Gangs and Violence in The Prison System Essay

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Gangs and Violence in the Prison System
Gang violence is nationwide and is one of the most prominent problems in the prison system today. Gangs are known to attempt to control the prisons/jails, instill fear within the prison system and throughout the society, and bring negative attention to the system. “Gang affiliated inmates comprise about 18 percent of the 18000 inmate population.”(Seabrook) A growing numbers of inmates and a large amount of them serving longer sentences for violent crimes suggest a notable increase in gangs and violence in the prison system in the upcoming future.
“Prisons began to bulge with gang members when states enacted tougher laws for gang-related crime in the mid to late
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In order to find a solution for the problem the prison system took and is still taking steps such as classifying the gang members and other violent inmates as security threat groups (STG’s). Both prison officials and law enforcement agencies refer to gangs as STG’s rather than “gangs” in order to take away from the assumptions and exposure that the word “gang” gets. There are several ways of becoming classified as a security threat group, such as self-admission, known gang tattoos, confiscation of STG paraphernalia, or information provided by an informant acknowledging the inmate as a gang member. All known security threat groups are kept in single inmate cells known as administration segregation to separate them from the rest of the inmate population, in hopes of reducing the amount of communication between gang members and the amount violence. One problem with administration segregation is a the amount of available space; the number of inmates classified as a security threat group greatly exceeds the space available thus causing many prisons to keep STG’s in the general inmate population and putting only leaders of the gangs in administration segregation. The simple decision of allowing the security threat groups to remain in the general inmate population increases the probability of violence within the prison tremendously. The prisons have also implemented a graduate

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