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Many things that happen in our society are reflected in subsets of society such as prison. Prisons have social systems and hierarchies, drama, cliques, and even gangs. In prison gangs are designated as Security Threat Groups, “It’s no secret to any correctional officer that drug cartels, gangs and other forms of organized crime are alive and well in many of our nation’s correctional facilities…These Security Threat Groups include the Almighty Latin King and Queen nation, Bloods, Crips, Gangster Disciples, SUR13, Vatos Locos, Tiny Rascal Gang, Outlaw motorcyle clubs, and many others” ( These gangs run the incarceration facilities when, and if allowed. They are violent and powerful, “Arguably, the biggest threat of STGs is not inmate-on-staff attacks, but rather inmate-on-inmate attacks” ( This threat of violence from the inmates who are gang members cause cause other inmates to seek protection. The need, or want, for protection is strong and can be strong enough to make someone join a gang. In order to make sure they are protected both from the gang they join and other gangs within the prison, inmates must often make a choice. There is also a sense of brotherhood and camraderie that can help for people who are lonely, looking for connection, or looking to fit in somewhere. In order to limit gangs and gang activity measures must be taken. According to the CDCR, “Effective security threat group (STG) management within CDCR prisons require a comprehensive strategy that includes prevention, identification, interdiction, and rehabilitation” ( In order to limit gangs and gang activity one of the biggest things that must happen is identification of both gangs and gang members within the prisons. Identifying the gangs helps officials identify what and who it is they are dealing with. It will also help figure out how to identify gang members, when they know signs and tattoos and hand shakes to look for. Once the gangs are identified then gang members can be identified. Even if they can not be separated, knowing who are members on a day to day basis helps officials know who and what to be on the look out for and how to best keep everyone safe.

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