SOCIOL 2310 Final: Final Exam Review (Gangs)

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Kowalski Brian

Soc 2310 Final Exam Review April 26 @ 10:00 – 11:45 I. Hate Groups A. Hate groups have a belief system or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their ascribed characteristics B. Southern Poverty Law Center 1. Identified 912 active hate groups in the United States in 2016 a. Activity must be group-based, and not the work of an individual, to be included on list 2. Last 15 years = hate groups have steadily increased over time a. Over 35% increase from 2001 to 2016 3. Behaviors and activities include various criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing 4. Hate groups are not evenly distributed across the United States a. Hate groups are most concentrated in the Deep South 5. Hate crimes have remained stable over time 6. When hate crimes occur, most crimes against persons (65.1% of all hate crimes) = usually take form of intimidation and simple assault a. Second most frequent is property damage 7. Race is the most common type of hate crime incident a. African Americans are most common victim of hate crimes (52.7%) 8. Hate crimes that target sexual orientation and gender identity have increased in recent years 9. Majority of hate crimes surrounding religious bias were anti-Jewish a. Hate crimes against Muslims increased by 67% from 2014 to 2015 b. Total number of anti-Muslim hate groups rose by 197% in 1 year C. White Supremacy Groups 1. Professor Pete Simi studies domestic white supremacy groups and other international extremist groups 2. Simi and his colleagues see parallels between white supremacy groups and more traditional gang groups like street gangs a. Most common reasons individuals join hate groups is family disruption b. Hate groups spend far more time talking about violence than actually committing violence 3. Simi and his colleagues use an in-depth case study design to examine the origins and development of particular hate group in Southern California a. Racist skinhead gang known as Public Enemy Number One (PENI) 4. Most scholars exclude skinheads from gang definitions due to ideological perspectives, overt racism, and violence surrounding primarily political reasons D. Public Enemy Number One (PENI) 1. Skinheads meet commonly-used scholarly criteria used to define gangs especially surrounding youth, street, and criminal dimensions 2. Skinhead groups differ from adult hate groups like the KKK 1 Soc 2310 a. Gravitate towards one another around music, style and manners of speaking i. Shaved heads, piercings, tattoos b. Participate in petty criminal activity c. Have little interest or none at all in political activism 3. Members of PENI see themselves as a white supremacist street gang 4. PENI emerged around the punk rock music scene a. Group was formed by a small group of youths who had a common interest in music b. Pressure from other street gangs made fighting common/necessary 5. Goal of PENI = develop street reputation and provide white kids with defense from other gangs 6. One of the commonalities between most skinhead groups is political activism surrounding a hate group ideology (rallies, marches) 7. PENI was organized around explicit racism and white supremacy beliefs 8. PENI avoided political activism activities and focused on more traditional street gang orientation like fighting and petty crime 9. Gang formation is a local issue a. PENI focused on what they considered local issues including conflict with other gangs over turf and petty theft b. Fights included constant battles with other racist skinhead gangs 10. By the late 80s, media started to target racist skinheads with consistent attention on the airwaves and law enforcement responded with surveillance, suppression, and arrests to address skinhead gang activity a. Increased police surveillance coupled with PENI member's openness to criminal activity led to many of its members being incarcerated 11. During their incarceration, PENI members allied with the Aryan Brotherhood (AB) 12. PENI members became the AB's workforce/enforcers to run prison-based criminal operations a. Confirmed AB gang members were segregated from the general population in secure housing units in California prisons 13. Incarceration allowed for the opportunity for members of PENI to be exposed to older and more sophisticated criminal networks a. PENI gang members evolved from uncoordinated petty crimes to more coordinated criminal activity like meth distribution, identity theft and counterfeiting 14. Skinhead groups hold a very rigid anti-drug stance a. Simi argues that PENI is more open to drug use and observes past and present use of both methamphetamines and heroin i. Common usage was present even before the connections with the AB and the meth trade ii. Participation in the meth trade has led to PENI establishing ties with outlaw motorcycle gangs 15. See the challenges of balancing the two distinct identities = criminal identity and hate group identity 2 Soc 2310 a. Committed to both a hardcore racist ideology and profit-oriented criminal activity 16. PENI members face a contradiction…they embrace racism, yet maintain criminal and social relationships with predominantly racial minority street gangs = looked down upon by other white supremacist groups a. Foundation of this contradiction is their emergence as a white supremacist street gang as opposed to a political movement b. PENI favored a more traditional criminal orientation versus political activism i. Protect whites in their neighborhood, little interest in anything broader 17. PENI embraced the gangster identity a. Even their political peers referred to them as a gang b. PENI justified lack of activism as laziness, desire for fun and protection c. Wanted to hang out d. Want you to know they're in a gang 18. PENI's emphasis on a gangster identity was not generally embraced in the broader white supremacy movement 19. Other groups commented that PENI members were "not real skinheads", "scumbags", while also disapproving of the rampant drug use 20. Hate groups are not homogenous a. PENI emerged around a punk music scene and white racism b. Yet they evolved and developed into a street gang emphasizing drug use and a distribution (while still maintaining a white supremacist orientation) 21. Unintended consequences of prison terms for gang members 22. PENI's little interest in political activism, but focus on profit-oriented criminal activity make them a unique case within the broader spectrum of hate groups II. Security Threat Groups in a Prison Setting A. The Aryan Brotherhood (AB) 1. “The Brand” is a long-form article about the Aryan Brotherhood in The New Yorker by David Grann a. Written around time the United States Attorney’s Office indicted over 40 high-level members of the AB on charges 2. Once dismissed as a fringe white supremacist gang, AB has transformed into powerful criminal organization that has taken control of U.S. maximum-security prisons 3. One prosecutor labeled the AB as the “most murderous criminal organization in the USA” 4. Linked to stabbings, strangulations, poisonings, contract hits, conspiracy to commit murder, extortion, robbery and narcotics trafficking 5. AB was born in prison (not on the streets) a. Formed in 1964 in San Quentin as protection from African American and Latino prison gangs 3 Soc 2310 6. Why do people join gangs? a. If you are unaligned with any group, you become target of established gangs (need for protection) b. Some inmates are about the power in a very powerless place (respect and access to contraband) c. Sense of belonging… a pseudo family 7. AB has reputation for brutality 8. Although the AB does have remnants of a racist ideology, the prison gang has morphed into a criminal organization a. Involved in taxes, gambling, control of contraband, debt collection, extortion and drug smuggling/conveyance 9. Michael Thompson, leader of the AB that killed multiple inmates across several institutions a. He argued against killing parents (or family members) and collateral damage on the outside b. Defected and testified in court against the AB members involved c. Prison-to-prison in protective custody under an assumed name 10. Aryan Brotherhood self-identify as a criminal organization, NOT as a white supremacist group… not an easy issue for prison administrators to deal with 11. Labeled by former member as “Heroin Brotherhood” B. Prison Gangs 1. Groups aligned along racial and ethnic lines and comprised small portion of overall inmate population 2. Soaring prison populations provided increased opportunities for the growth of prison gangs and recruitment 3. 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 4. Consequence of this drastic increase in prison population… a. Strengthened linkages between street gangs and prison gangs b. Greater recruitment potential (due to sheer volume of inmates) c. Sustained involvement of prisoners in “gang activities” while incarcerated 5. Validated STGs comprise about 12% of the overall inmate population C. Trends in Ohio Prisons 1. Primary reasons prisoners join gangs in Ohio a. Power b. Protection c. Access to contraband 2. Ohio prison gangs a. STG participation in Ohio prisons overwhelmingly consist of street- related and prison-related gang activity b. Gang activity prohibited in Ohio prisons by prison policy and Ohio law 3. STG office objectives a. Track and monitor activities 4 Soc 2310 b. Develop and gather intelligence into group activities c. Interview and debrief STG members d. Investigate unauthorized group activity e. Deter unauthorized group activity f. Intelligence sharing with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies 4. Types of STG related incidents a. Threat group related (i.e., Aryan Brotherhood vs. Crips) b. Race related (i.e., African American vs. White) c. Geography (i.e., Cleveland vs. Cincinnati) d. Other 5. Violence, Disruption and Gangs in Ohio Prisons a. Ohio gang members disproportionately involved in violent, assaultive, threat-related and disruptive behavior b. Some of these violent, assaultive and disruptive behavior includes… i. Assaultive behavior and hostage taking ii. Encouraging rioting, group demonstrations or work stoppages iii. Physical resistance to direct order iv. Establishing personal relationships with staff v. Harassment of staff vi. Escapes vii. Possession and manufacturing of weapons 6. Gangs in Ohio prisons a. 8,500 STGs in Ohio prisons i. Only 3% = active and disruptive ii. Mostly Bloods and Heartless Felons b. Most disruptive = Heartless Felons, Aryan Brotherhood and Bloods i. Leaders; major contraband; weapons; cell phones c. Coming from larger cities i. Cuyahoga; Franklin; Hamilton 7. Broader statewide STG trends a. Varies from institution to institution b. Geographical STG issues c. Identifiers always changing d. New groups always forming e. Street “beefs” work way into Ohio prisons 8. Aryan Brotherhood (AB) in Ohio Prisons a. In all Ohio prisons but ABs are mostly concentrated at higher security level (and cellular) male institutions i. SOCF is the Command Center (the “Belly of the Beast”) b. AB activity varies from prison to prison and security levels i. Attempt to keep a low profile and make money by controlling the contraband trade ii. Rule by fear and intimidation iii. Conduct background checks on potential members 5 Soc 2310 c. AB gang members are disproportionately involved in violent and assaultive behavior 9. Heartless Felons a. Homegrown Ohio prison gang that was formed inside prison walls in the DYS system (youth prison system in Ohio) b. Present in most Ohio prisons, but mostly concentrated in higher security levels (and cellular) male institutions… especially in north c. Rule by intimidation but members cause chaos and like the attention i. Primarily commit extortions, assaults and robberies ii. Broader group is subject to many splits due to internal conflict d. HF gang members are disproportionately involved in violent and assaultive behaviors and HFs are one of the most disruptive groups in Ohio prisons 10. Gender and gangs in Ohio prisons a. Gangs are mostly a male problem in Ohio prisons b. As of January 1, 2017… i. Female inmates account for 8.5% of Ohio’s overall state prison population ii. Female inmates account for only 1.7% of Ohio’s overall gang population iii. Female gang inmates account for 3.5% of Ohio’s female inmates iv. Only 151 identified female gang members are present in Ohio prisons D. Administrative Control of Prison Gangs 1. Serious and persistent threat to safety and routine operations of prison facilities in the USA 2. In-class assignment (most effective to least effective) a. Restrictive housing (single cell; lockdown; solitary 23 hours) b. Mandatory treatment and programming for gang members c. Transfer gang members to high security level prisons d. Engage in reciprocal relationship with gang leaders e. Prosecute gang members in court for gang crimes f. Transfer alleged gang leaders to out-of-state prisons g. Place validated gang members in specialized housing units (normal privileges; general population) 3. Over the years, prison administrators have tried variety of legal, legislative and prison operational strategies to help lessen the impact of gangs in prison 4. Administrative Control of Prison Gangs in Ohio a. Violence and disruption have steadily increased in Ohio prisons b. STG participation in Ohio prisons has increased as well with gang- affiliated inmates making up 13.8% of the offender population in 2007 compared to 16.8% in 2012 c. Kowlaski’s paper 6 Soc 2310
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