tv Lockup Santa Rosa - Extended Stay MSNBC December 10, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PST
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. what's going on, lt? what's going on, lt? >> an inmate known for deviant behavior prompts an emergency response. >> hey, come here and cuff up. come over here and cuff up. >> another inmate turns his fury on two officers. >> he blew up like a roman candle. he went off. >> i slammed him on to the wall. the other little dude grabbed on to me again.
i kind of shrugged him off. >> a new arrival raises serious concerns. >> he's a predatory inmate. has a history of that outside of prison and inside of prison. >> we can all get through this. we have not lost anybody yet. >> young cadets experience the burn as each one takes a pepper spray shot in the eye. >> was that that bad? >> hell yes. >> you can do it. you can do it! just east of pensacola, in the florida panhandle, is 84 acres of some of the most dangerous land in the state. this is the santa rosa correctional institution, a maximum security prison with more than 2,800 inmates.
>> roll out. >> i have over 200 inmates that are serving life sentences, and i have over 200 inmates that are serving 25-year mandatory sentences. our population here at santa rosa consists of inmates that are violation of probation to drug charges to burglary to rape or murder. just coming to work, the correctional officers in an institution put themselves in danger every day. >> back out, kneel down. kneel down till i tell you to, you understand? >> i worry about them 24 hours a day. the worst thing you can have happen as a warden is one of your staff members hurt or loss of one of your staff members. >> i am going to put it in these terms just for it to be honest, understanding that this is a war. so, you don't know what to expect from day to day and minute to minute. you can't beat the people that
made the system and made the rules and have all the power. >> j.c., your locker is open! >> they got the handcuff, the radio, the gas. you got nothing. you have yourself. you are your own weapon in this war. >> richard penn has spent the last ten days in disciplinary confinement due to an assault on two officers. he has been moved from general population to a single-man cell. he is on heightened security and must wear a spit mask any time he is out of his cell. sergeant carter was one of the two officers involved in the assault. >> when i ask an inmate a question, i expect an answer. if i tell them to do something, i expect them to do it. this is not a place where things are optional. >> the assault occurred after penn had been escorted by sergeant carter and another officer to medical for some tests. >> while we're in medical, inmate penn the whole time sat there giving me this evil look. and i didn't understand what was going on.
i told the other officer i was with, when we get back to the dorm, i want to talk to this inmate, find out what's going on. >> and he's like, so what's up with you giving me the evil eye in medical? i said, i wasn't giving you the evil eye in medical. he said, so you don't have any problem with me? i say, no, sir. >> the whole time we're talking to him he's not -- he's showing no respect. >> now he says, well, what the [ bleep ] is wrong with you? you can't look a man in the eye when he's talking to you? i was looking at the floor because i see how this can possibly go. so i'm trying to stay calm and not take any of the bait. >> i told inmate penn to turn around so we could apply wrist restraints. >> and i'm like, no, i'm not cuffing up. i want to speak to the captain. >> i reach and grab and turn him around and he pulls away from me. and my other officer was standing here and he punched him. >> he grabbed me by the throat. the other one grabbed my arm. we took off from there. >> he blew up like a roman candle. he went off. >> i slammed him on to the wall. the other little dude grabbed on to me again. i kind of shrugged him off. >> and he just hawked it up from
the pit of his stomach and he'd spit at me and it hit me in the shoulder. >> he charged at me, so i kind of grabbed him by his back and his shirt and slung him towards the wall, and he hit the wall hard. now the little dude again, he jumps on me. and again, i just pushed him to the floor. >> he had his back against the door. and i was kind of tired. so i let my guard down like this. that's when he came across and he punched me. >> hit him with two punches, two solid punches. and he's staggering, stumbled a little bit. >> my reaction was to come back at him. >> so charges me again. and now the little dude has had time to get his hands on his gas. >> you want me to gas him? i said, yes, gas him. so, he pulled out his mk-4, sprayed him. >> he sprayed, they sprayed me in my eyes and that's what slowed me down. >> had he had a weapon, there was many times i was open, and where any kind of vital body parts i had were, could have been, attacked, you know? i could have been killed, you know?
i don't want to be theatrical. but if he had something that we had not found, he could, could have hurt us severely. >> penn, now placed in the spit mask, will be escorted to a hearing with the institutional classification team. they will decide if penn should be reclassified as a close management one inmate, meaning he will be housed alone in the prison's most restrictive high-security housing unit. the hearing is penn's one chance to change their minds. >> recommendation is post man one based on an assault on a staff member that results in a mandatory referral for a year. do you have anything to say about this? >> yes, sir. i had some lab work to get done. we get back, it's about 3:30-ish. he told me to cuff up. i told him i wanted to speak to the captain and not cuff up. he said, no, you cuff up now. i said i'd like to speak to the captain before i cuff up at all. he put his hands on me it took off from there.
i understand you gentlemen are the authority figures and i respect that to the utmost here. but i'm also a man while i'm still in blue. he put his hands on me as a man, i feel i had the right to defend myself as a man. it wasn't a custodial touch. he grabbed me by my neck. i'm sorry. i'm a man. i have to defend myself, gentlemen. >> did the officer order you to place your hands behind your back and submit to hand restraints? >> yes, he did. >> did you comply with the officer's orders? >> no, sir. >> if you had complied with orders, would we be here today? >> anything else? >> i mean, no. >> no, sir. >> no, sir. >> you need to step out. coming up, richard penn learns his fate. and -- >> pritchett does have an extensive disciplinary history. beginning back in 1981. >> a convicted rapist runs into new trouble at santa rosa. ♪
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the santa rosa correctional institution houses some of the most difficult-to-manage inmates in the state of florida. even in general population, inmates follow strict rules. >> all right, y'all, hold it down. >> for instance, talking is prohibited in the chow hall. >> there's no talking allowed in the dining facility at all. it just minimizes the noise, the confusion. there's so many inmates in here we're trying to get in and out. >> got them all over the walls, no talking. just don't say nothing at all.
>> usually, they warn you, but they can lock you up if they want to. >> let's go. >> inmate kitchen worker george >> richard penn says he was standing up for himself when he recently attacked two officers. now, he could face an indefinite stay on close management level one, florida's most restrictive housing unit. >> inmate penn was ordered to submit to hand restraints. he refused to do so. at that time, he became combative and bridge gent and he struck sergeant carter and officer addleburn in the face. he even spat on sergeant carter as well. >> it is up to the institutional classification team to decide penn's fate. if he goes to close management level one, he'll face an array of new restrictions, including only being allowed out of his cell six hours per week for recreation. >> so, he's had ten drs in a year and three months.
okay. he meets the criteria of the rule. >> he meets the criteria of the rule. >> he's found guilty of not just one, but two battery. >> right, exactly. and not to mention, i mean, if he'd have cuffed up to start with, we wouldn't be in here. >> inmate penn, ict has deliberated on this. we are going to recommend that you be placed on close management one. you have 15 days to appeal that through the grievance procedure. do understand that? >> yes, sir. >> okay, that's all. >> every six months, you're up for a review where you can be dropped to a lower level, but for at least my first six months, i will be in pretty much
confinement for six straight months. you know, it's not necessarily how you want to do your time. >> while close management serves as a prison within the prison, many of santa rosa's general population inmates have been transferred here after proving to be too much to handle at other florida state prisons. among them is danny pritchett. >> pritchett was just recently received here at santa rosa. he is a predatory inmate, has a history of that outside of prison and inside of prison. >> i never got along with i came to prison when i was 22 years old. i am in here for a rape charge. i had a minor problem. i became, oh, lustful within my mind, and i was always thinking about it. it's like the more i thought
about it, the more it increased in my life. >> pritchett is serving a life sentence for sexual battery, kidnapping and attempted kidnapping. >> i went to this mall, and i was sitting there lusting over the women getting out of their cars and going places. just as i was getting ready to get up and go home, a lady got out of a car, and she was dressed like she was, i don't know, a prostitute or something. and something about her triggered me. >> pritchett abducted his victim in her own car and sped away. >> but then as i was driving out of the parking lot, she started to reach for the door handle to get out, and i grabbed her arm and pulled her back. and then she didn't try any more after that. >> were you threatening her? >> no. i did verbally say "don't do that again or i'll kill you." when this took place -- i wanted
something that i didn't have. i wanted to try all of the different positions and ways to have sex. it became an obsession with me. >> pritchett released his victim and eluded capture, but his obsession soon returned. >> then it was about three, four weeks later, the thoughts came up again -- you got away with it this time, go and do it again, get what you want this time. went to another shopping center. i stopped at this lady's car, and i, like, put my head in, like i was getting in the car, and she, like, freaked out and grabbed my hair, and then i just pulled myself away, thinking i'm going to get caught, and i just ran away. within 15 minutes i was picked up and brought in for questioning. >> pritchett was eventually convicted for both attacks.
and during his more than three decades in prison, he's posed numerous disciplinary problems prior to his transfer to santa rosa. >> pritchett does have an extensive disciplinary history, beginning back in 1981. he has several disciplinary reports for possession of narcotics, use of drugs, sex acts, sexual activity, theft, unauthorized physical contact, lewd and lascivious behavior. >> pritchett says he brought some of his feelings from the street with him into prison. >> the lusting became something that i couldn't have because there is no women. i guess i became a homosexual. i started having sex in that way, so that other men would be the substitute for the women. it made me feel real bad because it's evil. evil, meaning it's an abomination with god. if you do that, you can't go to heaven.
>> so, do you feel you're not going to heaven? >> well, no, because i am no longer in that situation. >> it's been, i'd say five years since i've done anything like that. >> but soon after his arrival at santa rosa, officials say pritchett begin to act out in other ways. >> i was here three days and i received a dr. they said that i was gunning down a woman officer, looking at her in the officer's station as i was in the shower. >> gunning is prison slang for masturbating in front of others. >> but i didn't do it, wasn't thinking about her, wasn't looking at her at all. didn't even know she was even there. >> while pritchett denies inappropriate conduct in front of prison staff, anthony bell freely admits it. >> like i say, it's like this, you know what i'm saying? i'm a man. not ashamed to say what i do, know what i'm saying?
yeah, okay, i gun. know what i'm saying? i'm not going to lie. yeah, i gun. you wake up that morning, that, that urge, you're feeling that urge, you know what i'm saying? you see a female, you know what i'm saying, you masturbate, you get off. that's your choice of sex. to me that's safe sex. i'm being straight up with you. i have nothing to hide. >> bell has accumulated more than 20 disciplinary reports for obscene or profane acts. >> we take the charge, the obscene and profane act charge, very seriously. it's sometimes referred to as gunning. we keep a database of our gunners. and we actually use door magnets. any time a female enters the wing, a magnet is placed over their door. they cannot see out of the cell. you cannot see in the cell. they can't gun what they can't see. >> while bell has been a problem inside prison, it was a three-day reign of terror that brought him here.
he was convicted of 21 separate charges, including attempted murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assault and battery on a law enforcement officer. he is now halfway through a 30-year sentence. five months ago, he lost the person closest to him when his mother died. >> only thing i had was my mom. you know what i'm saying? she's gone now, you know? >> did you go to her funeral? >> no, ma'am. only thing i got was obituary. i got feelings, know what i'm saying? that was my everything. know what i'm saying? when you lose your everything, your feelings come out. i'm not afraid of crying in front of no man, know what i'm saying? i'm going to let it rip. i'm not here to impress nobody. i'm doing my time. coming up, an inmate faces a tough job interview. >> do you understand the part about interacting with staff? you understand that you got to keep that relationship on a self learn and not let it go beyond that? >> yes, sir.
>> push that [ bleep ]. show them how we do here, man. >> come on, man! >> santa rosa. >> one, two. one, two. >> [ bleep ] real, man. this [ bleep ] ain't no joke, man. >> knowing they house some of the most dangerous inmates in the state of florida, officials at the santa rosa correctional institution have a few creeds they like to instill in their staff, and they're prominently displayed. one resonates with the warden more than others. >> we never walk alone. just saying that the staff and this agency are a family. we're going to be there for each other in times of need and we're going to be there in tough times and we're going to be there in
the best times and in times of >> roll, 2119, 2119. >> santa rosa houses more inmates in close management confinement because of violent behavior than any other florida state prison. william mccrory has met a few of them over the past nine years. >> is it frustrating? sure, it's frustrating sometimes to see somebody who has the potential not to be an idiot but wants to be cool for their home boy, their friend, you know. and he's fixing to go home. and he don't give a rat's behind about you staying here. but you can't tell a grown man how to do his time, because he's not going to listen to you. i didn't. i cuss you out and send you back to business. >> mccrory once served time for identity theft and credit card fraud in alabama before getting 15 years for accessory to robbery in florida.
he says his job as a band tour bus driver led him to drug addiction, and it was all downhill from there. >> it's a lot faster pace on that west coast than it is for a little country boy from florida. so it was a little different world out there. >> during his first prison term, mccrory was less than a model inmate. >> the first couple, i smoked me a little reefer, drank me some wine, didn't care, didn't make a difference. i just did what i wanted to. this time, i tried to do it the way it should be done. the staff looks at you a little different than when you're not an idiot than just all the time getting in trouble. >> mccrory has another reason for wanting to stay out of trouble. two years ago, he found out he had a 16-year-old son. >> his mother kept him. he had -- when we separated, she was just a couple months pregnant. i didn't know. she was so tiny. you couldn't tell. and i didn't have any idea. so, she kept him hid for 16
years of his life. >> mccrory's son now comes to visit him a couple of times a year. >> are you proud of him? >> oh, absolutely. for him to just graduate from high school and not be in in any trouble is enough for me to be proud. if he'd have took after me, way different road. and that comes from his mama, a lot of that does. >> his son, who has just scheduled another visit, has inspired mccrory to be a better role model. he currently has a nonpaying prison job as an orderly but today is applying for a much better job as a clerk in the staff canteen. >> how much does it pay? >> $75 a month. it just keeps the pressure off your family from having to send so much money. cuts down on what they send. >> mccrory must interview for the job with the institutional classification team. >> you got past experience working at a canteen? >> yes, sir, at county correctional institution. >> how long did you work in the canteen? >> one year, sir. >> did you have any problems while you were doing that? >> no, sir, no problem. >> you will be working with staff directly. it's a good job. you need to have the appropriate mannerisms. >> yes, sir. >> do you have any questions
about the job? >> no, sir. >> you understand this is cash money. >> yes, sir. >> that you'll be dealing with. so you'll be held very responsible for this. >> yes, sir. >> and you understand the part about interacting with staff, and you understand that you got to keep that relationship on a certain level and not let it go beyond that. >> yes, sir. >> not start feeling like, you know, you've got any friends or things like that and get yourself crossed up. >> yes, sir. >> good. >> it's a very monitored job, so you can't be a penny off. you're going to be able to deal with that? >> yes, sir. >> all right, you're going to make a job change. continue to do a good job. you have done a good job since you have been here. continue to do a good job. okay?
its location on the florida panhandle exposes the santa rosa correctional institution to tropical thunder and lightning storms with little warning. the climate between correctional staff and the 2,800 inmates here can be equally as turbulent. so the prison leaves little to chance. >> we're constantly adding more security procedures to assure that we're providing the best and safest environment for our staff, inmates and the general public. santa rosa is surrounded by two secure, 10-foot perimeter fence. it has razor wire on the internal and external fences. and we provide armed security, roving posts and stationary posts outside the secure perimeter.
>> other forms of security utilize a much lower degree of technology. >> all ties inside the facility are clip-on ties. it's a security issue. if an inmate was to get a hold of your tie and start pulling on it, i mean, you've got a ready-made noose around your neck already. so, just for safety purposes, we use clip-on ties. >> lieutenant williams is a 17-year veteran of the florida department of corrections and has spent the past seven years at santa rosa. now, his 19-year-old son, joe, is prepared to follow in his footsteps. >> growing up, i've seen my dad working every day. every kid wants to be like their father, i guess. i guess it just sort of fell into place for me. >> he, along with several other young men and women, is currently in training to be a correctional officer through the escambia firearms training center located adjacent to santa rosa. >> if you can use a can of bug spray to kill a wasp or roach, then you can use pepper spray to spray a person. >> pepper spray is the only
weapon most correctional officers carry when on duty. >> just a little bit. get it on the forehead, get it in the eyes. that's all you have to do. >> but when it's used to break up a disturbance, the officers themselves are often exposed to its effects. yet, they must continue to gain the upper hand. today's drill will test their ability to do so. >> we're going to be doing a direct exposure on all of the people in the class to pepper spray, and they have some tasks they have to perform after they've been sprayed and then they'll decontaminate. you've got to maintain control of yourself throughout the whole course. that's the whole thing, control. control, control, control. you can all get through this. we have not lost anybody yet. everybody's gone through it, everybody's done fine. >> now with his father looking on, it's time for cadet williams to experience the debilitating effects of pepper spray.
>> cover an eye. close your eyes. hold your breath. okay, open up. >> go, go! good job! come back! >> yeah, i found with a little bit of your eye, a wet paper towel works wonders. >> one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. >> yea! on five! >> one, two, three, four, five. >> don't kill the person with the bag. >> one, two, three, four, five. >> go, go, go! >> right there. right there. >> one, two, three, four, five. one, two, three, four, five. >> one more. go, go! >> one, two, three, four, five.
>> face in the water right here. >> uh-huh. >> blot, blot, blot, blot, blot. >> wipe that on your face. >> too much pepper in your system. >> now i guess i know how bad i am going to feel if i actually do have to gas an inmate. because they're not going to have the water and stuff there either. they're just going to have to sit in that cell, so that's pretty bad. >> oh, that hurts. >> were you able to see when you were doing the challenges? >> no. no. >> was it what you expected? >> it was -- it was everything and then some. >> i was very proud. he did a good job. of course, it hurt him at first, as it would anybody, but he kind of surprised me. did a good job. >> keep your eyes open. keep your eyes open. the more you blink them, the more they'll tear. now stay away from the water. don't go back to any water. >> that is some bad [ bleep ].
the side of my face is still burning. >> how you doing? >> yep. >> what'd you say? >> i said welcome to my world. >> is it swollen? >> i get gassed on a weekly basis, intended or not. >> oh, god, it's in, like, the tear duct. it burns. >> one thing that's going to help you right now is air and time. >> was it that bad? >> hell yes! >> come on, you can do it. you can do it. >> oh, man. for those of y'all at home, do not go to jail. this is not fun. i promise you, this is not a fun thing to do. whoo! >> if an inmate finds himself on the wrong end of a pepper spray canister, there's a good chance a stay in close management will follow. that's what happened to richard penn after he assaulted two officers. >> you can't order any food. you're not supposed to have any books other than religious books.
no visits, no phone, no radio. really, not supposed to be able to do anything. this is nowhereville. >> besides exercise, penn's only other activity is writing letters. >> i write my sister. i write my brother. i write my dad. that's who i write most of the time, my dad. we talk about pretty much everything. that's like -- that's my best friend. what my dad is trying to impress upon me in particular after this incident was simply that i'm not changing fast enough. i'm not growing from this as fast as i need to be. and what he's been pressing upon me in his last several letters is change comes from within. these are his exact words, that i'm fighting the wrong fight. the fight is not against the system, it's not against the cos, the fight is me. the fight is fighting to change me. i actually got teary-eyed reading it, because he makes all
the sense in the world. he's absolutely right, and you can't -- right is right and wrong is wrong. >> the lessons he learns from his father are especially important, because there's one other person penn writes to as well, his 6-year-old son. >> he's just hitting that age now where he's learning to read. he's writing more. i write him just asking him, you know, what he may have learned at school or how was school. sometimes i kind of just hit him with a story i remember from when he was a baby. just still be his dad, relate as best i can through pen and paper. very little in here matters other than the betterment of yourself in -- your mind, your body, your spirit, just getting yourself together. that's the only thing that matters in here, and first and foremost, making it out of this alive. >> with support from home, penn might find the emotional strength to deal with close management. other inmates are not as fortunate. >> all right, we've got it.
what's going on, lt? >> i don't know. >> lieutenant williams has been called to an emergency on the second floor of the unit. >> what's the problem? unresponsive? hey! come here, cuff up! come over here and cuff up! >> officers initially responded to an inmate who is kicking his door. when they looked inside, they saw a bed sheet tied loosely around his neck and the inmate began threatening suicide. >> what's up, dude? come on. >> the inmate is one known for bracingly exposing himself to female staff, anthony bell. >> call mental health. call medical. call oic. coming up -- >> if you really want to commit suicide, you don't cry for attention before. >> staff question anthony bell's true intent. and danny pritchett turns to the heavens to erase the past.
anthony bell, serving 30 years for an array of crimes, including attempted murder, armed robbery and kidnapping, has been on santa rosa's close management unit for the past year due to several incidents of gunning or exposing himself to female staff. now, officers have removed him from his cell after finding him with a sheet tied around his neck. >> what's going on? >> going through it. >> you're going through it, having a bad day? >> yeah, having a bad day. >> so that means you're going to hang yourself? what's that going to solve? >> i wasn't feeling right.
>> you still feel like you want to harm yourself? >> i'm good. >> i'm asking you a question. you still feel look you want to harm yourself? >> no, sir. >> okay. well, you know what's fixing to happen, right? medical's going to come evaluate you. you're probably going to be placed on property restriction and self-harm observation status, all right? you done with it? you going to give my staff any trouble? let me know now. >> no, i'm all right. >> so i don't got to leave and come back. okay. >> self-harm observation status means that bell will be stripped of his clothes and possessions in order to prevent him from harming himself. he'll be placed in an observation cell with just a mattress and only a smock for clothing. >> they will evaluate him and see if he has a mental health issue or not. how we act now will depend on the assessment by medical. >> but lieutenant williams has questions about bell's true intent. >> i think he wanted to get somebody in there before he did it. it's been my experience that if
you really want to commit suicide, you're not going to cry for attention before. so i'm assuming there's some type of secondary gain. we'll find out what that is. a lot of times they'll do it to be placed up front on sohs status. it's a little cooler up there, it's an air conditioned building. it may being some just that simple. >> while bell will be under constant observation, inmates like danny pritchett often devise ways to gain a bit of privacy. >> the door stays open all day long. so if someone is passing your door, you don't want to be disrespectful to them. you may be using the restroom. so you tie this sheet up here. use your i.d. card. and this is your blind, and you use your bathroom, whatever you want to do here. and afterward, you take it down, put it back where it was, and
everything is back to normal again. >> pritchett might not have seemed this modest 33 years earlier, when he kidnapped and raped one woman and attempted to kidnap a second. like bell, he has also been cited numerous times for inappropriate conduct. but pritchett says he's been forgiven for the past. >> when you accept god into your life, he says to forget about your past because you're a new man in christ jesus. this one here says that the holy spirit leads you in the small things of life every day. and then i back it up with acts 8:29, 16 through 6 and 7. >> what is it that you're doing? >> writing scriptures for the bag. and i fold them up. and just put them in the bag. i mix them all up later on and pass them out. and everybody will be blessed. because this is a spiritual bag. the bag was given to me by god. >> the bag was given to you by
god? >> to make it and all of the scriptures and everything in it. >> so the inspiration was given to you by god. >> yes. >> where did you get the bag? >> the bag, i picked up here from the kitchen, i think it was. >> pritchett says god inspires him in other ways as well. >> you pray in tongues? >> yes, ma'am. [ speaking in tongues ] >> you don't know what it is. and it's not done in church. but it's done between you and god. >> do you know what you just said? >> no. coming up -- >> it's home for the next 20-something years. >> anthony bell returns to close management. and william mccrory goes to work. >> i didn't come into prison with a staff canteen job. i worked my way right on through the ranks.
the close management unit at the santa rosa correctional institution houses inmates from across the state of florida who have proven difficult to manage. anthony bell has been here for the past year. >> it's home for the next 20-something years. >> he was recently placed under observation after correctional officers discovered he had tied a bed sheet around his neck. >> everything is the same, day in and day out. >> now he is back in his cell and says thoughts of his late mother led to his actions. >> this is all i got right here. this is all i got.
that day, i was just going, i was going through the emotions that day, you know what i'm saying? i was really down. i was depressed. it's just like i had a voice in my head. like go on and be with your mom, know what i'm saying. this ain't the place for you. couple days came become to reality. you know what i'm saying? >> under the past few days, bell has undergone physical and mental evaluations by the prison medical staff. with numerous write-ups for public exposure, he has a reputation for calling the wrong kind of attention to himself, and staff believe that was behind this latest incident. >> i believe he is rooted in reality. i think most of his is for secondary gain as well. he presents very functional. attends to his daily living skills, and he seems to just
play the game. >> willie mccrory is serving 15 years for accessory to robbery, the most coveted inmate jobs, staff canteen clerk. >> that's $1.25, ma'am. i didn't come into prison with a staff canteen job. i started in food service in the dish room and worked my way right on through the ranks. oprah didn't start on "the oprah winfrey show." so -- >> today, however, mccrory has a more pressing issue to attend to. his 18-year-old son, john vijay, has come for a visit. up until two years ago, mccrory didn't even know he existed. >> growing up, i always wanted to know who my father was, but i never really did. i seen pictures of him and i would ask about him and my mom would kind of tell me this and that about him. it was a rough conversation there. she finally started telling me. i wanted to get to know him. we started a relationship
through letters and like that, and i finally got to come meet him. >> mccrory and vijay immediately connected. >> i guess a person didn't know they could actually love like you can love or care about a person like you care until you actually have that part of you. that's my only kid. that's the only one i got. so it's the world. there's nothing more important than that bond, so it's everything. >> got a visitor. >> yes, sir. >> he just has so much love and affection to show for me that i had no idea of until i finally got to see him. >> vijay is currently in college in another state and gets to visit mccrory three to four times a year, including today, along with his stepbrother kyle. >> how are you doing? >> scott. >> how are you doing? you going to go to the beach at all before you leave? >> maybe. maybe tomorrow or today. just depends. >> i'm going to let you go a little early so you can go to the beach. >> the beach isn't as important as you.
>> i understand, son. >> that's all that matters. that's the way i look at it. >> you're absolutely right. just like i todd them are ain't nothing more important than visit with you. we try to leave the fences outside our visit. it's about me and him. it's not about prison. it is just about what we have. what -- what we're trying to do. you should have a break in a couple of months. >> i sure hope so, come back up here. >> right. >> best part of the visit was to be with him, talk to him, give him a hug, tell him i love him, hear him say he loves me. >> you be careful. i'm looking forward to the next visit. but i'm also looking forward to being out on the street with him and do things for him and with him i couldn't do when he was a kid. fishing, hunting. playing baseball, softball. things we didn't get to do when he was a child because of some of decisions i made to land me in some places i probably shouldn't be. i'm just fortunate, i'm lucky. god blessed me with a good kid. i love him. that's my heart.
>> mccrory will soon have the chance to be the father he couldn't be in the past. he is due to be released within the next two years. richard penn, serving time for armed robbery, has another six years to go before he becomes a full-time father on the outside. but he does have a birthday gift for his son, who's just turned 7. he's written him a poem. >> something just small, simple, let him know i'm thinking about him. it's my daily inspiration and all that i do, my reason for believing, yes, my son, you. in everything i do, i wish to make you proud. for there's nothing more precious on this planet than you, my child. my point is use your imagination and dream as big as you dare, i'm ready to work hard and encourage and support you the whole way there. i want you to do better, i want you to be better than me in every way you can, as you mature and grow to become your own successful and powerful black man. >> are you worried that he's going to turn out like you? >> no, i'm not worried he's going to turn out like me.
i honestly hope that he gains the strong qualities from me, and i want to be there. and i will be there to teach him how to grow and become a man and a successful man. >> but penn is struggling with his own issues. he is currently in the close management unit for having assaulted two correctional officers. >> it's best not to make enemies, point blank, period. i was wrong. i could have went about it a different way. and i accept this as a consequences to my actions and just lay low and get through this as fast as you can. mini me, happy birthday, my dude! i love you and i miss you more than you'll ever know. i love you. happy birthday, kid. > due to mature subject matter,
viewer discretion is advised. follow "lockup" producers follow "lockup" producers and crews as they go behind the walls of america's prisons and jails with scenes you've never seen. "lockup: raw." >> unlike prison, all inmates are convicted, most jail inmates are only charged with crimes and waiting trial with resolution of their cases. both prisons and jails deal with common problem -- gangs. and for some, suppressing gang activity is a daily challenge that comes with life or death