tv Lockup Raw MSNBC February 14, 2016 3:00am-4:01am PST
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. msnbc takes you behind the walls of america's most notorious prisons to a world of chaos and danger, now the scenes you've never seen, "lockup: raw." >> every time we step into another prison we are amazed by the world that we enter. it's violent, it's loud, [ bleep ] -- very intimidating but through it all is a fascinating place. >> the daily grind of prison
life has pushed some inmates to the brink. >> the agony in here, the torture, the poke, the prod. the frustration you can't release. how do people build their frustration? you build your body. you build your muscles. >> some use the time wisely. >> get that money. get that money, man. >> but other inmates self-destruct. >> i take a razor blade and cut myself up real bad, you know, and then it will all be all right. >> prisons are hate factories. they can't produce anything but hate. >> the first time i walk out of this [ bleep ] not one of you [ bleep ]. >> i mean, prison is extremely boring when you're locked up in one place, extremely small
place, where it is extremely crowded and there's really nothing. >> this is the living space right here. >> it's like telling your kid to go to his or her room and say that's where you're going to stay. >> we haven't met too many inmates on "lockup" that praise prison life. they all agree one thing prison life is perfect for is getting into shape. and over the years we have filmed amazing footage of inmates working out and pumping iron. >> for a long time i didn't work out because i thought it was so cliche, you know, dudes come to prison, they work out. you get big and strong and all that stuff and after a while i had too much idle time and i kept getting in trouble. a buddy of mine started talking to me about lifting. just got into it more it's more of take out my frustrations. that's more of it than anything. it's a stress reliever.
>> we work everything. all week long. you hit every body part at least once. like on monday you have a bench day. tuesday you might do shoulders lats and traps. wednesday you do arms and thursday you might have another heavy bench day. you've got a leg day somewhere in there. >> in the survival of the fittest environment the weight yard is one of the few places where inmates can find encouragement. >> let's get another one. push it. push it. push it. >> that right there is 215 pounds. >> that's a lot of weight. >> yeah. i only weigh 170. about double my weight. a lot of these guys have motivation to lift that kind of weights. get off the bar. get off the bar. come over here and come mess with the big dogs.
>> yeah, man. get that money. >> we've met other inmates whose disciplinary problems keep them off the yard, but even confined to their cells they're still determined to work out. >> the inmates that succeed generally are the ones that don't let their bodies completely deteriorate on them. >> i just focus on the street and where i'm going to be at one day. that's how i get by every day. >> they are constantly coming up with interesting ways to exercise. most of it is calisthenics. >> one, two, three, four. >> a lot of the inmates will fill bags full of water for weightlifting. >> and that kind of creativity is important because some prisons have permanently removed weights from the yard. >> so that's why we're out here trying to improvise and stuff. you know, lifting gash an chance and stuff like that. took a good wholesome thing from u you know. it is something that was filling
people's time and taking away negative energy. >> some prison authorities see all this added muscle as a potential security threat, but others see benefits to having weights on the yard. >> i think the important thing for inmates is to keep them occupied. that's what we try to do here at the institution. >> john ault was warden at anamosa state penitentiary at the time we shot there. >> any time you can have inmates participate in some type of meaningful activity it makes their time easier and staff's time much easier. i would much rather have them participate in something positive than talking about how to do a better armed robbery or plotting against us or fellow staff members. >> during our shoot at indiana state prison, authorities even allowed for a weightlifting competition.
>> lions now lifting at 495. >> other penitentiaries get their weight up. this is how they are doing. get your weight up. >> that's 25. 25. on deck. >> go! go! >> good lift. good lift. you've got it. >> of course, in prison, there's also a practical side to staying in shape. >> if you ever come against somebody who wants to approach you in a negative way, attack you in a fight or something, you don't want to be the person that runs out of air first. the person that runs out of air first is the person that gets hurt. >> in the combat zone you have to be combat ready. and we all know that any minute this yard in two seconds can
explode into violence. >> bill hankins, a long-term inmate at colorado state penitentiary knows about sudden explosions. during a routine strip search, hankins snapped. >> i used to get frustrated. i would be worked up, just wanting to, you know, get at them. >> hankins is serving life without parole for killing a grocery store clerk during a robbery. in this super max facility he is not allowed contact with other inmates. but he is released from his cell for an hour of daily solitary exercise. it's what keeps him going. >> being locked down all day long, every day for 23 hours a day and coming out in a little room to work out, you know, was a difficult first couple of years, but then i realized, you
know, i'm just giving myself high blood pressure. >> while "lockup" crews have shot dozens of workout routines, the strangest has to have been at the miami-dade county jail where the two inmates covered their faces to remain anonymous. >> i'm a trainer, you know? >> after a round of what they called bed lifts they showed us how they do chin ups in the showers. but correctional staff took a dim view of their workout routine. >> yo, man, you got to get off that bar. >> that's it? >> that's it for that. no more of that workout stuff. >> next on "lockup raw: the daily grind" -- >> i got a 6-year-old daughter. how can i explain to her when daddy gets upset he cuts and burn himself?
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...with reddi-wip. ♪ while some inmates make use of their time in prison to build up their bodies, others tear them down. bryan murray is one such inmate. >> i'm in here for causing trouble. i cut myself and stuff like that. >> show me where you cut yourself. >> want me to stick my arm out? >> we met murray at iowa state penitentiary serving ten years for stealing cars. he spent the last two years as cell house 220 also known as the
hole. >> this is your maximum security unit inside of a maximum security prison. here's where we house all the inmates that couldn't be handled at another institution or couldn't be handled in our general population area. now we have to deal with them over here. >> during his time in prison and especially in the hole, murray has found a coping device in self-mutilation. >> i've been in here so long it kind of releases stress. >> how do you cut yourself? >> i was on razors but they put me on razor restriction and i find stuff in here, staples, plastic from deodorants and stuff like that. >> when was the last time you cut yourself? >> about two weeks ago. >> the next day on their way to another interview in cell house 220, our crew ran into murray as correctional officers were moving him into a holding area so that they could inspect his cell.
>> can you tell us what is going on? >> we are taking him out to shake down his cell? >> why? >> because he has been cutting on his arm. >> so, brian, what's going on with you? >> oh, nothing. just stressed out. >> what? >> just stressed out. >> he does it for attention, and we come down and we try to talk to him and get him to behave. generally he does for a while. >> kind of afraid i get forgot about. you know? >> is it because you are locked up all the time? talk to me about that? >> yeah. being in the same cell for the last six, seven years kind of gets to you. >> officers search murray's cell for his cutting tools. >> shaking his cell down to find any other plastic.
>> and quickly locate the weapon. >> he has taken his cap off his toothpaste and had broken it off to make a sharp edge and had started cutting his arm with it. reopened his scars where he perviously cut himself up. >> take his toothbrush, too. >> so now what? >> nothing. go back to my cell and wait another couple months. i guess. >> murray's conduct is not unusual. "lockup" crews have encountered many other self-mutilators. >> some people self-injure as a manipulation because they want to get move. some people self-injure as a cry of help. some people self-injure to get even. you know, i'm going to hurt myself and i'm going to show you kind of thing, so anger. >> our crew got a glimpse of how prevalent self-mutilation is at the wabash correctional facility in indiana.
>> i need to go on 11. >> 11. >> 11 range, thank you. >> prison psychologist mary ruth simms conducts group therapy with cutters and other self-mutilators assigned to wabash's secured housing unit. >> if i see my blood, in another world i'm somebody totally different from myself. that's the only time i can actually, you know, feel real, feel alive, feel like everything's going to be okay. >> simms says this particular group does not injure themselves for the typical reasons. >> they self-injured as a way to control their level of pain. that when they're in so much pain they don't know what to do, they are starting to feel like suicide, self-injury cuts their pain down. so it is pain control. >> you give the baby a bottle because he is crying, change his diaper. me you give me something sharp to hurt myself with and i'm fine. >> you're communicating things are not okay for yourself. >> if i don't cut myself at least once a week i'm not right.
>> some people here think there's nothing good in them at all, that they've messed up totally and they're totally worthless. >> i know the problems i have need to be fixed. i've got a 6-year-old daughter now. how am i going to explain to her when daddy getting upset he cuts and burns himself? >> inmates deemed not to be a threat to others are assigned to wabash's residential treatment unit where they are granted more time outside of their cell. that is where we met joe carr, who had a long history of self-mutilation. >> i was anti-social. i didn't want to be around nobody. i didn't want nobody around me. i wanted to be by myself. everything made me angry, you know? i would take a lot out of it on myself and i would feel better. i would take a razor blade and cut myself up real bad and then then it would all be all right, you know?
i did that scar ten years ago. i cut it from the ankle to the hipbone all the way through the bone and cut across sideways so the surgeons had to take about 12 hours to sew me up. you got seven layers of skin you have to go through before you get to the bone, you know, and when you're going through one of them days you don't even feel the pain. you don't even know you are doing it. >> carr, who has spent 25 years in and out of prison for robberies to support a drug habit uses tattoos to disguise his many scars. >> this whole arm, if you bend it you can see it was cut from here all the way down and around the main arteries. i just had it tattooed up to try the hide the scars so i thought it wouldn't look as bad. >> when we met him, carr was
still recovering from his latest self-injury. he had swallowed several pens. >> it's still trying to heal up on my belly here where they took me to surgery and they cut me open. they had to go in there and take the ink pens out. they left one in so they had to retake me to surgery for the second time to get the other stuff out. that's why it's taking so long to heal up. >> at the time of our shoot, carr had two years left on his sentence and had mixed feelings of his chances of survival on the outside. >> i ask myself over and over, are you ready for it? can you handle it? this is all i know. this is my world. this is what raised me. d.o.c. raised me. i don't know right now. ♪ coming up on "lockup raw" -- >> writing music in prison is my life. >> how one inmate copes with the stark conditions of prison life. and later --
>> the mentality, i'm on death row, there is nothing you can do to me. >> violence and hopelessness on death row. that's who i was. after one week of chantix, i knew i could quit. along with support chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. chantix definitely helped reduce my urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. some had seizures while taking chantix. if you have any of these stop chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of mental health problems, which could get worse or of seizures. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you have these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away as some can be life-threatening. tell your doctor if you have heart or blood vessel problems or develop new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. decrease alcohol use while taking chantix. use caution when driving or operating machinery. most common side-affect is nausea. life as a non-smoker is a whole lot
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at almost every prison profiled on "lockup "our crew meets a certain number of repeat offenders who in some ways are more at home inside prison than out. at san quentin, we met one young inmate who compared it to a once popular tv show. >> it's just like that little show "cheers" where everybody know your name. [ bleep ]. you see all your friends, you know what i mean? you feel like, well, i'm cool here. these are my boys, you know, what i mean? this is my home. >> but most inmates hold a much different opinion. >> prisons are hate factories. they can't produce anything but hate. all you have is hate, loneliness, greed, and just misery.
>> when we met gerald mccullough at the river bend national security institution near nashville, tennessee, he was halfway through a 12-year sentence on a sexual offense charge. >> there's no way out. there's just nothing to do. this is just a total waste of someone's life. >> despite his pessimism, mccullough had found a productive outlet to express his pain. ♪ they say it's raining in denver ♪ ♪ that it's really kind of cold but i'm just pulling time in nashville ♪ ♪ how am i supposed to know ♪ >> in a prison in nashville the home of country music, we decided it would be great if we
could find a country singer, and so we kind of made a callout to the other inmates and officers and they came up with mcculloch and he turned out to be pretty good. ♪ said she never talked about me ♪ ♪ how it never did seem right ♪ ♪ i've been pulling time in nashville ♪ ♪ wasting days and wasting nights ♪ >> writing music in prison is just my life. i don't sit down to write a song. something hits me and my best songs come with about two minutes and about two or three minutes i have an excellent song. and i wrote "pulling time in nashville at the walls" which is tennessee state prison, which is shut down now. ♪ here the families come and see
me ♪ ♪ they can spare some of the time ♪ >> i let my feelings out in my songs and i wrote old-time country. i don't write anything but old-time country. when i'm under pressure and depressed i write all the time. all i do is write my songs and play my guitar and study the bible and try to stay out of trouble. ♪ oh you can't leave ♪ >> though confined to prison, mccullough confided he still had dreams. ♪ with a fool ♪ >> i just want to go into a studio and cut a couple of albums and try to make it. what i plan to do is get out and go to church and find happiness.
and happiness is that valuable because there's not really a whole lot of happy people that i know. we may smile and laugh and joke, but we're not happy. it's hard to be happy in a place like this. ♪ i know she thought i never thought i'd ever be this scared ♪ ♪ when i close my eyes and watch you lying there ♪ ♪ when i close my eyes and watch you lying there ♪ next on "lockup raw" -- >> i chose to be executed by firing squad. >> fear, despair, and violence. "lockup" crews travel to death row. >> as i'm applying the handcuffs
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tributes are pouring in for supreme court justice anthony scalia. his death is causing a political fight over a successor. in a state, president obama made it clear he plans to nominate a new jds. candidates said any nomination should wait until a new president is elected. now it's back to "lock up." due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. it commands a breathtaking view of the san francisco bay, but it's the end of the road for some of the most dangerous
inmates in the country. more than 600 condemned men await their execution dates here on death row at california's san quentin state prison. in many of the prisons "lockup" crews have visited death row is a quiet place where inmates are much more concerned with filing appeals than causing trouble. that's not the case here. >> i feel like i consider everybody in here, every inmate in here a potential threat. >> we met two officers assigned to keep watch in the adjustment center where san quentin's most violent death row inmates are housed. the daily grind here is bleak for both inmates and staff. >> the mentality is i'm on death row and there's nothing you can do to me. if i assault you today there is nothing they will do to me
tomorrow. you can only kill me once. >> assaults are so common here that any contact with inmates, even serving meals, requires officers to suit up in full riot gear. >> but that doesn't stop them from gassing, which is where they throw a variety of substances, can be anything, urine, feces. >> from the time you open the food port, there's an opening for the inmate to assault you. >> death row at san quentin is a really very scary place. the adjustment center is the scariest place at death row. they allowed us to shoot a feeding. a guy had to get there before dawn and suit up. even the protective gear i had to wear to shoot they wouldn't let me go beyond a certain point to shoot it. >> the footage camera operator captures the extreme precautions staff must follow. it takes a team of three officers to serve this breakfast of pancakes and grits. >> the inmate might try to grab your arm and pull it in the cell
so he can break it or stab it or you know, cut it, slash it. >> it reminded me of, you know, feeding vicious animals. it was a particularly creepy experience. >> we found a much quieter and calmer atmosphere when we shot on death row inside the river bend maximum security institution in tennessee. but correctional staff warned our producers appearances can be deceiving. >> as you see here, it's real quiet. what that leads to is complacency. that is the worst enemy of a staff person working on death row. >> while most of the inmates here play by the rules, our crew is told there was one especially dangerous exception. >> he has cut two of our officers here, slashed the throat of another inmate, set fire to his cell. pretty dangerous inmate. the most dangerous inmate we have here right now. we have to treat him with extra caution.
he will hurt you any opportunity he gets. >> that inmate, convicted killer henry hodges requires a team of five correctional officers to escort him whenever he leaves his cell. >> that particular death row inmate was a harsh reality check for me. >> officer robert mosley was one of hodges' victims. >> got medical on unit. >> i went to apply his handcuffs. and i got distracted. as i'm applying the handcuffs he grabbed my arm and pulled it in and drew a razor blade down my arm. >> mosley's sliced arm required 59 stitches and the scar isn't only physical. >> the psychological effects never goes away. i think you learn to adjust to it, but you can't take this job for granted. these guys are not here for the right reasons and the reality of it every day is there.
keep your eyes on the inmates at all times. don't ever take your eye off them especially on death row because these guys got nothing to lose if they were to injure you. >> hodges declined to talk to our producers on camera. ironically, the prison videotapes his every move. >> we film him everywhere he goes when he comes out of that cell just like you're filming me so we can maintain some kind of discipline. >> but when we travelled to utah state prison we met one condemned man who was willing to speak with us. at the time of our interview ralph menses had been on death row for 17 years. >> i remember when ralph was first brought to the interview room so that we could talk to him. they're setting up the lights and getting the microphone set. making sure the lightning is just so. and it's important to establish a report very quickly and ralph and i started to have a little bit of a small talk and i never
forget, i asked him, hey, what are you watching on tv these days? and he told me he was a big fan of the "oc ". >> i see "oc" all the time. >> i got to be honest with you, i love the "oc." >> who is your favorite character? >> kelly rowan. >> yeah. she's pretty hot. >> his interest in women became more disturbing when we learned the details of his crime. >> ralph's crime allegedly was a brutal one. he kidnapped a female from a convenience store and took her up one of the canyons, tied her to a tree and then cut her throat and then left her there. >> well, i've always maintained my innocence. i've done a lot of things in my life, you know, that i'm not proud of. this particular one is not one of them. i just come to the conclusion
that karma bit me in the ass. i personally wish they would either overturn my case, my execution or execute me and get it over with. whereas now you don't know if it's going to be five years down the road, two years or ten years, what they're going to decide. and that's really hard. >> in utah if you were convicted before a certain date you were given a choice between lethal injection and the firing squad. and when i asked ralph the very sobering question of what method have you chosen for your execution, he, in no one certain terms said -- >> i chose to be executed by firing squad because the only other option here is lethal injection and that's what they do to dogs when they don't want them. i'd rather sit up and take it. have them look at me. if they're going to shoot me, look at who they're killing. >> next on "lockup raw: the daily grind" --
it began as a simple interview but turned into one of the most bizarre incidents captured by our cameras. and later -- >> i guess i perceive myself to be a sitcom or something, you know, wherever i go there's music in the background, the music is perfect. arguably the happiest prisoner we've ever met. why do some cash back cards keep throwing obstacles at you? first - they limit where you earn bonus cash back. then - those places change every few months? i think i'll pass...
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on the first day of production at california's kern valley state prison our producers set out to shoot a simple story of how inmates in segregation deal with the monotony of being locked in their cells 23 hour as day. they pass reading materials and other items to each other through a process called
fishing. >> go ahead. take off. >> though fishing is against prison rules, inmate, tracy washington, was willing to demonstrate how to make a fishing line. >> you get the string made out of the waistband of our boxer. we take the string apart and then we put a little piece of plastic as a weight and we slide it across the floor like this. they might come in here and take my line now that they know i've got it. but i'll make another one. >> shoot it out. >> but our producer was about to find out that there was a far more dramatic story surrounding
inmate, washington. >> i was on suicide watch last week and i just came back last week. >> why? what happened? >> they was trying to send me somewhere i didn't want to be. >> so what did you do? >> i cut my wrist with a razor blade. >> washington went on to explain that he cut his wrist to prevent the prison to transferring him to the sensitive needs yard or sny. it's a place most inmates want nothing to do with. >> sensitive needs yards is certainly for inmates that meet certain criteria, mostly your rapists, molesters, dropout gang members. it used to be pt yard, protective housing unit. >> washington's neighbor and fishing partner told us how a move to sny makes an inmate damaged goods. >> sny isn't just so much rapists and child molesters, it's weaker guys, especially
guys who are doing life sentences like mr. washington. any time he is seen by his peers, the guys on the main line they are going to consider him a piece of -- a piece of [ bleep ]. >> hey, washington, i'm giving you a direct order to go c yard. >> i ain't going to no sny. i'm not sny. >> serving 25 years to life for crimes including battery on a police officer, washington claims to be an active member of the bloods prison gang and going to sny would send a signal to other gang members that he's a snitch. >> on what grounds do i meet the criteria? i ain't in here for no rape, no child molesting, i haven't told nobody. none of that stuff. i'm sorry for yelling too loud but you're making it seem that i fit a criteria of being a pc. >> not in your crime, but you requested the sny. >> i did not request it.
>> i have no authority to change it. whoever needs to go through your file and reverse that, they can do that at that time. >> suddenly he agrees to go to sny. >> i tell you what, send me over there right now. i'm going to go. >> what are you going to do when you get over there? >> i'm going to go in my cell. i'm going to follow the directions and go over there. >> you aren't going to hurt nobody or hurt yourself? >> you can't hurt nobody over there. they're already hurt. >> just a short time later, correctional officers arrive to escort the inmate to sny. >> we got it. >> we got it. >> but washington surprised our crew once again as he began calling out to his fellow inmates that his stay in sny would not last for long. >> i'll be back in about an hour. i'll be back in about an hour. if you don't see me, hey, if you
don't see me before the day is out, hey, go ahead and write me off. it's going down. >> i think the officers who escorted tracy out to the sny area of the prison knew something was up because they could tell that when he mentioned to his cellblock, hey, i'll be back in an hour, i think they knew that he was working the system. >> during the long walk to sny, washington finally cleared up the mystery and admitted that he had, in fact, requested the transfer but he had no intention of following through. he had another motive. >> when they was trying to send me to a prison way up north about 1,000 miles away from where i live in l.a. county i told them that i needed protective housing because the only purpose of me staying there was that that prison doesn't have an sny yard. once they changed the inmate to
this prison, i came. as soon as i got to the reception doors i told them all that was a lie so i can come back to the main line. i want to get visits from my family so i lied. that's the bottom line. you know what i'm saying? i'm a blood. i'm an active gang banger. i got a lot of people that are scared of me. >> as we walked with him we were all kind of looking at each other, i think each of us thinking we'll see how fast this goes. >> if i stay other here before the day is out i can never go back to a main line. because my reputation would be ruined. i'm now considered a no good. so i have to get off this yard. >> finally, washington is escorted into the cellblock, housing sny inmates. >> when tracy walked into the cellblock it was all pretty routine until he stopped, threw down his bags. >> this is as far as i go. this is it. >> threw down his cane and said, that's it.
i'm not going. we all looked at each other and said now what's going to happen? >> [ bleep ]. you lucky. you lucky. most of you [ bleep ]. when i walked up here right now. [ bleep ]. everybody [ bleep ]. everybody [ bleep ]. you little [ bleep ]. they put me in that cell, i guarantee you the first time i walk out this [ bleep ], every one of you [ bleep ] out. >> washington you're done. we're taking you back, buddy. put a lid on it already. >> i ain't got nothing in my blood. tracy never been no coward. never in my life. i don't shot so many [ bleep ] it's pitiful. you can ask my momma.
i was the craziest [ bleep ] on my block as a little kid. you know what i'm saying? you don't come up with coward. >> following his outburst washington is returned to the hole. >> hey. is it longer than an hour? is it longer than an hour? >> when our producer checked in on washington a few days later, she found him working out in his cell. >> since i last saw you, you were refusing sny. so tell me what's going on? >> they got me this the hole. they charged me with a 115. probably transfer me off to another pen. i'm reputable. i have been walking these lines for 20 years. i'm not no coward. coming up on "lockup raw: the daily grind" -- >> the last time i was here me and the boyfriend lived in the same cell.
we had the matching comforter and the matching jackets. >> he can't figure out why all the other inmates are complaining. with non-insulin victoza®. for a while, i took a pill to lower my blood sugar. but it didn't get me to my goal. so i asked my doctor about victoza®. he said victoza® works differently than pills. and comes in a pen. victoza® is proven to lower blood sugar and a1c. it's taken once a day, any time. victoza® is not for weight loss, but it may help you lose some weight. victoza® is an injectable prescription medicine that may improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used with diet and exercise. it is not recommended as the first medication to treat diabetes and should not be used in people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. victoza® has not been studied with mealtime insulin. victoza® is not insulin. do not take victoza® if you have a
personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if you are allergic to victoza® or any of its ingredients. symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include itching rash or difficulty breathing. tell your doctor if you get a lump or swelling in your neck. serious side effects may happen in people who take victoza® including inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). stop taking victoza® and call your doctor right away if you have signs of pancreatitis, such as severe pain that will not go away in your abdomen or from your abdomen to your back, with or without vomiting. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take and if you have any medical conditions. taking victoza® with a sulfonylurea or insulin may cause low blood sugar. the most common side effects are headache, nausea diarrhea, and vomiting. side effects can lead to dehydration, which may cause kidney problems. if your pill isn't giving you the control you need
ask your doctor about non-insulin victoza®. it's covered by most health plans. at the spring creek correctional center in alaska we encountered a number of inmates who assured us despite the natural beauty surrounding the prison, they felt it was hell on earth. >> okay. >> currently in the worst cell you can be in. you got a concrete slab for a bunk. you have a [ bleep ] where you sleep. you got a [ bleep ]. it's no good.
it's all bad. >> then we met an inmate with a very different approach to prison life. >> i guess i perceive myself to be a sitcom or something. you know, wherever i go there's music in the background, the lightninging is just perfect, i'm always funny with just the right line. there's, like a studio audience somewhere and all eyes are on me. orlando's playhouse. that's just me. the queen. >> despite being back at spring creek for a second spin, this time for burglary, orlando williams was determined to show us not only was he gay, he was happy.
>> talk about being homosexual in prison. >> in prison. >> people have this perception of being dangerous. >> like if you watch "oz" it is not. please. first of all, people don't rape homosexuals. you know, the thing about getting raped in prison, or whatever, they rape guys who aren't homosexuals. who rapes homosexuals most of them if you scream at them real hard you can marry them. >> according to orlando, finding a place to fit in led to his first conviction. >> i'm feminine. i always want odd be a woman. i seen these women on tv and in my life i wanted to emulate and be like. then i found out i can dress up like a girl. this is where i make me, the beautiful me. i was prostituting myself. the guys i would meet don't know me. so they don't know that the character i'm being really isn't me. prostitution became -- it was fun. i got to play act. i got to, you know, i have drama and bad times, but, hey, it was fun. then i started going to jail first for the little
prostitution and being on the influence of heroin. i obsess over the drugs. i don't get high, i get high and high and high and high and continue to get high. to orlando, incarceration meant liberation. >> i got to watch out how i walk so i don't swish too much. >> be yourself. don't worry about it. >> i get to be me and i meet these guys, there is an undercurrent homosexual whatever is going on in jail. some guys are under the impression it don't count when you're in jail or if they pitch and don't calf. it doesn't matter. it doesn't matter. i got to be susie homemaker in jail. whoo! whoo! >> williams freely admits he doesn't find prison life to be a terrible grind. >> this is my uniform for work. i'm a referee.
for the rec department here. the last time i was here me and the boyfriend lived in the same cell, with the matching comforters or matching jackets. whatever, you know, we had packages come in. we always had the matching. we were a couple. you know what i'm saying? >> williams returned to spring creek to find his boyfriend was transferred to another prison. this time he is in no hurry to find a new relationship. don't let there be any misunderstanding. >> so you stay celibate in prison? >> i didn't say that. i didn't say that. i didn't say that i was celibate. that is funny. of course i'm not celibate. oh, my god. i don't want to get into my partners, but, you know, i'm not going to go without. please. hi. i won't act like i'm surprised because you've already seen me once today. how have you been? >> at the time we met him he had less than a year to serve and was receiving counseling to prepare him for a career on the outside. >> and, then, of course, the bar tending.
>> i don't think that would be good for you. >> i can't think of any other place where i get to do all the talking and be the center of attention at all times. >> i still think you would make a good hairdresser. >> you know what, i don't think i would make a good hairdresser because there's no -- >> despite his generally upbeat outlook, william has a surprisingly bleak prediction of life ahead. >> i'm going to stay here until it is time to go home and they open the door and say good-bye. of course, i'm going to leave out of here with maybe enough money to live off of for a week. i'm not going to be able to support myself so eventually will lead me back to selling dope and if i'm selling dope i'm going to indulge in dope i sell. one thing leads to the other and i'm back in the life i was in before i -- yeah.