he makes mistakes. >> the inmates not only read and discuss shakespeare, they rewrite scenes in their own words. >> banquo, the songs on the radio, many men wish death upon me. blood in my eye, dog, and i can't see. i'm trying to be what i'm destined to be. and haters trying to take my life away. banquo within himself. that 50 cent song gives me the feeling something is not right for tonight's formal dinner. i have been keeping it real from day one. mac, i'm on a trip. >> this program, being on the shu, is something that's really needed because i sat here 2 1/2 years and i seen people mentally just collapse. >> all right. >> all right, birds. >> this place suffocates you, you know what i'm saying. they say it's built for you to
come out one two of ways. you're going to be as hard and steel that you're engaged in or as soft as the grass that you walk on when you leave here. >> we are the only group that has a shakespeare program with a segregated housing unit component for starters. and the other special thing that we do is now link up the individuals in that unit who are rewriting shakespeare's play and linking them with these actors in level four. >> hey there, hackett! should we fear for our lives? our instincts screams danger. why do you look on us with such anger? >> have i not reason for you to act on your own and not consult me is like treason. how dare you scheme and plot on affairs of witchery and death with the skills of mere mortals such as macbeth. >> it's a nice two-way collaboration. i think that's very important
for the segregated population in particular, a chance that their voices are heard. that there's an audience awaiting what they are writing. the authors there have been very much aware that they want to speak to the general population through shakespeare's language. >> let us not make haste. our time we dare not waste. >> this is the first time iras white, one of the writers of the play, has seen his work performed. >> when he was speaking, i knew everything -- i knew the words as he was saying it, right, it was crazy to hear it. that's when i told you back there, to see the words come to life, make you want to continue to do it. it's like art imitates life, no doubt. up next -- >> i was the lower life of society. >> dealing with the dealers in the methamphetamine unit.
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like many states, indiana has been hit by a growing number of people using and making methamphetamine. >> methamphetamine affects everyone, regardless of social status, regardless of crime. that seems to be a common bond between many of the people we have in our system. >> i've got ten years for attempted manufacturing of methamphetamines. two armed robbery charges, two forgery charges, grand theft auto charge. it's not really an excuse for going out and robbing somebody. but when you're high on that meth, it's hard to explain how you feel and i don't know. it's hard to explain. it's easy for me to do crazy stuff when i'm high.
>> wabash valley correctional facility has unveiled a new weapon against meth dealers and addicts in its system. a drug rehabilitation unit called c.l.i.f.f. the program had only been open for a few months when our camera came to visit but was already operating at full capacity. >> clean life is freedom forever is what the acronym really stands for. they have to really work to be involved in it. they have homework. they're on the go from about 5:00 in the morning until about 10:30, 11:00 at night with activities, groups, education. what i like is the individual is here, has to be here of their own accord. it's voluntary. they have to want to change and want to do something because it does require them to make a lot of effort. >> my mother is my best friend and has been there more for me more than anybody in the world.
i love my mom a lot. i'm thankful i got a program like this now. i hope to get something out of this. so i can show her that i've changed. i'm sorry. i don't want to do this no more. >> offenders come to the program from all over the system, and can receive a six-month sentence reduction with full participation. >> i would like to see something like skilled traits, you know, like new castle opens up a skill traits auto body. something you can go out here and make an honest living without going out there making $6 an hour, $6.50, and go back to the world thinking, well, i can't do this.
i'm beating myself up. i can't make ends meet. i'm just going to make one quick batch and be done with it, you know what i'm saying? i will get on my feet and then i will quit, whatever. in reality, we all know we can't do that. >> i'm most worried about being a convicted felon and going out there and having to rely on a temporary service making $6, $7 an hour and paying for house arrest, trying to establish my own residence. that's going to be a really tough thing, because when i leave here, i've lost everything. >> eddie newlin is in prison for manufacturing methamphetamine. >> when i look back at where i came from, i was the lower life get there's no way i'll make it. there's no ifs, ands or buts. if i use this foundation to my advantage and meet some decent
people i believe that anyhow. >> we can give them the tools here to deal with their addiction, but when they get out, they'll still have to have a strong support system when they get out or they'll relapse. they need to have a family support system or support system to hold them accountable when they get out. >> with ten months left on his sentence, turner will miss one of the biggest milestones in his life and have a really good reason to stay clean. >> my wife's due in two weeks, any time, any day they should be giving me a phone call and let me know whether it's born. pretty excited about that. that's a reason i want to stay clean, too. i have somebody else to take care of, too, not just me any more. can't be selfish. that's my first offense. i'm 21 years old. i've never been in trouble in my life but i'm in a program that can help me. i thank god for that every day.
it's a blessing in disguise. i got a little girl on the way and i don't want to end up out there. >> since the cliff program has been operating less than one year, too early to tell how successful it will be but so far the signs are promising. >> we start seeing a lot of success already with some of the guys that started when we first opened. we saw a change in their behavior and a change in their attitude and that's a positive thing. >> i know it's crazy to say this, but i'm glad that i'm in because i didn't want something like that to happen. i didn't want my mom to go to my funeral. >> if i don't want it, i'm not going to get it. i want it. >> meth is estimated to be about ten times more addictive than cocaine. in order to combat the problem with overcrowded prisons experts say a need for more programs like c.l.i.f.f. at other facilities. that's our report, thanks for
watching, i'm john seigenthaler. due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. >> america's prisons, dangerous, often deadly. there are 2 million people doing time. every day is a battle to survive and to maintain order. located in the deep south, holman correctional facility where most are serving life sentences. we spent most of the time inside where the prisoners have nothing but time and nothing to lose. this is "lockup: holman extended stay."