These three gangs are the most prolific in New York State prisons. I have been watching Lock Up: Extended Stay recently as there has been a marathon of episodes on at night. It's interesting to see prison culture, including the gangs.

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For many inmates, mainly males, prison gangs offer protection, a sense of belonging, and benefits like commissary. On the flip side, many members of prison gangs have to risk their safety, freedom, and even their lives to do the bidding of the gang. In one episode of Lock Up that was filmed in the Suffolk County Jail in New York, the Bloods and Crips were fighting viciously because the Crips wanted to gain more of a foothold in the prison.

These same wars happen between gangs outside of the prison walls, obviously, but there is more territory and criminal enterprises for them to engage in, allowing for more separation (unless a gang decides to invade another gang's territory in an act of war).

When I was in high school gangs were really big in my hometown. Most of my schools were in Crip neighborhoods. The Bloods and Crips were constantly fighting each other. There were also several Mexican gangs that controlled certain areas of the city. I was happy to get out of there since I knew quite a few people who lost their lives due to gang violence.

The 3 Most Notorious Prison Gangs In New York


ILL Mannered Films via Youtube
ILL Mannered Films via Youtube

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The Netas gang was started in the late 1970s by Carlos Torres Irriarte. The gang was started in the maximum security Oso Blanco prison located in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. The gang was started to protect prisoners from guards and other prisoners and improve conditions. The main rival of the Netas was Grupo 27. Netas founder Irriarte was shot and stabbed to death by G27s. Even though Irriarte was killed (potentially set up to die by his lieutenants, the gang grew and thrived. According to Wikipedia,

"The Ñeta Association has an established hierarchical structure; each chapter's hierarchical leadership structure includes a president, vice president, treasurer, disciplinarian, and a coordinator responsible for organizing monthly meetings.[2] The entire gang chapter participates in an election process in order to determine who will hold these six leadership positions."

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The Bloods chapter in New York was started in 1993 on Rikers Island. Inmates Leonard "Deadeye" MacKenzie and OG Mack founded the New York Chapter of the United Blood Nation, according to Stanford. The Bloods, also known as Pirus, are known to commit violent crimes such as robberies, drug sales, extortion, rapes, and murders.

"The Bloods have now become the strongest of the 52 prison gangs operating in New York City. The National Gang Crime Research Center feels that 20 percent of the nation's inmates belong to gangs and that this percentage is much higher for the state of New York."

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Latin Kings

Insider via Youtube
Insider via Youtube

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The Latin Kings was founded in 1954. The gang was founded by a Puerto Rican, Ramon Santos, in Chicago. The gang was initially called the Imperials and was designed to help the Puerto Rican progress movement. According to Wikipedia,

"There are two umbrella factions: the King Motherland Chicago (KMC) – also known as King Manifesto and Constitution – and Bloodline, formed in New York City in 1986."

The Bloodline Manifesto was founded by Luis "King Blood" Felipe in the Collins Correctional Facility in New York State. He claimed the title of Inca and Supreme Crown of New York State.

"There is the Second Crown, and he is the Inca's right-hand man who must be trusted at all times. Next, there is the Warlord, and his job is to make sure that everything is in operation. He is basically the brains of the operation. Finally, there is the Officer, who is the inspector of the nation."

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