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Life Of Female Inmates In Prison; Different Cases Of Cases Of Imprisonment

Aired September 2, 2013 - 22:00:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE WARDEN: Up against the wall right there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (1): What happened to the bling bling?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (2): I had five of them, not four.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (3): That`s it? Only two months.

NANCY GRACE, CNNHN HOST: This actually is set up for an ADA pod. You see if there is in a wheelchair or somebody was disability --

SGT. LISA PIKE, MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE: -- Disability or anything, we can push that in. They can go under the sink with railings. So, this is kind of set up for more than one thing. So, if you come in, you want to stay -- you are going to stay some time with us and you`re going to end up with a bed and a towel.

GRACE: OK. So, is this one person will stay in here?

PIKE: Two could actually stay in here.

GRACE: They could. But, you don`t use the top bunk anymore?

PIKE: Third -- third bunk we don`t.


PIKE: Some of them upstairs are third bunk and some of them are pods.

GRACE: OK. Let`s check it out. I am going to tell you the truth. Oh! It feels pretty good, actually. I don`t know what anyone is complaining about.

PIKE: Tell me about 6:00 a.m.

GRACE: Now, someone has written today is the first day of the rest of your life.

PIKE: Guess it could be.

GRACE: Guess it could be.

PIKE: The rest of your life in jail.

GRACE: The rest of your life in jail. OK. It`s not that bad. Not bad at all. Oh, OK. That counts as a sit up.


PIKE: So, some things you can buy in canteen, shampoos. Some things we give them tooth brush, comb, soap, rule book, of course. And, they can get reading material in our library.

GRACE: I doubt pretty seriously, they are spending a lot of time writing and reading the inmate rules.

PIKE: Notice how crisp and clean that is.

GRACE: I noticed that up. Yes, this has not been perused --

PIKE: Yes, probably not.

GRACE: I just have to get back to this burning him with the cigarette and then there was the stab wound. OK. So, that was just because he bought a bottle of booze?

ARMITHEA BURKS, 42-YEAR-OLD MOTHER CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED ASSAULT WITH DEADLY WEAPON: No. It was a few things behind that. We go back about a year in Seattle, Washington, and I lived that crack life. My thing was crack. And, I am scared --

GRACE: It is a miracle you`re even alive.

BURKS: It is. I would escape from my home where I thought I had problems, where it was and nothing to go over to his home and do crack when there became bigger problems and then I ran. I`m a runner. So, I ran here to my 20-yr-old daughter to try and get away over the holidays and then -- you know, I am kind of like it here.

I`m looking for jobs, you know, going on interviews and everything. And, so he`s like, "OK, I want to get clean, too." You know, so, he comes and he wants sex and he wants this and he`s starting to drink and he is starting to drug and it`s not crack this time. It`s crystal meth.

GRACE: You do not need another baby.

BURKS: I don`t need another baby. I don`t need another man. When I leave from here my business walking on top of crisis feet --

GRACE: I have no -- I mean -- I am fine with men, but I don`t want another man. OK? I have known men since what? 1979. I do not need another man. I mean -- I mean -- really, do they really help you?

BURKS: So, I don`t know.

GRACE: I could see I`m not persuading everybody here.



GRACE: Are they lined up at the door to come see you on visitation? Are they writing you behind bars?

ANGELINA KEY, 32-YEAR-OLD BURGLARY SUSPECT: I don`t even know anybody here. I don`t even know where I`ll be when I do get released. I don`t know the area or anything.

STEPHANIE CONLEY, 30-YEAR-OLD MURDER SUSPECT: There is few guys out there that are good. My husband is one of those few. He is really a good guy.

GRACE: OK. What is he doing while you`re in here?

CONLEY: He is actually at 4th avenue in Madison under the same charges. As such, we are here under the --


CONLEY: -- the felony murder law.

GRACE: OK, when I look at you, you are absolutely not what I envision of somebody being charged of murder. I have seen plenty of murderer -- plenty of murder scenes, plenty of autopsies.

CONLEY: I have two - Labrador-Retriever and I can`t even spank her. I missed my dogs, like I am --

GRACE: That is her tempting to put her on the stand. If she still says something like that, which is entirely believable but then it will all go battle cross, right? It will all go --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Yes, we`ll cross that bridge as long as we get there.

BURKS: As always, I will burn that bridge when we get there.

GRACE: OK. So, what are you going to do when you get out?



LEVEL: I have no idea.

GRACE: What do you want to do?

LEVEL: I`m a sign language major. I`m fully fluent.

GRACE: A sign language major?

LEVEL: Major -- yes.

GRACE: Good. How do you say H? My daughter has been asking me? Is that H?


GRACE: H - I --

LEVEL: I - J - K - L - M - N - O --

GRACE: I`m sorry. H - I -- I - l-o-v-e.

LEVEL: l-o-v-e.

GRACE: l-o-v-e.


GRACE: OK. I thought I had it down. OK. But, I wasn`t completely sure.

LEVEL: Or you could just say, hi -- I love you.

GRACE: Now, what do you do with that?

LEVEL: I am planning on being an interpreter and because the demand is so high for interpreters, it doesn`t matter what you look like. It doesn`t matter your background. It doesn`t where you`ve been or who you were before. It matters what your skills are.

GRACE: The biggest school in the country for the blind -- I think is the biggest one in the country is my hometown in Macon. A huge academy for the blind. And, then other, other handicaps are there, too. They are teaching deaf children and blind children.

LEVEL: There is a college called Galidett. I am not sure which state it is in --

GRACE: I`ve heard of that.

LEVEL: But, it`s on the east coast and that`s the main --

GRACE: Is that in Tennessee?

LEVEL: No, I think it`s higher up.

GRACE: Higher up.

LEVEL: Yes. It is on the east coast part.

GRACE: I`ve heard of that.

LEVEL: And, that`s where most deaf people aspire to go. But, I mean if you --

GRACE: Where did you learn that?

LEVEL: I actually learned it in art school. I went to a art high school and graduated in 2003. And, Sign Language is my major. It was my major for three years and went on to college. During the semester, aced four sign language classes and did one class of English and guess what grade I got a C. So, I got four A`s and C in English. So, I`m extremely proficient. If you see me --

GRACE: You`re so articulate. Why did you get a C in English?

LEVEL: I am not a very good speller, and that`s not my passion.

GRACE: Hence the sign language.


LEVEL: Yes. So, it`s really interesting. I could walk down the street and meet a deaf person and start talking to them more often than not they think I`m deaf because I`m that proficient at it. So, that`s just my passion. That`s what I`m good at.

That`s what I love. So, hopefully one day when I get out I plan on going back to college. And, by the time I get out, I will have earned all my major credits and I should be able to jump right in and get my sign language done.

GRACE: OK. What can you get behind bars, just a GED or you can get more?

LEVEL: You can go to college and get college courses. I want to get my core classes out of the way, English, Social Studies, Mathematics, all that stuff. That way when I get out --

GRACE: Yes. I admire you because I would just be wanting to get out.

LEVEL: I mean, that`s my goal -- to be an interpreter. That has been my goal since I was 16 years old.


LEVEL: Due to my circumstances, I don`t have my mother`s phone number. I don`t have contact with my brother. I barely have contact with my stepfather. So, not having my freedom and being able to call anyone I want to, when I want to, is one of the hardest parts.

It`s extremely lonely to feel like you have no one. And, when you are watching everybody else in the pod, get on the phone and call their family and you don`t have one to call is heartbreaking.

So, I think that`s something that a lot of women here experience because not all of us have families with money. Not all of us have families that write us. So, for me, that`s the hardest part about my freedom being taken, is that I don`t -- I feel like I don`t have anyone and I do, but I feel that way. It`s very lonesome.


GRACE: Now, on four years, how much what you really do?

LEVEL: I`ll do just under three.

GRACE: And, you get time -- credit for the time that you`ve been here waiting?


GRACE: Waiting.


GRACE: How long has that been?

LEVEL: I`ve been here a little over a month, like a month and a week. Maybe a little bit more.


LEVEL: That`s very uncommon.

GRACE: I`m surprised to hear that.

LEVEL: But, I consulted with people and legal field and from my own best judgment, I decided that going ahead and taking the four years was the best in my situation. I mean, some people have situations where they really didn`t do it or they don`t have as much evidence and they can fight it and probably win. But, if I fought it, I would have faced seven to ten on the robbery and --

GRACE: That is consecutive on everything else.

LEVEL: Yes. So, I just went ahead and took the four because I know I will be out in three.


LEVEL: I know for me personally, you know, when there`s a will, there`s a way.


LEVEL: And, if you could find a way to get your dope. If you can find a way to get the money to get your dope -- if you know what I mean, you can find a way to get a job -- If you know what I mean. If you can put a tenth -- they always say that in recovery programs in AA and, you know, stuff like that. If you could just put a tenth of the effort that you put in to getting your drugs every day and to getting a job and getting your life together, imagine how far you would go and how great you would be.

DEAN: And, they say it is the thinking. So, they`re offering you counselling and they`re offering you all this stuff to get out of that pattern of thinking, but Chinos don`t want to do it, so --

KEY: And, not realizing that some of those places, rehabs and places like that. Those are -- you know, those are one of the top places for addicts to continue to get their habits that they`re doing, you know?

Jail systems, prison systems, you know? Those are the easiest places to get them, you know. Believe it or not and it really is. But, it is, like what she said, it is strictly motivation. That is all it is, whether you want too it or not.



KEY: I was talking to my roommate a little bit as to what was going through my mind and I was wondering, you know, things like if I wouldn`t have done this and if I wouldn`t have hung out with this person, things would have been different for myself, you know?

I often wonder if I wouldn`t have signed my plea, if you know I possibly get a lower sentence. You know, all these thoughts go through my mind and then I often wonder about my family. You know, are they going to be OK? You know, I take care of my nieces a lot. So, you know, I just hope and pray that they will be all right without me, you know. But, those are the things that go through my mind at night time. So --


LEVEL: It was a very long day of heroin addiction for me. I started out that day with no money, needed money. It happened to be somewhere at the right time or the wrong time however you want to look at that and I may or may not have taken some items out of a car.

GRACE: OK, so somebody leaves their pocketbook and their coach wallet in the car.

LEVEL: As they are ordering food. And, long story short, somehow that pocketbook made it into my possession.




PIKE: Inmates are normally out and about in that pod. That`s a general population pod. So, they are usually out of their cells. So, you can see them a little better.

GRACE: Now, are all types of felons intermingled? Is there a high risk?

PIKE: Well, that`s what your close custodies are for.


PIKE: Closed custodies here are going to be in 300 and 400 pod and they are 23 out of 24 hours a day lockdown. So, those are you going to be your guys that have institutional history of assaults. They have higher level -- they have been institionalized. They`ve been here a lot. They got some issues. It may be psychologically, you know, seriously mentally ill. There are different of ideas.

They assaulted somebody in the case of Elizabeth Johnson got into an assault and ended up in closed custody. So, are all different reasons why you could end up closed custody. You could start out as an minimum inmate and if you are here for a little bit, you can actually make your way all the way to closed custody depending on your criminal history there.

GRACE: You can go way up.

PIKE: Absolutely.

GRACE: There is a ladder in there.

PIKE: I am a ladder of criminal history there.

GRACE: OK. Wow. Now, is this glass bulletproof?

PIKE: It is. It is. It`s pretty old. I`d be interested to know if it would stop a bullet, but it is. All our glass out front and everything in here is -- except for the windows inside the pod.

GRACE: Got it. Got it. So, that`s the pod. How many people in a pod?

PIKE: There are 15 cells. Two to a pod -- or two to a cell, excuse me. So, 30 inmates. Even though in these you`ll see the old-fashioned three bunk, bunks in some of those, we don`t use the top bunk.


PIKE: Safety and security. We have ladders and stuff like that. We don`t want any injuries or any problems, so -- and population wise we haven`t needed it in the past. We have had higher population. So, now that we don`t need it so much, we don`t need to use it.

GRACE: Nice touch.

PIKE: Can arrange for you to have a set.

GRACE: You don`t think I already have a set.


PIKE: I don`t. I`m not going to ask.


GRACE: OK. Let`s talk about your baby. Is it a girl?


GRACE: How far along?

LEON: It is only like 2 1/2 months. I`m due October 6th.

GRACE: OK. Who is the daddy?

LEON: I`d rather not say.

GRACE: I assume he is on the outside.

LEON: Yes.

GRACE: That`s good. Does he know he`s a daddy?

LEON: No. Not yet. I didn`t even know I was pregnant until I came in upon arrest. So, it happened in January.

GRACE: Now, you have some other children, right?

LEON: Yes. I have two children. Priscilla and Emilio, 3 and 11 months. Next month, actually he will be a year in foster care. I lost them upon my arrest for aggravated assault.

GRACE: So, they are in foster care?

LEON: Yes.

GRACE: Are they in the same home together?

LEON: They promise me that they`re together but who knows. Because, they also promised me upon a post of adoption agreement, they sent a paper in jail saying that there is going to be a closed adoption meeting and --

GRACE: Are you going to adopt them out?

LEON: That`s what I was planning to do, but they never responded back and before I got arrested for the trespassing this last February, I called and I said, "I wanted to know when we`re going to start the pictures and if you need an address. If you need anything, you know, let me know.

Me and my mother are talking again. She was very rude and she just said, "No, I don`t need anything from you. We don`t need nothing. We are not doing pictures. We`re not doing nothing. There is no post adoption agreement. And, I called my lawyer and he said that case is over with. That is all we can tell you. So, because, you know, county, has transport me to a meeting --

GRACE: Were they adopted out?

LEON: I have no idea.

GRACE: They can`t be adopted out without your permission --

LEON: Once you lose your rights here as a mother in Arizona --

GRACE: You lost your rights. They can be adopted out --

LEON: They don`t have to tell you anything. So, they could be adopted out. But, usually they will just sent until they`re 14 or 15 in foster care. That`s what a lot of my friends told me their children went through.


LEON: Pregnants get to the bottom bunk. We sleep on the bottom, especially when pregnant. We get food, cheese and bread and fruit. We actually have to drink lots of bottled water. So, we keep an old bottle. We get our prenatals and we have some books. We keep our paperwork under here and praying in our dreams that we`ll get let out.

We don`t have anything on the wall, but we try to keep reminders of how much time we have in here. But preggo, thas what they call them when they`re pregnant. They always get bottom bunk. So, that`s it. This is our table, that`s it.




KIM JONES, CELL INMATE: This is our backyard.


JONES: Never.



JONES: There is a hopscotch right there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE INMATE: I have seen sometimes people bring out like soap and they will draw like a hopscotch on the floor. I`ve never done it. But, I have seen it be done. You know. You have to improvise in here. We don`t have chalks.

JONES: No, we don`t.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE INMATE: You really don`t have a choice of what you do. Everything -- All the times that you eat, every time you come out of your room, every time you`re locked down. it`s all set for us. We don`t have the option to -- so, yes, there`s structure you have to obey.

JONES: I know there`s structure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE INMATE: I mean, I wouldn`t -- I don`t know -- I wouldn`t say maybe structure, but those are the --

DEAN: It`s like Groundhog Day. You keep saying the same thing over and over until you get it right.

JONES: Right. Correct.

DEAN: That`s exactly what it is, like "Groundhog Day" that movie. It will keep on happening over and over and over again.

JONES: Yes. That is right. When I first came in here and I saw their food, whatever you call the stuff that they give us. I don`t know what is it? Dog, whatever it is, excuse me for my French, but I swore I would never eat it. But, as the days got longer and my stomach got growling. It started to be like when is chow coming. You know what I mean?

It becomes like a survival skill. You just have to do what you have to do to survive in this place. You would eat things you would probably never eat out there. I don`t know what it is that they give us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE INMATE: It is soy meat. It is soy meat. It is like beans and potatoes mixed all together and it has no salt or anything like that.

LEVEL: You mean -- runny potatoes?


LEON: There`s like a salvation army down over here down the road and they give us the leftovers at night. So, that is why, it started getting called slop and they go throw it all together in a tray. Sometimes, we`ll get vegetables in it. Sometimes, we will get beans. Sometimes we will get mashed potatoes. Sometimes meat, but it is just like a slop. Yes.

LEVEL: Like, chow is ready. It`s cold.

LEON: Not hot.

LEVEL: It is cold.

JONES: Might get a guard that feels bad for us and feed it to us hot. So, it will have a real movement to it, but for the most when you get it, you can pick it up and stay on on the spoon and turn it spoon upside down. That is just true. It is true.




GRACE: Feels like elementary school in here.

PIKE: Fresh citrus came in. We get a lot of oranges, a lot of grape fruits.

GRACE: I didn`t have anything like this for breakfast this morning.

PIKE: Looks good, huh? Right off the tree.


PIKE: Fresh off the tree.

GRACE: A lot of them, too.

PIKE: Yes. We serve a lot of oranges. Well, as you can tell, it`s kind of quit right now. It`s before we get ready to serve dinner. So, everything is cleaned up, ready to go for the crew to come in and start serving. But, we have special delivery for you.

GRACE: Thank you.

PIKE: So, this is our lunch sack or --

GRACE: What is that?

PIKE: And, I`m not from Arizona, But how I understand it is Wallace and Ladmo were kind of a children`s show, and they would give away brown paper bags with candy and gifts in it. So, we call then ladmo bags. So, the inmates lovingly call this a Ladmo bag now. So, they get one of those. Two meals a day here. The first one will be a cold sack. So, this one has peanut butter, bread, citrus and a snack.

GRACE: Good stuff.

PIKE: Some fortified peanut butter to go with it.

GRACE: Whoa! Cow Trivia jokes.

PIKE: We educate, too. All right, so --

GRACE: OK. Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

PIKE: All right.

GRACE: Check it out here.

PIKE: All you get is a spoon, so you have to manipulate the but peanut butter with a spoon. Fresh baked bread every day.

GRACE: Really? Here?

PIKE: Yes. Not in this facility. We got a whole kitchen.

GRACE: Fresh.

PIKE: Baked every day.

GRACE: Hmmm.

PIKE: Good stuff. There you go.


PIKE: We package our own peanut butter. We buy it in five gallon buckets and we have a machine that will measure it. So, they get the right amount and package it. This is automatically sealed. I am sure.

GRACE: Not bad, huh? Not bad.

PIKE: How about five days a week?

GRACE: Not as good.

PIKE: OK. That does kind of change things. Best part of the day. Snack.

GRACE: This is the ultimate test.

PIKE: The grapefruit, I think would be the ultimate citrus test for Arizona.

GRACE: Are you ready?

PIKE: I`m ready.


PIKE: Fresh taste test. Is it snappy? Ginger snappy?

GRACE: This is good stuff.

PIKE: No complaints, right?

GRACE: Are you sure this is for real?

PIKE: It is for real.

GRACE: You know, I`m going to taste this peanut butter one more time, just to make sure.

PIKE: Absolutely, quality control.

GRACE: Yes! Well, probably not doing a bad job, people.

PIKE: Nutritious and delicious.


GRACE: So, you go to Wal-Mart. I didn`t know Wal-Mart sold booze.


GRACE: What?!


GRACE: Are you sure?

BURKS: Yes, we were going to pick up some money, actually.

GRACE: Couldn`t he just say, don`t get that, did you have to burn him with a cigarette?

BURKS: I throw the cigarette --

GRACE: I`m not saying he didn`t ask for it.

BURKS: He asked for it. But, it is still wasn`t my place to do anything like that.

GRACE: How much longer do you have?

BURKS: I have two months left.

GRACE: That is not long.

BURKS: Not long at all.

GRACE: That is not long. I remember when I was in a bad spot would count -- I started counting to anything for however -- you know, nine months. When I got pregnant, I was such a mess. I said, I can do anything for nine months. I know I can do it. I threw up every single day. I would sleep like two hours a night.


BURKS: No family, no visits, no money. Being as old as I am in trouble and -- excuse me. Most of the guards, some of the guards treating me like, you know, I`m just an animal or having a power trip with me. Having no respect for my age and I`m older than most of them. I`m just that, but it`s really awesome.


GRACE: Who is here for the killing? I know somebody is. Who is it? You? Daddy`s girl? What? OK, now, see, I`ve read your case and if I were your defense attorney, you haven`t pled yet, have you? You`re her lawyer? That is a very unusual case.


GRACE: And, I know that -- I know technically, if all the facts in the police report are true, don`t speak -- that -- OK, she`s charged with a felony murder, right? That`s the charge. So, there was going to be some kind of a crime, a robbery or something and she`s with two other people, at least, and oh, and was this about the marijuana? OK, medical marijuana. First of all, who`s sick? Who needs medical marijuana?

CONLEY: I have a marijuana guard.

GRACE: What?

CONLEY: I am prescribe marijuana?

GRACE: For what?

CONLEY: For my chronic body pains and different things like that.

GRACE: What different things?

CONLEY: PMDCD, my arthritis, scoliosis --

GREAT: What is PMCD?

CONLEY: As when you are about to start your period, you are actually cranky and you just -- You are just vulnerable.

GRACE: Well, I felt like that since I was 14. So, anyway, so, go in to rob the guy of medical marijuana and he kills one of your co-defendants. And, you`re charged with the murder. The medal marijuana salesperson kills you`re the get away person, right? Weren`t you in the car or no?


GRACE: So, OK. So, don`t say anything. But, I would be buried to this state and take that to a jury trial.



DEAN: I have been moved to Scottsdale. I mean I went to the best high school - Shapiro High School in Arizona, like I had opportunities but I chose to go other way like am I finally going to get the tools that have been given to me and use them?

GRACE: And, what are those tools?

DEAN: I know how to stay sober and I know how to be a good mother and I know how to be a good person in society. Is it going to click to me to actually use them.

GRACE: You know what changed my life? My fiance getting murdered right before our wedding. It changed my life. And, I was just a girl. I was just about to turn 20. And, when that happened, all bets were off. It changed my whole life. That`s why I went to law school. That`s why I became a prosecutor. That`s why I`m so mean to every defendant that came in. I would just treat them like crap. You know.

LEON: You know, I had a lot of -- during this time I`ve been locked up, I have had a lot of -- I never had somebody close to me die. I was with a woman for like five years off and on through the streets that the prison system and she was just murdered really gruesome.

I was with a woman for like five years, off and on through the street at the prison system and she was murdered, really gruesome out here. It was all over the news. I respect him and it hit me really hard. And, ever since then little stuff has been clicking in my head. We started this together.

GRACE: And, she ended in that way.

LEON: She ended in that way.

GRACE: And, she ended it that way?

LEON: She ended that way. We talk a lot in here the girls and stuff what brought us. She started using drugs and what changed our lives and I always wonder about the kids in foster care. you hear a lot of things in the newspaper and a lot of perverts out there and, yeah, it`s like, man, I`m a criminal. Something happens to my baby, I`ll kill you. What am I going to do if I`m doing time in prison? How am I going to help my son and daughter in the foster care system? It`s a daily prayer to god and lots of tears.

GRACE: What are you going to do about this one coming?

LEON: Me and my mom are talking again. That`s what really stinks i lost the other two and, you know, she`s trying, but she works and she`s a full-time nurse and it`s hard. But, it`s like hopefully you`ll pick up the phone this time.

GRACE: How long are you in?

LEON: I`m in for about a year. I`ll be in for about a year. When the baby is due in October, I`ll need her to pick up the phone. That`s what I lost the other ones about. Pick up a phone call. I would tell my lawyer to call my mom, call my mom and they don`t accept collect calls in here, you know, the lawyers. You have to send a postcard.

GRACE: What is really hitting me is what you said about your friend that now she`s dead. And, if you get out and you go right back to the same old life, you`re going to be dead, too. You can`t, you can`t just keep on like this.

DEAN: I know that, I know. I go to the extreme. Everything I do is to the extreme.


DEAN: We have a lot of, how can we say it? I don`t know if they have it on the east coast or anywhere else, but in this city and in Arizona we have a lot of gang politics involved in the prison, but nobody looks at the children. And, how they come about. There`s a lot of kids that are trying to be helped with because there are so many politics that have to do with different races on the street and also people going into prison but you can see a lot.

I`m a factor of that. And nobody, they try to save me in so many different ways where they`d understand. it`s a whole different ballgame on that part. Nobody can really understand that until you`ve seen what you`ve seen. When I get out, I want to help open something that doesn`t specialize. I`m talking about prison gangs and get the teenager not to --

LEVEL: Not to follow that.

DEAN: -- follow because not a lot of people that specialize on that.

LEVEL: That`s good.

DEAN: And, I think me going through this and walking through this is something that is going my way so that I could actually help other people because I grew up in that way and I had counselling and I have had PTSD counselling and gang counselling. I`ve been on the gang court. They don`t understand, if not street gangs.

And, there are different rules and laws that people follow and you can`t really break that and I want to help children that are teenagers from like 11 to like 17 that are about to go out into the world to show them that there is a different way because they don`t know nothing about that. I want to do something with that.




KEY: I just want to say to all those people that are out there getting high, doing drugs, headed down the same path that we were once upon just get help. You know, find help. You know, find something, someone, something whatever it may be that is going to help you. My nephew, my little 15-year-old nephew is headed down that path.

He is already wrapped up into the law system. He has already been here, you know. And, he needs to stop. He started to do very good now. You know, he started opening his eyes and realized that, you know, if he doesn`t stop, he`s going to be in the same path that I`m on that my, that my brother`s on, you know. And, so, to everybody out there, that is doing that just get help. There`s help out there for you somewhere.


KEY: To the majority of everybody that comes through this facility is drugs. Something having a hold of your mind --

GRACE: I remember when I was prosecuting and I would get, you know, people would commit a petty crime because they`re on dope.

KEY: Yes.

GRACE: And, I would put them into rehab over and over and, finally, at some point, there`s no more money and the only thing left is jail.

KEY: Right.

GRACE: But, I got to tell you, ladies, any one of you that manages to stay off dope or booze, you`re doing it all on your own. That is not easy to do. That is hard. That is what I respect people able to beat that. When you are on the outside, all the people with a lot of money, they can go to -- I mean look at Lindsay Lohan. She goes to one expensive rehab, I mean really good ones.

And, then she is right back on it the minute she gets out. And, I mean all these people; I have met in the T.V. and show business industry. I say 50 percent on of them have some kind of an addiction, and they have all the fancy rehabs to go to, and all these money they are disposing, they can still not do it. But, you are doing it. I guess because you are here.


LEVEL: Sometimes all you need is a good foundation.

GRACE: Exactly.

LEVEL: All you need is a couple of months.


DEAN: Me and my mother are very much estranged. She caught her case when I was about 12 or 13 and she got sentenced when I was 15 for kidnapping, armed robbery, aggravated assault. I mean it was her last hoorah. She has been in prison all her life.

I mean drug addict. I mean when she was a mother, when she was a sober she was a good mother. But, she also had her vices and it brunt her down more than anything. So, she went to prison and me and my two older brothers -- I have two other brothers, went to the streets.

So, we had a lot of anger. I mean, me and my brother still do, a lot of anger, a lot of animosity. We have a lot of -- I mean, after 18 years old, it was our fault in what we did and the decisions we chose to make. But, a lot of the animosity was still there.



MARIANA LOPEZ, CELL INMATE: I have come in and out of jail for a long time, since I was like 16. So, I am used to do with time. So, I know what it`s like. When I come back here, it`s like, I already know what to expect. And, so, it`s pretty -- I get used to it quickly, but I don`t know about the other women. But, I would recommend for the inmates here to, like, to take those -- I would recommend them to use the groups, because -- I mean they could help.

There`s self help groups, you know, like alcoholics anonymous, and if you are in drugs or alcohol, I would say that it would be good for you to probably take those classes seriously. I`m having them right now, because there`s a waiting list. And -- But, I would sign up. I just got finished doing 2.5 from Perryville and the state of Texas was supposed to pick me up. But they didn`t.

So, I`m here on the courtesy hold, waiting for them to come and get me. But, I`m here for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and harassment on a public servant. When I got arrested they are just misdemeanours, but because I have so many priors that are felonies, they extend my charges. So, I have to go do that time in Texas.




LEON: I`ve been here since 2002. I have been wondering that, you know, my lawyer said, do we need inpatient treatment? And, I said with what money? Where do I go? We do not have access here. They say they will pay for it.

GRACE: Yes. The government does not have any money. I don`t know if you watch the news. But, the people in Washington have spent everything,. It`s gone.

LEON: Yes.

GRACE: They are not giving any -- they are not giving money to anybody to get rehab. It`s horrible.

BURKS: Yes. Well, it`s not as much as being back on the drugs that I`m scared of, the alcohol or the drugs, it`s about the dysfunction of my growing up. My family, what I seen and heard and how different ones was treated and above me and then me, and then you know how I treat my kids and it goes on and on. And, it is time for me to break that cycle.