Tattoos have always been used as a tool for identifying members of specific gangs. Members use tattoos for several reasons. Some members will have multiple tattoos, especially if they have spent in jail. These tattoos may include one or more characters are accepted as something unique to identify the members.
As a tear drop tattoo under the eye or a cobweb prison. Many members will have their name tattooed in large bold letters so that rival members will be scared. For the uninitiated unauthorized tattoo bears can be very dangerous especially in prison. Inmates at the prison have been known to remove unauthorized tattoos from members of literally no interruption of the person tattooed flesh.
Some special pride in themselves and their brand outside of conventional society. Tattoos are also used to express their often nihilistic philosophy. Most tattoos, popularized by Gangsta Rappers are often carried out in a stylish black and gray and depict firearms, bullets, secret letters, written in old English or Gothic. It is common for the person's name tattooed on the back of the neck or a slogan tattooed on his chest.
Clearly, the tattoos were accepted by society, though not very high class multi-Wannabes are ready to facial tattoos, or tattoos on their hands - a common practice among members.
But although gang members try to use tattoos to separate from society, meaning it has had on hip young middle class is undeniable. Young people who may have no idea about the meaning of these characters' original lies tattoos, which were originally worn by gang members as badges of honor.
There are many gangs in prison in California, the two main parties are:
Sureños which is Spanish for Southerners. They are a group of hundreds of Hispanic street gangs originating in Southern California. They are linked to Mexican Mafia prison organization. Sureños California gang were first to avail themselves of gang colors to be distinguished from other gangs.
State of California prison system provided railroad handkerchiefs to inmates in a standard color: blue. Hispanic inmates from Southern California selected or claimed the blue BANDANAS to identify. As a member of the Alumni Sureños street outside the prison system and they are determined as part of the Mexican Mafia organization.
Sureños identify with blue and sometimes gray, mostly to avoid service in Los Angeles (City baseball team to their home), Duke University and Dallas Cowboys apparel. Their number thirteen in the group is in Arabic or Roman numerals or a combination of both: 13, XIII, or X3 and other creative symbolism. This means that 13 letter of the alphabet, the letter M or M says La EME, Mexican Mafia.
Numbers are included in tattoos, as Tres Points (Spanish to three points) or X3 for the number 13 (see also: Three points tattoo), which has representation for number three within the Aztec number system. Additional important to avoid service in Los Angeles is the number that corresponds to the letter of the alphabet: L (12) + A (1) = 13.
Norteños which is Spanish for Northerners. They are also called Nuestra Familia (Our Family), are a coalition of Hispanic gangs in North America, based in Northern California. Member of these gangs is norteño (male) or norteña (female), based on the use of Spanish, these names are often capitalized when it comes to individual members. Mexican Americans who are not gang members, but to feel strong cultural links with others in Northern California can call themselves norteños / norteñas or just Northerners.
Norteños traditional rivals are Sureños (Southerners). Dividing line between Norteños and Sureños traditionally one Bakersfield, California. At the end of 1960, Mexican-American residents of California state prison system began to be divided into two rival groups, Norteños (Northerners) and Sureños (southerners), according to their hometowns place in the north-south dividing line is near Bakersfield. Part of the motivation to share is Norteños want to be independent of La EME, aka the Mexican Mafia.
As with other gangs, Norteños were involved in drug trafficking and smuggling, and armed conflicts with other gangs and police. According to investigators, the requirement for full membership in Nuestra Familia is held at least one gang killing.
Federal agencies, law enforcement, no longer can penetrate the group began to accelerate his studies in the late 1990's. In 2000 and 2001, 22 members were indicted on charges of fraud, including some who allegedly serving as high-ranking gang leaders while confined in Pelican Bay. Thirteen defendants pleaded guilty; other cases are still pending. Two defendants face the death penalty for ordering murders related to the drug trade.