PRISON GANGS - Inside the Mind of a Gangmember

From a Correctional Officers Perspective


Some of the most brutal crimes committed in and out of prison have come as a result of prison gangs. Prison gangs have dangerous reputations and the deadlier a gang is known to be, the more evil it's members are expected to be. Prison gangs compete for the most dangerous of reputation. Members of prison gangs such as the Texas Syndicate and Mexican Mafia are expected to commit terrible crimes in the name of the organizations cut-throat reputations.


According to the dictionary, a "Sociopath is a person who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience". Many adult offenders in prison gangs are indeed sociopaths. Many hard-core prison gang offenders care little about the pain they inflict to their victims or their families. All they care about is representing their gang and maintaining the gangs deadly reputation. With a deadly reputation comes power and dominance inside of prison.


Most gang members are followers and are incapable of making decisions for themselves and lack confidence. Gang followers are extremely eager to please and will do anything to prove their loyalty to the gang they represent. Gang members can not fight, trade or even associate with others without a leaders approval. Many gang followers have low IQ's and are easily manipulated. Prison gang followers become subconsciously numb and follow orders without a second thought. They do as they are told because they trust their gang leaders. They believe in their gang just as a most citizens believe in their country.

Prison Gang Leaders
Prison gang leaders rarely do the dirty work. Most gang leaders are segregated from the general prison population and issue orders to their followers, or 'soldiers' via letters written in codes. Gang leaders and other high ranking gangmembers are the only ones in the gang that profit or have anything to gain. Smarter offenders generally hold higher ranks and play with the weaker minds of the gangs followers.

Power and Control

Prison gang members often have extremely possessive personalities. Blood in - Blood Out, an extremely controlling gang requirement probably originated from a possessive mind. Just like a jealous and dangerous spouse, one dare not 'betray' the gang. The violent assaults and murders of ex-gangmembers come as a result of gang jealousy and control.
Prison becomes the entire world of a gangmember and their objective is to control prison with the power of their gang. The prison gang mentality is a sickness and the sense of power a gang member experiences while in a gang becomes an obsession.


Greater the Blood / Greater the Glory

Let’s take 50 year old Jorge “Wero” Hernandez and actual offender serving multible life sentences. Hernandez is an active member of the Texas Syndicate, a violent prison gang that is responsible for over 80 prison slayings in Texas. Hernandez is currently serving 2 life sentences for committing 2 prison gang related murders in TDCJ’s Ellis unit. Hernandez was 23 years old in 1983 when he first stepped into a Texas prison with a 10 year sentence. He joined the Texas Syndicate soon after he entered prison and fatally stabbed a rival Mexikanemi member 35 times in 1984. He was convicted for that murder while in prison and received an automatic life sentence. Feeling he had little to lose Hernandez killed a second time soon after and received an additional life sentence. Hernandez will spend the rest of his life in an 8 by 12 ft solitary cell in the maximum security J.B. Connally state prison. The greater the blood, the greater the glory. The murderous reputation of the Texas Syndicate gang became Jorge Hernandez's own self esteem.

Why Offenders Join Prison Gangs

Offenders join prison gangs for the convenience of power and the benefits of funds and protection.
Many prison offenders have a natural desire to be accepted by their fellow prisoners and be a part of something bigger than life. Many offenders feel like failures so joining a prison gang gives them feelings of importance. It is common for some prisoners to experience loneliness and fall into the pressure of joining a “family” while in prison. Being a member of a gang offers a prisoner a false sense of brotherhood. Gangmembers receive a feeling of pride and proudly serve their prison gang as a national soldier does the military.

Adult gangmembers in prison rang from ages 18 all the way to 65 years old. Many prison offenders in gangs are institutionalized and lack any understanding about responsibility. Prison gang members who are used to being fed, clothed, and sheltered in prison are rarely able to walk a straight line once released. With little or no skills of surviving in a free society, prison gang members quickly return to the comforts of an institutionalized life. It is common to find ex-con gang members pan handling on the streets or resorting to crimes such as robbery, burglary or theft.

Prison Gangmembers on the Streets
Thousands are prison gangmembers are released after spending decades in prison. The majority of prison gangs require their members to report to ranking members in the city or town they reside in and participate in organized crime. Gang members are given guns and sometimes even assault rifles, and required to collect 10% off every sale a non member drug dealer makes. If these dealers refuse they pay with their lives.

The prison gang mentality may be the reason these criminal organizations are so ruthless on the streets. They murder without a second thought and do not fear the consequences of getting caught. After all their incarcerated “brothers” taught them everything they know.




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