Friday, January 25, 2008


When most people in free society, verses those convicted of a criminal offense, are asked to give a response to what the word "RESPECT" means, most responses are; showing reverence toward another; to show kindness; showing esteem toward another etc.

To the person that is incarcerated, it takes on a series of other meanings. Space; time; not discussing politics of ones' gang; mad dogging, etc. (These can also be interpreted as showing the lack of, or dis-respecting).

The bottom line is that this seven letter word can save one's self or get one killed depending how it is used. A person in the inside can actually be not guilty of committing an act, but to the one who feels dis-respected, it doesn't matter.

The reason that I am bringing this out, RESPECT or DISRESPECT is that in my humble opinion,
some of the prison gangs are coming apart because of it. In the beginning, when the gangs were starting out, there was a certain respect for those that had been around for a longer period of time than the "new inmates". This is one of the reasons that the term "Shot caller" came into existence. There was a respect for their word over others. Most of the "shot callers" were either older "veteranos" or wise for their ages. As time went on and these older inmates went to the federal prisons, died, or became informants the gangs had an influx of youngsters who did not want to take orders from "vietos" (old men) and started pushing their weight around and lost respect for them. Amongst themselves, they believed that they commanded respect when in fact, they in actuality receive little.

Because of this lack of respect, not only amongst themselves but from other gangs, this once the all powerful prison gang will collapse. Law enforcement has been battling them for half a century, but up to a few years ago it had some tough leadership, but now it is like an old friend of mine said back in 1972, "it is like a ship upon the sea, without a rudder".

No comments: