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Essay On Aryan Brotherhood

Using criminological and sociological theory, this essay will aim to explain how the Aryan Brotherhood, evolved from a self-protection group into a White supremacist prison gang, running a criminal syndicate both in and outside of prison. Understanding the complexities of prison gang development is imperative in order to control and limit the power they have inside and outside of prison.
Robert Merton (1938) argued that members of American society are socialised to want the culturally defined goals such as the ‘American dream’ where success is attributed to material wealth. When they are denied access to the legitimate means, they resort to illegitimate means such as criminality and deviance to attain what they have been taught to want. (Lanier&Henry,1998) It could be argued that America is organised for crime due to its overwhelming significance placed on material success. This may explain why America has the highest rate of imprisonment, in 2000 approximately two million men and women were serving prison sentences. (Fleisher&Decker,2006) Similarly, Toy and Stanko (2008) identify that being part of a society that attributes achievement with material wealth are other factors which may influence becoming gang affiliated. (Harris et al, 2011)
Before the 1960s American penitentiaries were racially segregated, however as opinions on race began to alter the prison system desegregated. As Black and White inmates began to interact with one another, racial conflict instigated. Prisoners began to organize themselves along colour lines for protection. (Roberts, 2014) Indeed, the Aryan Brotherhood (AB) was established by white supremacists of Irish origin, Barry Mills and Tyler Bingham in California’s San Quentin state prison in Bingham in ...

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...s which indicates a life-long social connection or membership. Furthermore, he argued that getting a tattoo meant accepting a voluntary social stigma and disconnecting the self from conventional society. (Sanders, 1988)
Many people would prefer to think that the prisons are occupied by criminals who are isolated from society. However, Prisons are far less isolated from American Society than they would like to think. The Aryan Brotherhood frequently demonstrates the ability to transcend the confines of prison by running a criminal syndicate both in and outside of prison. Evidence suggests that extremists utilize prisons as avenues for recruitment and many inmates become indoctrinated with racist beliefs whilst inside. Understanding the complexities of prison gang development is imperative in order to control and limit the power they have inside and outside of prison.
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