A Brief History of Phenomenally Unsuccessful Prison Gangs

White Supremacist prisoner wearing an orange jumpsuit.

Prison life is extremely dangerous, thus inmates are often forced to band together in order to increase the odds of survival. The prevailing wisdom is that being a member of a group will provide protection, as there is safety in numbers. However, there have been a number of gangs throughout the history of the penal system that have actually decreased their members' chances of survival. This list, while not exhaustive, offers an insight into the failures of incarcerated organized crime. The organizations in question are offered in no particular order.

The White Inferiorists

Prisons have long been a hotbed of white supremacist recruitment. Due to the disproportionately high percentage of ethnic minorities that populate America's prisons, white power gangs such as the Aryan Brotherhood found it easier to draw membership from the suddenly outnumbered white inmates. Some have viewed the Aryan Brotherhood's proliferation as the inevitable reaction to this table-turning situation, but another group's evolution, however brief, showed that this is not the case.

One of several instances of "Mormonized Crime," The Gang of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was never widely recognized as legitimate.

As opposed to the racist hatred practiced by the Aryan Brotherhood, the White Inferiorists evolved as a group beset by unbridled white guilt. Surrounded by the plight of America's minority population, this small group of Caucasians felt immediately and overwhelmingly responsible. Originally formed in northern California's infamous and mandatorily segregated Pelican Bay Penitentiary, the original group of 23 White Inferiorists quickly made a name for themselves by viciously beating themselves up in the prison laundry room. The group later confessed to being responsible for over 68,000 crimes that they didn't commit, and their leader, Steve Whiteman, made an example of himself by shanking himself in the exercise yard.

Most of the White Inferiorists were somehow murdered while alone in their locked cells. Two member were paroled, but later killed each other in an incredibly well-coordinated two-car double drive-by. To this day, the White Inferiorists remain the only other gang ever endorsed and recognized by the Crips.

OC Dawn

The roots of obsessive compulsive disorder are often found in a feeling of lack of control over the greater machinations of one's life. As a reaction, the individual attempts to control the minutiae of the day-to-day routine in order to establish the illusion of control over that which cannot be managed. Prison, with its pervasive inescapability and structured routine, is a ripe breeding ground for OCD.

In at least one instance, a large group of OCD sufferers banded together to form a gang, OC Dawn. They almost immediately ran afoul of another, more well-established prison gang, the Mexican Mafia, when OC Dawn founder and leader Albert "Lights On Lights Off" Crandall struck a piñata 999 times. The Mexican Mafia took this as a message, while Crandall contended that he had to do it or his grandparents would burst into flames.

Tensions escalated, and OC Dawn organized a massive, preemptive assault on their Latin opposition. The attack went poorly for OC Dawn, as every time they shived a rival gang member, they would immediately have to wash their hands at least a dozen times. The Mexican Mafia won a decisive and incredibly hygienic victory.

Crandall, who died in the confrontation, was buried according to his wishes. He was then dug up and re-buried 38 more times—also according to his wishes.

The Gang of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Prisoners attending church service
Luckily, orange happens to be God's favorite color.
One of several instances of "Mormonized Crime," The Gang of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was never widely recognized as legitimate. Founded by Joe "The Razor" Smith, the group's by-laws were supposedly dictated to him by an angel. The basic tenets of the group revolved around loyalty, service, humility, and polygamy with multiple transvestite wives.The group was brought down by ambition, as they attempted to push their sphere of influence outside the confines of prison walls. After several botched attempts at bicycle ride-bys, they were eventually crushed by the much more persistent Jehovah's Bad-Asses.

The Hemomaniacs

A group comprised entirely of members with blood clotting disorders, the gang was doomed from its inception.

The Likeable Sidekicks

For whatever reason, no member of this group was ever able to survive through the entire incarceration of their best friends, who invariably were not members of the gang. Instead, The Likeable Sidekicks almost always found themselves murdered at such a time as to motivate their friends to do something life-altering, such as fight, escape, or win a football game. The Likeable Sidekicks attempted to expand beyond prison walls, but their external counterparts, The Three-Days-From-Retirement Cops, were equally unsuccessful.

West Coast Amish

As with all pacifist, technology-shunning prison gangs, their options were limited. Trying to break into the untapped market of illegal pie-trafficking, the WCA quickly discovered that pies are more difficult and uncomfortable to smuggle than cocaine. Not only this, but the East Coast Mennonites beat them to the punch. In an ironic twist of fate, the West Coat Amish found themselves shunned by the general prison population.

Of course, no list of this sort would be complete without mention of Satan's Kittens, The Impotent Sloths, or Fattie McGee's Vengeful Dyslexics. However, space is limited and omissions were made.



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Gavin Pitt's picture

Funny stuff. I have a feeling I would do well in prison. Either that or be passed around like currency, anyway.

Yes, god, GOD, or God definitely likes the color orange.

Hilarious! Well done tongue-in-cheek article.