Good Research Paper On Security Threat Groups/Gangs In Prisons
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Gangs can be a major threat to citizens when they are on the streets. They are no less dangerous when they are detained however they become an issue for a different group of people including the guards who are in charge of maintaining order in the prison. Maintaining the security of prisons is in almost all mission statements of the prisons. Security threat groups which can be identified in certain gangs are a major risk for security in the prisons. The mission statements are in place to help guards identify and seek out any type of gang activity as this particular activity is dangerous. People working at the prisons need to have the ability to not only spot the members but know why people join gangs so they can look for signs of this as well. If the guards and staff do not have this knowledge these risks and threats will only get worse when nothing is stopping them from growing into a bigger issue (Campbell, 2015). There are five major gangs that have been credited with creating many of these risks throughout time, The Aryan Nation, MS-13, The Folk Nation, The Black Guerilla family and the Mexican Mafia.
The Aryan Nation
The Aryan Nation was originally devised as a means of protection for white individuals in the prison system that was at risk or threat from certain African American and Hispanic gangs. This specific group began its reign in 1967 in a corrections facility known as San Quentin prison. There are two different groups of these members which consist of the members in federal prisons and those in state prisons. The founder of the Aryan Nations was a Christian extremist and World War II veteran named Richard Butler. He formed a church in Idaho with the purpose of becoming a racial state after his beliefs. The gang has two main goals the top goal is crime, and the other is racism. The gang has one creed and one motto by which they operate. The creed is “I will stand by my brother, my brother will come before all others, my life is forfeited should I fail my brother, I will honor my brother in peace and war” and there motto is “In for life out by death”. There main goal is to promote the white race and most of this time this is done through criminal acts against other races. The gang is strongest in the federal prison system where it is responsible for up to 26 percent of the murders despite only making up around 1 percent of the total prison population as stated in estimates provided by the federal bureau of investigations (Barnhart, 2009). The Aryan nations has faced several issues with their group including being split up into multiple different groups however the Butler remained the founder until 2001when he named his successor and two top lieutenants. As of 2001 the Aryan nations was still ongoing however there future endeavors remain a mystery. The Aryan nations are responsible for many crimes before entering prison that are usually petty. However after they have been initiated these crimes escalate with their initiation crime being to murder someone, and all of their following crimes being hate motivated. The Aryan nations has become involved in organized crime more recently drug trafficking and prostitution (Barnhart, 2009). There are many examples of the dangers of this gang but one definite problem for the prisons is there initiation tactic which involves murdering a person of an opposite race.
MS-13 or Mara Salvatrucha as they call themselves didn’t originate in the prison system. Instead this gang began on the Los Angeles streets in the 1980s and was made up of immigrants that wished to protect themselves from different gangs. The founder of Ms-13 was Ernest Miranda aka Smokey. He was later shot to death in El Salvador in 2006 (Kim, 2006). The gang was originally formed as a way to protect the immigrants from gangs after they fled El Salvador to escape the civil war. There motto and beliefs are centered in their name. Mara means a group or a clique. Salvatrucha means street smart however there is no sure way to tell what this was meant to refer to as the name was intended to represent the founding members who escaped the civil war by fleeing to the United States. 13 represents the letter m which is a sign of respect for the gang, it is the thirteenth letter of the alphabet. This gang has extreme strength in El Salvador where its members originate from, however it has become a problem and a threat in the streets and all of the prisons across the United States even being labeled one of the most dangerous street gangs. Ms-13 is not in decline and in fact has become a top criminal enterprise despite even the president of Honduras joining in the battle against them and making it a criminal action punishable by up to 12 years to be part of the organization. The gang members have found new motivation to come to America as El Salvador reportedly has death squads that hunt down members and kill them. MS13 is involved in a major amount of serious criminal activity inside and out of prisons as they are part of drug cartels. There major crime is trafficking stolen vehicles for drug money for these cartels. However this group is not limited in there criminal activities and are known to commit any crime including murder and rape (Domash, 2015). Given the nature and extent of this gangs criminal activity there crimes inside the prison walls could range anywhere from rape and drug smuggling to murder. This makes the gang especially dangerous for other inmates in the prison system.
Black Guerilla Family
The black Guerilla family began its reign of terror in the California state correctional facility in 1960 and is an all-African American gang. Its founders were George Lester Jackson (who ranked high in the Black Panther organization) and W.L. Nolen Jackson who operated as the first armed movement. The reason this gang started was that they believed the prison system consisted of a white and racist administration. This group is geographically strongest where there roots began in California however they are a high threat in all prisons across the United States. The group currently only consists of around 9,000 members however the crimes they are involved in are serious. They pose a great risk to communities where they are involved with drugs and commit crimes like murder. When it comes to their threat in prisons an example of how dangerous the gang is would be that they will murder anyone who is against them. Once they were even responsible for the extreme murder of a court judge in the 1970s (offenders, 2015). This group has an ongoing war with two other serious gangs the Aryan brotherhood and the Mexican mafia making the threat of prison violence even higher (force, 2015).
The folk nation was first created in 1978 and there founder was Larry hoover who was also in charge of the black gangster disciples who he combined with the folk nation. The reason they created this group was to organize and control the drug trade and gang wars. The reason they were created was to unify the illegal activity and to make money while keeping the streets safer from gang rivalries. Oddly enough this organization was created to establish order amongst the gangs that were already active at the time (Zook, 2015). The gang is considered strongest on the east coast of America however their presence in the military suggests that there members have reached out further. For instance there symbols have been found on military bases in Iraq raising concerns about the gang receiving military training. The gang is well known for being violent and having their hands in drug dealing especially crack cocaine. They have many different gangs involved who each have individual mottos that can be identified by the tattoos they get that each represent something different. These gangs are well organized and combine many different gangs each capable of different crimes. The organizational skills make them a severe threat in the prison systems as this group is capable of creating an uprising against the officials charged with their imprisonment (Barnhart, 2009).
The Mexican mafia was founded in Tracy California by Luis Heuro Buff in 1957. Its origins were in the youth prison system in California. Later a boy named Raymond Mundo rose to be the godfather of this gang. This gang was not formed to be a criminal organization, instead there goal was to form one large super prison gang. The idea was to get the best criminals with the talent that was needed and form a revered criminal enterprise that could control the prison system. When they first formed it was to show their heritage and to form a ring of protection from both prison guards and other inmates and they considered themselves allies or brothers. Before long this gang was established in both the youth and adult correctional facilities in California. In 1971 the gang heightened its criminal level with the first murder that was gang related in Los Angeles (Valdemar, 2007). After this the gang became involved in drug trafficking extortion and other murders. The separation of its members to other prisons only helped the gang grow into a larger problem at other prisons across the United States. The place where the gang is strongest is in California however they have had the ability to expand as the correctional facilities attempted to break up the group by transferring members to other prisons. When the Mexican mafia began expansion in the 1950s they also gained an alliance with the Aryan nation or Aryan brotherhood making them a violent and serious threat to the prison system. An example of their dominance and threat to the prison system would be there execution style murders of other gang members. The gang is a serious threat as they instill fear in inmates by threatening murder and in some cases following through with the threat. Right now the gang has over 30,000 members that are known of and this is not expected to decline any time soon and in fact have continued to increase their criminal activities both in the streets and the prison systems. (Broemmel, 2015).
The prison gangs that were discussed in this paper are all known as some of the most violent and dangerous gangs in existence today. All of their founders originally organized the members in an effort to protect people of their races from violent street gangs that were in communities or prison systems creating terror at the time. Protection from others was the main idea behind all of these gangs. However all of the gangs have branched out much farther from this initial idea of protecting their selves and have become major criminal enterprises working both in the streets prison systems and with cartels out of the country. All of the gangs regardless of the size have a similar threat level as they all wreak havoc in the streets and in the prisons. Some of these gangs even target guards and are responsible for the murder of prison guards charged with keeping order. There criminal activities align perfectly as well as these gangs are considered the most dangerous for their murderous ways and abilities to make large sums of money from drug trafficking and working together with drug cartels. The only defining difference between these serious criminals is that they are driven by hate for other races. In some instances this means war between two races for instance the Folk nation and the Aryan Brotherhood. In other situations alliances are formed concerning a mutual hate for a race like how the Mexican mafia and Aryan brotherhood have joined together in the prison system. In any case these individuals pose a serious threat to the guards who are trying to ensure the prisoners serve their time as they dangerously all share a common interest, to rise up against the officials in charge of looking after them and establish dominance.
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Barnhart, T. (2009). Tell It Like It Is » The Aryan Brotherhood. Corrections.com. Retrieved 3 March 2015, from http://www.corrections.com/tracy_barnhart/?p=500
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Campbell, T. (2015). Recognizing and Controlling Security Threat Groups. Corrections.com. Retrieved 3 March 2015, from http://www.corrections.com/news/article/32484-recognizing-and-controlling-security-threat-groups
Domash, S. (2015). America's Most Dangerous Gang. Apfn.org. Retrieved 3 March 2015, from http://www.apfn.org/APFN/ms-13.htm
force, t. (2015). BLACK PRISON GANGS: Black Guerrilla Family. Blackprisongangs.blogspot.com. Retrieved 3 March 2015, from http://blackprisongangs.blogspot.com/2010/04/black-guerrilla-family.html
Kim, P. (2006). Professor Kim's News Notes: Founder of MS-13 gang killed; had renounced violence. Professorkim.blogspot.com. Retrieved 3 March 2015, from http://professorkim.blogspot.com/2006/05/founder-of-ms-13-gang-killed-had.html
League, a. (2005). Aryan Nations -- Extremism in America. Archive.adl.org. Retrieved 3 March 2015, from http://archive.adl.org/learn/ext_us/aryan_nations.html
offendors, p. (2015). BLACK GUERRILLA FAMILY. Prisonoffenders.com. Retrieved 3 March 2015, from http://www.prisonoffenders.com/black_guerrilla_family.html
Valdemar, R. (2007). History of the Mexican Mafia Prison Gang. Policemag.com. Retrieved 3 March 2015, from http://www.policemag.com/blog/gangs/story/2007/07/history-of-the-mexican-mafia-prison-gang.aspx
Zook,. (2015). ChicagoGangs.org Website. Chicagogangs.org. Retrieved 3 March 2015, from http://www.chicagogangs.org/index.php?pr=PEOPLE_FOLKS_HISTORY
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