History and background:
There are five original major prison gangs known as "Traditional Prison Gangs." These
prison gangs, known for their violence, formed in the 1960's and 1970's in the California corrections system and were originally formed by inmates as a means to protect themselves from other groups and inmate predators.
Most major prison gangs, also known as Security Threat Groups (STG) are found in the states of California, Arizona,
Texas and Florida, but they are also in many other states where they have had a major impact on the state prison
systems, They have also spread throughout the Federal Bureau
of Prisons where they are known as "disruptive groups."
In addition to the original prison gangs there are many other prison gangs. Some
have similar names but in most cases, have no direct connection to
the original gangs other than friendly alliances.
Joining the list of of the
five traditional prison gangs is a group known as the "Ñetas", which originated in the Puerto Rico prison system and has spread to the United States. This group may be found in prison systems (primarily, the East Coast) that have a Puerto Rican or Hispanic inmate population.
These prison gangs, whether
Black, Hispanic, or White gangs, are known for their viciousness and violence and use this reputation to maintain power and control over other inmates.
The violence includes assaults and murders of inmates, correctional
officers and persons outside of the prison walls.
The links below offer the viewer different perspectives on the history and backgrounds of the "traditional" prison gangs.
Traditional Prison Gangs - Security Threat Groups
The following links provide information about the original prison
gangs. The information consists of the gang's histories,
tattoos, symbols, rivals, enemies and more.
Subsequent to the establishment of the original prison gangs, other
inmates for their own reasons, began forming other similar prison gangs.
Some of these gangs are sub-chapters or sub-sets of the original gangs
and in many cases, they exist with the blessing of the original gang
leadership. Others are copy-cat gangs, who, although similar in
names, are bitter enemies.