>> NARRATOR: Tonight on Frontline... >> It's like being buried alive.
>> This place is like an insane asylum.
>> Thoughts of suicide come a lot.
>> NARRATOR: Solitary confinement.
>> You can't get yourself wound up because you can't leave that room.
>> NARRATOR: For decades, it's been used to keep order in America's prisons.
>> Makes you mean, makes you violent, and it (bleep) a lot of people's heads up.
>> He severely assaulted one of our staff members.
>> NARRATOR: Now prisons across the nation are asking: is it backfiring?
>> You can have them do their whole time in segregation, but I don't want them living next to me when you release them.
>> NARRATOR: Tonight, the story of one prison... (prisoner yelling) ...and a warden who wants to reform his isolation unit.
>> I'm not interested in burying you.
>> I'm already buried, though.
>> NARRATOR: The story of six months in solitary.
>> Try to be normal again.
>> My name is Todd Michael Fickett.
I'm here for arson, in prison for arson.
Down here, it's like being buried alive.
You're like... You're someplace alive, but you're no place anybody wants you.
>> NARRATOR: Todd Fickett has just assaulted a prison officer.
He's been put in an isolation cell as punishment.
>> My mental state will probably go downhill like it did last time.
I go pretty crazy.
>> NARRATOR: Todd is facing six months alone in his cell.
He's one of an estimated 80,000 inmates across the United States in solitary confinement.
(howling) (banging) (laughter) (banging, shouting) (howling) >> NARRATOR: Friday night in the segregation unit at the Maine State Prison.
All the inmates here are in solitary confinement.
(banging) Almost every day, the prisoners act out against the officers who work the unit.
They flood their cells.
They pour bodily fluids under their doors.
And they cut themselves with razor blades.
(knocking) Kidd, you need to cuff up.
You might as well talk to me now because you're going to talk to me sooner than later.
I have three windows covered right now and one of them appears to be self-abusive.
Attempted to look through the tray slot to see if I could get a visual on him, and he's got it covered with a mattress.
If I can't see him from the back window, I'm going to have to go in and take him out for his own safety.
>> NARRATOR: Inmates are forbidden from covering their windows in the solitary unit.
They could be bleeding to death, or it could be a trick to lure the officers in.
>> He's got it all covered.
So now we have to pull him out.
>> Okay, gents, whenever you're ready to rock and roll.
>> 6/11, A2, do you have a large box?
>> If I say "go," rip that door open so these men can go in.
If I say "hold," just hold it with a crack.
Any questions at this time?
>> We're ready to go in and do a cell extraction.
(banging) (shouting) >> NARRATOR: The officers sometimes have to use mace on inmates who won't comply.
(banging) >> Monsters!
This is what they create in here: monsters.
And then they drop you into society and tell you, "Go ahead, be a good boy."
You can't conduct yourself like a human being when they treat you like an animal.
>> NARRATOR: In the solitary unit, nights like this are routine.
Officers regularly have to remove self-abusive inmates from their cells.
>> This place is like an insane asylum.
I don't even know how many times I've seen this tier filled with blood from these guys cutting their arms and their necks and their balls, cutting their ball sacks out.
All types of crazy... craziness, and that's because they're stuck in here with nothing to do.
>> NARRATOR: Gordon Perry, a convicted murderer, has been here for more than a year.
Longer than any other inmate in the unit.
>> If you don't have a strong mind, this place can break you quick.
A lot of guys, they don't even have reasons why; they just snap out.
That's what this place does-- it makes you mean, makes you violent, and it (bleep) a lot of people's heads up.
This is solitary confinement.
>> NARRATOR: The maximum security Maine State Prison holds around 900 inmates.
It's home to the most dangerous prisoners in the state.
Most of them live in general population.
They're allowed out of their cells each day and can interact with other inmates.
The solitary unit is the "prison within the prison."
Inmates here spend 23 hours a day in their cells.
They get an hour of exercise in a cage.
(banging) Some are here long term because they're judged too dangerous to be around other people.
(banging) Some are here for their own protection.
And others are here as punishment for disruptive behavior.
>> I just went overboard.
Freaked out, started punching stuff, threw chairs, screaming, and I got maced and tackled.
They were trying to say I started a riot.
They brought me down here, I been down here two days now.
>> NARRATOR: 21-year-old Adam Brulotte is serving a four-year sentence for breaking someone's jaw in a fight.
Now he's in segregation-- or "seg," as the inmates call it-- for starting a riot.
>> I like seg.
I can handle being locked down 23 hours a day because I can read, I can write, I can do pushups.
Most of the time, I just chill.
You've got to relax, you can't get yourself wound up because you can't leave that room.
Well, it's good to my standards!
I'm always at this window, so I like the window to be clean.
My face touches it, my hands touch it.
Yeah, it sucks, but I think I'm doing good.
>> NARRATOR: Adam faces two months in solitary.
Todd Fickett is one week into his six-month stay in the solitary unit.
Last night, he cut open a vein in his arm.
Officers found him passed out in his cell.
Self harm is a punishable offense.
His punishment is more time in solitary.
>> They gave me a class A bodily injury charge for trying to kill myself.
Pretty much they're trying to punish me for bleeding.
>> NARRATOR: The officers say he's faking mental illness in an attempt to get moved out of solitary.
>> He's just trying to get what he wants.
He knows he's going to spend a lot of time down in our segregation unit just for the fact that he severely assaulted one of our staff members, and he is trying to manipulate his way out of dealing with the consequences that come with assaulting a staff member.
>> NARRATOR: Todd is allowed almost nothing in his cell in case he tries to cut himself again.
But in solitary, there are ways of outsmarting the officers.
(yelling) >> I'm a bleeder!
What's going on?
>> We got a bleeder!
>> Fickett, hey Fickett.
Talk to me, man.
>> How come?
>> NARRATOR: One of the inmates has smuggled Todd a razor blade.
Come on, Fickett.
Why don't you take this stuff down?
>> There's a man in there bleeding to death.
>> NARRATOR: The officers can't go into his cell to give him first aid until they're sure he can't attack them.
They need to handcuff him through the tray slot on his door.
>> Hey Fickett, do me a favor.
Put that towel over there on your arm, okay?
Let's just at least slow that bleeding down.
>> Put it on your arm, let's slow it down.
Are you willing to cuff up?
Are you willing to come out?
>> Fickett, listen!
You need to cuff so I can come in and fix that.
>> Drink some of your blood, Fickett.
>> Come on, Fickett.
Come on, we're gonna help you.
Come on, Fickett.
We'll go right to the classroom.
>> So another day on the job?
>> Another day on the job.
We probably average about 20 of these a month, so...
In the last year, I've become an expert on blood, I guess.
>> It doesn't just mop up, does it?
>> No, it doesn't.
It coagulates and it's... Generally, I try to saturate it with a germicide and then I use a sheet to mop it up, and then afterwards, I try to scrub it down.
My heart goes out to everybody down here.
I've been behind these doors, so I know what it's like to stay down here for years.
Being behind these walls, they get to everybody and everybody deals with it in their own particular way.
As you can imagine, someone being 17, 18 years old in a setting like this, you know, it's not really... it does a lot with your mind.
>> NARRATOR: Adam thought he could handle solitary.
Now he's not so sure.
>> Yeah, I got hardcore ADD and I'm about to leave in five months.
I don't know where I'm gonna go, I don't know where I'm gonna work.
I don't know how I'm gonna get a car.
I still got $1,000 to pay with no car, no job.
When you settle down in your room and you really just start thinking, and just "Bang, bang, bang" all at once.
This really kind of (bleep) with my head.
Just trying to get some medication to slow that down for now.
(banging) (yelling) >> NARRATOR: It's lunchtime in the solitary unit.
>> Why are you pissed off?
>> Because they're (bleep) with people's portions.
>> That's a million dollar shot!
(banging) >> NARRATOR: The unrest soon escalates into a full-blown protest.
>> What is all this stuff on the floor?
>> Probably urine and toilet paper and food.
(banging) >> In half an hour, I'm going to let that loose and it'll be in the hallway.
(banging) >> What's going on?
>> Oh, (bleep)!
There it goes!
(banging) >> NARRATOR: Adam's punishment for flooding the unit will be more time in solitary.
Solitary confinement began in the United States in the 1800s as a progressive experiment to see if isolation would reform criminals.
It was soon largely abandoned because prisoners didn't reform.
They lost their minds.
>> You don't know what the (bleep) goes on in here.
You guys get to go home!
I have to stay the (bleep) in here!
>> NARRATOR: But in the 1980s, solitary re-emerged as a way to stamp out prison violence.
The United States now has more inmates in isolation than any other Western country.
>> The use of segregation has its place when you have real dangerous prisoners, but from my perspective, it is overused probably throughout the United States.
It's really dangerous, okay.
If I have somebody that comes in with a five-year commitment, you could have them do their whole time in segregation.
But I don't want him living next to me when you release him.
The normal person, they're going to be thinking if you punish them, you're gonna make them better.
And the reality is, the exact opposite happens.
>> NARRATOR: States across the country are now starting to rethink their use of segregation.
Three years ago, Maine began to send fewer inmates into solitary and moved prisoners with serious mental illness out of the unit.
Now the prison's new warden is trying to take the reforms even further.
>> I want you out on the other side of that door, because that's good for you to be on this side of the door and not that side, and you can hold me accountable.
We need to make every attempt at moving them out of those cells and moving them into general population.
On the surface it might look crazy, but the reality is, 80% of these inmates are going to be hitting the street, okay?
So we can either make them worse, okay, and create more victims when they go on the street, or we can rehabilitate them.
>> NARRATOR: But the warden can't simply release violent, unstable prisoners back into general population.
Adam started a riot.
Todd assaulted an officer.
Gordon stabbed another inmate with a screwdriver.
And some of the prisoners in solitary are even more dangerous.
>> I've strangled a correctional officer and hid him under my bed, and then another one came in the pod and I knocked him out and dragged him into a utility closet and beat his head in with a mop wringer.
So I've been in prison a long time.
That was when I was 16.
>> NARRATOR: Peter Gibbs has been in and out of solitary for over 30 years.
He wants to be transferred to a prison in his home state and has threatened to murder the warden if it doesn't happen.
>> I will assault, attack, stab, do whatever I have to do to get out of your facility.
>> NARRATOR: In most prisons, he could expect to be stuck in solitary indefinitely.
>> I will kill one of your inmates, I don't have nothing to lose.
>> NARRATOR: But the warden wants his team to consider moving even Peter Gibbs back to general population.
>> I want out of here.
My children can't come see me.
I'm not rich, we're not rich, you know, so they don't have the money to come here.
>> So Mr. Gibbs, what do we need to do to get out of this hole that we're in?
>> I need to be medicated.
That makes me sociable.
>> Okay, I'm gonna follow that up.
You can't keep on threatening to kill me.
If you're threatening to kill me, I'm probably not gonna let you out of this room, and if you threaten to kill anybody... One thing about you, Mr. Gibbs, that I know is you are good for your word.
>> I thought it would get me back to New Hampshire.
I thought, if you tell them, "We don't want Mr. Gibbs here," they have to take me back.
>> They don't have to take you back.
>> Then I'll homicide one of your inmates!
>> What they'll do-- let me finish-- is, they'll make arrangements for you to go from here to another state.
New Jersey, Maryland... >> New Jersey's refused me, Rhode Island's refused me because of my mental health issues.
>> It seems to me that you'd like to see your wife and your two daughters.
>> Yes, that's the most important thing.
>> It seems to me that you'd like to get back out in general population.
>> As long as somewhere down the road we can convince New Hampshire, "Mr. Gibbs is doing unreal, he's changed," and maybe take me back.
>> Look, what I can control is, "How do I move Mr. Gibbs out of the seg unit," okay?
>> NARRATOR: Gibbs will have to prove he is no longer a threat before he's moved out of solitary.
>> You know, you start with baby steps, right?
>> Well, what are you looking at for, like, a time period?
Can you start giving me some stuff in my cell, maybe, like, to do?
>> NARRATOR: But the senior prison staff are concerned.
>> He's a long way, from my perspective, because I have to be in the pod.
Any one of us could be in general population with this guy, so I don't want to see someone die, an officer die because we're trying to kind of get him settled as we wait for New Hampshire.
>> It's just going to be a process.
>> NARRATOR: It's been 24 hours since Todd Fickett cut open a vein.
Rather than punish him, the warden has moved him to the prison's mental health unit for the next three months.
When that time is up, he'll have to return to solitary.
But for now, he'll be treated by the prison psychologist.
>> Next is to figure out how you're doing and plan our next steps, so fill me in.
>> Still don't feel very good?
Can you tell me a little bit more about, uh... You feel like (bleep), what does that mean?
>> You still want to what?
>> All right.
So that started when?
Without even knowing the guy very well, and I don't, I can tell you he doesn't enjoy this.
The intent isn't to engender any sympathy.
The intent many times is to make an officer do things.
They feel totally controlled and this is what they learn-- and it's a learned behavior-- is that you can control others with this.
But it's a kind of pathological way of control because it doesn't gain them anything.
Just for the briefest of time they feel some sense of control, and then they're left stuck again, and usually in worse physical shape.
>> NARRATOR: The mental health wing is a very different place from the solitary unit.
Most of the inmates here have serious mental illness.
Before Maine began its reforms, many of them were in solitary.
But this unit is about treatment, not punishment.
>> It's different.
Instead of the depressing clank of the prison, it's trying to create something a little different.
Every breath, every movement, every person, everything in there is clinical.
There isn't a non-clinical thing we do.
Everything is geared towards skill developments, relationship building, appropriate interactions.
>> Good game.
>> So everything about it is becoming social.
They're used to coming from environments where people hurt each other and are antisocial, and this is a whole build-up of how you relate to people, and you have to practice it every single day.
>> NARRATOR: Todd will still be kept separate from other inmates, but he'll have frequent meetings with Dr. Bannish.
>> He's just at the beginning.
He's still struggling.
He's still going to have to do his seg time and he doesn't want to do it, so there's that kid side of him that just doesn't want to have to, the "you can't make me" kind of thing.
I'd like to help him through that process.
(yelling) >> Stand up and fight the machine.
>> NARRATOR: The warden's effort to help Todd has created a new problem back on the solitary unit.
The other inmates think it isn't fair.
>> You guys are running out of time.
I told you I'm trying to do it the easy way, but I've been down here too long to keep playing playing their (bleep) games.
>> Soon, maybe I can get some cookies and milk.
>> NARRATOR: Peter Gibbs is still threatening to kill prison staff and inmates and now says he will cut himself if he doesn't get what he wants.
>> This is what I have to start doing.
People have done stuff, they've gotten rewarded for it.
I sit in my cell, I mind my own business, but there's no rewards.
>> Hey, Gibbs!
>> NARRATOR: Peter is not the only inmate causing trouble.
>> Hey, how are you feeling about not getting that meeting today?
>> NARRATOR: After a year in solitary, Gordon Perry is also running out of patience.
>> They told me the same thing.
He was gonna see me this week.
>> If I don't get some answers by 3:00, I'm covering my window.
And if I don't get good enough answers, they're extracting me.
It'll be a miracle if I don't get extracted today.
>> It's unreal how they force people's hands here.
>> I wanna give them a little bit more time because when I cover that window up, I'm serious.
This ain't my first rodeo.
I got a pretty good setup, and we're gonna (bleep) hopefully fight the team.
>> Come and threaten me!
>> NARRATOR: Now the warden and his staff have to talk down two of the most dangerous inmates on the unit.
>> The only way you ever get anything around here is to act up.
I'm sitting back being good for a year, ain't (bleep) working.
All I'm getting is smoke blown up my (bleep) ass every which way I look.
>> This is gonna disqualify you from going to New Hampshire.
If you do this kind of (bleep), it's not gonna happen.
>> Of course it's gonna happen!
I've seen him make deals like left and right with people for putting this (bleep) up in the window.
>> You got a couple of assaults in 17 years.
How hard is it to move me?
So I gotta be out of here pretty soon.
>> Because of what you've done here, we're gonna move you out very slowly.
What I need to know is when I move you out there, are you gonna be safe?
>> Am I gonna be safe?
>> I need to know that the other inmates are gonna be safe, as well.
>> It ain't happening.
You guys got me down here for a year.
I'm all set with the stabbings.
I'm ready to go out and try to enjoy myself a little bit.
>> I'm willing to look at moving you along.
But it's gonna be a while.
We got to work the process and I'm not interested in burying you.
>> I'm already...
I'm already buried, though.
I already been down here a year.
>> I want to be maced.
>> I won't mace you, Gibbs.
>> I need to be maced.
>> You don't need to be maced.
>> I have to be.
>> No, you don't.
There's no reason for this (bleep).
>> If I cut up, will you mace me?
>> No, there's no reason for any of that stuff.
>> You can't give me a little blast, just a burst?
>> No, I'm not going to give you a blast, all right?
I understand you're frustrated, okay?
>> No, you don't understand.
>> I do, we had that conversation.
>> You have no clue.
>> Don't think it's lost on me that you're locked in a box for 23 hours a day.
>> I don't care about that.
This is like being... this to me is nothing.
That's what's so sad about segregation, is after years and years and years, you become retarded to it.
>> You're smarter than that.
>> I'm all (bleep) up.
>> But you're smarter than that, Gibbs.
>> I'm (bleep) up from it.
>> You're smarter than that.
>> Okay, so we'll evaluate it and we'll look at moving you along, and we'll talk next week, okay?
Have a good weekend.
>> I can't even get (bleep) maced in this place.
>> Frozen, frozen, frozen, frozen frozen!
(buzzer) >> NARRATOR: Adam is becoming increasingly unstable.
Last night he covered his window and threatened to cut himself.
Because of his behavior, his original 60 days of solitary has increased to more than 100 days.
>> Uh, Mr. Brulotte, how are you feeling today?
>> That's good to hear.
>> All I really want to do is go to school and not go to C pod, and do my own time.
I leave in like 170 days.
>> NARRATOR: Adam is anxious about life after prison.
He's desperate to take his GED, to give himself a chance of employment when he's released.
>> I let you guys know I need (bleep) (bleep) to do.
I need to go to school.
>> I want my GED.
That's all I ask.
>> I'm not going to go out there and scram for another job selling drugs and (bleep) because I don't have no education.
>> I told you at your door yesterday, give me a shot, give me a chance.
If I fill you full of (bleep), then you do what you think you've got to do, okay, and we'll do what we got to do.
We'll do our best to get you the help you need.
But I need you to do your part.
You need to keep your head screwed on straight, okay?
>> I just...
I still want to try to figure out... >> NARRATOR: Todd has been in the mental health unit for a month.
He's starting to open up about his family.
>> Why do you think I'm asking for the court to make sure I'm the father?
>> So, if you're not?
>> If I'm not, I'm still going to love my kid.
It's my kid either way.
>> And in some ways that, that's very... that's noble.
A lot of people wouldn't, so where's that come from?
Where's this nobility come from?
>> It comes from the fact that I didn't have a father.
My dad committed suicide, which, the date's coming up.
>> It's the 24th.
>> Okay, so Christmas Eve?
He's really... he's somebody who tries to elicit that he's not helpable and he's just into being a nasty guy, but I don't believe that and I've told him that.
>> Do you want me to tell you or do you want to try and figure it out?
>> Oh, I always want to try to figure it out.
I like puzzles.
>> Okay, you figure it out.
I'll ask you on Monday.
>> Oh, you ask me about that, yeah.
>> He had gotten some goodness somewhere, because he has some nice things about him that he doesn't show very often.
We will see if he's willing to do the work necessary, but he's too young to throw away.
I got one for you, Kirkley and Griffin.
>> NARRATOR: Dr. Bannish uses unorthodox methods to engage the inmates.
Today, he's giving them puzzles to solve.
>> You see how enjoyable these guys are?
I mean, they really are.
They don't want to be grumpy, they don't want to be upset.
They want contact that's meaningful.
(laughs) This is a good one.
We'll see if you got that by Monday.
No conferring with each other, either.
>> So you can't take it... >> I'm leaving in four-and-a-half months.
They put me on the (bleep) bottom of the list.
>> They didn't know.
>> I'm about to freak out!
>> They didn't come down and it was addressed, okay?
>> NARRATOR: Two weeks have passed since Adam was told he'd be able to take his GED.
>> Yes, they do.
You're going to be getting your GED, okay?
>> Well, I want to (bleep) do some testing tomorrow.
>> Or I'll snap.
>> You know what?
That's, that's a legitimate request, but you snapping isn't going to get it to you.
Give me a shot at trying to (bleep) help you out with the GED bit.
>> Yeah and that's been two weeks.
I'm (bleep) close!
>> You believe that bull (bleep), you'll believe any (bleep) thing.
>> I'm not (bleep) believing nothing.
>> Big house of lies.
(men shouting and swearing) You treat us like animals, we will act like animals!
>> Do you want to come out and talk, Brulotte, about all this stuff that's going on?
>> I will after I fight!
(indistinct yelling) >> NARRATOR: Adam pushes feces under the door.
The punishment will be yet more time in solitary.
>> Well, my fault would be trying to go by the rules.
I don't have too much open-mindedness for the rules in here.
>> And tell us why.
There's always a reason, so let us know.
>> Obviously because I'm a criminal and I don't like the rules that you guys have.
>> Besides that.
>> NARRATOR: After more than a year in solitary, Gordon Perry is in a room with other prisoners.
He and Adam have joined a new program being offered to inmates in the segregation unit.
>> All you have to do is make the choice at the time that something is presented to you.
Am I going to push poop on my window?
>> NARRATOR: Prisoners are asked to talk honestly about how they make decisions.
The weekly classes are supposed to help them become less violent.
>> I show pride, I try to go, like, too far, and I start to get hard-headed.
>> Don't know what everybody wants.
>> Oh, yeah, I'll be so much cooler if I break this guy's eye socket.
>> If your pride's good, if you don't back down on (bleep), people are going to give you respect, so that's a positive of that.
>> All right, what's the negative with the pride?
>> Oh, if you're ever a bitch then people got to treat you like a bitch, so then you don't get no respect.
>> But that's no pride.
Let's talk about actually having pride.
>> Oh, the negative of it?
Coming to SMU because you got to bang somebody out because they put you in that situation.
That program is bull (bleep).
Everybody knows it.
I don't even want to do this program.
I just want to get out of seg.
>> Do you want to change?
>> Change for what?
Change into what?
I'm here forever, there's nothing for me to ch...
I'm a criminal, I mean...
I'm not gonna jump on the other side or anything.
So I am what I am.
I think my character's pretty good overall.
Unless you're my enemy, it's pretty good, I think, so that program has nothing for me.
>> You got an iPhone?
That's some sick stuff.
>> NARRATOR: Todd has six weeks left in the mental health unit before he must return to solitary.
He's been allowed to call his family and even got to speak to his two-year-old daughter.
>> Why wouldn't it?
I love you.
Yes, that's the first time I've ever spoken to her.
>> How did it make you feel?
>> It made me feel like a new guy.
I kind of feel that I want to go in the right direction so I can do what I need to do.
That way I can create a better future for me and my kid.
>> How are you going to cope with seg this time?
>> Hopefully better.
I'm on this nice new medication that makes me feel good.
>> If we go down through it, I'd like to take a look at who we would be considering... >> NARRATOR: The warden has been in the job for six months.
He faces some tough choices.
>> I truly don't see him as somebody significantly mentally ill. >> NARRATOR: The longer he leaves inmates in solitary, the more disturbed they could become.
>> When he's completed that program, then he can go to general pop.
>> NARRATOR: But moving them out too soon could endanger staff and other prisoners.
>> Gordon Perry.
>> NARRATOR: Now he's ready to take a risk with one of the prison's most dangerous inmates.
>> If he's showing that he's behaving and doing what he needs to do, we're gonna move him along.
At some point, you've got to give somebody a second chance.
All right, let's do it.
>> That's the day when it's all set in stone?
>> I wouldn't say it's 100% set in stone.
>> You already promised me, it has to be.
You already gave me your word.
>> No, no, you're going out.
We'll get you out.
>> Friday morning.
>> Friday morning.
>> NARRATOR: Last week, Adam was let out of solitary to study for his GED.
But within days he was sent back after starting another riot.
Now he's in more trouble for pushing feces out of his door again.
>> Yeah, my mental health diminished.
Slowly but surely.
It'll do it to anybody.
I lasted a while.
Now I just think (bleep) it.
They put me in the coldest cell in this whole prison as punishment.
It's supposed to be like a certain...
I don't know, this is America, not Russia.
It's (bleep) cold in here.
>> NARRATOR: Gordon Perry is leaving solitary.
It's a reward for doing the classes and a month of good behavior in his cell.
He's headed for a step-down unit for prisoners transitioning out of solitary.
Inmates here are allowed out of their cells for a few hours each day, and required to take more classes.
If Gordon does well, he will eventually move to a unit with fewer restrictions.
>> You know, he's a very dangerous individual, but essentially I still believe that we can change him.
Our obligation is to continue to provide him with the opportunity to change.
I don't hesitate on the decision at all.
>> I'm just hanging out, that's what I'm doing.
My realistic honest plan is to live as good as I can in here.
But it's a fantasy to think you're going to change somebody that doesn't want to change.
>> NARRATOR: Time is running out for Todd Fickett.
He has just one week left on the mental health unit.
The prospect of returning to solitary is taking its toll.
>> I'm aggravated.
Why are you aggravated?
>> I'm aggravated because the plan I'm on, I seem to try to follow and nobody else is following it right now.
>> What do you mean?
>> Halfway through the... >> NARRATOR: He's just found out he has even more solitary time to serve than he thought.
>> That is 50 days.
You have 100 days of D time to do.
>> Yeah, we were cutting it in half to 50.
>> No, we weren't.
>> We're halfway through 50 was 25.
>> No, we weren't.
It's 50 days here and then we will meet and discuss where you go from there.
>> How the hell am I going through 100?
>> Because you have a 100 days.
You have a hundred days, it says half.
You still have quite a bit of D-time to do and you're going to have to serve that D-time.
>> Yeah, 15 days, two weeks.
>> Put me back in my room.
I don't need this (bleep).
>> You all set?
>> Let's go.
>> No, hang on to him for a second.
I would think twice about doing anything now.
(indistinct radio chatter) >> Todd, you all right?
You gonna keep hitting that for a little while or what?
>> You going to keep hitting that for a little while?
>> I'm probably gonna hit the wall soon.
>> Don't do that.
>> I'm (bleep) pissed.
>> Can't let you do that, you know that.
>> I'm going to seg anyways.
They want to (bleep) over my plan, put me in (bleep) seg.
I'll hit every cop that comes through that (bleep) door and I'll get maced every (bleep) day.
I don't give a (bleep).
>> We don't want you doing that.
You gonna be all right?
(pounding and yelling) >> Keep that down!
>> 10-4 primary and secondary.
(continues shouting) (bleep) you!
I want a (bleep) warmer room.
(indistinct shouting) >> Put your hands out here and I'll take you out.
>> (bleep) you!
I want a (bleep) warmer room!
That's bull (bleep)!
I want to see mental health!
>> Where you going?
>> NARRATOR: Four months ago, Adam Brulotte thought he could handle solitary confinement.
Now he's cut open a vein on his arm and poured blood all over himself and his cell.
>> You need to calm down.
>> Well, I've been (bleep) calm.
I've been asking you all day.
I'm not gonna sleep in a (bleep) cold room!
(knocking) >> That blood is pouring out of him in the back.
You need to bring him to medical.
>> This is bull (bleep).
They need to stop the bull (bleep).
>> I shouldn't have to (bleep) do this.
>> Just put him on something and bring him to medical.
Red man, how you feel?
>> (bleep) pissed.
(laughter) >> You gonna (bleep) put me in a (bleep) icebox.
>> We've seen Adam Brulotte deteriorate since he arrived in seg.
From someone who'd never hurt himself before, he cut up very badly, put feces out of the door, did some pretty strange stuff.
Was segregation the right place for a person like Adam?
>> You just defined why we don't like to use segregation.
But sometimes it's necessary.
Mr. Brulotte was engaged in some very, very serious behavior while he was in general population, so without a doubt it was the right place for him.
>> Did he spend too long in seg?
>> You know, that's a real hard question to answer.
There's a lot of gray area in some of the decisions that we make.
There's no exact science to any one of these guys.
You have to try to figure them out as we go along.
But ultimately when we're moving him back into the general population, we have to be certain that the staff are going to be safe, that the other inmates are going to be safe, and that he's gonna be safe.
>> Before you went to seg, did you ever imagine that you would cut yourself like that?
>> No, never.
I didn't even know what it was.
And I seen a couple people doing it, so then I started doing it.
>> Do you think it's changed you forever?
>> I don't know, have to find out.
Can try to be normal again.
Just the routine every day gets to you.
I been down here four months, and I've gotten in trouble, like, 30 times.
Been extracted umpteen times, flooded my whole room out a couple times.
Just stuff to pass the time away.
And I guess they don't like that.
They think I'm crazy for it.
But... Gotta do something.
>> I am moving back to seg.
This ought to be fun.
Kind of excited, for some reason.
(indistinct radio chatter) >> Open alpha 210, please, alpha 210.
>> He has made a lot of progress over there.
He does have his setbacks where he does make threats that he's going to do something to himself.
But overall, we've gotten quite a bit of good behavior.
We haven't had any self-abusive behavior.
What I'm hoping is that when he does go to spike, the coping skills that we've worked with mental health, he's going to ease up and maybe we can... we'll level it off just like we had a couple of occasions over in A.
>> Fickett, how was (bleep) A-wing?
>> Mr. Fickett's case is a dilemma, but he assaulted someone very seriously.
Within a correctional setting, you have to have a consequence for that somehow, even if it... even if it doesn't benefit the inmate so much, you have a staff here.
So it is a sensitive issue that has to do not only with the treatment of the inmates, but with the management of an institution and the people who work within it.
>> NARRATOR: Todd faces at least three more months of solitary.
After filming finished, Adam Brulotte was moved back to general population.
He was released from prison in March 2014.
After three months in the step-down unit, Gordon Perry was caught with contraband and sent back to solitary.
Within hours, he cut open a vein.
Peter Gibbs is still in solitary.
>> Right on the edge of having a complete nervous breakdown.
>> NARRATOR: There are no plans to release him.
>> I have an inmate that has started self-abusive behavior.
I need a responder.
>> Here we go again!
>> NARRATOR: Todd Fickett lasted just three hours.
>> Hopefully next time you (bleep) die, Fickett!
>> That'd be nice.
>> NARRATOR: His wounds will be stitched up.
Then he'll be back in solitary.
>> Go to pbs.org/frontline to find out how solitary confinement started in the United States.
In a special podcast, hear from experts on reforming solitary.
>> At some point, you've got to give somebody a second chance.
>> What works, and what doesn't?
>> Change into what?
>> See how long prisoners are spending in isolation and connect to the Frontline community.
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