tv Lockup Sacramento Extended Stay MSNBC December 11, 2015 9:00pm-10:01pm PST
>> announcer: due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. ♪ a recent law brings a wave of prison felons to the county jail. >> we're seeing greater propensity for smuggling, we're seeing greater propensity for assault on officers and staff. >> a family man gets a decade in jail for manufacturing weapons. >> it's all home grown guns. you can legally make one for yourself, but you just can't
sell them. that's where i went wrong. >> a meth addict gives up her prized possession. >> i traded it for $20 and a cheap high. >> but, now, jail introduces both of these men to a cowboy -- >> everybody deserves an opportunity to have that second chance. >> some wild horses. >> watch yourself. >> and the opportunity of a lifetime. these horses show you you are a person. if you don't like what you see, you've got to start making some changes. ♪
♪ >> sunrise near sacramento brings the pounding hooves of nearly two dozen mustangs running wild and free across vast stretches of western plains. they are sights and sound rarely experienced in a county jail. the horses share something in common with the 2,000 men and women. each one of them is here against their will with a possibility for a new beginning and, possibly, a better life. one of two jails run by the sacramento county sheriff's office. unlike most jails where the majority of inmates are only accused of crimes and awaiting trial, about 65% of the inmates are convicted and serving
sentences. that's due, in part, to a 2011 law known as ap-109. it was created to help relieve the california's state prison systems once dangerously over-crowded conditions. now, thousands of inmates who normally would have gone to prison are diverted to county jails. the law has drastically changed the make-up of the inmate population with more convicts serving hard time as opposed to shorter term, not-convicted inmates still awaiting trial. >> it has brought some very unique challenges to us. number one, now our jail is like state prisons. before county jails, people would do 3-6 months in county jail. now, we have folks here for 17 years. we're seeing state prison activities. we're seeing folks running their criminal enterprises, at least trying to, from inside our facilities. we're seeing greater propensity
for smuggling, a greater propensity for assault on officers and staff. we didn't see that before. our officers are trained to be custodians for short-term inmates. so it is really creating a paradigm shift for local jail facilities. >> well, ab-109 is controversial among staff and inmates alike, one of its provisions has proven popular. it provides funding for several new rehabilitation programs that could give inmates a chance to find jobs on the outside, despite the stigma of serving time. that's why the horses are here. >> get that thing off. let's go. >> this is the ranch that was developed by the sacramento county sheriff's department. and they're land management. what we do out here is we take inmates and i train them how to train wild horses to become usable by the general public.
>> the bureau of land management rounds up horses throughout the western united states. they are brought to various training facilities to eventually be adon'ted. most of these facilities are civilian-run. rio consumez is the first ranked from a county jail. joel mizer runs the program. >> i've been training horses for 35 plus years. i've been working with inmates for about six months now. i never worked with inmates before. >> i think this is a huge opportunity for guys that don't have the money or think that they're really worth anything or have anything to offer.
if they can help these horses become domesticated and usable, they're going to know what it feels like to accomplish something. >> there you go. >> see why you'd want to carry that pad like that? >> we teach them horsemanship from the ground up. this program is a win-win. >> gnash dig had never been around horses until he joined in just a few days earlier. >> we're picking up road apples and/or horse manure. this is how you start in the program. you know. i don't know how much they appreciate it or not, bui'm sure they do. they don't want to walk and in their own [expletive] all day. you know?
[ laughter ] >> i was slightly uncomfortable, at first. i was watching them all the time to make sure they weren't sneaking up on me or anything like that. >> his prior convictions include burglaries, forgery and theft from an elder. he says all of it was fuelled by a methamphetamine addiction. >> i was stealing. and any money that i could pull in, i was bailing drugs, whether it was from jewelry, whatever the heck i could get my hands onto sell. food didn't really matter at that point. you're just, like, i need to take care of my addictions first. that's how you know it's really got a hold of you. it's got its hand on you like this and saying it's going to make you do whatever you can to get that money because i need to
feel high. i need to feel that effect. i'm not ready to leave jail. i'm not ready for home detention. i'm not ready to leave this facility right now at all. i would get right back into it and not care. >> now, instead of being strung out on the streets, he's up at dawn to work on the ranch. >> i grew up on a horse farm, so i have some understanding making sure you're not around the back end and stuff like that. just awareness comes with just being around them. >> there's a good way and a bad way. the chances of being kicked are higher, for sure.
>> like gnash, gary is also an ab-109 inmate. he's here for selling high-capacity magazines and rifles. kerry has been in this program since inception. >> everybody's instructing everybody as they go along. if i've got a guy that's going to be with me for a long time, i can mold him and then i can pass that onto, okay, you want to take these guys and show them the basics that you've already learned and then i can move on to the other guys and show them a little more advanced. >> gnash is getting used to being around the horses. >> they learned how to work together to get the jobs done and follow instructions. that's probably why they're here. they said i'm not going to follow the rules. i'm going to do it my way. and now they're learning through going through the experiences, the rewards of following along
like they're supposed to. everybody deserves an opportunity to have that second chance. working with these mustangs, they teach you how to respected their space. they teach you that they need leadership. that's what i hope that these guys receive. that they have to have leadership skills and qualities to be successful in training horses. they can take those leadership skills and just be a better person in the world. >> i look forward to whatever lesson is going to be today. i learned some kind of lesson out here, whether it's lesson of nature or lesson of life. something. there's always something to pull out of this. it's definitely an experience of a lifetime. >> coming up -- >> nice and slow. >> the inmay wants are presented with a major challenge. but others react to a law that is dramatically altered to jail.
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comcast business. built for business. >> as the capital of california, sacramento is the world's eighth largest economy. while decisions made here could have global impact, nestled among its downtown skyscrapers and government buildings is a reminder of local concerns. the main branch houses about 2,000 men and women. like traditional jails, most of them are only charged with crimes and awaiting resolution for trials and cases. sacramento's main jail is also affected by ab-109. a law that diverts convicts from state prisons to county jails.
so people that are brand new, you've got to persevere. someone driving could be felled up with a guy who's been in prison for the past 20 years. you teach them how to get around the system, how to create weapons. how to be a criminal opposed to natural rehabilitation process. >> ab-109 has also come with a significant funding decrease. one of the more unique programs occurs 30 miles south of the downtown facility, county sprawling branch jail. ab-10 inmate has been in the
horse program since i was itch leapted five months earlier. its goal is to make wild horses suitable for adoption. >> we leave in the morning and we get back at night. by the end of the day, it's a long day, but it makes the day really fast. >> and that's important. kerry is only one year into his sentence. kerry says he learned how to make guns from his father who did so legally on their pennsylvania farm. >> it was just part of our every day life. we'd go to the range and spend the whole day at the rifle range and stuff. that's what i did as a kid behind him. even when i didn't know how to shoot, i would be out on the range picking up buckets of grass and stuff. i think the smell of gun powder
got me on or something. >> they're called home grown guns and you can legally make one for yourself. you just can't sell them. that's where i went wrong. >> kerry says he became financially stressed when he and his pregnant wife sprated with three children to support. he says a friend put him in touch with somebody willing to buy his guns. >> i was looking for a way out to feed my kids and to survive. >> you did know that was illegal, right? >> yeah, i knew it. but i said i'll do it. so i met with him. and he's, like, well, now i want another one to go with it so i have a different caliber. i said okay, and built him
another one not knowing that he was an atf agent. and that's where et all went bad for me. for the final transaction, he met the man in the parking lot of a department store. >> i didn't get two feet from my vehicle and the next thing i knew, they were all surrounding me with 30 guns. it was a different day, that's for sure. >> weren't you afraid. >> to be honest with you, until i got arrested, the thought never crossed my mind. he said he was into going to the range and liked the tar get practice a lot. i screwed up. >> kerry says working at the
horse ranch has helped make his 12-year sentence more bearable. today, joe misner who runs the program on a special project. training a new group of horses on a timetable to be ready for an upcoming adoption event. >> they're bringing four fillies here. they're going to drive it in with a trailer and back it up. 30 days is pretty fast, but a younger horse, they adapt fairly quickly. they're smaller, a little easier to handle. >> yeah, i can grab another panel. >> i think that's awesome. we take them and give them a second chance. kind of like us.
we're getting a second chance and they are, too we've got that wild side we're working on. for them, it's the same thing. >> i'm excited because it really gives these guys an opportunity to be confident. you can imagine if they're going to take on a filly that's about 3 1/2 feet tall compared to a thousand pound, four-year-old wild horse that's never been touched. to reduce the horse's anxiety, mizner has decided to keep it at a distance.
determine who you are as a person. and these horses show you who you are as a person. if you don't like what you see, you've got to start making some changes. >> coming up, these horses are really scared and they just don't understand. >> the inmates meet the fillies. and a nearby gun range adds to the challenge. if you had a dollar for every dollar car insurance companies say they'll save you by switching, you'd have like a ton of dollars. but how are they saving you those dollars?
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sacramento county's two jails, which, combined, has over 4,000 men and women. le kated downtown, the main jail consists of concrete towers and small cells for inmates who are confined much of the day. the correctional center considered the county's branch jail is in thehearted of california's central valley farming valley. once a world war two training base for army pilots, it's a collection of barracks, housing units that look and feel more like a prison than a jail.
deputy woods has worked at both locations. >> everyone's got attitude. everyone is upset. kind of like a dark and cold place. here, when you're here, it's outside, it's more fresh air. >> one of the benefits is that most are now closer to home. so they might get more business. >> i'm going to be honest, the words have never scared me. sell so i don't want to go. i guess it's kind of not like the hey, i'm in prison, kind of feel. but not all are happy with the law. prison is structured for more long time stays.
>> i would much rather be in prison. i've actually gone through the core process to try to get my sentence switched. simple fact that there's conjugal visits. >> not being able to touch loved ones has an impact. >> it's my fault. i had 12 years clean and sober. i relapsed. it's just a very, very difficult thing for me. >> mcconnell benefits, however, from the job programs. he works in the print shop which contains state of the art equipment along with professional instruction. >> so, before you mask it, what you want to do is just pull that off. >> but there's another downside. as a non-violent inmate, he could be eligible for release
after just serving one-third of his sentence if herp in state prison. in california, individual counties can regulate their own individual release policies. they're not the same as the state's prison system. i have a family and two young kids that, like i said, i take responsibility for the mistakes that i made. but they're out there waiting for me. >> i'd say the majority of people have their own personal television. there's efforts being made to give people things to do throughout the day. we've been doing this for a much longer time than a county jail.
>> the able to check out a musical strumt. he's been playing music since he was 7 years old. >> it has nylon strings on it. it's a pretty decent guitar. >> what they do, they check out the guitar and inspect all the strings, all the -- the good news and then they return it again. >> it's real good stuff he's got going on. you know, we even brought food over there and tried that out, too. he can make anything happen there. he was reallial ented.
>> he's been sentenced to two years as an ab-109 inmate for autotheft and form ri. >> what's kind of brought me back is the dope, you know, the meth. i know what happens. you know, i know whatnot to do and i know, you know, i basically know it gets me into trouble. it's hard out there. i realize i was at my lowest low when i traded a guitar to a pawnshop for money and turned around and bought drugs with that money. my mom actually bought mel that guitar, you know, when i was a senior in school. i traded it for $20 and a cheap high. it broke my heart, honestly. when i couldn't pay to get that out, i freaked out. that made me want to use more drugs to forget that i did that.
>> able says he hopes ab-109 will help him do better in life. he's taking advantage of other parts of the law, as well. >> there's all kinds of reentry services, all kinds of stuff to get you back into society. that's what i'm looking to do. ironically, i asked god to save my life. that's cool. >> coming up. cowboy shows the inmates how it's done. >> she's a little bit afraid. try not to look at her so much.
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twice a year with our firearm. we have three ranges here. you can hear there's a lot of firing going on in the range next to it. >> deputies assigned to the jail never carry guns. many of them will eventually rotate to street patrol. >> you hear gunfire all day every day. we have inter-department training going on day and night. >> we're located right next to the branch jail. all three are in very close proximity. you can hear guns going off all day long. you'd heard the shots. >> you'd be amazed at how quickly this is gunfire. if it's not eating them and it didn't eat them the last time it heard the bang, what's the point of getting me all worried. i'm going to save my energy and run when i have to. >> lately, his energy has been dead kated to fill a question
for an upcoming adoption he vent. >> there ice you to, that's the easiest way to rope a horse right there. >> we had to put up site boards so they wouldn't jump out of the crowd. >> the inmates are going to be working with the two-year-old filliees to learn how to interact. these guys will be learning how to breathe, relax, get out of the way real quick. things like that are going to be going on.
we'll be able to make progress so that we can get them adopted to the general public. and you'll see when we start working with these two years, that they're really scared because they just don't understand. >> okay, guys, gather around. see that right there? that's good. >> mizner shows the inmates how to build an extension. >> it's a way to desensitize these animals and keep them safe. >> i'll just take it down. i'm reading her body language seeing what she's trying to react. >> she faces away, i put pressure on them. >> let go.
don't try to hold onto it, okay? just let go. that's what's going to happen. they're going to get a little wild, a little western here. >> i just keep going to have touch her or work my way up to where she'll reach out and touch my hand. i'm drawing this one and this hand is coming forward. i want her to touch my hand. i just want her to know i'm okay. we just want her to connect. she's a little bit afraid. i want her to reach out and touch my finger. >> so i'm just going to spend time with her like this. this is the main thing, just showing her that by being next to her, it's okay. and here, in a couple days, we'll be brushing her and leading her around and petting on her. >> some of the things that i thought i knew is toe lal hi different than what -- for example, i always just look at them and walk up to them.
now we know that -- i know not to look at them. no eye contact. >> there you go. relax. news guys are touching live horses for the first time today. and they're doing a great job. >> it's okay. it's all rightment just stand your ground a little bit. >> i wasn't sure how she was going to react. it was really cool. i'm going to move forward and do some more work with her. >> there you go. just relax. >> i'm not that worried about getting a new horse. it was pretty exciting to see that i'm going to be part of that. >> they're learning how to be leaders right here.
they're learning how to often them up and then give back to something. i don't think they've ever had that in their life. i think for these guys learning how to read -- i think this's a kwar to their life. >> coming up. >> watch yourself, it's getting in a bad position there. >> it's been a challenge for myself learning some techniques! there have been times when i've questioned whether or not this program was probably for me.
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nobody ever asks for long-term stay at the correction center. it's one of two large jail facilities run by the sacramento sheriff's office. he now wishes he had just reached out for help instead. >> i know now that it's wrong. >> a man has pride, you know. we don't ask for help. we don't ask for directions.
>> if the trainee and the wild horse program. the recently arrived filly he's been working with. and when it comes to horses, there are few better people to ask than joe mizner. >> we need people that are teachable. you've got a little bit of time left on his sentence. >> with another three years before he's eligible for parole, terry has the chabs to become one of his most experienced trainers. hillside goal today to is try to get a lead rope on elnina. >> give her a second here. she's not so sure about being caught here thissing.
you have to be able to take construction and not go beyond that construction. >> relax. just hesitate there for a few minutes. go back to that same position and hesitate. wap yourself, you're getting in a bad position there. you have some emotion coming out of you. i know you want to catch her, she knows you want to catch her. but don't go to catch her. carry is not a young guy. he's a little set in his ways. so him coming in and having to take direction and stay on task and not think passed what was being asked, he's had to work at it. and he has.
>> there you go. there you go. good. hey, this is a little easier way of doing that. it's, like, wow. squl still in the early stages of the program. he says he was nervous around horses when he first came to the ranch. these other guys are a little bit more progressed. so at what point will i be really involved with the situation. so that kind of depends on them. >> there have been times when i questioned whether this program was right for me.
but i was afraid of the horses, honestly. big animal, has a lot of power. then i realized you have to take their sensitivity and use it as a tool to work with them. and you can't be scared. >> he has been gaining experience by working with some of the domesticated horses. >> you learn a lot about yourself. it's actually a reflection of who you are. if you're not confident, calm, caring, passionate about what you're doing, horses are going to know that. it's changed my attitude toward life. it's like when i leave here, i want to get a job. i want to start working. i want to be productive. i want to be an active member of society. i don't want to sit there and waste my life. there's no point in that.
it's ruined a lot of things. i'm making the necessary changes in order to be somebody. >> everybody needs to know that they're worth something. and just because you've made mistakes doesn't mean you can't change. and a lot of times when you're in a situation that your life is spiraling out of control, you think this is never going to change. this is the way it's going to be for the rest of my life. and you don't know that till the heat gets turned up and you have to either change or stay. but these animals, they touch you. and i see them hugging on his horse. he has more empathy now, more understanding. he's willing to put himself out there for that horse, you know. and it's changing him. coming up, la nina leaves the ranch and both the inmates and fillies confront one of their biggest challenges yet.
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comcast business. built for business. it's another day and another important day with the horses at the sacramento wild horse program. >> we lose two horses today. >> two? >> two horses. >> a month earlier, joe meisner and the inmates were asked to train four fillies on an accelerated schedule, 30 days instead of the usual 120 days. >> you have to pet her like she's your girlfriend, not like you're smacking her around, buddy. >> meisner feels that they beat the odds by having two of the fillies ready to go. >> you have to take in mind these guys have not had the opportunity of years and years of working with wild horses. so we have a school of hard knox
where they're having me tell them no, get in this position. and they have to figure it out for results to happen. i'm extremely pleased with the progress these guys are showing. >> but the day brings one of the most challenging lessons for the inmates. >> today what we're going to do, we brought our horse trailer in. we'll teach them how to load and offload in the trailer a little bit. we'll be doing time with that. and then we'll load up those two fillies, get them ready to be shipped off and be adopted tomorrow hopefully. saturday they'll find a new home. >> which two are going today? >> la nina and dot. >> dot. sorry to see them go. >> off your hand up to her. don't pull that rope. it's okay. it's all right. just stand your ground a little bit. >> how are you feeling in there? >> good.
good and sad at the same time. >> why is that? >> she's leaving. when i started, i found out she had a soft spot where she leans in to you. when their ears are forward they're really calm and relaxed. she's gotten a lot better. when she first started she tried biting. now she's got it all kind of figured out. >> the two fillies have become more domesticated, meisner thinks that having them file into a small trailer will be difficult, considering they were running wild a month earlier. >> hang out and watch and see how this is going. that's for darn sure. >> carey has worked with la nina, meisner decides to use a more experienced inmate for this last task. >> him and i have talked and he's physically not at the point where he could be effective to
where it's going to be helpful. it's going to take him a while to get to that point. i applaud his desire to be doing exactly what these guys are doing. he's just not at that level yet. when he gets there, he will be confident at it. then he will be effective. he's not confident right now and you're not effective. that doesn't help the horse learn. and him, too. because he's going to get hurt then he's not going to want to do at the all. i don't want him to get hurt. bring her back to it. there you go. good. the guys are showing that they're adaptable, that they're teachable. if they can follow instruction, that makes them employable, doesn't it? this makes them willing to step up and do something that they've never done before, but there might be a benefit for them. hopefully, that's starting to sink in. keep her straight. okay. all right. >> takes a few attempts to coax la nina into the trailer. >> this time, she can get all four in.
she's going to come in. just bring her all in. good. now pet her. love her. pet on her. awesome job, dude. that's fantastic. you just taught that horse how to load in the trailer. >> that horse responded really well to torres loading in the trailer. i was watching that horse's body language and thought i think carey can do this. >> because la nina seems adaptable, he risks taking la nina out of the trailer and gives carey his shot. >> i think he put his heart in that horse and i need his confidence to get stronger. so that's why i had him step up and do it. okay. now draw her up in to you. all in. there you go. way to go, man. you do it. >> i'm happy. i'm really happy. i was hoping i would get a chance to be the one to put her
on the trailer the first time. hector got to do it, but that's cool. i still got to do it myself. it's good. it's the bittersweet moment i've been waiting for. sad to see her go. it's a proud parent sort of thing. >> little bit at a time. that's right. little bit at a time. you're the man. you are the man. i'm not going to tear him down. i'm going to keep building on him, just like we build on these horses. we give it confidence, reassurance, leadership to follow us. you're okay. you're going to be all right. very good. you guys have done an amazing job here. >> if i can do that to the guys, too, they'll be able to assimilate that when they get on the outside. that's the whole point of the program.
i done fought, i done stabbed people in prison, i done orchestrated riots. >> right now i do believe michael bates is our highest ranking gang member in the jail. >> one of my pups had a complaint against this gentleman here. yeah, said he was not living right. >> the questions arise over whether the challenger is whom