Tattooing while incarcerated is VERY popular.



Although many people entering the prison population are affiliated with the hate movement before their incarceration, prisoners from different ethnic backgrounds often join racist gangs once inside the penal system. They join these groups not only because they adhere to the gang's racist ideology, but also for protection and as a way to participate in criminal activity within the prison. These inmates' tattoos offer important information about gang affiliation, personal history and criminal activity. It is important for community groups, schools, religious institutions and law enforcement agencies to recognize these symbols and what they mean. Through knowledge of hate symbols, teachers and community leaders may be able to identify hate group members in their neighborhoods who try to recruit young people to their cause via publications, fliers, music and the Internet. Teachers and community leaders may also be able to identify individuals who are involved in racist and anti-Semitic incidents. Likewise, law enforcement officials with knowledge of hate symbols may be able to classify graffiti on churches, synagogues, or schools as hate crimes because of their association with racist or anti-Semitic ideology. Being able to identify and understand these symbols also allows teachers, law enforcement and others in the community to be vigilant against haters who use them to intimidate and frighten others.

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