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

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Gangs in Florida

Every state and major city in the United States is plagued with local, loosely structured, street gangs that are mainly motivated by drug sales. Historically, disruptive incidents in our prisons have been based on the geographic origins of the inmates involved (e.g., Miami gang inmates vs. Tampa gang inmates).

These local groups form based on common interests and a sense of loyalty to individuals from their city, neighborhood, street, or housing complex. They adopt generic names such as Players, Posse, Crew, Mafia, Gang, and Bad Boys and attach their particular street or avenue name to it.

Although they are loosely structured and tend to conduct their illegal activities in a specific location, they are extremely violent and develop bitter blood rivalries.

Often the group evolves, and adopts an alliance with a national street gang such as the Bloods, Crips, or Chicago-based Folk Nation and People Nation sets and use their symbols and identifiers. This graduation in gang involvement often occurs in county jails, prisons, and juvenile facilities.

This increases the importance of tracking the development of gang membership while inmates are in custody. Tracking enables DC to notify local law enforcement of new members or of any changes in a member's affiliation.

Hundreds of these local gangs have been identified in every city from Pensacola to the Florida Keys. This includes small rural towns, upper middle-class neighborhoods, schools, and other areas where we tend to deny gang existence.

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