Mafia Case Study

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Our team presentation focused on prison gangs. My part of the presentation was to provide information on the prison gang, the Mexican Mafia. The summary will give a background history of this gang. Along with that, I will give some reasons why inmates join the Mexican Mafia and how the gang is run inside prison walls. Additionally, my summary will provide some information on the crimes committed and controversies caused by the Mexican Mafia and what corrections officers and the prison system are trying to do to correct the problems.
The Mexican Mafia prison gang is a Latino member gang that was formed sometime in 1957 in the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, California (Valdez, 2007). It was organized by thirteen prisoners who were in
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Fong in his article, The organizational structure of prison gangs: A Texas case study, “The most intense criminal activity conducted by the Mexican Mafia appears to be drug trafficking” (Fong 1990). He (Fong 1990) writes that the drugs come from young and inexperienced corrections officers. Fong (1990) writes that the officers that bring drugs in to the gang get a share of the profits, however once an officer starts, he cannot quit until he leaves the Department of Corrections (Fong 1990). Violence is also a big part of the gang’s criminal activities. In his article, Valdemar (2007) writes that “At DVI, EME members Doroteo "Sleepy" Betancourt and Frank "Moose" Bazure murdered a Correctional Officer” (Valdemar 2007). Valdemar (2007) also writes that the Mexican Mafia expanded its reaches to control street gangs outside of prison walls. He (Valdemar 2007) states that the Mexican Mafia “evolved into a criminal organization specializing in extortion, narcotics trafficking, and other crimes (Valdemar …show more content…
Winton and Serna write “Nearly two dozen members of three Northeast Los Angeles gangs united by the Mexican Mafia have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of racketeering, extorting money from drug sellers and conspiring to kill rivals” (Winton & Serna 2015). According to Winton and Serna (2015), three rival street gangs in Los Angeles were united under the leadership of a Mexican Mafia leader who is serving a life sentence in Pelican Bay Prison (Winton& Serna 2015). They controlled the drug business, collected “taxes” from street dealers and punished all who did not abide by their rules (Winton & Serna 2015). What is really ironic is that “Homeboy Industries” is a rehabilitation center for those that wanted to get out of criminal activities but some of the gang members were using it as a way to hide their criminal activities (Winton& Serna

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