Thursday, December 10, 2009

Prison Ink

Its only recently that tattoos and those have them have lost their association with thugs and criminals. While its true not everyone with a tattoo is a criminal, tattoos are a huge part of prison culture. Prison ink is used mainly to show gang affiliations usually the name of a gang done in ornate letters. However, they also show what position you hold, skills and specialties. There are many designs with meaning behind that has developed into almost a code. A few are:

A teardrop, usually near the eye, means that they have either killed or a friend has been killed.

A clock with no hands or hourglass means doing hard time

The Ace of Spade with an 'A' is associated with Aco Town or the Asian Boyz gang

The number 14 is associated with the Nuestra Familia

Since there are no tattoo studios in prison, many of the tattoos are done using a homemade tattoo machine sometimes made using the inside of a pen and a motor from an electric shaver.

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