TME-CHAPTER 1-PRISON CULTURE

Prison Culture

gangs,prison,youth prison,

N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility, Stockton CA,
Ages 18-25: Photos by Ray Johnson

When people ask me about my career as a correctional counselor, many believe that I sit behind a desk in a nice office and summon a guard for my next counseling appointment. My duties as a correctional counselor have a much wider scope than that. To illustrate,  let me explain what happened just two days ago. I was conducting a routine room search looking for weapons and gang related contraband for our gang intelligence unit, when suddenly I heard a commotion. I quickly exited the cell, and observed a ward who just picked his handcuffs and evaded a correctional officer’s grasp come racing down the stairs from the second tier. He comes down yelling his gang name, pumped up in a rage, swinging his cuffs as a weapon. He attacks a worker (fellow ward) before being maced by another officer. I then push him off the worker, but he runs under the stairwell. I take chase after him, catching up to him and restraining him to the ground, before we are both fogged by a powerful chemical agent called Z505, released by another officer. Nearly two hours later, after I have finally washed the intense burning from my eyes and face, I have to physically push back another ward that attempts to barge out of a secured recreation cage. A few cages down, another ward refuses to give back his cuffs, angry that he has been denied a cage recreation mate. The ward has recently been placed on independent status and is a sure target for his former fellow gang members. We perceive he wants to set up a fight, to get some of his respect back for being dropped from his gang or, as they say in Y.A., being placed on “leva” status, or “out the car.” As I walk back inside the unit, both my fellow officers and I are being verbally abused by angry inmates on both the top and bottom tier, who are demanding to get into the one shaving cage, which also serves as a phone booth, to either shave or use the phone for their monthly phone call. We have incident reports to write, and there are still many who need a shower, along with one more meal that still needs to be delivered through the tray slot in their door.  As I’m looking for wards that still need their shower, other wards are demanding a one-on-one counseling session with me. Moments later, I hear what sounds like Niagara Falls. The ward that I restrained earlier has just flooded his room with water by clogging his toilet.  Water is flowing down from the second tier to the first tiers and into the cells of other inmates, and down the hallway on the top tier. The wards on the unit are now yelling and demanding to have their cell decontaminated, yelling for their food and others are still yelling for a shave, a telephone call or a shower. I glance upstairs at Niagara Falls, make eye contact with one of my fellow officers and just laugh under my breath, as I often do to relieve stress- trying to find the humorous side of every issue in order to keep my sanity. But as I stand there trying to laugh off the stress, we also have other wards holding their cell tray slots open, in protest of one thing or another. There are only 3 officers on the floor, including myself and one is outside on the caged recreation yard, still negotiating with that inmate to give up his cuffs. Meanwhile, the Lieutenant has been called, and they send back-up security to help us start pulling out wards in order to have the cells cleaned and disinfected.

Youth Prison, CYA, Prison Photos

Recreational Cages: N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility:Photos by Ray Johnson

These wards are the most violent in the institution, with an extensive history of assaulting other wards and peace officers.  As we escort one inmate in full restraints to the phone and shaving cage, who just the day before had rushed out his room to attack a worker, he begins to demand another cell. There are not many cells available, due to the fact that many of the fixtures or toilets have been broken by angry inmates. After his room is cleaned and disinfected by inmate workers from another unit, he states, “fu*# that, I’m posting up (Refusing to move), I want a clean room.” The duty Lt. then warns the ward that they will deploy the pepper ball launcher on  him (which contains hard plastic balls filled with pepper ball gas.) if he fails to comply. He screams a mouthful of obscenities towards the Lt. and security and then indicates he’s ready for whatever they have for him. For many of these inmates, getting pepper ball scars is a way to obtain status for themselves and their gang. There is word on the unit that an Asian ward took 20 pepper ball shots. Attempting to compete, this inmate tears his shirt, then makes a turban and a mask and begins to hit his chest like King Kong, yelling out his gang name, as other wards from his gang cheer him on by banging on the door-some advising him “don’t go out!”, while rival gang members advise him to “break your life down.” When it’s all over, he walks proudly to the MTA (medical technician) for medical attention before being taken back to his cell, having taken 7 pepper ball shots-13 short of the record.

Prison Phone, Prison Photos

Prison Phone Booth: Photo by Ray Johnson

  After a very long hour, we are finally able to secure him in his cell.  I turn to my right and notice that a third of the dayroom floor is under water, including our Youth Correctional Counselor’s office.  I turn again to my fellow officer and laughingly smile in an attempt to lighten the mood. When I turn back around, security is shaking their heads, wondering what issue to attack next: the ward who had busted out of his cuffs or the ward who took the pepper ball rounds. The other wards become even more frustrated and angry, still demanding what they want. Meanwhile, it’s institutional count time. However, we are unable to clear count, due to the wards refusing to take the towels down from their cell windows. Others are plastering paper to their windows, so we are unable to see inside.  

Prison,Prison Tray Slot

Ward refusing to have staff close food slot: photos by Ray Johnson

Finally, their meal is served, leading to more tray slots being held hostage, more hails of verbal abuse coming from the unit, and new demands – now we have a group demanding that the radio be turned on.  A verbal battle between numerous wards commences, some demanding the oldie’s station; while the opposition is R & B. The radio will not be turned on due to the chaos. The refusal escalates the already frustrated wards who are now even more angry because all the water has been turned off due to flooding: the whole dorm is on water management program, which mandates only one flush and one drink of water every half hour. Meanwhile, we have a program (recreational period), or group of inmates to retrieve from outside, and we have word that the two gang members associated, along with the two who caused the earlier incident, are refusing to take it down to their cell. The reason is because one of them has refused to have his cuffs checked, so we can assure that they are double cuffed. Just two days ago, we had to restrain this ward in shackles after he exhibited hostile and aggressive behavior towards staff. A cell extraction is about to proceed, so the video camera comes out, and the wards begin yelling their monikers and gang names to the camera, excited about being taped. In the interim, we are escorting other wards into the unit, attempting to avoid the terrain of floodwater. Many of them are becoming angry, believing that someone else’s “piss water” has saturated their cell. The dorm’s volume has escalated a couple of notches, because the wards now realize the lateness of the hour, and know many will now be unable to shower, shave or use the phone. A half hour passes; the two-gang members in cage #2 finally comply before the pepper ball launcher is deployed again. They are taken in the shower to be held temporarily until their room has been disinfected. To this point, I have been on the unit for roughly 15 hours and 30 minutes, which is not unusual. Many times we are forced to stay due to staff shortage, but today I’m working a 16-hour shift because of a shift swap.We have made a little dent in the flood waters: numerous officers are on the unit assisting and supervising the wards on the clean-up team. At 2210 hours, the Lt. tells me that I’m released to go home, since by law I can’t go on to work the 17th hour. My co-workers look and smile at me in envy, knowing that they’re being held over for an under determined amount of hours. Tomorrow at 0600 hours, less than 8 hours away, I will report back to the unit again, working off of less than 6 hours of sleep due to my hour commute, with reports to write, and individual counseling sessions to attend to. Days like these are not uncommon: sometimes they include riots, gassings (feces and urine thrown on staff), attempted suicides, and staff assaults.

You ask, “Do I like my job?” To be honest, I love my job. Days like this are not every day, and there are many inmates that have a true desire to change. They just need the right tools, and it is my job as a counselor to provide it to them. I believe that this is my God-given purpose. Therefore, it brings me joy and satisfaction, even in the heart of the trials and tribulations that occur.

 _BOOK-SALE-BANNERW

Ward stories (Incarcerated Gang Members):

“My Crazy Life”

As I was growing up as a young teenager it was very hard for me to understand what was right from wrong.    But as I was becoming a young man, I started to realize my mistakes were very wrong. As I was growing up, my mom and dad use to tell me to do good and stay in school and do something good with my life. But during that time I started to get more involved into gangs and going to parties so I didn’t care what my parents told me. Every time my parents told me to do good or was telling me not to go out at nights with my homeboys to parties. I would ignore their wishes and whenever they told me these things I would sit there and listen to them give me their advice but it would go through one ear and out the other. I was being very ignorant and didn’t want to listen to no one’s advice but one day I started to realize and regret everything I was doing and knew I was in the wrong. I wasn’t thinking about the consequences of my actions I was doing. I didn’t really care because I use to tell myself I would never get caught up and go to jail or anything. I wanted to do what I wanted to do when ever I did it, I didn’t care.    I use to love going to parties when ever there was one popping off some where. I would go with my homeboys a lot and things turn out to be fun and I thought all parties were going to be fun for me. My parents didn’t like me leaving the house at night and going to parties, but I didn’t care. I still went anyway. One day my homegirl called me up on the phone and asked me if I wanted to go to a party with her. She also told me there is going to be a lot of girls there so that caught my attention so I said yes, but not knowing who is going to be there and who is throwing the party. I didn’t think of it. So my homegirl came and picked me up and we both left together. When we got there it looked to me like it was going to be a fun party. We both went into the house and right away I started talking to the girls because that was my type of thing. I started to dance with some girls when this guy came up to me. I didn’t know who he was.

 

I was trying to figure who he was because he looked like someone I knew from my past. Then all of a sudden he started introducing me to some other guys that were there at the party. Then he took me to the other side of the living room where there was not much people dancing and he hit me in the face. I kinda fell back a little bit then I caught my balance and I started to fight back. Then I noticed that he was an enemy from a different gang.

 

A lot of the girls and people that was there started to get scared and left.    I was trying my hardest to self defend myself until other guys jump in on me then I started to tell myself I wasn’t going to win. I was getting jumped so bad I blacked out. All I remember is waking up the next day in the hospital. I had to stay the night in the hospital for three days until they let me go home. I was hurt very bad. My face and my head looked like a smashed pumpkin. When I went home my homegirl paid me a visit to tell me how sorry she was but I told her it wasn’t her fault. She sat there and told me all about that night and details about what happened to me that night. She told me she thought I was going to die and she was very scared.    I didn’t blame her for nothing because I wanted to go.

The following week I had a lot of time to think about my actions. I sat there at home and started to realize a lot of the bad choices I was making. Me getting jumped at that party had a big impact on my life and made me think twice. I finally realized I was in the wrong for going to the party and I should of took my parents advice and stayed home. Being ignorant didn’t get me anywhere. I know that there are a lot of teenagers out there that don’t like to listen to their parents, but what does it have to take to open up their eyes to see how dangerous things can get.    How come something bad has to happen to get your attention and find out the hard way while you can stop now and think twice about your life and what you’re doing? You don’t need a wake up call because next time it might be too late.

 

“Why I stay in this crip life.”

As I enlighten you on why I stay in this crip life, I like to say it was never a choice. What I mean is, when I was growing up my mother and father were enemies.

I needed love, and wanted to give love. Give my mother love, my father will hate me. Give father love, mother will hate me. That is what I thought. So I gave the homies love and that gave me love.

I led a lot of kids into negative behaviors cause I knew they looked up to me and that I could get them to do the things I wanted, because they seen me as an idol.

“I don’t feel that hurting people is right but I don’t think that it is wrong.”

No one understands me. How could they when I don’t even understand myself.

I am afraid of the unknown, a lot of other people should feel the same if they knew not only what I am capable of doing, but what I plan to do. If they did know they would have me put to death. After I am deceased they would take my brain and examine it to try to understand what God has created. As sad as that fact may be, I am not sad. In fact I hope that after I pass away there is someone to examine my brain. Then people would come to understand that maybe this is not my fault. Maybe God has made another mistake.    God created Satan once, could it be that he made the same mistake or a similar one? I hope so. Why? We’ll then my actions would be justified that I was not given the freedom of will. My fate was preordained. If that is the case then I can commit any deed that my heart may desire and know that no matter what I do, I will be damned to hell.

The signs of a monster were present from day one, but nobody took the time to look, but like I said before I am not like any other. I wasn’t molested as a child, I never tortured any animals, I wasn’t an abused child. All of the signs were still there. The hallucinations, the hearing of voices, being placed in mental institutions numerous times for a variety of reasons, all have something to do with the other some how.

I like seeing people in pain, in a lot or in a little, it really doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t matter if I am the one inflicting the pain or not, just as long as you are in pain. Age is of no importance nor is race, religion, or what the situation.

You might be wondering what the person has gone through to make him into what he is not. I can answer that question with one word, nothing. But I know it is hard for the brain to assimilate that, so lets take it into further detail. Why do I like seeing people in pain and when was the first time that I realized that I do? I like seeing people in pain because it is exciting. To see, read or hear somebody being tortured ignites something inside of me that captures my attention.    I don’t feel that hurting people is right, but I don’t think that it is wrong. I think that it is just part of life.

I first realized that I was different five years ago but it goes back further than that.    Five years ago was just the point where I was like I am not like any of those around me. As I began to read a lot of fictional books that were suspenseful, horrific and things of that nature about five years ago.    I read about people being tortured, mutilated, raped, molested, kidnapped, shot down, and I began to think that I would like to do some of these things.    I’ve already hurt people in the past, but the books were talking about taking it to a new level. Within time I began to fantasize about some of the things that I wanted to do. It almost became an obsession.

People ask me about my spiritual aspects concerning the things that I plan to do. I believe there is only one god. I believe in heaven and hell.    I believe everyone will be held accountable for their actions. But like I said before, my destiny might have already have been written and there is nothing that I can do to change that. I kind of feel the earth is preparing some of us for hell. In a sense earth is hell. We now live in a place where kids are killed by the one that brought them into this earth. We have best friends murdering one another. We have mother and father having sexual relations with their own children. All of that and that is barely the tip of the iceberg. I feel that hell can’t be too much more worse than earth already is.

I also practice hedonism; I pursue this belief as a way of life. I am infatuated with worldly possessions, big houses, fancy cars, women, jewelry, name brand clothes, yachts and foreign places drive me. I want all of the finer things in life. One only has one life to live while on this earth, so why not make the best of it? There is always hell.    To think about it, I am not afraid to go to hell. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to go but these worldly possessions have too much of a hold on me. I feel that hell may be my final destination anyway so why not indulge. Unlike why I like seeing people in pain, my wanting all of the finer things in life has reasons. The most prominent reason being that as a child I came from the slums, surrounded by bums. Even though my mom did the best that she could do, it was still bad. Wearing third generation hand me downs, eating cereal with sugar water, sharing our apartment with roaches and mice. Even though I got used to living that way, I could never accept the fact that I would one day raise my family the same way. As I began to grow older, I slowly but surely began to think there was a way for me to live in luxury but I had to be willing to take risks. At first it started off with little petty things, but it soon escalated to bigger and better things. And as the prizes began to get bigger, so did the risks. I have committed robberies, burglaries, g.t.a’s, assaults and batteries. I sold drugs; I got to the point where I wanted money by all means necessary. On numerous occasions I had to put my body through pain in order to obtain what I desired. I not only had to hurt myself, but I had to hurt others. It didn’t and still doesn’t matter. It’s a must that I survive at any cost. As of now we live in a world where it is survival of the fittest it is a must that you must be fit to survive. I proved that I can survive and I will continue to do so until I no longer breathe. When I die, that is when I will stop doing what I feel I must do. And it is then and only then I will stop doing what I want to do and plan to do.

“I put my family in danger.”

I joined the barrio because it runs in the family. That’s all I know, the gang lifestyle was no problem for me. I breathe it and lived it.    The only thing I don’t like about gangs is homeboys passing away, so soon, yes, by me joining the gang I put my family in danger, but they already done that before my time. I just added a little piece to the cake, my pro was excitement and the power. The cons, are early death, and return to jail or prison.

 

“I have about 2 female relatives that are real killers.”

I am a known member of the most ruthless blood street gang in Compton, California. My whole family are gang members from the same gang I represent. My uncles, aunties, my dad and a few blood cousins are deeply involved in blood gang activity. I have about 2 female relatives that are real killers and will take the life of a person without any remorse. The 2 of them are from the –Street — blood street gang.-which is on –th— th ——–Street and ——-Street.    I myself witnessed these two relatives in a drive by shooting trying to get ——- a rival gang of ——-. The oldest out my two relatives got shot to death in ———-, California on —– Avenue and —th between ——— and ————. She was being chased by some rival ——- and they started shooting at the car and my relative took two in the back and they came straight out her heart and now she’s dead and her lil sister is following her footsteps killing people, robbing, stealing and the bad thing is she has a 1 year old baby girl. She takes good care of her daughter but her daughter can easily be killed as an innocent bystander and in a walk up or a drive by shooting and she has about 25 murders under her belt and I’m not just talking, I swear it’s the truth. But it’s not a right choice to keep bang’in the only reward is death or prison time, but it’s up to you to make that choice as for me I can’t stop, won’t stop, I’m gonna bang till my heart stop beating. I don’t believe in nothing but this street life and if you really a dedicated crip or blood keep bangin, I’m out.

“What am I thinking about the fact that I’m getting out?”

Well as you know I’ve been incarcerated going on ten years coming the 24th of this month(November) 200,. I got arrested at the age of 14 for a gang related shooting and am currently 6 months away from my release back to society. What am I thinking? To be honest I have been thinking of the many circumstances I can be placed in that will result in criminal prosecution and interfere with my release. Beyond that, I‘m thinking about how I should conduct myself out there. I have good adaptability skills, but in my mind it’s like “well in order to adapt I have to observe the conduct of others”. I think this observational period might affect how others view me and also if I just go out there being myself then people might think”, Damn being locked up fu**ed this guy up.    Other things that are on my mind about being released are-1.jobs 2. housing 3. schooling 4.family/friend relationships.    First of all, I’ve never held a real job so I don’t have any job skills. CYA hasn’t been able to provide me the skills on how to acquire a job, maintain it, nor did they train me in any trade. So knowing that I’m going out there with absolutely no job skills whatsoever has me thinking, “fu*&%, I got to sell drugs or rob people to make some money to get by in life.” Believe me, I don’t want to resort to this and I will exhaust all avenues before I do resort to it, but this is my reality here. This is what I know how to do by nature. Now, housing, I know where I’ll be staying in Fresno. I plan to stay there with my sister. The reason I’m choosing to move there is to remove myself from the criminal and gang activity which is present there in ——-. I know a lot of people there who I’ll feel obligated to kick it with if they’re around. This is going to end up getting me back into the same activities I engaged in before I got arrested, so to minimize my chances, I’ll stay out in Fresno where I can meet new people with better interests in life. Now what I am worried about is me having to be dependent on my sister for housing. I do not want to be a burden on her in any way. I know her doors are open and I’m welcomed to stay at her house but I’ll be 25 years old I need a house of my own. Now schooling since my incarceration I haven’t been able to so much as obtain a G.E.D. or High School Diploma so that is one of my priorities to receive either one. I understand that any educational level can and will affect what kind of jobs I’ll be available for so I’m wanting to work on my schooling and go to college if possible. I’m thinking of trying to earn a degree in business management and theology, but I’m open to change. What ever grabs my interest and has an opportunity for me I’ll jump on that first. It’s all stepping stones in my eyes. I love to learn so even If I don’t end up going to college believe me it is not going to stop me from learning at all.    Now family and friend relationships, this is like the biggest damn thing I think about. I don’t really have any affection for none of my family members, they are some what strangers we have never been real close to my remembrance. And since I’ve been locked up they haven’t been here for me in respects to emotional or financial support so I always think about how it is going to

be to socialize with them, are we going to get along? Are we going to be at each others throats? See the thing is I can get along with anyone but there’s these miserable people that I just can’t stand to be around they’re so lousy that they want you to be lousy with them and some of my family and friends are like that. Friends, since I’m moving out to Fresno I really won’t have too many of them back, but I think about how what they do may affect me. If they use drugs am I going to end up using (I don’t have a drug problem) If they run into problems with other gang members am I going to back them up? The thing is, I know I’ll back up my friends, family at the expense of my life and since I want to live a long life I worry about this type of stuff. What else? Well I think about all the food I want to eat, places I want to visit, women I want to marry, things I want to learn (languages, histories, religions, etc..) All in all I just think about striving to live a happy successful and prosperous life without disruptions, but since this is life on earth, I face reality, life is going to have a lot of bitterness. Well brother Ray, this is all I have for you.

“I was raised in the church”

I was raised in the church and on a daily basis my family preached to me, but I was so infatuated and drawn to that impure lifestyle: I ceased to listen to anything my loved ones said. Now through my journey of incarceration has not only made me wake up to the realization of the world, but has given me a chance to unfold and break these negative flaws, that seems to bound me. I came a long ways, but still have so far to go.

Say you have a daughter right, you believe in being strict. You don’t let her talk to boys on the phone, and when she’s about to go out you be all overprotective, making her feel that you don’t trust her. 9 times out of ten she’s going to feel like she can’t come to talk to you whether it’s about boys, sex, gangs, and peer pressure. Naturally she is going to be curious, wanting to explore these things and probably end up caught up having a baby, joining a gang or having some type of STD.    All because her parents wanted to hide things like there’s no such things as boys, sex, STD’s, thinking they could protect their little girl from all this corruption of today. What a parent should have done was taken her to a library, read about diseases, show her them pictures of what can happen when you have unprotected sex. She might get the idea that you low key letting her have permission to have sex. So what you do is let her know you’re against it from the start, but also let her know you can’t be there 24 7 to watch her every move, but it’s her body and her decision. Explain as much about it as you can. Let her know the ball is in her court now. After you have that heart to heart talk no matter the situation she will always have trust to come talk to ya’ll.

“I lost my freedom for them.”

I could see that being in the gang made my mom and dad start to care and I saw it as a way to get the attention I wanted. But the bad part to being in the gang was I had to watch my back and sacrifice a lot of things. I would do bad things to win their acceptance. I lost my freedom for them and my life is always in danger, even now, I’m in danger and I quit. It follows you for the rest of your life. I also learned quick that once you tell your own homies you don’t want to gang bang anymore they think your weak or they may respect it. I don’t want to show my kids the wrong thing. I am their role model and if I ain’t got values, they won’t either.    You need to have values and goals and your kids learn from their parents. I know the only thing a gang is going to get me is dead or in prison, and believe me – I don’t want that. I have goals and plans.

“My life is not the way it’s supposed to be.”

I’m not sure how to put this. My life is not the way it’s supposed to be.    I’ve suffered trials and tribulations of an unprohibited thug. I thought that life on the streets of Stockton was such a beauty. Never and forever will I ever want to leave them, but at the age of 18, I understand much of what life has to offer.

My mother is not in the picture and hates the way I lead my life. I can’t blame her. I don’t even know if my pops is alive, but I really don’t care. If I understand nothing more than I do now, I will survive, unless I realize there is something much more, something much different, that I can take and get on a smoother road.

To keep it real, I don’t want that road. I’ve chosen this life over that. The gangsterism of my vicious ways resembles some of my past life. Something I will never forget. To the rest of the world or the “norm society”, I and the rest of my street family shall forever be outcasts. We shall never fit in.

My time has been spent in the “Y” (Youth Authority) because of crimes that I did commit and I am very proud of them. You say I am crazy, but am I? I just keep it real. I’m not gonna lie, I love what I do and what I’m about.    Beatings, slanging, bangin: it is all a part of something so beautiful in my eyes, which to y’all is filthy.

To people that know me, they shall always love me. To people who hate me, they shall always hate me. But the weak will always feel my wrath. Not weak physically, but in your mind. To play you like chess is what I thrive on. To play you is to gain my life, but I’m the most loyal person out there. This is me, this is my life.

You’re stepping into something that might seem shallow, but it isn’t. Gangsterism and thugism is a whole different thing. I’m ruthless in all activities because of this. The system and streets made me. At least they made me slowly over time. I would have to laugh if I said they didn’t help me on my way to uncaringness. It is like drunken debauchery.

I’m not insane, but it is funny.    What is sane?    What people understand hurts them, do them harm or it can do the exact opposite and they can thrive from it.    For all you that don’t understand, you’re safe.

Look in my eyes one time please, pleasure runs quite frequently in them, but it is the pleasure that I want. When I started this “thug life,” it was because I was poor and now it’s because I’ve grown to love this. I still ain’t got it all and probably will never be hella rich, “but I still love this sh#%.”!

Can you handle this? Maybe. Can you handle time? Maybe. I know I can. I ain’t never gonna change. Like I said, “I love this sh*t!! The penitentiary is just the down fall. Are you ready motha fuc*as?!! Cause I am. So lets do this and see who stands last. Cause I ain’t going out. I keep it gangsta.

Mr. Soldier. “Getting out the Gang”

Well I started wanting to gang bang because when I was younger, I say about 11 or 12, I seen the respect and money ,well, all the good parts of the lifestyle my cousin lived. And being that me and my cousin shared a room together, I looked up to him; I wanted to be like him. He was my role model. So I started off by always wearing the color red and smoking marijuana, running the streets with my cousin and the fellas who were older than me so my mentality started changing. I started breaking the law first, it started small stuff like stealing cans to stealing cars and carrying handguns. Well at the age of 14 I was put into the system, group homes, etc. I never stayed in the places they sent me to, because I would rather be on the streets with my boys for the hood, Lokos. I was getting bad, I started smoking crank and robbing people. My own family was scared of me: they didn’t want anything to do with me. Well finally the law caught up to me and sentenced me to the Youth Authority for a burglary, well when I came here to YA I found out the reason why I started banging was not the right reason. But the real reason is something I agreed on and fully dedicated myself to the (gang). I sacrificed my PCD’s (parole consideration date) and my family for a cause that I believe in. We’ll after 2 years of sacrificing my eyes were finally opened and seen these guys in here don’t function the way the teachings are said to function. So I decided to step away from the fake and look forward to the future with my family and try to be something in life. This gang banging life ain’t what people think it is. I still believe the reason why it started was for a good reason , but that reason is long gone and people need to start realizing that and get on with their life. Because these people who call you their homie really ain’t your homie.

Because when you are not a part of them they want to start talking crap about you and to you. But when you are right there putting it down with these guys you’re their bro and all that stuff. But as soon as you separate yourself all that changes. I seen that before I stepped back and that helped me make my decision because I don’t want to be apart of nothing fake and that is going to keep me from being someone in life. I would rather have no respect and no money then to be fake with all that. Those are my reasons why I started gang banging and quit gang banging.

“I became a Neo-Nazi Skinhead”

When I was about seven years old I got taken away from my family and put into a group home. From there it is life from group home to group home, because I kept running.    Eventually I started to do good and they let me go live with my grandma and grandpa in Colorado, and then we moved to ——–.    This is where I got caught doing everything, because of how small the town was. So I had to come back to California, to another group home. I ran and came up north to stay with my mom in Modesto, where I was born. This is where I became a Neo-Nazi Skinhead. It started when one of my uncles got out of prison and seen me walking down the road.    He pulled over and asked why I’m acting something I’m not. “Be white, be yourself,” well I got involved in robbing houses and I was going out with a woman that was 12 years older then I was. I was 13 at the time. I got another chance, but then I screwed that up, I then got committed to the Youth Authority on January 1-, 200- and this is where it mostly all happened at me being White Power.    I got labeled as SWP, so I said hell with it and followed through with it. I was at OH (O.H. Youth Correctional Facility) and everybody looked up to me, because I acted a lot older and so I thought I had to act the macho look, and that got me to Chad, were I was influenced even more. I was reading nonstop about our cause and stuff about our ancestors, the stuff that they have accomplished for us and how we were letting it get taken away from us so easily. To wrap this up, I am still known and involved with White Power Movements.    I am a Neo Nazi Skinhead known as “——–”. I follow the name too, but I’m changing slowly but surely.    I still have my beliefs, but I carry them out in a different way.

 _BOOK-SALE-BANNERW

 GO TO CHAPTER 2

prison culture

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