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tv   Lockup Raw  MSNBC  December 26, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm PST

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due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. >> msnbc takes you behind the walls of america's most notorious prisons into a world of chaos and danger. now the scenes you've never seen. "lockup raw." >> prison might be hell. but for some, it is especially so. >> i wouldn't last five minutes on a main line. >> why? >> well, they don't like cops. >> for the first time offender. >> they ask me who i run with? i run with teachers and librarians usually. i haven't found many of them
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yet. >> it can be worse for the sex offender. >> i was burned with hot water out of a hot pot with baby oil and hair grease. that's a permanent scar forever. >> most of the prisons we profile on "lockup" are maximum security prisons. i mean, these are hardcore places with gang members, rapists, murderers. every once in a while we come across a fish out of water story, the guy next door, the neighbor. where you ask the question, how did this guy end up here? >> this is california state prison, corcoran. a maximum security prison that has housed some of the nation's most infamous criminals including charles manson and the founder of the mexican mafia. despite its reputation, violence doesn't come naturally to everyone at corcoran.
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>> i don't see myself as being like many of the people here. what i saw the longer i was here is there really is a thin line between them and me. >> before he was an inmate, stefan parro was a librarian. >> i'm here basically because i'm an alcoholic and i've done a lot of drugs, too. drugs are part of my story. >> parro's drug use resulted in a six-year sentence for crimes including burglary. >> at that time i had been married not very long. my wife was pregnant. the fact i couldn't stop drinking and i couldn't stop using, it was difficult to deal with the shame and guilt of all that. >> parro and his wife eventually separated, but he landed in prison for breaking into her home and stealing her credit cards to pay for drugs. >> i readily admitted to it. that was one of the problems in my defense. i had no defense.
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i said, yeah, i did go in and take the credit cards. the reason i took the credit cards because wisely enough my wife canceled mine. >> stefan parro was a very relatable guy to most of us who were filming "lockup." he was a well-educated man and he expressed himself so eloquently and so succinctly. i think he was a cautionary tale because his crimes were committed because of his substance abuse. and most of us know people who have similar issues. but there was stefan trying to navigate through an extremely violent world. >> i had an idea i would never end up in prison. that i was somehow exempt. i'm not saying i was an exemplary citizen by any means. i had no idea it could get this bad. and that's what i -- [ buzzing noise ] >> in the middle of interviewing stefan the alarm went off.
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the protocol at the prison is all inmates have to get down on their stomachs and all staff and other personnel remain standing. >> false alarm. >> it was a little sad, actually, watching stefan on the ground because we were in the midst of having this great conversation almost and he started to think of himself, i think, as a regular guy, back out on the street and suddenly it was very clear, no, he's an inmate and he has to get down on the ground like all the other inmates, get dirty, until he is told he can get back up. how long did it take you to get used to doing that? >> well, when i was in jamestown i got a lot of practice. the yard goes down a lot on -- goes down up there a lot. so -- glad that happened for you guys.
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>> so i had made a little joke with him because i could feel his embarrassment and i wanted to just try to lighten it up a little bit. did you arrange for that, stefan? >> can't say that i did. all right. that was a lot of fun. okay. where was i? >> parro went on to tell us that in order to survive in corcoran he had to understand corcoran. >> you know, at the beginning, when i was facing the 41 months i thought how in the hell am i going to make it? i didn't see myself as being a part of this community. it is a community. no matter how dysfunctional it is. no matter how bizarre and asinine and ridiculous and stupid. it is very stupid. there's a lot of rules here that are enforced by inmates. >> many of those inmate-enforced rules revolve around racial politics. >> a lot of people here have
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affiliation with gangs. they ask me who i run with? i run with teachers and librarians usually. when i find them, i will run with them. i haven't found too many of them yet. >> parro must also deal with racial politics in his prison job as a housing clerk. >> i got a message you called over here. usually i come in in the morning, see who paroled, if there have been any roll-ups in the last 24 hours and beds open. i got 109 up, 242 up. those are open since yesterday. i kind of look at those and see who we have waiting and place them. it is a bit of a puzzle because we have to house according to their ethnicity, gang affiliation and medical needs. >> stefan had a job that afforded him a certain amount of information about the various inmates on the yard, so he really had to walk a tightrope
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between doing his job correctly and appeasing the various inmate groups on the yard, particularly the white group. >> naturally, your own people have expectations of you that are greater than somebody else on the yard of different races and affiliations. so if you have information, you do go to your people first. the clerks in the past i know have had a lot of run-ins, have been beat up for things they've done, for things they have not done, things they have said. my boss asks me all the time, three or four times a week, kind of jokingly, but not really, hey, i see you didn't get beat up today. i say to him, you know, that really isn't that funny. but i said the other day you know that upsets me when you say that because it could happen. thank you. >> but parro has seen his share of violence at corcoran. when he arrived, he was determined to avoid trouble, but
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he was told by other inmates he would eventually be tested and if he didn't fight back his time here would be a lot worse. >> so i fought. and that was pretty much the first fight i've ever been in in my life. i couldn't walk very well for about three or four weeks. i had black eyes for about six weeks. i thought it was hell. and it was. you eventually just start living. you start doing all these activities. you wash your clothes. you make the ritual of having coffee just like you did out there, you know? you don't have the option to go to starbucks. you get folgers out of the canteen and make whatever you can make. i think one of the interesting things that i kind of woke up to was that that's what life is.
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here or elsewhere. so you better get something out of it. so if i can actually enjoy making coffee here in corcoran surrounded by a lot of loud people and a lot of other discomforts, then i'm going to come out a lot better for it when i get out of there. if i'm going to live through this, and i have a son, so i better live through this, i have to do something. no matter how difficult it is you reach down and find mettle you didn't know you had. that's what prison is all about really. it's finding strength you never thought you had. coming up -- >> i went up to the bars and splash. they hit me with baby oil and hair grease, got on my arm, got all over my stomach. it burnt my back, too. >> a sex offender learns that one personality trait can lead to big trouble. >> one of the problems and issues that i had was talking a lot. excessive talking. going on and on a lot of times.
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in prison, nicknames are as much a part of the culture as complaining about the food or fantasizing about life on the outside. so when we first meet an inmate, finding out his nickname is part of our routine. >> i need your first and last name. >> okay. it's douglas. i go by doug. >> what is your nickname? >> what is my nickname? bozo. bozo the clown. yeah. >> why? >> why? i don't know. i think it is because i didn't have any hair. >> one day i was having a conversation with whitlow. he had told me he had one time worked in a circus and that was his favorite job which was kind of ironic considering his nickname is bozo and the wild laugh he had. just out of nowhere you would hear him. just, you know, ha-ha-ha. >> other than his hairline douglas "bozo" whitlow had little in common with his
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namesake and his crime was no laughing matter. when we met him he was in his 13th year of a 65-year sentence for rape and criminal confinement. when he saw his scars, it was evident that his status as a sex offender, had made his time in prison anything but a circus. >> i was burned with hot water out of a hotpot, baby oil, and hair grease. it got all over my arm. it burned my stomach. it burned my back, too. i healed up good. but that's a permanent scar forever, though. >> whitlow claimed to not know who exactly attacked him, but he offered multiple possibilities for why it happened. >> whitlow constantly changed his story about what happened and why he was attacked. at one point he told us he was actually defending a nurse who was the actual intended victim of this attack.
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>> someone threatened a gun, nurse [ bleep ] it, and so i didn't want the nurse hurt. i said throw it on me. >> another time he told us it was an accident that it occurred. at one point he admitted that somebody purposely tried to hurt him. >> i walked up to the bars because i thought someone said bozo. that's what the guys call me. i went up to the bars, and, splash, they hit me with baby oil and hair grease, and burnt my arm off. i didn't see the person who did it, right? there were too many prisoners out, so i didn't see who it was. i'm not the type that would tattletale on somebody anyway. right? >> whitlow acknowledged what might be his biggest problem in prison. >> most of it, the biggest percentage is how much i talk around the guys. one of the (says -- one of the problems and issues i have is
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talking a lot. excessive talking without -- you know, going on and on a lot of times. >> not only was whitlow a sex offender, he was a sex offender that constantly talked about his crime and even his current behavior which was disturbing. he talked about it to anybody who would listen. and this provoked the other inmates, in effect, to attack him. what did you feel? i know it's a stupid question, but what do you remember feeling? >> it was very painful. it was a lot of pain. it is nothing like the pain i went through for the false charge for why i'm in here for the last 13 years. >> whitlow was also insistent that he was not a rapist, but just an exhibitionist. at times, though, he seemed unsure, himself. >> how many exposures? i don't know. i was charged, i think, it's been a long time ago, i think three or four or eight misdemeanors of this same thing. it looked like i showed a pattern that i was trying to stalk women, and then i raped this female, but no, i did not. i learned my lesson to not be
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-- to respect women and don't be doing that, unless you're -- right now, as a christian, i know that i couldn't be naked with a woman unless i was married. >> whitlow had recent write-ups for exposing himself, not for anybody he was married to, but prisoners. >> i have to do a rape charge i didn't do. i was mad. anyone out there seeing this -- >> he intended to blame other people for his problems, but the fact of the matter was he was exposing himself to nurses and to people and then he would talk about it, which in a way, it's an affront to most inmates. >> the exposures, i know for a fact, that were forced upon me, forcing me to be in my cell nude in rtu without clothing. everything that, my clothes were either stolen or getting lost, but the problem is starting to be fixed and i'm proud of staff here, it's getting ready to be continuing to be corrected. >> we would try to conduct an
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interview and he would just keep going. the manner in which he spoke and conducted himself, it was draining. it was absolutely draining. it was hard to keep him focused. >> you see i was dressed for yous when you came. i don't have any other clothes in here. none. you see there is no sheet. i got one blanket. i don't have any clothes. that is not something i'm worried about because the lord, in his word, says we don't have to worry about clothes, he'll worry about that for me. i just do the best i can and that's what i'll do. i know there's -- i wouldn't disrespect you like that. i love you. coming up -- >> when i was arrested he took me down to my jail where i had worked. >> an ex-cop lands in one of america's toughest prisons. >> i'm the old school, and it's very difficult. very, very difficult. crohn's disease. i didn't think there was anything else to talk about. but then i realized there was.
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when we met arman tiano at california state prison corcoran he was recovering from a shoulder surgery. that didn't help ease the pain of being here after a 26-year career in law enforcement. >> i worked in the patrol division, narcotics bureau, detective bur -- bureau, personnel training in the jails. i was promoted to lieutenant in 1984. what happened? >> what sent you here? >> good question. >> after retiring, tiano and a group of friends started a charitable foundation. they raised over $3 million in donations, but then questions arose about where the money actually went. >> to make a long story short, the judge said all the money was raised was fraud even though we gave away $70,000 to little league teams, hospitals, christmas drives, thanksgiving, easter basket drives, no, it's
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all fraud money. so because it's all fraud, the $3.5 million is income and you owe several million dollars tax on that. >> after donating $70,000 out of the $3.5 million raised, tiano was sentenced to almost 18 years in prison for fraud and embezzlement. >> it is one of those things in the beginning it seems surreal and as you go through it you start to devise ways to cope or go crazy, you know? i've -- it's no secret. i'm not ashamed to say, i've thought of killing myself, you know, in the beginning. i didn't know if i could get through this. when i was arrested they took me down to my jail, you know, where i worked. i have guys that were working for me putting handcuffs on me and they felt terrible. i mean, i had one guy telling me it's like putting handcuffs on my brother. >> the jury believed he used the
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millions of dollars he raised not to help others, but to live a life of luxury, purchasing houses, boats, and sports cars. it is a different life for tiano today. >> you have a table there. you have four walls that are cement. you have cement floor. and there's no paint. a stainless steel toilet. you have to use the rest room where you often have to eat. there are two people. you have to go to the restroom here. everything is just so -- i wasn't brought up that way. you know, i'm from the old school. and it's very difficult. very, very difficult. >> not only was he former law enforcement, he still carried himself like a cop and here he was incarcerated in a pretty hardcore prison. i could see he really hadn't come to terms with the fact he was once a law enforcement agent and now he was an inmate. he still obviously struggled with that fact. he was lucky. he was put in a protective
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custody unit because otherwise he would be in grave danger. >> i wouldn't probably last five minutes on the mainline. >> why? >> well, they don't like cops. you know, or ex-cops. >> tiano says if nothing else, his experience here has helped him see the people he used to arrest in a new light. >> i have been dealing with these people for many, many years. and you know, there's a lot of them that aren't, i mean, you know, there's a perception, unfortunately, by the majority of our society that everybody in prison is really a bad person. and that's not the case. my heart aches for some of these youngsters you see come in here. 21, 22 years old that are facing life sentences because of a stupid mistake. i mean, you just wonder how is this 22-year-old kid going to get through to age 65, 70, 75, 80? this is it.
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there's no more than this. this is all there is for him. you can't help but have some empathy for that guy. >> how is your shoulder doing today? >> it is a little sore. i got it out of sling to try to get -- it gets too stiff if i leave it in there all the time. >> for 26 years in law enforcement, i have a very good friend of mine that is a retired captain. we write. i tell him it is like that whole point in my life has been for naught. they took my retirement badge, my retirement i.d. card. i used to win medals at the police olympics. those are gone. it guts you is what it does. it just guts you. you try and hold that in as best you can, but there's times when it just kind of oozes its way out. you're looking for new band-aids, you know? everything was great. you know? i was happy.
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>> during our brief time with arman tiano, state records only listed his fraud and embezzlement convictions. later we learned this was not the first time he was incarcerated. prior to his fraud trial, he was convicted of molesting two teenage female relatives. he received a year in county jail and five years' probation. a surprisingly light sentence for the disgraced police officer. prosecutors had asked for 15 years to life. coming up -- >> we believe you may have been a victim of a battery. >> trying to find out what happened. i want to tell them what happened. >> a former gang member gives correctional officers the silent treatment. >> numerous bruises he had and the two black eyes, i'm thinking it has to be more than one person. what's the best way to get
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japanese prime minister shinzo abe is in hawaii,
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tomorrow he'll visit pearl harbor along with president obama. colombian officials say the plane that crashed last month ran out of fuel. 71 people died, including members of a brazilian soccer team. "the new york times" reports israel is planning to build more settlements despite a u.n. vote condemning construction. he said his country's response to the vote is responsible, measured and vigorous. now back to "lockup." due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. most prisons have units designed for protective custody. they're for inmates who have become targets. child molesters or gang dropouts. one thing we learned about prison, doesn't matter where you're housed, your safety is never guaranteed.
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>> we believe you may have been a victim of a battery. >> joseph de la cruz is a gang dropout, serving nine years for attempted murder at california san quentin state prison. when we first met him, authorities had just discovered that he had been assaulted inside his protective custody cell. >> this morning, you come out of your cell, we did a sweep to find out how many people stayed behind. you were discovered with injuries. and here's the medical report. >> despite obvious injuries, de la cruz refused to give correctional staff any information about the attack. >> we're trying to find out who -- i want to tell them what -- i won't tell them what happened. >> any specific individuals you know are your enemies? >> no, sir. >> how about any prison weapons offenses? >> no, sir. >> do you belong to a gang? >> no, i don't. >> aside from what you're being accused of, being a victim, are you involved in any other batteries in your history? >> no. >> due to this threat, you are
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-- due to this information, you are deemed a threat to the safety and security of the institution, to staff, and inmates. >> escort! >> without good information about what prompted the attack and whether this attack could lead to others the prison decides to place de la cruz into administrative segregation where he will be isolated in a single cell 23 hours per day. >> it's very complicated. in the process of asking questions, you're trying to cover all angles why he was assaulted. so i started my questioning whether or not it was more than one person or not, and he didn't want to say. at that point i'm thinking it's got to be more than one person. because the numerous bruises he had and the two black eyes and we discovered all kinds of bruises on his body. a purple bruise spot the size of a softball under the rib cage. >> a group assault is disturbing news for a prison staff. it indicates gang activity has penetrated the sensitive needs
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yard, or sny. >> it is supposed to be gang free. a lot of guys go into sny not because they want to. a lot of these guys still want to be gangsters. >> many of these inmates come to sny because they violated gang rules and now need protection from gang retaliation. >> the easiest way to describe it is that even though you walked away from the gang, it doesn't change your gang mental state because what happens is that you've already been trained by the gang. so it's easy, again, to reestablish yourself. >> it's a lot of them, they go into sny, they see these older inmates, weaker inmates and they band together again. whether as a formal gang, or dropout gang, or even just a group of four or five bigger guys that just want to pressure other guys out of anything, money, clothing, food, anything they can get out of them. >> lieutenant munoz must now determine whether de la cruz is
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the victim of a gang or an active gang member himself, perhaps one that has asked for protective custody under false pretenses. >> one of the terms they use is, sleeper. sleeper is one of the names they use. he's a sleeper, he's coming in under radar. the other term is he is a torpedo. he is coming in and he has a target and he is going to find his target and explode on the guy. so i questioned him about that. >> while de la cruz still refused to give officials any information about the attack, later he was willing to tell us why he decided to drop out and seek protective custody. >> i've got a lot of homies from my hood. they are all like, 18, 19, 20 years old. all of them are in for burglary, -- murder, attempted murder. they got 25 to life. homeboys kill each other. for stupid little stuff. you know what i'm saying? >> then de la cruz told us there was an even more
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compelling reason to quit gang life. >> everything i strive for, is for my son. that's my little boy. everybody says after they seen him, that's your junior right there. he's got his hair spiked up there, too. that's the day we're at the hospital right when he was born. >> the thing about joseph that stood out for me was the fact that here was this young man who is obviously gang affiliated in a pretty tough prison who had made a very huge transformation because of his child. i rarely see people in his situation be moved to change because of children. his love for his son was so great he made some pretty monumental changes in order to try to get out and be a father. >> my son is always going to be loved, going to the best schools. he already has money for his college. he is going to be all right.
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you know what i'm saying? i'm not trying to start trouble or be part of one of those little gangs. i want to do my time and get out of here. >> after further investigation lieutenant munoz found no evidence that de la cruz is an active gang member. so now he suspects that de la cruz may have been beaten for refusing to join an emerging sny gang. >> we're hoping that through the interviews that we'll do in the same unit, we may come across eyewitnesss or folks who will be able to confirm information that's floating around out there on the tiers as to why he got battered. >> what does your gut tell you? you're a veteran. >> they were trying to recruit him. he said no. so they taught him a lesson. >> why won't you tell them what happened? >> because, i don't know, because i don't work for the cops. you know what i'm saying? i grew up like that. you know what i'm saying? >> the final outcome is when you come to prison, it's still our obligation to protect you no matter what. gangs going out and battering
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even those in special program, you know, doesn't work. these guys are trying to get away from gangs to do their time safely and they are getting beat up. it doesn't seem to end. >> eventually the prison decided the safest situation for de la cruz was to transfer him to a different prison. >> i just want to do my time peacefully, you know what i'm saying? especially right now, get my thoughts together. my family, whatnot, you know what i'm saying? >> lieutenant munoz still sees challenges ahead. >> like i said, he's young, first time. it's hard for him to understand how he is supposed to maintain an attitude and protect himself at the same time and not look weak. it's an ongoing process that never stops. coming up -- >> love you. >> love you. >> you sort of get used to it. it sort of gets like a daily routine and everything. >> an inmate's wife watches her husband grow old behind bars. >> she's everything.
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entyvio. relief and remission within reach. it's often said prisons are like cities behind walls. if that metaphor were applied to alabama's holman correctional facility, inmate robert would be about six feet long by three feet wide. >> this is home. bed to bed. right here. each one of these beds is like having a house in a subdivision out there on the street, only no walls, no doors, no privacy, so you just kind of ignore what's going on next door to you.
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>> after 20 years of incarceration, 17 served at holman, teter has developed an appreciation for simple routines. >> cup of coffee. first thing. cup of coffee and a cigarette. that's it. that's every morning. then, you know, comb your hair, get dressed, go outside. there is no such thing as a holiday here. there's no christmas. there's no tree. every day is the same. when you get up, it's the same people, the same thing, the same rat race, and there's no relaxation. >> at the time of our shoot he still had ten years left on a 30-year sentence for some very serious convictions. they include sodomy, public exposure and enticement of a child. >> robert was one of those inmates who was adamant he was
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falsely accused, falsely convicted. >> ever since his 1984 conviction teter said his charges were trumped up in order to run him out of town. >> i found out a bunch of people here in alabama needed a good contractor so i moved up to alabama. five years later i got a warning to get out of town and stop contracting or we're going to stop you. i laughed at them because i was licensed for everything. plumbing, electrical, everything. they stopped me. they pulled the rug out from under my feet, laid fake charges on me and took me to court. i have been here since 1990. and it's a long time. now i have three grandkids out there, and i'm a great-grandfather, i was told. and all this has happened while i've been in prison the last 20 years. the hardest part of it is being without my wife. it's like she's -- she's everything.
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she's the bubble i live in. >> i'm here to visit my husband robert teter. >> ava teter lives just a few miles from holman and visits regularly. >> thank you. >> you ready? >> yes. >> all right. come on. >> you visit every two weeks and you can stay from 8:00 until about 1:20. for a long time it was real stressful, but then you sort of get used to it. it sort of gets like a daily routine and everything. just like everyday life. >> love you. >> love you. >> you okay? >> yeah. >> my wife comes over to visit, i feel like i'm 25 again. three days later after she leaves i'm back to 70 again. you know? age catches up with me. she is everything. i mean, i don't know how to say
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it anymore than that. i'm just crazy about her. now that's the smile i was waiting on. >> i actually live the two weeks to come out here and to see him. that relieves my tension and everything. it's amazing. i told him i come to the prison to relax, and that's a bad thing to say. >> the teters still like to look at photos to remember life before prison. >> she took that one out of the street. a photographer took that one for her and sent it in. this one was taken right after i came in. two years after i came in. this one was taken here, sitting right about where we're sitting now. >> what are you allowed to do, affection wise? >> i can kiss her, hold her for a little bit when she first gets her. we sit here and talk. when she leaves i get to kiss her again. that's it. >> not much. >> not much at all.
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>> while we were at holman the couple was also dealing with the anxiety of an upcoming parole hearing. if things go well, they could be reunited on the outside, but they've been down this road before. >> in '95 i came up the first time. that was eight years. they put me off a year at a time. they changed the law and put me off 5 years to 2002 and then again 5 years to 2007. >> so how are you feeling about your next chance? >> after what i know about this state of alabama, i don't know. >> i got to the point where i don't trust people, i don't trust the law, i don't trust anybody. >> i will probably never live to get out of here. i don't know. i'm just going to go in there and hand him the paper and answer his questions. it's kind of like playing florida lottery. you just pick a number and wait.
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>> prior to parole hearings the board sends a representative to conduct a pre-interview in order to prepare a recommendation on whether or not the inmate should be paroled. >> come on in, robert. please have a seat. okay. this morning i'm going to be interviewing robert teter for a parole hearing he has set in august. any time you have an inmate that comes up for parole that's a sex offender, you know, red flags go up everywhere. when someone gets on parole, everyone has guidelines. of course, in your situation the guidelines are a little narrower because of the case. that's just something you'll have to stay within those guidelines just a little more tighter than someone else. now, according to your record, i didn't see anything in there where you had been on probation or parole before. is that correct? >> no. >> i see you were in the air force. >> yeah. you wasn't the parole officer here the last time, were you? >> no. i don't think i was the officer who interviewed you.
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>> every time i've come here before, it was, what's your home plan and your job plan, and that was it. i gave them that and that was it. >> i do mine a little bit differently. >> that's good. >> as far as his chances of making parole, that's difficult to say because the parole board has the final decision. any time you have a case that's a sex case, sex offender that's dealing with children, i i wouldn't even speculate what his chances are. i know what's stacked up against him. all right, robert, good luck to you. >> uh-huh. >> i hope it works the way you want it. >> i appreciate it. >> good luck. okay. >> the parole hearing for robert was interesting in that robert believed every time he might have a chance. he felt very hopeful. he'd been turned down many times before, so he obviously carried that realism with him, but i think there was a piece of him that thought maybe this could be the time i get set free.
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well, what are your thoughts, feelings about the whole thing? >> well, the way he was talking, he may give a good report. so things may go my way this time. >> what's your main goal right now, robert? >> getting back on the street. going back to work. let my wife sit back for a while. >> i'm hoping this time it will go through. because things are going a little bit different than it has in the past times. i done got everything prepared where we can have a little time together and everything. whenever he does get out. we've got a lot of time to make up for. >> the wait would continue. teter was once again denied parole. he will most likely not leave holman until his 30-year sentence is complete. >> i have two daughters. i look at it from that perspective. do i want these people around my family? no. but there again, some day in
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this case robert teter is going to walk out this door free. so you have to look at it from that side. he's going to go free. it may have not been on parole, but he's going to eos his sentence in 2014 and he's coming out. and society's going to have to accept that. >> see you later. coming up -- >> i'm making a birdhouse right now. >> two inmates seek a creative respite. from hell. >> art is my sanity and my salvation. that's what keeps me stable. in reality they're not. if a denture were to be put under a microscope, we can see all the bacteria that still exists on the denture, and that bacteria multiplies very rapidly. that's why dentists recommend cleaning with polident everyday. polident's unique micro clean formula works in just 3 minutes, killing 99.99% of odor causing bacteria.
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the majority of the maximum security inmates we meet might describe prison as hell, but at indiana state prison, we encountered a pair of old-timers who figured out how to make the
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best of it. >> what are you doing? >> sitting occupying time, living on air and prayer. that's all. that's all i'm doing. >> steve robbins was serving 90 years for murder. he had a sensitive eye when it came to color. >> this is serulian blue. very beautiful color. you see, i have to use it sparingly. you know what i'm talking about? sky, all right? creativity, i got you, no problem. this is oil paint. this is not acrylics. you have to let this dry. at least that is how i do it. i don't try to put too much buildup on the paint because i want to control it. >> darryl maman, serving 40 years for multiple counts of burglary and fraud, had a different hobby. >> i'm making a birdhouse right now.
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i also do chess sets. when i was in florida i worked in the hobby craft shop and we had saws and band saws and everything that we could cut regular wood with. here we don't. here we have popsicle sticks, and i buy them a thousand at a time. then i cut the ends off. good old elmer's glue and this is my little saw which happens to be the bottom of a pringle's can. it's not sharp. it won't cut a person, but it will cut these sticks. just like a little saw. it is the only tool i use to cut these. you can see why it takes eight to nine months to make one. >> why do you do it? >> just to pass time, basically. >> this is a farmhouse right here. rough draft.
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okay. give dimensions to it so i know where i'm at. art is my sanity and my salvation. i mean, that is what keeps me stable. >> i come with all kinds of little ideas. you have two of these like a protection vent to keep the rain out of the chimney. i found this in the yard and it reminded me of air-conditioners. they trips everybody out. they like my grill. so the bird can grill his worms. and you get the exclusive of looking inside, with the fireplace and the light switch, and the plug-in outlets are. it won't be seen once this is completed. i put those in because right now, people seeing it in progress, i figure i give them something to look at. >> what i'm doing now, i have to put some grass in here.
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i'm using yellow okra and a soft green color to separate this here. give it just a little distance. it doesn't take that long other than drying time. that's the most fun because this is oil paints. it takes that much time to get it going. once you get it in there, just like the rest of these paintings, you get the first stage of paint in and you let it dry and repeat the process. that's what it's about. >> the birdhouse, the top part is about done. everybody kept say, where is the bird going to get? i thought i would stop all the questions and add the international symbol for the birdhouse. >> starving artists for real. believe me. no one is knocking my door down for work. the average person here can't afford my services. i got a letter from tupac's
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mother. i sent a painting of her son to him. and i got a response back, but it wasn't the response i wanted. i was looking for a little financial help, as always, but you never know how things may turn around. fortunately, we have an exhibit coming up at indiana university northwest in january so hopefully we'll get the exposure we need. let's highlight this grill here. that's what i'm trying to get. public support. there you go. a robbins original. all right. for msnbc. is there a check with this here? >> it's a masterpiece.
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due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. the young actor is accused of a heinous crime. >> they were saying that i shot both of them and decapitated one of them. >> a male inmate and his girlfriend await trial on charges of rape. >> me and my boyfriend had a threesome with another woman and she turned around the next day and said that we raped her.

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