Tattoos are used to express a lot of different things. Sometimes people get tattoos to remember a person who passed away, other times it is to mark a special anniversary or a birth date. We have seen tattoos that people probably regret too. These tattoos, they tell a different type of story. According to Crime Library, these are prison tattoos and what they mean is something I never knew before.
1. The 1488 is for a white supremacist group. The 14 is from the quote, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White Children” with 14 words. The 88 is for the 8th letter of the alphabet H, which means Hail Hitler.
2. The spiderweb is for people who have served a lengthy prison sentence.
3. The Norteno tattoos represent the Nuestra Familia Gang.
4. The M symbolizes the Mexican Mafia.
5. Playing cards generally symbolizes an inmate who likes to gamble in all areas of their life.
6. In Russian prisons, the tattoo on the chest symbolizes “Prince of Thieves”.
7. ACAB is an acronym very commonly found inked on the bodies of British prisoners. It stands for All Cops Are Bastards.
8. The EWMN stands for “Evil, Wicked, Mean, Nasty.”
9. NLR – Stands for another white power gang, the Nazi Low Riders.
10. This woodpecker is also used as a white pride tattoo. It symbolizes the word that was used in the south from black people to white people in a derogatory matter. But in prisons it is used for pride.
11. The number 14 on this man’s right temple represents the “14 Words” of the white nationalist David Lane, which encompass the supremacist philosophy. The number 88 stands for “Hail Hitler,” H being the eighth letter of the alphabet.
12. Nazi symbols, such as Swastikas and Sig Runes, are also frequently seen on tattoos worn by members of the Aryan Brotherhood and other white supremacist gangs.
13. The shamrock is a common image in tattoos worn by members of the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist prison gang
14. Rivals of the Sureños, the Norteños of Northern California and the Pacific Northwestern states are controlled by Nuestra Familia, the chief rivals of the Mexican Mafia.
15. Sureños, meaning Southerners in Spanish controlled by the Mexican Mafia. The 13 in this tattoo stands for the letter M, the 13th letter of the alphabet.
16. The two M’s in this tattoo stand for Mexican Mafia, or La Eme. The La Eme gang is one of the most powerful and highly organized gangs in the American prison system.
17. The MS 13 on this man’s back stands for Mara Salvatrucha, a large Latino gang.
18. The five point crown is a symbol of the Latin Kings gang which originated in the 1940s in Chicago. The ALKN on this tattoo stands for Almighty Latin King Nation.
19. The five dots tattoo is representative of time spent in prison. The four outer dots symbolize prison walls, while the inner dot is the inmate.
20. The three dots tattoo, worn either on the hand or near the eye, represents the phrase “Mi Vida Loca,” or “My Crazy Life.”
21. A Watch With No Hands: This means ‘doing time’. You will usually see this one on an inmate who has a long prison sentence, or possibly life in prison.
22. The famous tear drop tattoo: The most widely accepted meaning of the teardrop is the wearer has killed someone — this is reported to have originated among the Chicano gangs of California. A clear teardrop, like the one pictured, can mean that the wearer has committed an attempted murder, or alternatively, that a close friend was killed and the wearer is seeking revenge.
All of these tattoos have a unique meaning and purpose. According to the Crime Library, it is more uncommon for an inmate to not have a tattoo than to see them with these gang tattoos.