Tag Archives: gangs

OH: Lake Erie Prison Plagued By Violence And Drugs After Corporate Takeover

Great Huffington Post article on a recent report by Ohio’s Correctional Institution Inspection Committee on Lake Erie Correctional Institution, OH’s privately-owned and operated facility.

From the article: “A new report detailing a state inspection of a private prison in Ohio describes gang-related violence so commonplace and drug use so rampant that many guards are afraid to intervene — instead, they are leaving their jobs at an alarming rate.”

Read more here.

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CA: Hundreds of California Prisoners Could be Transferred From Isolation Units Subject of Strike

From the article: “Hundreds of California prisoners locked in stark segregation units could be transferred to regular prison cells under new policies being developed by state corrections officials.  The transfers could include inmates who have been held for decades at Pelican Bay State Prison’s windowless Security Housing Unit, which was the center of two recent hunger strikes that drew participation from thousands of inmates.”

Read more here.

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CT: Jury Hears More Confessions From Prisoner Accused Of Killing Cellmate

From the article: “Jusino 25, was about three years into a 30-year sentence for murder when, according to authorities, he beat and strangled Reynaldo Robles on July 28, 2009, at Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, the state’s super-max prison.  After killing Jusino, authorities say, Jusino carved his name and gang affiliation, “King Guala,” into Robles’ chest. Only Jusino and Robles were in the cell when Robles was killed.”

My favorite part of the article is this:

Jusino’s defense attorney, Michael Fitzpatrick, initially objected to allowing the jury to see the full text of the letters because they contained profanity and didn’t cast Jusino in a “positive light.”

Yes….incriminating documents do tend to have that pesky quality.  Very unfair.

The second best part of the article is this:

Angel Quiros, a state Department of Correction official who was warden at Northern when Robles was killed, testified that he received an inmate request form from Jusino asking that prison officials change his gang affiliation in prison records.  “Look, I don’t know what else to do to change my affiliation,” Jusino wrote in the request dated Sept. 2, 2009. “I told ya I’m not a Blood, I’m a Latin King. [Expletive] when I killed Robles, I wrote King Guala on his chest. Still nobody changes my affiliation.”

He’s just a misunderstood man.

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Idaho inmates claim gangs run prison

A lawsuit filed by eight inmates in the Idaho DOC claims that a prison operated by the Corrections Corporation of America is essentially run by gangs.  An investigation by the DOC following a violent assault of an inmate indicated that CCA staff were not following appropriate policies.  In addition, prison staff began housing gang members together in cell blocks in an effort to reduce violence; however, this reportedly resulted in staff having to negotiate cell placements with the gangs and losing the ability to enforce rule violations due to threats and intimidation.

Read more here.

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Feds deal ‘devastating’ blow to Aryan prison gang in Texas

From the article: “Federal prosecutors and agents say they’ve dismantled the leadership of the violent Aryan Brotherhood of Texas prison gang, charging 34 members with racketeering activities for crimes including murder, kidnapping, arson, gambling and trafficking in methamphetamine and cocaine.”

According to the article, the ABs have 2,600 members in Texas prisons.

Read more here.

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CA: 9 indicted in Hispanic prison gang extortion plot

From the article: “Prosecutors contend that in 2010 and 2011, the nine men and women used threats and force to extort money for the prison gang from street thugs in the form of weekly or monthly taxes.”

Read more here.
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Canada: Rise in prison gangs fuelling violence, drug trade

From the article: “Corrections Canada has seen a 44 per cent jump in gang members in federal prisons in the last five years, to 2,040 in 2012 from 1,421 in 2007, according to the documents obtained under access to information.”

Similar to American prison security threat groups (aka gangs), Canadian gangs use their power to engage in criminal activities, such as the contraband and drug trade and extortion of weaker inmates.

“Some measures taken to combat the gang problem include more training, more intelligence officers, more collaboration with police and justice partners and a prohibition of gang colours and paraphernalia.”

Read more here.

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Mexico: Zetas Drug Cartel Arranged Prison Break, Say Officials

More on the 21 foot tunnel prison break on the Mexico/US border.  Officials say that the tunnel was around for months and it was unlikely that no one knew.  New information indicates that many of the prisoners actually just walked out the front door and into waiting trucks, in an escape coordinated by one of the most dangerous drug cartels in Mexico.

From the article: “The director and 15 other staffers of a Mexican prison on the Texas border are being held under house arrest while authorities investigate whether they helped Mexico’s most violent drug cartel, the Zetas, break more than 130 inmates out of the prison during a daring daylight escape Monday.”

Read more here.

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Basics of managing STG populations

Great article on one of the most closed areas in corrections: security threat groups (STGs).  The article addresses identification and management – and by management, the author means interference.  Read the article here.

The only issue that I have – not just with this article but with gang identification strategies in general – is that staff can sometimes go overboard in profiling inmates as gang-affiliated.  It is a truism that inmates often form associations along racial lines, understandable in the tense prison world.  Gangs also tend to aline along racial lines.  However, every Hispanic inmate who talks to Hispanic gang-affiliated inmates is not automatically in the gang.  Staff sometimes jump the gun in seeing gang activity everywhere.


Advocacy Groups Wary of New Plan for Prison Isolation Units

The California prison system is revamping its criteria for inmates who are placed in the Security Housing Units.

From the article: “Under current rules, an inmate is automatically placed in a Security Housing Unit if he is identified as a member or associate of one of seven prison gangs. According to a policy draft released by the corrections department in March, prison gang associates would be sent to isolation units only if they were “engaged in serious criminal gang behavior or a pattern of violent behavior.” The department also would target dangerous members of any group considered a threat to prison security, including street gangs and extremist groups.”

What is amazing to me (and this is due to my lack of knowledge of the California prison system) is that it appears that simply having a gang-affiliated tattoo could send you to an SHU. Seems excessive.

Read the article here.

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