|If You Don't Know About Gangs - You Should: Part III|
|By Greg Osterstuck|
Click here for Part I or Part II
“Mara Salvatrucha (commonly abbreviated as MS, Mara, and MS-13) is a transnational criminal gang that originated in Los Angeles and has spread to other parts of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America. The majority of the gang is ethnically composed of Central Americans and active in urban and suburban areas. In the U.S., the MS-13 specially has a heavy presence in Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California; the Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas of Fairfax County, Virginia, Montgomery County, Maryland, and Prince George's County, Maryland; Long Island, New York; the Boston, Massachusetts area; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Houston, Texas. There is also a sizable presence of MS-13 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
They are notorious for their use of violence and a subcultural moral code that predominantly consists of merciless revenge and cruel retributions. This excessive cruelty of the distinguished members of the "Maras" or "Mareros" earned them a path to be recruited by the Sinaloa Cartel battling against Los Zetas in an ongoing drug war south of the United States border.  Their wide-ranging activities and elevated status has even caught the eye of the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who recently initiated wide-scale raids against known and suspected gang members netting hundreds of arrests across the country.”
“The Folk Nation (also known as Folk) is an alliance of street gangs, based in the Chicago area, which has since spread throughout the United States, specifically in the Midwest and the South. They are rivals to the People Nation.
Within the Folk Nation alliance there are many gangs which all have their own unique colors, hand signs and organization. Many of these gangs have signed a charter to join the Folks alliance. It was formed on November 11 1978 in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Soon afterwards the People Nation was formed to counter the Folks alliance. Larry Hoover, the chairman of the Gangster Disciple Nation, created the idea for the alliance and persuaded many leaders of large Black, White, and Latino gangs from Chicago to join. The biggest and most major folk alliance is the Gangster
After a prosperous beginning in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, the alliance started to break apart in the early 1990s due to wars over money and drugs between fellow Folk gangs. After the split each leader was considered a king in his own right. Each gang had loyalty to the national rules, but following only their set king.”
“The Mexican Mafia (Spanish: Mafia Mexicana), also known as La eMe (Spanish for the letter M), is a Mexican American highly-organized, ruthless crime organization in the United States. Despite its name, the Mexican Mafia did not originate in Mexico and is entirely a U.S. criminal prison organization. Surenos use the number 13 to show allegiance to the Mexican Mafia. M is the 13th letter of the alphabet. Law enforcement officials report that La eMe is the most powerful gang within the California prison system. Government officials state that there are currently 155–300 official members of the Mexican Mafia with around 990 associates who assist La eMe in carrying out its illegal activities in the hopes of becoming full members. Sureño street gangs and the Mexican Mafia are almost ethnically homogenous, that is, they consist of almost entirely of Hispanic members. When Sureños enter correctional facilities, they are required to put aside their rivalries and obey the Mexican Mafia or suffer possible lethal consequences.”
“Juggalo or Juggalette (the latter being feminine) is a name given to fans of Insane Clown Posse or any other Psychopathic Records hip hop group. Juggalos have developed their own idioms, slang, and characteristics.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation's 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment classifies Juggalos as a "loosely-organized hybrid gang" whose transient nature makes them difficult to monitor effectively, and stated that certain subsets of the subculture engage in criminal activity and violence. According to the report, "Transient, criminal Juggalo groups pose a threat to communities due to the potential for violence, drug use/sales, and their general destructive and violent nature." 
There have been several incidents of criminal activity attributed to self-identified Juggalos. Some media outlets have attributed the incidents to the music produced by Psychopathic Records. Although Juggalos have denied any connection to gang activity, authorities have classified them as a gang in Utah; Arizona; Monroe County, Pennsylvania; and Modesto, California. Because of this, some schools have prohibited students from wearing Insane Clown Posse related paraphernalia.
[NOTE: This gang is often thought of being comical or funny because they dress as clowns or actors but caution should be used at all times when around these individuals].
“A skinhead is a member of a subculture that originated among working class youths in London, England in the 1960s and then soon spread to other parts of the United Kingdom, and later to other countries around the world. Named for their close-cropped or shaven heads, the first skinheads were greatly influenced by West Indian (specifically Jamaican) rude boys and British mods, in terms of fashion, music and lifestyle.
On the far left of the skinhead subculture, redskins and anarchist skinheads take a militant anti-fascist and pro-working class stance. In the United Kingdom, two groups with significant numbers of leftist skinhead members were Red Action, which started in 1981, and Anti-Fascist Action, which started in 1985. Internationally, the most notable left-wing skinhead organization is Red and Anarchist Skinheads, which formed in the New York City area in 1993 and then spread to other countries. In the United States, conservatism has been common in the skinhead scene, with many non-racist skinheads expressing right-wing and anti-communist views, glorifying American military actions and voicing opposition to Read Moremodern liberalism. In summary and there are many gangs prevalent United States and many if not if not all them will be found lockups, county jails, state prisons and federal prisons. As a correction officer you should be cognizant about gangs in your facility. If you do not have gang identification officer in your facility you should consider going to gang seminars in learning more about this potential threat.
Click here for Part I
Click here for Part II
Corrections.com author, Greg Osterstuck, retired after 22 years of corrections at the Chautauqua County Jail. As a correction officer he volunteered for tasks such as DNA collection officer, notary public and instituted the current Sheriff's law library system where he researched both NY state and Federal law for inmates. He also serves as a substitute teacher at Erie-2 BOCES for Criminal Justice and several other CTE courses with junior and senior high school students. Greg is also a certified American Heart Association CPR and first aid instructor.
Other articles by Osterstuck
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