Gangs and gang behavior discussion board response

POST 1) There are several major gangs in prison that operate in the U.S. to include the Bloods, Aryan Brotherhood, Black Guerrilla Family, Mexican Mafia, Texas Syndicate, Neta, and Islamic Gangs (Holmes et al., 2012). I believe that the inmates of prison gangs’ differ from one another by the gangs’ distinction of race, ethnicity, their affiliation with street gangs, the structure of each gang, code of conduct, religious beliefs and ideology. Gangs such as The Bloods and Black Guerrilla Family are both African-American groups but, they differ according to their internal gang association. The Bloods are associated with the street gangs while the Black Guerrilla Family is a highly politicized group that only forms a bond with the same race and political (anti-government) mindset. The gangs of Mexican Mafia, Texas Syndicate, and Neta are all Hispanic gangs however, they all differ according their gang structure and ideology. Since living in the Central Valley of Califomia I discovered that the Nortenos gang (which is present in the city where I reside) are affiliated with the notorious and dangerous Nuestra Familia prison gang that are mostly Hispanic members. The members of the group participate in a “blood-oath” pledge of allegiance which means an individual declares membership for life and there is no termination of oath; if a member tries to leave the group it will cost him his life. An article from Listverse website stated that “A top ranking La Nuestra Familia gang member was released from prison in 2000…. His decision to leave the gang and turn his life around was not met very kindly. The leaders put out a hit on him, and he was shot at close range in the head just five days after being released from prison” (Top 10 US Prison Gang, 2010). This incident goes to prove that once a member wants to resign from the group, his own brothers from the gang will disown him. Even behind the walls of prison, leaders from the prison gang have the power to influence gangs on the street to wreak havoc to the member who quit. Prisoners join gangs in prisons for the main purpose of seeking protection, having an allegiance with a group that will protect the inmates from other incarcerated predators. Furthermore, prisoners join a gang to improve the quality of their life by having a sense of belonging in prison. Prison gangs are almost similar to street gangs as an individual is most secure when he is included and surrounded by his brotherhood of the gang.

POST 2) According to Holmes, Tewksbury & Higgins (2012), the top seven gangs in the United States prisons are Crips, Gangster Disciples, Bloods, Latin Kings, Vice Lords, Aryan Brotherhood and Folks (p.113). One of the major differences in these gangs is the members they are composed of. Many of the gangs are distinguished by race. Another difference would be how the prison gangs operate both inside and outside of the prison. The gangs also vary in their leadership structure and rules. For example, The Bloods do not operate on the basis of an established written charter. This is not to say that there are not established and known rules and structures, however (Holmes, Tewksbury, & Higgins, 2012, p. 114). I believe that prisoners join gangs as a form of protection. I had a relative in prison before and I can say without his identifying tattoos, he would have had no form of protection from other prison gang members. Similar to the reason why indigenous prison gangs are formed, for “… purposes of both enhancing their lifestyle and seeking both a sense of belonging and protection from other inmates” (Holmes, Tewksbury, & Higgins, 2012, p. 111). I was particularly interested in leaming more about the Aryan Brotherhood. For one, because in the small town that I live in there is a history of white supremacist members and racism. For two, of all the gangs that I’ve ever heard of, this is the one that I have always been the most frightened of. The description of the Aryan Brotherhood in the text did not make them sound as violent as some of the other gangs. However, in my additional research I found that “the gang makes up less than one percent of the U.S. prison population but is responsible for 21 percent of the murders across the system” (Stockton, 2018, para. 26). For me that number is quite large for a gang who occupies less than one percent of the U.S. prison population.