Security Threat Groups in Prison
It may sound ironic but the people now are impressed with the fact that these security threat groups are being sophisticated and well-versed in and out of their endeavors. Social influences like the media and other institutions like government and church tolerate these groups not because of fear but the ideological benefits that they can get. It is now safe to say that prison gang oversight is becoming as educated and organized as the gangs themselves.
The international intelligence sharing of technological surveillance, officer training programs, emergency preparedness, interagency cooperation, research and evaluation for Security Threat Groups in the prison have been top priority and security mechanism of modern correctional institutions (Maghan, 2006). Anti-gang policies and procedures were made to forefront of societal security priorities (Maghan, 2006). Here are the following infamous Security threat groups. In 1967, the Aryan Brotherhood was established in San Quentin (Ross, 2002).
The original goal of the group was to protect the White people from the affairs of the Black and the Hispanic. With the Blacks and Hispanic groups as threats, the Mexican Mafia was their greatest fear. It was said that some of the members of the Aryan Brotherhood came from the 1950s gang called “Bluebird” (Ross, 2002). The Bluebird gang was formerly known as “Diamond Tooth Gang” and “Nazi Gang” (Ross, 2002). The members of the Aryan Brotherhood have evident marks on their bodies. These are tattoos that have an “AB” and three sixes.
If there are certain individuals who tried to imitate their trademark, they can be subjected to murder or torture. Some Aryan Brotherhood members are discouraged to have the tattoos because it serves as identification of that person when caught by the law enforcers. Due to this, some members have resulted for the removal of the tattoo or disguising it for something different that will be unidentifiable by the law enforcers. The Aryan Brotherhood is considered to be a hate group and a racist one (Ross, 2002). They believe in White Supremacy.
White Supremacy refers to the ideological belief that the White people are superior to the Blacks in all aspects of life (Ross, 1995). Most the criminal acts of the Aryan Brotherhood is based on their conflict with the opposite race that they have imposed upon. With the growing number of crimes that the Aryan Brotherhood has committed, they have decided to collaborate with their common foe which is the Mexican Mafia. The Aryan Brotherhood is not just interested with racial supremacy also they are engaged with profitable activities such as using the Odinist religion to hold meetings and infiltrate the business sector.
They have also adapted the American Sign Language for secret conversations. The recruitment process of the Aryan Brotherhood and their qualifications are: applicants must be white male inmate, lifelong member, the acceptance of the “Blood in, Blood out”, a rumble or scrimmage must occur before welcoming and lastly the process can last as long as the members of the brotherhood is not yet satisfied with the applicant’s performance. Aryan Brotherhood was never known to be an organized prison gang but it is renowned because of its reputation for hostility and volatility.
On the summer of 1997, the Aryan Brotherhood leader named John Stojetz was accused of murder. He is said to kill a seventeen year old Black prisoner in Ohio prison. It has been said that the Aryan Brotherhood sprouted from the California but due to being infamous, it has spread around the nation especially in the federal prison system. Here are some of the salient characteristics of the Aryan Brotherhood. They are fragmented groups of people and organize themselves according to their respective states. As stated earlier, they are a white supremacist group and also they are influential even inside the prison.
There is no significant political figure involved with this organization. Most of the members caught only committed robbery and for worse murder. The Aryan Brotherhood was mainly involved in drug trafficking, robbery, extortion, and coercion towards the enemy race. In the prison, there are still activities like allocation of drugs and disobedience of the terms and conditions of the prison. There are many other disruptive behaviors caused by this monstrous group. Another security threatening group is the Folks. The Folks were out of the collaboration with The People.
These two groups belong to the penitentiary system which is comprised of gang members who seek protection from one another (Madison Police Department, 2005). Both of them are established in the 1980s (Madison Police Department, 2005). The Folks originated from Chicago just like the “The People”. The People were the trends setter back then. The accessories of The People are all situated in the left of the body while The Folks is in the right. Since there is a rule to forbid gang identifiers, they have simply renamed their groups as “Folks” and “People” (Madison Police Department, 2005).
In most instances, the People alliance uses that five pointed star symbol as their gang graffiti. It symbolizes the Black Stone Nation which is considered to be one of the largest black street gang (Madison Police Department, 2005). They have a term called “high five, six must die”. The “high five” refers to the People and the “six” refers to the Folks which became their enemy. Folks’ depiction of the six pointed star came from the Star of David, a Jewish symbol in reference to the Late King David of Solomon (Madison Police Department, 2005). This is the graffiti used by the Folks.
After the death of the leader and founder of the Black Gangster Disciple Nation named David Barksdale was slain, the use of the six-pointed star as their gang symbol has been legitimized. Other symbol of the Folks is the image of a standing pitchfork. Though the Folks and People do not like each other, they still respect each other in terms of either illegal activity. Supposedly, Folks should not enter the territory of the People hence there is a mutual understanding that activities regarding drug trafficking should not be compromised because it all serves them well.
There are some exceptions to the rules of engagement and hostility. Still, both groups are organized in nature. On the other hand, there might have been some changes of people’s perspective come 1930s. In 1930s, the Nation of Islam was lead by Louis Gene Walcott Farrakhan in Detroit, Michigan (Palmer). The Nation of Islam is black racist cult that believes in the transcendence of God and inculcates to the Black people that they are one of the angelic gods. The Nation of Islam claims that the Islamic religion is only for the Blacks (Palmer). It is known that Elijah Muhammad is the last prophet.
The Islamic religion introduces prayer, fasting, pilgrimage and charity. This social movement became racist ideology because it claimed that only the Black can be a Moslem. Basically the main tenets of the Nation of Islam are: to raise the moral, societal and economic status of the non-white members of the community; to debunk the notion of the dominant group which is the White, evidence to this is that the human race has originally been black. Within this line of thought, Blacks believed that there must be a separate development between different races.
Since there are many who adheres to the Whites, it has became a birth of a countermovement which recruits the prisoners of war, criminals in jail and drug users in institutions just to even the number with the majority. There have been efforts of the Black Muslims to fund infrastructures for the proliferation of Islam. The main purpose of this movement is to push through their self-proclaimed goal of resurrecting the spiritual, social, economic condition of the Black man and woman of America with the belief that God will bring about a universal or eternal peace.
Another group the sprouted in the midst of the other movements was the MS-13. The Mara Salvatrucha 13 is considered to be one of the most volatile gangs in the United States (The Brownsville Herald, 2004). This movement is considered to be an organized group of people which basically retains the ties and bonds of the El Salvador remnants. Due to the large scale and scope of this organization, it has been considered to be international and is knocking to be the first ever international organized crime entity. The basic look of a member is that he or she is full tattoos and always wear a blue and white to symbolize the flag of El Salvador.
Their massive strength is evident in the Honduras alone having thirty-six thousand adherents (The Brownsville Herald, 2004). Being hostile on law enforcers and society is normal among them. Mara Salvatrucha came from the word “La Mara” which is a street in El Salvador and what is called Thirteenth Street in Los Angeles. The gang was born in El Salvador and is comprised of guerillas who were involved in the civil war. In 2003, four thousand gang members were arrested because of participating with gang activities. Their evidence is the tattoos evidently drawn on the members back and arm (The Brownsville Herald, 2004).
There maybe some dispute about the exact beliefs and tenets of them. One of the common beliefs is the word “Mara” which refers to the Spanish word “Posse” and “Salvatrucha” for “Salvadoran”. Their main objective was to protect themselves from other gangs. The more established gangs of Los Angeles were compromised and dominated by the Mexicans or Mexican-Americans which became the Mexican Mafia. The “devil’s head” hand signal, which forms an “M” when turned upside down, is similar to the same symbol common in hard rock.
The gang eventually allowed only Salvadorans to join, but later allowed other Hispanics to join as well. Ku Klux Klan is the name of the fraternal organizations in the United States that have advocated white supremacy in the past century which involves anti-Catholicism, and Nativism. In 1866, the first embodiment was done (Anti-Defamation Law, 2001). The main purpose of the Ku Klux Klan was to resist Reconstruction and it focused as much on capturing “scalawags” and putting down the freed slaves. This was the vision of the Confederate army. In 1868, one thousand three hundred were murdered due to the electoral process.
The Ku Klux Klan has its own territory but like the others there are still other to get an exception for free entry. In the 1870’s, President Ulysses Grant imposed the Ku Klux Klan act which aimed to send the organization to extinction (Anti-Defamation Law, 2001). In 1915, the second Ku Klux Klan was intriduced by William Joseph Simmons (Anti-Defamation Law, 2001). It has become organized since then. Now, there is a formal membership process. And also there has been a fund to organize local chapters around the country. In the 1920s, the recruitment process went well.
Now, the Ku Klux Klan teaches people about social movement, mobs and riots, counter-movement and protests. The Great depression in World War II dearly affected the membership of it. Today, the recent Ku Klux Klan stratified in small local units is considered an extreme hate group. The Ku Klux Klan departed the mainstream media, politics and religion. The second Klan collapsed as a result of the retaliation against their actions and partly as a result of a scandal involving the Republican Party, after previous active membership in the Socialist Party and then in the Democratic Party.
In 1960s, the name Ku Klux Klan has been used by many different unrelated groups that aim to oppose the Civil Rights Act and desegregation (Anti-Defamation Law, 2001). There are many differences between Aryan Brotherhood, MS 13, Ku Klux Klan, The Nation of Islam and The Folks. First, Aryan Brotherhood is a racist group which adheres to be the White Supremacist wherein they are in complete opposition with the Blacks and due to this, their hostile behavior ended up with having a new foe which is the Mexican Mafia. The Aryan Brotherhood is not a social movement hence it is a hate group.
Hate group in the sense that they are really into abusing Blacks. Their strength is concentrated mainly in California and still gradually rising up to now but this time they are more discreet about their activities. Being an Aryan Brotherhood member nowadays are not revealed as it is on the past. In terms of prison strength, there is some particular prisons such as San Quentin State Prison, California State Prison at Corcoran, Pelican Bay State Prison, USP Marion and Folsom State Prison where the Aryan Brotherhood dominates.
The Aryan Brotherhood is completely engulfed with the White supremacy hence it enable them to distort other vectors of their lives such as religion and morality. The Folks on the other hand are like civil warlike people who do not prejudice people form other races but neglect those people who are similar to them. The conflict between The Folks and The People are mainly lack of mutual interdependence to one another. Since they are not dependent to one another, there is no point for there to have a harmonious relationship.
The peaceful coexistence of the Folks and The People are inevitable, the basis of their war is about the minority and majority issue. Among the others, groups such as Ku Klux Klan and The Nation of Islam were specifically focused on religion, the propagation of it and how they will influence the others to have negative implications on other religions. The Nation of Islam adheres to that only the Blacks are the ones who have the salvation of God since they naturally possess the real color of man. One of the most prominent speakers produced by the Nation of Islam was Malcolm X.
Malcolm X was a renowned Black American Muslim minister. Malcolm X tried to bridge the gap between the Whites and the Blacks. All he talked of is about civil rights and the positive imagery that he sees through the people. As a member of the Nation of Islam, he pushed through the effort the social justice that the Blacks deserve. The Nation of Islam is concerned with empowerment of the Blacks and the weakening of the Whites. Unconsciously, this is what they wanted. Among the five groups that has been defined and analyzed, there is one trend among their transformation.
The lack of societal acceptance is the key to those who have changed their hearts from good to bad. From the looks of it, they do not want to be that way. As we can see, they are all violent and hostile in their own nature. But being paranoid to the things around us would only make us more hostile. Hostility, aggression, greed, apathy and gluttony were some the unlikely characteristic of a religious group for example Ku Klux Klan and The Nation of Islam. There is a large spectrum of view which all people look upon hence we do not see the irregularity of our society.
All of the groups were treated deviant so they have organized themselves to something powerful that the majority itself. Society has given them their own identity and own threshold hence they are still incomparable to the other groups who do the same things that they do. The prejudice and pre-judgment of people gets the best of us. Being social delinquents happens normally in our daily lives but we must understand that they are also humans and they need to be treated like one. The Ku Klux Klan was very dangerous of decapitating government officials thus they only believe that the way to salvation is the eradication of the rotten leadership.
As all of these groups have collaborated, they may have come in different time, in different form, in different topography, the only thing that matters is they get what they want. Reinforcement is still an option. Security Threat Groups are made to balance the society and also to spur new ideological interventions. These groups of people may have caused fear and anxiety to other people hence they just want to express their grudge to the ever cruel society. Racism and anxiety is just one of many pathologies of our society today.