Modern Day Prison Gangs Essay

1665 words - 7 pages

Modern-Day Prison Gangs and How They Operate
Angel Ruby
March 21, 2013
American River College
Modern-Day Prison Gangs and How They Operate
There are several different prison gangs currently in power within the prisons today. There is the Mexican Mafia, La Neustra Familia, Black Guerrilla Family, and The Aryan Brotherhood. Though each gang has separate syndicates, these four gangs remain the most influential (A. Ruby, personal interview, March 19, 2013). How these gangs operate depends on the prison they occupy. While each of these gangs was initially created to survive in ethnically segregated situations that is not the case any longer. Currently the aspirations of these gangs have ...view middle of the document...

So if you get involve this can cause an even bigger war inside the prison (A. Ruby, personal interview, March 19, 2013). When the violence of the power struggle began to spill out onto the streets, the FBI took
action. They created “Operation Black Widow”. Through this operation the FBI was able to obtain evidence on five of the six members of the “mesa” and sentence them to federal prison. They were taken from state prison and separated to different prisons across the United States.
There is currently one leader of the NF now. There is still a “mesa” but it contains only four members now and they answer to the one boss (A. Ruby, personal interview, March 19, 2013). Beneath the NF is the Northern Structure (NR) and beneath them are the Norteños. Norteños are the street gang members who do the majority of the footwork for the NF. The NF’s only other known association besides the NR is the Black Guerrilla Family (to some degree) (Gangs OR Us Gang Identification, 1999). Though currently, more of a “race war” is going on inside the prison system so their tentative relationship might be voided. (A. Ruby, personal interview, March 19, 2013).
The main sources of income for Nuestra Familia and Norteños are derived from distributing cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine within prison systems as well as in outside communities and by extorting drug distributors on the streets. Nuestra Familia is also involved in other criminal activities including homicide and robbery (Prison Gangs, n. d.). What is also currently profitable is cellphones and “pruno” also known as prison wine. The way the NF obtains these items is through family and friends, usually females that come to visit members of the Nuestra Familia and they smuggle the drugs anally or vaginally. In return the inmates will reward them through protection on the streets and financial security (A. Ruby, personal interview, March 19, 2013).
The Mexican Mafia, also known as the EME, was established in the late 1950’s and is one of the oldest prison gangs around (Top 10 US Prison Gangs, 2010). They represent southern California and can be identified by their tattoos which normally consist of a black hand print and/or the number thirteen. The current sole purpose of this gang is profit. They have a majority of ways to gain profit including extortion, drug sells, and prostitution. The way the Mexican Mafia currently operates is that there are an unknown number of “generals” who give orders that are carried out by “captains, lieutenants, and soldiers” (Gangs OR Us Gang Identification, 1999). The soldiers are usually low-level street gang members who do the bidding of the higher-up captains, lieutenants, and generals who are normally within the prison system. Their affiliation is with the Aryan Brotherhood.
The Black Guerrilla Family (BGF) was founded in 1966 in the San Quentin State Prison in California. The group is extremely anti-government and anti-official. The BGF is...

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