Behind the scenes of the reality crime series "Lockup," as producers offer candid interviews and previously unaired footage of some of the most memorable inmates spotlighted on the program.
Cameras go behind the crumbling walls of San Quentin State Prison in California, where overcrowding and lack of modernization are blamed for an ever-increasing number of inmate attacks on guards. The facility, which has four cell blocks containing more than 800 prisoners each, also houses a number of death row inmates. As one guard bluntly explains, the attitude of many of the prisoners on death row is "You can only kill me once," so officers are on constant guard against attack.
"Lockdown" plunges viewers headfirst into life in the "big house," the gritty underworld of America's maximum-security prisons, where gangs are prevalent, predators stalk their next prey and inmates are armed with deadly weapons. But prison officials have their own weapons in the form of modern surveillance and old-time isolation -- plus steel batons and pepper spray -- to help keep the peace in these miniature war zones.
In going behind bars of Georgia's correctional system, each episode of this series examines one aspect of the state's paramilitary approach to their prisoners, the idea being treat them like highly disciplined soldiers and they will stop acting like criminals. Over the course of a year, cameras capture both those who work in the system and those housed within it -- from nonviolent offenders in a boot camp to hardened criminals in "Hi-Max," the environment that allows the most extreme disciplinary methods.
The behind-the-scenes series goes international, taking viewers behind bars in prisons in countries around the world. From an abandoned, underground execution chamber in Serbia where prisoners faced death by firing squad to a special room for conjugal visits in a Belgian facility, cameras hunt out the details of prisoner life in other countries.
This award-winning series presents compelling untold stories and covers a wide array of provocative subjects. "Explorer" aired for 25 years -- the longest-running documentary series in cable TV history -- before being relaunched in 2015 after a five-year hiatus. Each monthly episode of the new "Explorer" takes a similar deep dive inside a story from the pages of a recent National Geographic magazine issue, taking viewers not only to the most remote corners of the globe but also to the furthest reaches of the mind and deepest crevices of history -- on urgent missions of discovery.
As part of its attempted reinvention, MSNBC has been moving away from airing opinion-based shows during the day, replacing them with blocks of news programming to boost the network's breaking news coverage. Kate Snow, who has years of experience as a journalist for national networks, anchors this portion of the afternoon block. "MSNBC Live" details the day's developments in news and politics to keep viewers aware of the latest happenings.
As part of its commitment to providing breaking news coverage throughout its daytime schedule, MSNBC has a block of "MSNBC Live" programming throughout the day, with different anchors splitting up the hours. Ali Velshi hosts this block. As is the case with other shows under the "MSNBC Live" banner, Velshi details the day's top news and political developments in Washington and across America.