Prison Gangs Essay

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Gangs in prison is not a new phenomena, gangs in prisons have been prevalent since the 1960’s and continue to have a major role in the corrections system today. To understand why gangs continues to have such a high impact on the system we must look at the history and types of gangs, how they developed in the corrections system and the impact these gangs have on the violence in the prison. What actions are being taken to deplete these gangs of their power and organizations in prison today? First, what is the definition of “gang”? One definition is “a group of criminal or hoodlums who band together for mutual protections and profit”. This is not only definition of a gang but why gangs were formed in the corrections system. By the 1920s there were over 1300 gangs in the city of Chicago and were beginning to develop in Los Angeles, California. Over the next 40 years gangs continued to spread over the United States and in the 1960s gangs were clearly prevalent in the corrections system as evidenced in the California corrections system. As a U.S. Department of Justice publication notes, “Their organization was so firmly entrenched before authorities understood the danger confronting them that control of the institution was seriously threatened (Seiter, p. 250). There were initially five major prison gangs which were known as the “Traditional Prison Gangs”. These gangs were initially formed to protect themselves from other inmates and predators. Through the years these gangs have went from self protection to now being known for their viciousness and violence to maintain power and control over other inmates. The Aryan Brotherhood (AB) originated in the San Quintin Prison in 1967. This gang was initially established to provide protection for white individuals from Black and Hispanic groups. The philosophy of the AB is a mixture of believing in white supremacy and

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