Unit 9 assignment elizabeth hall


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Unit 9 assignment elizabeth hall

  1. 1. 1 Running Header: Prison Gangs (STG’s) A Review of Top Security Threat Groups in Our Prisons: Aryan Brotherhood, Ku Klux Klan, Folks, Nation of Islam, and MS 13 Elizabeth Hall Kaplan University CJ130-02 Introduction to Corrections Amy Ng 10/26/2010
  2. 2. Prison Gangs (STG’s) 2 Aryan Brotherhood, Ku Klux Klan, Folks, Nation of Islam, and MS 13 Introduction In our prison environments, there are many kinds of threats to inmate and officer safety daily. Bartollas (2002) notes that order is a “dynamic social equilibrium”, and is the basis for violence or non-violence in the prisons, depending on how well it is maintained. The correctional system in our country contains within the walls, connected to our streets, many gangs. These groups, known as Security Threat Groups (STG’s) are usually operated on a racial bias, and are active in our Federal Bureau of Prisons and in at least 40 state correctional systems. Inmates are often forced to join their racial group or gang rather to ensure their personal safety within the walls. (Bartollas, 2002) In the 1980,s and 1990’s, inmates were more racially biased than ever before, and each race in a facility had a leader if not more than one. Inmates isolate themselves from other racial groups notes the Anti-defamation League (2009). While this was producing more racial tension in the environment, it was also producing STG’s that were getting more organized and adept at running the drug trade and social environments within the walls of correctional facilities. Some of these gangs are more organized than others are, and produce the most followers. Because of organizational factors and growing numbers of members, the Aryan Brotherhood, Ku Klux Klan, the Folks, the Nation of Islam, and MS13 have emerged as our biggest security group threats in the American corrections system. (Bartollas, 2002) Aryan Brotherhood Originating in San Quentin in the mid-sixties, founded by Barry Mills and Tyler Bingham (Broder, 2006), this group is one of the best-known gangs with many factions in our correctional facilities (Anti-defamation League, 2009). This gang originated to protect white criminals from
  3. 3. Prison Gangs (STG’s) 3 black prisoners at the time that prisons were desegregating. Malcolm X and the civil rights movement had the black inmates trying to gain power in the prisons. This gang is located primarily in the southwest and pacific areas of the country (Narcotics Digest Weekly, 2005), and is weakest in the northeastern areas where black racial gangs are the strongest. The Aryan Brotherhood (2010) website- Stormfront proclaims, “We are a community of White Nationalists. There are thousands of organizations promoting the interests, values, and heritage of non-Whites. We promote ours.” The creed of the Brotherhood is according to Barnhart (2009), “I will stand by my brother. My brother will come before all others. My life is forfeited should I fail my brother. I will honor my brother in peace and war.” He also notes that their members are lifetime members who commit to a blood in, blood out oath. This means usually that in order to become a member you must kill an enemy, and the only way out of the Brotherhood is death. The tough Irish nationality that was required for membership in the earlier days of the gang have been relaxed to accept all white people in the past decades. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1998). Most members support the white nationalist model, but from their actions, crime is the real motivator and support for the group. Members are charged, as far back as 1982 and still currently, with racketeering, murder for hire contracts, narcotics trafficking, gambling, extortion, and the illegal prison sex trade, and racial hate crimes consistent with the white supremacist credo (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1998). The group, divided into two factions operates both in the Federal Bureau of Prisons and at the state level. They operate in a fashion consistent with organized crime. Beginning as a local prison gang, the Aryan Brotherhood have grown into one of the most dangerous gangs in our prisons today, with ties to the Mexican Mafia, and Asian gangs originating in Thailand. These gang ties help fuel their growing narcotics trade. Members
  4. 4. Prison Gangs (STG’s) 4 are expected to carry out these crimes within the walls and to continue the activities to further the interests of the group upon release. It would also seem that the Aryan Brotherhood has close ties to the non-prison security threat group the Ku Klux Klan due to the doctrinal similarities. The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, formed in 1956 (Knight’s Party, USA, (n.d.), with David Duke, former Governor of Louisiana as its first national director are tied to the Aryan Brotherhood by indoctrination. Brotherhood members are presented with his novel “My Awakening” as membership important reading material (Aryan Brotherhood, 2010). (Barnhart, 2009) Ku Klux Klan After the civil war, the states of the Confederacy were forbidden to repatriate with the Union states until after reconstruction occurred. According to the Indiana Historical Research Foundation (2010), the white people of the Confederacy lost all of their civil rights, such as the right to vote, hold public office, or redress grievances. Moreover, they had no legal defense, and the south was quickly becoming a hotbed of violence, both racial and non-racial. Amidst this social turmoil, five men came together with the notion of a white social club. Pulaski, TN was the birthplace of the first Ku Klux Klan era, in 1865, in an office filled with six lawyers, John Lester, James Crow, John Kennedy, Calvin Jones, Richard Reed, and Frank McCord. The name originates from their college style model of a club, with a weird name and silly costumes to lend an air of mystery (Indiana Historical Research Foundation, 2010). The first “Grand Wizard” or leader was an ex confederate cavalry General named Nathan Bedford Forrest. This position, designed to get the Klan organized, was geared towards protecting the white people as soon as possible, from the reconstruction allowing the black man to dominate Louisiana Legislature, functioning as a group against Union soldiers retaliation, coupled with both black and white lawlessness to defend against. This group eventually became
  5. 5. Prison Gangs (STG’s) 5 a major reckoning force against the Union soldiers, reconstruction politics, and the carpetbaggers with their ranks of ex-confederate soldiers forming groups of Klansmen. Membership in this era of Klansmen and women was secret, and they disbanded in 1869 as a formal group but remained a political factor until 1877. (Indiana Historical Research Foundation, 2010) The next era of the Klan did not begin until 1915 by Colonel William Joseph Simmons, and was focused on white Christianity and patriotism. These eras seem to be marked by who was currently serving as “Imperial Wizard” which is their highest title. This era’s notable accomplishment was their 40 thousand-man march on segregation. Era three fell under the rule of Dr. Samuel Green from late 1920’s to mid 1930’s. With a marked decline in membership due to the great depression and some highly publicized scandals including murder. This is their situation until the 1960’s when the United States desegregated the military forces. This era was also the era when the Klan began openly targeting Jews as well. They felt that the Jews in our government were siding with the black people during the volatile civil rights era. This time was the latter part of the fourth era, was ruled by smaller Klan groups led by Grand Dragons as they were called. This was the real beginning of the violent image that comes to mind at the mention of the KKK these days because of their violent actions such as hanging black people, burning crosses in front of people of color’s houses, and their hatred of anyone not white. Their biggest targets were the blacks and the Jews. Today they are still a reckoning force, located primarily in the southern regions of America, but are growing in light of our national debates on illegal immigration, and current state of affairs as a nation, which is their main fight right now. The Klan now has spread as far north as regions in Canada. (They, however, have changed from a mostly violent group to a mostly political and peaceful group touting that they cannot help their cause from in the
  6. 6. Prison Gangs (STG’s) 6 correctional system. The Ku Klux Klan LLC yes, a nationally recognized official corporation in the United States since 2003, quoted from their “About Us” page feels that” We denounce violence as an acceptable means of accomplishing our agenda in every instance. We do not have members in prisons or jails; we cannot help our Nation or people from behind bars!” Now they prefer to demonstrate, run for office, and form a grassroots movement to “save white America”. They feel our national sovereignty is at stake, and they feel they must save our white heritage. Let’s just not forget the “loose” ties to the Aryan Brotherhood through their doctrines we mentioned before. (The Ku Klux Klan, LLC. n.d.) The Folk Nation According to the Florida Department of Corrections (n.d.), the Folk Nation is not a gang in and of itself. It is rather, a group of gangs on one side of the issues, resulting from the 1960’s gang rivalry of the Black P-Stone Nation, a group of 50 local gangs that were united under the leadership of Jeff Fort, and the Black Gangster Disciple Nation group of gangs, under the leadership of David Barksdale and Larry Hoover. Both gangs used funds obtained by promoting themselves as civic groups oriented to improving their communities to fund their illegal activities such as prostitution, robbery, extortion, and the sale of narcotics. During the decade of the 70’s, these gangs were the leaders of the Chicago drug trade. This rivalry resulted in the bloodiest gang war in the history of Chicago. Jeff Fort’s illegal use of government funding was disclosed, landing him in prison. (Florida Department of Corrections, n.d.) Eventually in the streets of Chicago, the number of individual gangs increased as did their numbers in the correctional system. In both the federal and state facilities during the 1980’s, these gang members needed a way to represent themselves safely in the correctional environment and the alliances ran down the old Black P-Stone and Black Gangster Disciple
  7. 7. Prison Gangs (STG’s) 7 Nation lines. If your individual gang affiliated with the Black P-Stone Nation, you were now part of the People Nation, and those who were affiliated with the Black Gangster Disciples you belong to the Folk Nation. While in prison, these members carry out their respective prison affiliation, but once released take their gang knowledge back to their respective individual gangs. These individual gangs are still affiliated with their respective prison ties. (Florida Department of Corrections, n.d.) Each of these prison factions operate under the All for one and one for all mentality which is a huge threat for communities and law enforcement, and require participation of all members present in any kind of gang activity including but not limited to physical violence confrontations. Noted by the Florida Department of Corrections (n.d.), rules that must be obeyed in the code of conduct state that members must put “Folk before family, and I will not let my brother fall to a knee”. Their motto is “All is One”. These gangs operate with initiation beatings, or initiation consisting of a drive by shooting, or by the murder of a rival. These gangs are dangerous because often it is a trivial thing like wearing your hat on the other side or graffiti that precipitate violence and murder. Everything is about respect and the ever-loving dollar to these types of organizations. It can be said that Chicago street gangs are the basis of all modern street gangs today, and are growing in the prison systems, however on the streets often alliances change based on need (Chicago Gangs, 2010). The Nation of Islam The Nation of Islam found its roots in 1930, with a man named Wallace Dodd Fard also known as Muhammad Fard, who appeared suddenly in the black projects of Detroit, MI about the time that the black people that fled north during and after the civil war were realizing that they should have been careful what they wished for. They were starving, living in shoddy
  8. 8. Prison Gangs (STG’s) 8 overcrowded conditions according to the Watchman (1998), and in the light of the Great Depression, found themselves losing jobs and opportunities to white men as available work diminished. One of the most notable former members would be Malcolm X. He broke off ties with the group over ideologies but later became affiliated with the group after leadership was taken by Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam. The original goal was to enrich and provide black empowerment, however with the addition of Louis Farrakhan as their leader in the mid 1970’s, the group’s message of hatred of whites, Jews, and homosexuals is brought to light. The Nation of Islam is one of the oldest organizations of blacks in our history. They promote themselves as a religious group, and followers are all expected to learn the material by rote, and to recruit others all while using the “proper grammar” that their leaders require of them. They are also all supposed to follow the teachings of Allah and Muhammad. In 1984, the Nation of Islam stepped into American politics with their public endorsement of Jesse Jackson’s campaign by Louis Farrakhan who urged all his followers to do the same. While the nation of Islam is recognized as a national group within the prison system, the only public ties to gangs would be the alliance with the New Black Panther Party. It seems that this group is on the STG group because of their racial ideologies. These groups are more prevalent in the northeast areas of the country. (Anti-defamation League, 2010) MS 13 Mara Salvatruca While this is one of our newer gang problems in the United States with MS 13 forming in the Los Angeles area in the mid 1980’s this STG is one of the biggest problems we face in our communities and correctional facilities today. They grew out of El Salvadorian immigrants
  9. 9. Prison Gangs (STG’s) 9 banding together forming MS to protect themselves from other Latin gangs already present in Los Angeles. Later they aligned with the Mexican Mafia, La Eme, adding the 13 to note the allegiance to them. This gang operates out of 42 states, along with the District of Columbia according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (2008) Threat Assessment of MS-13. (Sampson Sheriff, n.d.) In the 1990’s, MS-13 came to law enforcement attention as they were targeting violent areas in Hispanic neighborhoods. When law enforcement deported the violent gang members, they took their gang to their home countries such as El Salvador, while spreading their ways into other Central American countries, Mexico, and furthering their following in the United States. Today they are known for their excessive use of violence and are considered to be the worst of the worst STG’s known for their adaptability where law enforcement operations are concerned. (Sampson Sheriff, n.d.) The hierarchy is based on status, which is based upon how many acts have been committed for the gang. There is no national leaders recognized, instead leadership is based on local leaders. Originally, all members were El Salvadoran nationality; however, they currently accept any Hispanic heritage in their ranks. Among the crimes these gangs have been charged with are murder, robbery, stabbings, drive by shootings, assault, sexual assault, rape, and extortion. They have also, been charged with witness tampering and intimidation crimes. One of the biggest concerns of law enforcement is that this is one of the fastest growing gangs today. (Sampson Sheriff, n.d.)
  10. 10. Prison Gangs (STG’s) 10 Conclusion Because of organizational factors and growing numbers of members, the Aryan Brotherhood, Ku Klux Klan, the Folks, the Nation of Islam, and MS13 have emerged as our biggest security group threats in the American corrections system. These groups have different ideologies and methods of operations they all have some similarities. These can be the fact that they are all either directly or indirectly affiliated with violence and drug trafficking, or that all believe that their way is the only right way. Law enforcement agencies have their work cut out for them, considering the rate of growth of some STG’s is large enough in some areas to cause the FBI (2010) to raise their threat assessment levels higher, as in the case of MS13. (Sampson Sheriff, n.d.)
  11. 11. Prison Gangs (STG’s) 11 References: Anti-Defamation League (2001). Bigotry Behind Bars: Racist Groups in U.S. Prisons. Retrieved from: http://www.adl.org/special_reports/racist_groups_in_prisons/print.asp Anti-Defamation League (2010). What is the Nation of Islam? Retrieved from: http://www.adl.org/main_Nation_of_Islam/what_is_the_nation_of_islam.htm Aryan Brotherhood (2010). Stormfront- White Nationalist Community. Retrieved from: http://www.stormfront.org/forum/ Barnhart, T. (2009). tell it like it is Officer Survival Mindset & Survival Techniques; The Aryan Brotherhood. Retrieved from: http://www.corrections.com/tracy_barnhart/?p=500 Bartollas, C. (2002). Invitation to Corrections. Boston. Allyn and Bacon Broder, J.M. (2006). Trial Begins for Members of Aryan Prison Gang. The New York Times. March 15, 2006. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/15/national/15aryan.html Brotherhood of Klans, Intl. (n.d.). History of the Ku Klux Klan. Retrieved from: http://www.knightskkk.com/KKKhistory.html Chicago Gangs (2010). Chicago Gangs. People and Folk Nation. Retrieved from: http://www.chicagogangs.org/ Federal Bureau of Investigation (1998). Subject: Aryan Brotherhood. Retrieved from: http://foia.fbi.gov/aryanbro/aryanbro1.pdf
  12. 12. Prison Gangs (STG’s) 12 Federal Bureau of Investigation (2008). The MS-13 Threat: A National Assessment. Retrieved from: http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2008/january/ms13_011408/?searchterm=MS 13 Florida Department of Corrections. (n.d.). Street Gangs- Chicago Based or Influenced: People Nation and Folk Nation. Retrieved from: http://www.dc.state.fl.us/pub/gangs/Chicago.html Indiana Historical Research Foundation (2010). An Educational, Historical Study of the Ku Klux Klan. Retrieved from: http://www.kkklan.com/ , http://www.kkklan.com/historical.htm The Ku Klux Klan, LLC. (n.d.) About Us: What Makes Us Better. Retrieved from: http://kukluxklan.bz/about.html The Knight’s Party, USA. (n.d.) The Official Website of The Knight’s Party, USA: Intro. Retrieved from: http://www.kkk.bz/intro.htm Narcotics Digest Weekly, (2005). Special Issue: Gangs in the United States. Narcotics Digest Weekly Volume 4, Number 40, October 4, 2005 retrieved from http://www.cicad.oas.org/Crimen_Organizado/ESP/Actualidad/Pandillas%20en%20USA. pdf Sampson Sheriff. (n.d.). Gang Profile-MS-13-Border Brothers. Retrieved from: http://www.sampsonsheriff.com/otherforms/20051017_ms13.pdf Watchmen Fellowship. (1998). Profile: The Nation of Islam. Retrieved from: http://www.watchman.org/profile/nationofislampro.htm
  13. 13. Prison Gangs (STG’s) 13 Watermark on all pages Aryan Brotherhood Gang Symbol Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryan_BrotherhoodA Review of Top Security Threat Groups in Our Prisons: