Thesecurity threat groups (STG) are criminal associations formed byinmates within the correctional facilities (Siegel & Worrall,2013). These groups can be highly structured organizations such asthe Aryan Brotherhood or less formal gangs like the Texas Mafia.Theprison groups are primarily formed on an ethnic basis to protect themembers, but they also endanger the security of the correctionalofficials as well as other inmates.The STG are also involved in illegal activities such as thedistribution of controlled substances within the prison. These groupsare also actively involved in monitoring the street gangs outside thejail walls (Siegel & Worrall, 2013).
Aprison riot is usually an insurgency by a group of inmates againstthe staff or other prisoners. The rebellions are simply messagesmeant to express grievances and force changes (Gaines& Miller, 2016).However, poor prison management can lead to gang activities, racialtensions, and conflicts between the groups have been the leadingcauses of riots. The prisoners can also revolt when theadministration inadequately responds to their requests.Additionally,inconsistent enforcement of the rules and regulations, as well as thefailure to control contrabands such as drugs, tools, and weapons cancause an uprising(Gaines& Miller, 2016).
Theriots follow five steps and at times, they may overlap and only lastfor a few minutes, but some other phases can last for longer periods.The first stage involves creating tension, which occurs before theactual revolt due to inmates` dissatisfaction and other causes ofriots (Siegel& Bartollas, 2014). Atthis phase, fights start among the prisoners, and when thecorrectional officers intervene, riots may erupt. The next stageinvolves inmates organizing themselves into groups to articulatetheir grievances. As a response, the guards try to identify theleaders among the rioters so that they can handle the situationbefore it deteriorates.Subsequently, it is followed byinmate rebellion. At this stage, the riot may be contained, but theprisoners can directly confront guards with demands or physicallyassaults.Thenext step involves the response from the authorities (Siegel& Bartollas, 2014). Theadministrators may wait for the inmates to calm down or intervenewith physical force.On the other hand, theymay negotiate to resolve the conflict through continued talks withthe prisoners’ representatives. The final stage is when the revoltis over.At this point, thejail is secured, and damages incurred during the riots are repaired.Thus, the reasons for the rebellion are analyzed throughinvestigative committees (Siegel& Bartollas, 2014).
However,the security threat groups have changed the dynamics of riots. Thesegroups automatically create divisions within the correctionalfacilities to show solidarity during an uprising (Gaines& Miller, 2016).Theprison gangs are formed for different reasons thus they havediverse needs, which makes it challenging to meet the requests raisedby these groups. Besides, they increase the chances of violenceduring a riot, which mainly leads to property destruction and loss oflives.Forexample, some gang members take advantage of the chaos to settledisputes with other groups, which further escalates the violence(Gaines& Miller, 2016).
Inconclusion, it is evident that security threat groups are a danger tothe safety of people not only within the prisons but also in thecommunity. Inmates mainly use rebellion as a mode of expressinggrievances, forcing changes, or challenging an incompetentadministration. On the other hand, the existence of these securitythreat groups has significantly changed the dynamics of these riotsbecause it has led to deaths and massive destruction of properties.Hence, it is important to ensure that the inmates can engage inmeaningful activities to minimize the time they spend idle within theprison.
GainesL. K. & Miller R. L. (2016). CriminalJustice in Action. Belmont,CA, CengageLearning.
Siegel,L. J., & Bartollas, C. (2014). Correctionstoday.Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Siegel,L. J. & Worrall, J. L. (2013). Introductionto criminal justice(14th ed.). Belmont, CA: CengageLearning.