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Security Threat Groups Essay, Research Paper

Security Menace Groups

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One of the major jobs of corrections today is the security menace group or more normally known as the “ prison pack ” . A security menace group ( S.T.G. ) can be defined as any group of wrongdoers who pose a dainty to the security and physical safety of the establishment. “ Throughout the 1960 ’ s and 1970 ’ s, prison packs focused chiefly on unifying inmates for ego protection and the monopolisation of illegal prison activities for pecuniary addition ” ( F.B.P. , 1994, p. 2 ) . S.T.G. ’ s are largely divided along racial lines and pattern some kind of rebelliousness towards authorization. S.T.G. ’ s use a assortment of manus marks, alphabet codifications, tattoos, and different types of pack nomenclature. Gangs characteristically have challengers and do an confederation with other packs. The condemnable activity of S.T.G. ’ s does non merely exists inside the confines of the prison walls, but has flowed to the outside universe. “ Prostitution, extortion, drug merchandising, chancing, loan sharking – such activities are constantly operated by prison packs ” ( Gaines, Kaune, Miller, 2000, p.652 ) . The Texas Prison System consists of eleven classified security menace groups ; Texas chooses to sort a pack as a S.T.G. when they become involved in violent activity. “ Prison packs exist in the establishments of 40 provinces and besides in the federal system ” ( Clear and Cole, 2000, p. 260 ) . Three chief phases that the wrongdoer will see with the S.T.G. are recruitment, the pack experience, and association upon release.

Enrolling attempts begin with the consumption of the wrongdoer into the prison system. The best enlisting takes topographic point in transportation installations where wrongdoers are held before they are classified as to what security degree prison they will be sent to. There are stairss that must be followed when going a prospective applier for the pack. The stairss of enlisting vary from pack to gang and dwell of sponsorship, provisional periods, and a ballot of credence from fellow members. “ Sponsorship is compulsory, and merely after credence may an inmate identify himself with a tattoo or spot ” ( Ralph, 1997, p.185 ) . Most packs utilize a “ blood in, blood out footing for pack rank: A manque member must knife a pack ’ s enemy in order to be admitted, and one time in can non drop out without jeopardizing his ain life ” ( Clear and Cole, 2000, p.260 ) . Besides killing a rival there are other ways to come in the pack and receive credence. Those ways include, but are non limited to, assailing an officer, making drug trades, or “ catching a cell ” which means to travel into a cell with members of the pack for which the recruit is seeking to come in and contending against them to find if the prospective member can “ keep his ain ” . These methods of entryway are what contribute to a big bulk of the prison force. The past prison experience relied on “ the order and stableness provided by the old inmate subculture ( which ) has been replaced by an ambiance of struggle and tenseness, in which inmates align themselves into viing packs and other inmate organisations ” ( Bohm and Haley, 1999, p. 351 ) . The gang civilization is besides based on trueness and trust of fellow members, such as a “ united as one ” attitude. This attitude has brought up assurance in wrongdoers, but helped to decrease the effectivity of the authorization of the correctional officers. With the job of packs in manus, many provinces have decided to lock-up pack members in administrative segregation in order to cut down force and new recruiting attempts. In bend, pack members are hiding their associations from the prison functionaries, which makes it harder to command pack activity.

Of the 23 packs in The Texas Department of Criminal Justice merely eleven are classified as security menace group ’ s. Those 11 packs are the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, Aryan Circle, Barrio Aztecas, Bloods, Crips, La Hermanos De Pistoleros Latinos, Mexican Mafia, Raza Unida, Texas Chicano Brotherhood, Texas Mafia, and Texas Syndicate. The above listed security menace group ’ s are divided chiefly among racial lines. The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas originated in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in the early 1980 ’ s. The geographic location is confined purely to Texas and does non enroll members outside of Texas. It is based on the same thoughts of the Aryan Brotherhood, but is non a cabal of the group and lays no claim to association of its members. “ The pack is comprised of largely white racialist inmates ” ( F.B.P. , 1994, p. 30 ) . Members of this pack pattern the thoughts of “ White Power ” and “ the progress of the supreme white race ” . The pack utilizes a council that oversees operations and issues orders for organized offense or violent activities. The council is made up of certain wrongdoers from prison units across the province and each member of the council acts as the affair for the members of their several unit. The identifying Markss that some members choose are relics of the German Nazi type symbols, such as a swastika inside a circle or a shield with two blades crossed with a Hakenkreuz in the center. Two lightning bolts side by side are besides characteristic of Aryan Brotherhood of Texas members, but must non be confused with the similar usage of the same tattoo by the white knights. Its enemies consist of packs such as the Mandingo Warriors, La Nuestra Familia, Black Guerilla Family, and other black groups. At this current clip the enemies of the Texas Aryan Brotherhood are non classified as security menace groups because of their little figure of members.

The bloods originated as a street pack in Compton, California with the primary end to protect its members against the Crips Street Gang. Cabals of the Bloods pack are sometimes called Piru, which signifies the street where the pack originated. The chief pack is based out of Los Angeles, California and has many sets across the state. Many of the larger metropoliss in Texas have their ain set. When the members get to prison they become one group of Bloods. Since the Bloods is chiefly a street pack they are really different in their recruiting methods. They do non enroll inside the prison system. The recruiting attempts merely take topographic point in the metropoliss where the sets are. In order to go a member the recruit must make a robbery in the presence of other pack members, do a drive-by shot, or acquire “ rolled ” or beat-up by members. “ The Bloods present a important menace to correctional decision makers non merely due to their predatory and violent behaviour, but more significantly due to their intense competition with the Crips ” ( F.B.P. , 1994, p.53 ) . The Bloods do non normally wear a tattoo meaning their association, but will have on some type of ruddy vesture. In the correctional puting the members will seek to have on ruddy shoelaces or ruddy places, since they are unable to have on street vesture in prison. When the bloods are on the streets they are easy identified by the erosion of ruddy bandannas and ruddy vesture. The Bloods have their ain cypher and usage graffito to acquire their message across. Some of the most common graffito is negative towards the Crips or is used to tag their district. The Bloods are allied with any pack that considers the Crips an enemy.

The Crips Street pack is a violent black pack that was formed in South-central Los Angeles, California in 1969. “ During the early 1970 ’ s, the pack grew and branched out to other parts of Los Angeles County ; these new subordinate, or realigned bing packs were known as sets, and they used the term Crips in their single pack name ” ( F.B.P. , 1994, p.58 ) . The Crips dressed ore largely on extortion and force towards other Street packs. The Crips are a really big pack spread across the state and “ should the Crips of all time become more structured, they could show more serious jobs than created by other recognized prison pack or STG ’ s ” ( F.B.P. , 1994, p.58 ) . The ground that the Crips are such a security jeopardy is that the mean age is 20 old ages old and the outlook is more towards force to work out dissensions alternatively of concluding. The Crips do non utilize tattoos as placing Markss except for their street name. They identify themselves with the colour blue and are known to have on vesture of that colour in the free universe. Other tendencies include the erosion of British Knights tennis places because the B/K signifies “ bloods slayers ” . Crips have their ain alphabet and normally replace the missive “ B ” with the missive “ C ” in authorship or will set an “ X ” in the top of the missive “ B ” . When composing the missive “ A ” the Crips will compose it upside down to demo disrespect to the Bloods, since “ A ” carbon monoxide

Maines before “B” . The Crips are Alliess with anyone who considers the Bloods an enemy.

La Hermanos De Pistoleros Latinos is more normally know as HPL, which stands for “ Brotherhood of Latin Gunmen ” . “ The HPL is comprised largely of Mexican subjects incarcerated in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice ” ( F.B.P. , 1994, p.36 ) . It is presently one of the largest S.T.G. ’ s in the province of Texas, merely below the figure of members to the Mexican Mafia and Texas Syndicate. A member must be of Latin beginning, such as from Mexico, Cuba, or Puerto Rico. The executive regulations of the HPL provinces, “ I will non be able to invest as a Latino-brother any White or Black but merely Latinos. Latinos should be any Latin beginning ; Chicanos, Mexicanos, Puerto Ricans, Venezuelans and all individuals that speak Latino or are descendants of Latin families. ” The group is considered to be really violent because of there involvement with many slayings and assaults on enemies. “ The group is known to be involved in assorted illegal activities including narcotics trafficking, gaming, inmate assaults, protection rackets, and staff bullying ” ( F.B.P. , 1994, p.36 ) . The HPL has split into two cabals because of dissensions in the manner operations were being run. One cabal is called the “ 16/12 ” , which refers to the 16th and 12th letters of the alphabet “ P ” and “ L ” . The “ P ” and “ L ” stand for Pistoleros Latinos. The other cabal is called the “ 45 ’ s ” which is derived from the tattoo of a.45 quality handgun found normally on the tummy country straight under the ribs. Both cabals use the original fundamental law and regulations. The HPL is presently carry oning meetings in order to reunite both sides back together. Some of the 16/12 ’ s are declining to unite and are organizing their ain group called the Pistoleros Mexicanos or PM. At one clip the HPL aligned with the Mexikanemi ( Mexican Mafia ) , but is now at war with them because of some recent events affecting drug trades gone incorrect and murdering of each other ’ s members.

Mexikanemi better known as the Mexican Mafia or “ La Eme ” is Presently the largest riotous group in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The Mexican Mafia was started in 1984 as a agency for Latino inmates to go more cognizant of their cultural heritage. As rank increased, the Mexican Mafia changed from merely being cognizant of their cultural heritage and began taking portion in condemnable activities. Those condemnable activities are extortion, narcotics trafficking, and slaying both inside and outside the prison walls. Their fundamental law provinces, “ in being a condemnable organisation, we will work in any facet or condemnable involvement for the benefit or promotion of La Eme. We will traffic in drugs, contracts of blackwash, harlotry, robbery of high magnitude, and in anything that we can imagine. ” The recruiting procedure consists of a sponsorship where the recruit is taught the ways of the pack and so voted in. “ The background cheque is ill conducted, and merely a bulk ballot is required to derive entree to the pack ” ( Ralph, 1997, p.185 ) . The Mexican Mafia is structured under para-military lines with a president, vice-president, and generals that members are expected to follow purely. The president is in charge of all members both inside and outside the prison system. This is besides true for the vice-president and generals. Each of the generals are responsible for a specific geographical country of the province. Lieutenants are appointed to be in charge of certain metropoliss and specific units by the president or vice-president. The Mexican Mafia ’ s operations are non purely confined to the province of Texas and they presently conduct illegal activities in several provinces. The largest figure of members hail from the San Antonio, Texas country which is why San Antonio is the place metropolis of the Mexican Mafia. Other countries incorporating strong rank are Dallas, Houston, Austin, and El Paso. Members of the Mexican Mafia can be identified by tattoos exposing an bird of Jove with a serpent in the oral cavity. Another common marker is the word “ eme ” or a Sun and a two-headed serpent. Enemies of the Mexican Mafia include the Texas Syndicate,

HPL, and Barrio Aztecas.

The Texas Mafia is a preponderantly White group that was formed in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in the early 1980 ’ s. This group is made up largely of wrongdoers that have a huge cognition of narcotics and narcotic trafficking. This group is known for their force as shown in the big figure of wrongdoer homicides the group has participated in. The Texas Mafia is closely aligned with the Texas Syndicate. Their regulations refer to the Texas Syndicate as their “ cousins ” . Enrolling attempts have slowed due to the figure of other white packs and the fact that they are aligned with a preponderantly Hispanic pack. “ Gang tattoos are worn on the right forearm or behind the right shoulder ; before a member leaves the Texas Department of Criminal Justice he must be tattooed ” ( F.B.P. , 1994, p.47 ) . At this current clip the Texas Mafia has no known enemies.

Texans incarcerated in the California Prison System formed the Texas Syndicate ( TS ) in 1974. Some members came back to Texas, were arrested and incarcerated in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, where the recruiting began and brought the Texas Syndicate to be the 2nd largest S.T.G. in Texas. Members are predominately Mexican American males, but there are some cases where White wrongdoers have been accepted as full members. “ The TS has a formal organisational construction and set of written regulations ( movidas ) for its members. A TS member is called a “ animal, ” a group is called “ carnales, ” and a TS recruit is called a “ cardinal. ” The institutional leader is called the “ Chairmen ” ” ( F.B.P. , 1994, p.19 ) . The primary end of the TS is the control of the narcotics trade, extortion of other wrongdoers, control harlotry, undermine prison functionaries, and behavior contract violent deaths as needed. “ The Texas Syndicate besides employs what are called “ advisers ” or “ financers ” who are non members but work for the group one admitted “ financer ” reported that his duties included keeping money for the pack every bit good as “ hooking officers. ” The money he held was kept in an outside bank history … To “ hook ” an officer, the inmate additions the assurance of an officer, normally new to the occupation, so persuades the officer to convey in narcotics to administer among Texas Syndicate members. The officers are rewarded with up to 40 per centum of the net incomes ” ( Ralph, 1997, p.184-185 ) . The Texas Syndicate has dropped their blood in, blood out regulation. Now a member can go out the pack short of decease, but they can ne’er fall in another pack without certain decease. Enemies of the Texas Syndicate include the Raza Unida and the Mexican Mafia.

When the clip comes most gang members will be released from prison. Upon release members must describe in to the country leader of the pack. If a member of the Mexican Mafia does non repot in within one hebdomad of release, so a hit is put out on that member. The lone manner to acquire out of the Mexican Mafia is to fly the province and move far off up North. As of today the lone pack that will let go of a member without decease is the Texas Syndicate.

The force per unit areas of gang influence among the inmate population are higher than it has of all time been. The chief contributing factor is force and extortion on non-gang members. Gang rank is no longer for the inmate who has a long sentence and needs the protection to do his clip easy. Gang member rates are lifting in the province gaol system where the maximal sentence is normally two old ages. Deciding to fall in one of the prison packs is a life changing determination. When one enters, they non merely endanger themselves, but besides household and friends. As it is stated in many of the by-laws, “ blood in, blood out ” -membership is for life.


Bohm, R.M. , & A ; Haley, K.N. ( 1999 ) . Introduction to Criminal Justice ( 2nd edition ) . New York: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.

Clear, T.R. , & A ; Cole, G.F. ( 2000 ) . American Corrections ( 5th edition ) . Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Federal Bureau of Prisons. ( 1994 ) Security Threat Groups Symbols and Terminology ( Fall 1994 edition ) . Capital of california: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Gaines, L.K. , & A ; Kaune, M. , & A ; Miller, R.L. ( 2000 ) Criminal Justice in Action. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Ralph, P.H. ( 1997 ) . From Self Preservation to Organized Crime: The Evolution of Inmate Gangs. In J.W. Marquart, & A ; J.R. Sorensen ( Eds. ) . Correctional Context: Contemporary and Classical Readings ( pp. 182-186 ) . Los Angeles: Roxbury

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