Security Threat Groups/Gangs in Prisons

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Security Threat Groups/Gangs in Prisons
Nicole Sage
Kaplan University

Nancy Thode
January 18, 2011

Security Threat Groups/Gangs in Prisons
In our prison systems today, many different gangs pose a threat to our correctional staff and other inmates. In the United States, gangs exist in forty of the fifty states. These gangs bring violence, drug trafficking and racial unrest to our correctional system.

The Aryan Brotherhood was formed in 1967 in San Quentin State Prison in California. They were originally comprised of Irish decent and former members of the fifties biker tips such as the Diamond Tooth Gang and The Bluebird gang. The Aryan Brotherhood was founded by Dallas Scott to fight the Black Guerrilla Family and was originally a white supremacist group. By 1975, the Aryan Brotherhood was throughout the California Corrections system.(2006). As their notoriety increased and the memberships grew, they established a chain of command modeled on the structure of the Italian Mafia. They communicated through a third party and established drug trafficking, security, extortion and gambling rackets in prisons. Leaders with multiple life sentences worked out of solitary confinement in some of the highest security prisons in the US. Now, the Aryan Brotherhood is no longer racially motivated. Instead, they are now focused on power in the system. They now work closely with the Mexican Mafia as one of their greatest allies. The Aryan Brotherhood is well known in several prisons. These include San Quentin State Prison in California, California State Prison, Pelican Bay State Prison in California, United States Penitentiary Marion Federal Prison in Illinois, Folsom State Prison in California, California Institution for Men, Harris County Jail in Texas, Estelle High-Security Unit in Texas, Garner Correctional Institution in Connecticut, Lompoc Federal Prison in California, High Desert State Prison in Nevada and Central Mississippi Correctional Facility.

An example to show how dangerous the Aryan Brotherhood can be within the prison walls starts with Thomas “Terrible Tom” Silverstein. Silverstein started the Aryan Brotherhood and DC Blacks race war by killing Raymond “Cadillac” Smith in 1982 by stabbing him 67 times in the Marion Control Unit and dragging his body up and down the tier so that those in locked cells could see. In addition, forty members have been indicted of federal racketeering charges in a 140, 10-count indictment. The indictment reached back over 20 years, spanning three decades and 32 murders. A majority of those involved in the indictment are already serving life sentences and now 23 are eligible for the death penalty.(2006).

George Jackson, a former Black Panther member, in San Quentin State Prison in California, founded the Black Guerrilla Family, or BGF, in 1966. They were originally called the Black Family or the Black Vanguard and had links to the Black Mafia. Some were former members of the Black Liberation Army, Symbionese Liberation Army and Weatherman Underground organization. The BGF is the most politically oriented of the major prison gangs. They formed as a Marxist/Maoist/Leninist Revolutionary organization with goals to eradicate racism, struggle to maintain dignity in prison and overthrow the United States government. The BGF is strongly organized on the east and west coasts of the US. In the 1990’s, there was a decline in membership and strength. The BGF has recently reorganized and gained substantial power and growth with their alignment with the 415s, Crips, Bloods and Black Gangster Disciples. The BGF is currently experiencing internal conflict with old and new membership in federal custody. The newest members formed “New Man/New Woman” or the Northern Structure of the BGF. Criminal activities include drug trafficking and murder.

Examples of how dangerous the Black Guerilla Family can be in our prison system starts on...
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