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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Street Gangs — Chicago Based or Influenced


Photo of STG booklet. It is very common for Chicago-based gangs to maintain charters, constitutions, recruiting documents, and other STG-related written materials.

These documents are almost always in cryptic code or subliminally hidden in artwork. Coded messages can be communicated in letters and on the outside of envelopes. These items are considered contraband within Florida's DC and are confiscated and forwarded to the facility's STG coordinator.


Most Chicago-based STGs require their members actively and aggressively recruit. This has resulted in many Florida local street gang members joining these national gangs while they are incarcerated. Once released back into their Florida community, they remain loyal to the gang that recruited them at the facility.


When people are chosen to join a Folk or People Nation group, they are required to go through an initiation process. The most common initiation seen both within and outside the prison is "The Line."

Gang members posing.

Prospective members are expected to walk between two lines of group members, while they are punched and kicked repeatedly. The prospective members are expected to walk to the end of the line on their feet. If they fall, they must start over, usually on another day, when the injuries have healed.

More dramatic accounts of initiation rituals include drive-by shootings, playing Russian roulette, and committing other criminal acts, including murder.


Graffiti is used by STGs to communicate with fellow members and rivals. It is considered the newspaper of STGs.

In a correctional environment, the messages communicated in graffiti can cause confrontational behavior among the groups.


As mentioned earlier, disrespect to rival groups and their members is accomplished by displaying rival symbols in a degrading manner. Degradation of symbols communicates hatred toward the rival group. This type of graffiti encourages retaliation, which can result in physical altercations.

The most effective method of preventing this activity is to quickly remove the signs/symbols in order to reduce the amount of recognition gained by the act.

Notify local authorities and request the removal of graffiti. Removal of all graffiti known to exist during the same removal effort is important. This will help to avoid the unintentional impression that one group's symbols are being given special consideration.

In correctional settings; Inmates are not provided cans of spray paint, so most of the graffiti is drawn using writing pens, markers, and by scratching symbols in surfaces with rocks or other abrasive objects. Efforts are made to control the use of markers and disciplinary action is taken for possession of these items.

Photographs of the area are taken and forwarded to the Security Threat Group intelligence coordinator.

Alliance Symbols (Identifiers)

Each alliance has its own symbols, also known as identifiers. First, we'll look at People Nation identifiers, then Folk Nation identifiers. These symbols often appear in combination. For example, you'll see a star and a crown. This may reveal both the alliance and the individual gang, also known as a set.

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