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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary

Major Prison Gangs
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Black Guerrilla Family (BGF)

Sketch of dragon

Gender Makeup: Male

Racial Makeup: Black

Origin: Founded in 1966 at San Quentin State Prison, California by former Black Panther member George L. Jackson.

Characteristics:

  • The BGF is the most politically oriented of the major prison gangs.
  • They were formed as a Marxist/Maoist/Leninist revolutionary organization with these goals:
    • Eradicate racism
    • Struggle to maintain dignity in prison
    • Overthrow the United States government
  • The group is extremely antigovernment and anti-official. This mentality is often depicted in their symbolism.
  • BGF has a very strict death oath that requires a life pledge of loyalty to the group.

Identifiers/symbols:

  • Antigovernment/anti-official mentality is often depicted in conjunction with the initials BGF.
  • Cross sabers and shotgun
  • Black dragon overtaking a prison or prison tower

Enemies/Rivals:

  • Aryan Brotherhood
  • Texas Syndicate
  • Aryan Brotherhood of Texas
  • Mexican Mafia

Allies:

  • Has a very active working relationship with La Nuestra Familia.
  • Other allies
    • Black Liberation Army
    • Symbionese Liberation Army
    • Weather Underground
    • black street gangs
  • Black street gangs are often utilized by the BGF and their members are heavily recruited into the BGF. These include:
    • Crips
    • Bloods
    • El Rukns
    • Black Gangster Disciples
    • other black street gangs

Recruitment/Initiation:

  • Membership in the BGF has traditionally come from black male inmates.
  • Lifelong allegiance is a requirement and a death oath must be taken.
  • Black street gang members are often recruited into the BGF upon imprisonment.

Propensity for Disruptive Behavior:

  • The BGF is not readily recognizable in the Florida Department of Corrections; however the history of the group and documented acts of violence in other jurisdictions warrants their certification as a Security Threat Group.
  • Receipt of inmates on interstate compact lend to the potential threat of an organizing BGF within our facilities.

The antigovernment, anti-official mentality promoted by the group poses a serious threat to corrections and law enforcement personnel who represent the government and the law.

Mexican Mafia

Sketch of EMC eagle

Gender Makeup: Male

Racial Makeup: Mexican-American/Hispanic

Origin: The Mexican Mafia (EME) was formed in the late 50s at Duel Vocational Center, a youthful offender facility in California, from an urban Los Angeles street gang.

Characteristics:

  • EME's philosophy centers on ethnic solidarity and control of drug trafficking.
  • EME is the Federal Bureau of Prisons' most active gang, in terms of incident frequency rather than severity.
  • Ordinarily, each prison has a separate leadership.

Identifiers/Symbols:

  • Initials "EME."
  • The Mexican flag symbols such as the eagle with a snake in conjunction with the initials "EME."
  • A single hand print, usually black in color.
  • The EME symbol of eternal war.
  • Initials 'MM' or 'M.'

Many intelligence personnel and officers confuse the EME with the Mexikanemi from Texas. Great care should be taken in evaluating these distinct groups. Some believe the Mexikanemi share identical tattoos and symbols with EME, but there are subtle differences to be taken into account when attempting to associate membership.

Enemies/Rivals:

The La Nuestra Familia is the EME's chief rival. They are said to have a "kill on sight relationship," which has resulted in Federal Bureau of Prisons adopting an absolute separation of confirmed members. Other rivals include:

  • Northern Structure
  • Arizona's New Mexican Mafia
  • Black Guerrilla Family
  • black street gangs

Allies:

The EME has a very active working relationship with the Aryan Brotherhood. Other allies include:

  • Arizona's Old Mexican Mafia
  • Mexikanemi
  • New Mexico Syndicate
  • urban Latino street gangs.

The EME often provides protection for imprisoned La Costa Nostra members.

Recruitment/Initiation:

  • Members are Mexican-American/Hispanic male inmates.
  • The wives, girlfriends, and relatives of the EME are held in extremely high regard due to their support of drug transactions, financial activities, and mail-forwarding operations.
  • The EME is generally considered a "blood in, blood out" organization.

Propensity for Disruptive Behavior:

  • EME is not readily recognizable in the Florida Department of Corrections; however the history of the group and documented acts of violence in other jurisdictions warrants STG certification.
  • Receipt of inmates on interstate compact and the current membership in groups with Hispanic/Latino supremacy ideology and Latino street gangs lend to the threat.

The main activities of the EME are centered around drug trafficking, extortion, pressure rackets, and internal discipline.

The EME uses killing as a means of discipline or gaining respect. EME killings are extremely gruesome and calculated to establish fear and intimidation.

La Nuestra Familia

Graffiti from La Nuestra Familia

Gender Makeup: Male

Racial Makeup: Mexican-American/ Hispanic

Origin: The La Nuestra Familia (NF) originated in Soledad prison in California in the mid 60s. It was established to protect younger, rural, Mexican-American inmates from other inmates.

Characteristics:

  • The NF was originally formed for protection purposes from the Mexican Mafia (EME).
  • The cultural and social differences between urban and rural Mexican Americans developed into a deep hatred between the EME and NF.
  • The struggle to gain power over other groups evolved into the NF's participation in criminal activities in an effort to control the introduction of contraband into the facilities.
  • There are separate organizational chains for street and prison segments.

Identifiers/Symbols:

  • La Nuestra Familia members are known to wear identifying red rags (as does the Northern Structure).
  • NF members favor larger tattoos, often on the entire back.
  • Symbols include the initials NF, LNF, ENE, and F.
  • The number 14 for "N," the 14th letter in the alphabet stands for Norte or Northern California.
  • A sombrero with a dagger is a symbol commonly used by NF members.

Enemies/Rivals:

The Mexican Mafia is the chief rival. Other rivals include:

  • Texas Syndicate
  • Mexikanemi
  • F-14s
  • Aryan Brotherhood

Allies:

  • The NFs have an uneasy working relationship with the Black Guerrilla Family that is driven by their sharing of common enemies.
  • The Northern Structure, a spin-off subsidiary prison gang, is believed to have formed to direct the attention of officials away from the NF.

Recruitment/Initiation:

  • Membership consists traditionally of Mexican-American/Hispanic male inmates.
  • Lifelong allegiance is a requirement and a "blood in, blood out" oath must be taken.
  • Membership appears to extend beyond prison.

Propensity for Disruptive Behavior:

  • The NF is not readily recognizable in the Florida Department of Corrections; however the history of the group and documented acts of violence in other jurisdictions warrants their STG certification.
  • Receipt of inmates on interstate compact and the current membership in groups with Hispanic and Latino supremacy ideology lend to the threat of an organizing NF within our facilities.
  • Their main activities are drug trafficking, extortion, pressure rackets, and internal discipline.

Once released from custody NF members are expected to actively continue to assist or "score" for the members remaining in prison. Failure to do so can cause a member to fall in great disfavor with other members.

Texas Syndicate (TS)

Sketch of woman with letters TS located in design

Gender Makeup: Male

Racial Makeup: Mexican-American/ Hispanic

Origin: The TS originated in Folsom prison, in California in the early 70s.

  • It was established in direct response to the other California prison gangs (notably the Aryan Brotherhood and Mexican Mafia), which were attempting to prey on native Texas inmates.

Characteristics:

  • Membership is rising nationally due to recruitment.
  • The TS now accepts members from Latin American countries such as Colombia, Cuba, and Mexico.
  • They have made attempts to recruit in the Florida Department of Corrections.
  • A TS member is called a "Carnal."
  • A group of members is called "Carnales."
  • A TS recruit is called a "Cardinal."
  • The institutional leader is called the "Chairman."

Identifiers/Symbols: Sketch showing letters TS, eagle and sword

  • They have tattoos with a "TS" located somewhere in the design; sometimes requires close scrutiny.
  • The tattoos are generally located on the back of the right forearm, but they have also been found on the outside calf areas, neck, and chest.

Enemies/Rivals:

  • Aryan Brotherhood
  • La Nuestra Familia
  • Mexican Mafia
  • Mexikanemi
  • Mandingo Warriors

Allies: Sketch showing the letter T and snake is the letter S

The TS has developed associations with the Texas Mafia and Dirty White Boys.

Propensity for Disruptive Behavior:

  • There is some representation in the Florida Department of Corrections.
  • The TS has been found to be recruiting.
  • The history of the group and documented acts of violence in other jurisdictions warrant their certification as a Security Threat Group.
  • Receipt of inmates on interstate compact and the current membership in groups with Hispanic and Latino supremacy ideology lend to the threat of an organizing TS within our facilities.
  • The main activities of the TS are centered around drug trafficking, extortion, pressure rackets, and internal discipline.