Class Notes (808,126)
United States (312,917)
Sociology (260)
Lecture 7

SOCIOL 2310 Lecture 7: Security Threat Groups in a Prison Setting (03.29)

6 Pages
Unlock Document

Ohio State University
Kowalski Brian

Soc 2310 Security Threat Groups in a Prison Setting March 29, March 31, April 7 & April 12 I. Overview A. Why do you think inmates become members of gangs in prison? A.1. Power A.2. Protection A.3. Access to contraband B. What do you think are some of the potential problems that gangs could pose for the safety and routine operations of prison facilities? B.1. Violence over contraband B.2. Power struggles = debt, coercion, intimidation C. During periods of incarceration, PENI members allied with the Aryan Brotherhood (AB), arguably one of the most powerful prison gangs in the USA II. The Aryan Brotherhood (AB) A. “The Brand” is a long-form article about the Aryan Brotherhood in The New Yorker by David Grann A.1. Written around time the United States Attorney’s Office indicted over 40 high-level members of the AB on charges B. Once dismissed as a fringe white supremacist gang, prison officials argue that the AB has transformed into powerful criminal organization that has taken control of U.S. maximum-security prisons C. AB statements C.1. “We live in a different society than you do… There is justified violence in our society” D. One prosecutor labeled the AB as the “most murderous criminal organization in the USA” E. AB prison gangs have been linked to stabbings, strangulations, poisonings, contract hits, conspiracy to commit murder, extortion, robbery and narcotics trafficking F. In terms of origins, the AB was born in prison (and such, did not originate on the streets) G. The group formed in 1964 in San Quentin (California state prison system) as protection from African American (Black Guerilla Family) and Latino (Mexican Mafia and La Nuestra Familia) prison gangs H. Why do people join gangs? H.1. Some inmates feel that if you are unaligned with any group, you become target of established gangs (i.e., need for protection) H.2. Some inmates are about the power in a very powerless place (i.e., respect and access to contraband) H.3. Some inmates feel a sense of belonging… a pseudo family since you are removed from your family and friends at home I. Gang members do account for a disproportionate share of violence and disruption inside prison, and the AB has a reputation for brutality 1 Soc 2310 J. Although the AB does have remnants of a racist ideology, the prison gang has morphed into a criminal organization J.1.AB gang members are also involved in taxes (hooch, use of phones), gambling (poker, betting slips), control of contraband, debt collection, extortion and drug smuggling/conveyance K. Michael Thompson, leader of the AB that killed multiple inmates across several institutions K.1. He argued against killing parents (or family members) and collateral damage on the outside K.2. When it happened, he defected and testified in court against the AB members involved K.3. He is now from prison-to-prison in protective custody under an assumed name L. Documentary about Aryan Brotherhood and Michael Thompson – Discovery Channel M. The Aryan Brotherhood self-identify as a criminal organization, NOT as a white supremacist group… not an easy issue for prison administrators to deal with N. Labeled by former member as “Heroin Brotherhood” III. Prison Gangs A. Early observations of prison gangs noted that these groups aligned along racial and ethnic lines and generally comprised small portion of overall inmate population B. Soaring prison populations provided increased opportunities for the growth of prison gangs and the recruitment of potential prison gang members C. The high rate of incarceration of urban youth, who are disproportionately minority and street gang-affiliated, beginning in the 1970s also allowed gangs to expand their influence inside prison institutions across the country D. As a consequence of this drastic increase in prison population, we see… D.1. Strengthened linkages between street gangs and prison gangs D.2. Greater recruitment potential (due to sheer volume of inmates) D.3. Sustained involvement of prisoners in “gang activities” while incarcerated E. The most recent survey of state and federal systems indicate that validated security threat groups (which are mostly gang members) comprise about 12% of the overall inmate population across these jurisdictions IV. Trends in Ohio Prisons A. Primary reasons prisoners join gangs in Ohio A.1. Power A.2. Protection A.3. Access to contraband B. Ohio prison gangs B.1. Security threat group participation in Ohio prisons overwhelmingly consist of street-related and prison-related gang activity B.2. And gang activity is prohibited in Ohio prisons by prison policy and Ohio law 2 Soc 2310 C. STG office objectives C.1. Track and monitor activities C.2. Develop and gather intelligence into group activities C.3. Interview and debrief STG members C.4. Investigate unauthorized group activity C.5. Deter unauthorized group activity C.6. Intelligence sharing with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies D. Types of STG related incidents D.1. Threat group related (i.e., Aryan Brotherhood vs. Crips) D.2. Race related (i.e., African American vs. White) D.3. Geography (i.e., Cleveland vs. Cincinnati) D.4. Other E. Violence, Disruption and Gangs in Ohio Prisons E.1. Over the last 7 years, we see that Ohio gang members are disproportionately involved in violent, assaultive, threat-related and disruptive behavior E.2. Some of these violent, assaultive and disruptive behavior includes… E.2.a. Assaultive behavior and hostage taking E.2.b. Sexual misconduct E.2.c. Encouraging rioting, group demonstrations or work stoppages E.2.d. Physical resistance to direct order E.2.e. Establishing personal relationships with staff E.2.f. Harassment of staff E.2.g. Escapes E.2.h. Possession and manufacturing of weapons E.2.i. Intoxication E.2.j. Fires and fire alarms E.2.k. Intimidation F. Gangs in Ohio prisons F.1.8,500 STGs in Ohio prisons F.1.a. Only 3% are active and disruptive F.2.Mostly Bloods and Heartless Felons F.3.Most disruptive = Heartless Felons, Aryan Brotherhood and Bloods F.3.a. Leaders; major contraband; weapons; cell phones F.4.Coming from larger cities F.4.a. Cuyahoga; Franklin; Hamilton G. Broader statewide STG trends G.1. STG activity varies from institution to institution (both in terms of groups and types of activity) G.2. Geographical STG issues G.3. Identifiers always changing 3 Soc 2310 G.4. New groups always forming G.5. Street “beefs” work way into Ohio prisons H. Aryan Brotherhood (AB) in Ohio Prisons H.1. Members are present in all Ohio prisons but ABs are mostly concentrated at higher security level (and cellular) male institutions
More Less

Related notes for SOCIOL 2310

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.