Premium Essay

Organized Gangs in Prison

In: Social Issues

Submitted By nickfaur
Words 1333
Pages 6
Since the 1960’s organized gangs in the American Justice System have been a growing problem. Drug trafficking, continued violence, and overrunning prisons are a few of the main challenges that the justice system faces when trying to control these gangs. Based usually on race, these gangs are believed to be some of the most dangerous in the world and are only getting larger. Even though measures are being taken to try and prevent these gangs from growing in size, most attempts fail as the gangs are becoming too prominent and too powerful.
Prison gangs by definition are criminal organizations that originated within the penal system and they have continued to operate within correctional facilities throughout the United States. They[Prison gangs] are also considered self-perpetuating criminal entities that can continue their operations outside the confines of the penal system. Typically, a prison gang consists of a select group of inmates who have an organized hierarchy and who are governed by an established code of conduct. These gangs vary in both organization and composition, from highly structured gangs such as the Aryan Brotherhood and Nuestra Familia to gangs with less formalized structure such as the Mexican Mafia. Prison gangs are usually more powerful within state correctional facilities compared to the federal penal system (Trusty). The first recognized prison gang was originated at the Duel Vocational Institution in Tracy, California. It was originally founded by thirteen inmates who were active Latino street gang members from different neighborhoods around Los Angeles. These thirteen men banded together in prison to protect themselves from other gang members, inmates and prison guards. It was this perceived need for protection from another group that acted as a catalyst for the gang’s formation. Once the Mexican Mafia formed victims of its illegal...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Modern Day Prison Gangs

...Modern-Day Prison Gangs and How They Operate Angel Ruby March 21, 2013 American River College Modern-Day Prison Gangs and How They Operate There are several different prison gangs currently in power within the prisons today. There is the Mexican Mafia, La Neustra Familia, Black Guerrilla Family, and The Aryan Brotherhood. Though each gang has separate syndicates, these four gangs remain the most influential (A. Ruby, personal interview, March 19, 2013). How these gangs operate depends on the prison they occupy. While each of these gangs was initially created to survive in ethnically segregated situations that is not the case any longer. Currently the aspirations of these gangs have to do with protection, money, and reputation, they are very organized and efficient (A. Ruby personal interview, March 19, 2013). La Nuestra Familia was formed in the mid 1960’s to protect rural Mexican-American inmates from predator gangs, primarily from the urban Mexican-American inmates affiliated with the Mexican Mafia (Gangs OR Us Gang Identification, 1999). They represent northern California and are identified by their tattoos which are normally a dagger or sombrero with the letters “NF”. The NF use to operate through three categories (cat.1, cat.2, etc.). The higher the category you were in, the higher your rank within the gang. They later abolished that structure to try to institute equality inside the gang. They created a “mesa” which was an order of six members (A. Ruby,......

Words: 1647 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay


...Prison Gangs Prison gangs are criminal organizations that originated within the penal system. The first known American prison gang was the Gypsy Jokers. The Gypsy Jokers formed in the 1950’s in Washington state prisons. The first gang with nationwide ties was the Mexican Mafia, which formed in 1957 in the California Department of Corrections. According to statistics, gang activity in prisons has increased from only 9.4% in 1991 to 24.7% in 1999 and is even higher now. Today there are five original major prison gangs known as “Traditional Prison Gangs.” These prison gangs formed in the 1960’s and 1970’s in the California corrections system. A prison gang consists of a select group of inmates who have an organized hierarchy and who are governed by an established code of conduct. In addition to committing criminal acts in the prison, a prison gang also shares the following characteristics: * Formal membership with a required initiation or rules for members * A recognized leader or certain members whom others follow * Common clothing (such as jackets, caps, scarves or bandannas), or group colors, symbols, tattoos, or special language * A group name * Members from the same neighborhood, street, or school * Turf or territory where the group is known and where group activities usually take place. Prison gangs vary in both organization and composition, from highly structured gangs such as the Aryan Brotherhood to gangs with a less formalized......

Words: 1033 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Inmates and Prison Gangs

...Do Inmates Really Have a Choice when it comes to Joining Prison Gangs? Are prison gangs forced upon inmates? Do they really have a choice whether or not they join one while incarcerated? This topic was brought to my attention in my criminal justice (Corrections) class last semester. The question was brought up in a group discussion and was never really discussed after that day. However, these questions stayed with me and left me wondering why an inmate would join a prison gang. While some people would say “So what, it’s their choice whether they want to join a gang. Why should I care?” Well I believe & my research shows that it’s not always that simple. Life is already difficult when you’re sent to prison, adapting to a new way of living in the prison culture. Prison gangs are a major part of prison culture. These gangs have many secret and intellectual ways in which they go about operating, communicating, and recruiting. Also I wanted to find out who the main inmates targeted were and why. Why are these topics important to me? Because I feel that people may look over these problems, maybe because there are many harsh answers that people may not care enough about to do something about it. People may think everyone in prison is a gang member, but I want to show them that there are many reasons why they joined a prison gang and if you were put in the same situation, maybe you would too. Prison gangs are criminal organizations that originated within......

Words: 1265 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Los Angeles and Armenian Power

...Los Angeles and Aremenian Power Organized crime has gained success first in the prohibition era and through gambling, drug trafficking, and other criminal ventures. Organized crime groups have infiltrated into legitimate businesses as well to gain the biggest profit in the fastest way possible. The Armenian Power is prevalent in the Los Angeles area participating in mostly white collar-crime. This organized crime group is involved with kidnapping, bank fraud, credit card theft, and numerous other technology criminal acts. This group has proven to be a powerful and dangerous group, stopping at nothing to reach the goal they set out to obtain. Determine the group’s national and multination structure and operation methods, pertaining to the drug business. The organized crime group known as the Armenian Power or AP was “formed in the 1980s by Armenian immigrants and others from former Soviet-bloc countries as protections against other ethnic gangs in the neighborhood” (Kandel, 2011, para. 3). The AP crime organization began as a gang and still has gang affiliations that include individuals classified as Armenian Power Associates and not members. The criminal enterprise consists of approximately 200 members who include Armenian Americans, Armenian immigrants, Soviet-bloc immigrants, and Hispanic members. The AP’s list of criminal activities include; defrauding “patrons of 99 Cents Only stores out of millions of dollars (credit and debit card fraud), kidnapping, identity......

Words: 1299 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Prisoon Gangs

...Security Threat Gangs In Prison Name Tutor Course College Date There has been a major concern of gangs in correctional facilities. This phenomenon has been common in prisons since 1960s, and continues to be a major problem over the years in correctional structures. In the year 1920, the number of prison gang was over 1300 in Chicago city and many other cities liked Los Angeles had started witnessing prison gangs. To critically understand this problem, it is important to explore the history and type of prison gangs that exist. In most prisons there is frequent unruly behavior and violence because of the prison environment. The kind of lifestyle among inmates makes a society of its own. The modern gangs have distinct colors of clothing’s particularly for identification. They come from all race, black, Asian, Hispanic and Caucasian. The Aryan brotherhood gang originated in 1967, California’s San Quentin state prison was the hub of this gang. The gang was set up to protect white inmates from other dangerous gangs of the African and Hispanic origin. Initially, the gang was known as the “bluebird” or “Nazi gang” and most of its members were from the white supremacy, Irish and Germany origin. The group received money from drug traffic to sustain its source of operations in the prisons. The condition that required an inmate to join the AB group was to murder one person that was targeted by the group (Parenti, 2000). On the other hand, members of the gang who were......

Words: 1470 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Major Prison Gangs in Florida

...In the Florida prison system there are six major gangs. They are known for their violence, drug trafficking, and other forms of organized crime. Some of the major gangs tend to run with a paramilitary chain of command, this tends to be similar to Correctional Officers and the military. The chain of command is as follows; Majors, Captains, Lieutenants, Sargent’s, and foot soldiers. Among other reasons prisoners join gangs for a since of security and protection. The group known as Neta was originated in 1970 in Rip Pedras Prison, Puerto Rico. The race of this gaing is Puerto Rican-American/ Hispanic. It is said that it was formed to stop the violence between inmates to protect weaker inmates that were being preyed upon by a group names G’27. They are most dangerous in their drug activity, extortion, and gang-related violence. They do not hesitate to attack or kill if they feel it is necessary. Like most gangs they have their gang colors. Red which represents blood that has been shed and that will be shed. White for peace, harmony, and tranquility. Blue that is sometimes replaced with black that is in honor of past member that have lost their lives. Established in 1964 in San Quentin state prison by Irish-American bikers the founder was Barry Mills and Tyler Bingham. The Aryan brotherhood was founded by white supremacists to protect white inmates from predatory black inmates. Known for being one of the most violent white supremacist groups they are accountable for over 100......

Words: 1004 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Perseptions of Organized Crime Groups

...Personal Perception of Organized Crime Paper The United States is run by a democratic government that has laws in place to ensure order and organization. However, there are certain people and groups that wish to compromise and profit personally from breaking these laws. According to Understanding Organized Crime (2007), organized crime can be defined by the members and the activities of a group. There are many crimes in which organized crime might be involved, but what separates individual crime from crimes committed by groups of people is the term organized or organization. Organization has been described as a group of people who cooperate to accomplish objectives or goals. Organized crime has been around for centuries; from Outlaw gangs in the western days that robbed stage coaches, the pony express, and passengers of trains to today’s Blood and Crip gangs that dominate public streets for power over territories and drug sales. Gangs have been around for a long time imposing on the lives and liberties of law abiding citizens that wish to obey laws. Law abiding citizens have to live in imminent fear that their lives are not disrupted by the actions of these criminal organizations that wish to indulge in crime. In this paper, we will explore the various definitions, perception, characteristics of organized crime, and explore some high profile groups that indulge in different types of crimes. Perception of Organized Crime A University student named -------------- was asked......

Words: 1188 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Sociology of Prison Gangs

...structures. In prison, unlike most environments, the stakes of adaption are high. Non-conformity does not simply lead to ostracism; it can lead to victimization or death. In many ways prisons turn our understanding of deviance on its head. In a world of persons whom society considers deviants, those who do not conform to the (deviant) rules of prison society are the deviants. In some ways, these deviants are more like the normal members of general society than the normal members of criminal society. This is not always true, of course, but in some cases does apply. It is not unusual, therefore, for individuals in such a situation to band together for safety and survival. However, some groups form more cohesive, complex organizations with their own set of rules that result in activities which move far beyond the simple need to survive in a hostile environment. These gangs often take advantage of their strength within the prison walls to create profit-making enterprises and to disrupt normal prison operations (Camp and Camp, 1985). Prison gangs present a threat not only inside the penitentiary but outside as well, because of their well-established connections with drug trafficking organizations and street gangs. What happens within the razor wire has an impact on society in general not only because most prisoners will eventually be released, but because resources that might have been spent on rehabilitation are spent on combating gang activities (Fleisher and Decker,......

Words: 1513 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Personal Perception of Organized Crime

...Personal Perception of Organized Crime “The FBI defines organized crime as ‘any group having some manner of a formalized structure and whose primary objective is to obtain money through illegal activities’” (Lyman, 2011). The IRS says that “organized crime refers to those self-perpetuating, structured, and disciplined associations of individuals, or groups, combined together for the purpose of obtaining monetary or commercial gains or profits, wholly or in part by illegal means, while protecting their activities through a pattern of graft and corruption’ (Internal Revenue Service, 2010)” (Lyman, 2011). Another definition of organized crime is from the Omnibus Safe Street Control Act from 1968 which states that “’organized crime means the unlawful activities of the members of a highly organized, disciplined association engaged in supplying illegal goods and services, including but not limited to gambling, prostitution, loan sharking, narcotics, labor racketeering, and other unlawful activities of members of such organizations’ (FBI 2010)” (Lyman, 2011). My personal definition for organized crime would be a group with a common interest in crime and profits. They all have a common goal of doing whatever it takes to make money like selling drugs, gambling, prostitution, murders, and many other illegal activities. I think organized crime is extremely dangerous because of how far these criminals will go to get their way. I feel like the definitions in our book justified......

Words: 1087 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay


...Victomology Victims of Crimes and the Media Violent crime, gangs, and drugs are tearing our families apart. Violent crime and victims have become an issue in America and the rest of world. The negative effects of television, Movie Theater or any kind of media is affecting our children and teenagers. Statistics indicate a decline in violent crimes in our country and an increase in our national population in prisons. It is indisputable that our families are the victims in these drugs, gangs and organized crime issues in our communities. Nobody can discussed or argue that we need to stop this malicious act of violence. In addition, nobody can disagree that this violent crime is hard to fight. Gangs are born in impoverished sections of major cities. However, gangs and drugs activities are not limited to inner cities. Gangs and drugs are in suburbs and rural communities and in communities of great economic diversity. Gangs do not recruit certain type of race, economy or cultural status. Exist in every level and every kind of community. (Stewart, 1989). Therefore, our problem is everywhere and anywhere. The lack of parental supervision, employment, recreational opportunity and breakdown in family structure are the main reasons why our children are joining the ranks of these organized criminal institutions. It could be wrong to say it, but the truth is these gangs provide them (our children) with enough companionship,......

Words: 1255 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Social Organized Perscpective

...institutions could be schools, churches, gangs, sports groups, and so on. These institutions shape and mold who the person becomes later in life. School for example is the shaping factor for the people who attend. The social environment a person grows up in, forces the choices they have and choices make a person who they are. A person who comes from a lower socioeconomic status or environment that is gang and crime ridden has a good chance of becoming part of that institution. Institutions influence who people become and when they come from a good one such as a school or church they have a good chance of having positive influences versus bad ones they would get from crime and gangs. Social institutions can become a way of life especially if they are created around crime, gangs, and drugs. People get involved with these negative institutions and do not know how to get out. It is a way of life for them and knows no other way of living. Social institutions relate to organized crime because a person is a product of his or her environment when exposed to it long enough. An example of this is when a student leaves middle school and enters high school and becomes involved with entire new group of friends. This student will dress differently, talk differently, and behave differently. It completely molds who they are and the choices they make. Social institutions can be positives ones and negative ones. Some negative social institutions are gangs, mafia, and drug cartels. These......

Words: 633 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay


...Gangs Gangs have been a part of American Society for many years now. Some people would argue that gangs started around the 1950s (Made in America video). However the notorious gangs that most people know of, the Bloods and the Crips did not form until later. Many people question why young men and even kids join gangs, and there can be different answers to that question. However many people can agree that gangs and gang involvement is deviant act. The question now is what type of deviant organization are gangs, according to me, I believe that gangs are organized crime groups, or also a deviant family outlook. I believe that gangs are organized crime groups because gangs make up 48% of violent crimes ( Gangs take part in many different violent acts such as murder, theft, rape, kidnaping and etc… That is because gangs compete with other rival gangs, and when asked why they fight most gang members did not have a reason why. (Made in America Video). However they said if they kill one of us, than we go and kill three of them, it is that type of attitude that has led to 48% of violent crimes. (Made in America Video). Gangs to me are also organized crime groups because they participate in drug manufacturing, trade, and distribution which has to be carefully operated, without it being organized there would not be a profit made. Participating in all these different activities within the gang is what leads me to believe that they are an organized crime group. Another......

Words: 1628 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Growth of Gangs

...The Growth Of Gangs Gang: A formal or informal ongoing organization, association, or group that has as one of its primary activities the commission of criminal or delinquent acts, and that consists of three or more persons who have a common name or common identifying signs, colors, or symbols and have two or more members who, individually or collectively, engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal street gang activity. The key to the any gang definition is the phrase, "engage in criminal activity" or other similar wording. There are many legitimate fraternal groups, boys and girls clubs, sports teams and other organizations that have a common name and who may wear a particular uniform or articles of clothing. The first sight of gangs in Western Civilization was in 1873. Documentation of the existence of gangs in England during the 17th century and we speculate gangs may have been around earlier in the mother country. It does not appear though that gangs back then had any similar features of modern day street gangs. Organized gang crimes didn’t emerge until the 1600s. This is when gangs started wearing ribbons to distinguish themselves, and started terrorizing cities and people. Street gangs in the United States began with their presence on the East Coast around 1783. Nothing to serious until the 19th century did gangs really emerge. Four major regions of the United States began emerging quickly these were the Northeast, Midwest, West and South the......

Words: 1098 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Organized Crime


Words: 2235 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Primal Fear

...their crimes, we need to be getting these people the help they need instead of putting them in jail. However there will always be flaws in the system and people such as Aaron will get away with crimes they knew were wrong. 3. Aaron Stampler could be best represented by the social control/social bonding theory. He has very little ties to society because of the passing of his mother at a young age and growing up with an abusive father. After he was able to escape from his family he found the Archbishop, only to be sexually abused by him. He has no positive relationships with anyone is society, this makes him more likely to commit crimes. 4. Organized crime is a business operation that supplies illegal goods and services for profit. In Primal Fear, Joey Pinero's gang that Marty is defending in the beginning of the show is an example of organized crime. White-collar crime is illegal activities committed by people in their own jobs or financial affairs. In Primal Fear, the South River enterprise, a secret deal done by investors was an example of this. Violent crime...

Words: 808 - Pages: 4