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Prison and Gang Ink Symbols

August 07, 2009


In addition to advertising gang membership, tattoos provide other details about the bearer.  For the incarcerated, images of chains and locks represent the loss of freedom; an hourglass or clock face without hands indicate doing time; a string of numbers may be an inmate's prison ID; one laughing face, one crying face means play now, pay later or my happy life, my sad life; a tombstone with numbers may indicate years of incarceration; the face of a female crying usually means someone on the outside is waiting for them. Caption information provided by POLICE gang expert Richard Valdemar.

Tags: Gang Intelligence, Prison Gangs, Tattoos


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