Prison tattoos represent a thriving and often controversial subculture of the tattoo community.
They often symbolize toughness or refusal to accept authority.
Prison tattoos speak an intricate language, and they really have much more in common with tribal tattooing than with body art as most of us know it. Many represent racist beliefs, gang affiliation, or violence.
Prison tattoos have in fact been around since Ancient Greece when they would mark criminals with tattoos so they could be identified if they tried to escape.
In fact, there is evidence to show that prison tattoos were used in Ancient Egyptian times.
Today prison tattoos are usually used by inmates to identify themselves (and the gang they may be a part of) and/or the crime that they are serving time for.
I was amazed to learn about how the different images in prison tattoos had so much significance.
When it comes to prison tattoos, some designs have been developed to symbolize specific meanings. In addition, prison tattoos are intended to help the wearer display his or her specialties, skills, and convictions.
Prison tattoos speak a language all their own and its often a coded one.
Gang and prison tattoos often vary according to nationality, though a few symbols seem to be universal.
Mexican prison tattoos are a distinct type of tattoo related to the general category of prison tattoos.
Mexican prison tattoos have long been used as a form of identification with among certain gangs in or out of prison.Members of these groups or gangs sport their tattoos proudly.
The more time a member spends in prison usually correlates to the number of prison tattoos the person has.
The other thing to note about Mexican prison gang tattoos is that anyone who wears them is subject to having their tattoo cut off literally if it is found to be worn by someone who is unauthorized.
An individual may have just joined a gang and immediately started acquiring Mexican prison tattoos. What has the person done – these types of Mexican prison tattoos are usually related to past crimes committed.
Russian prison tattoos many of which date back to the days of the soviet union show the prisoners rank and position within the the strictly organized and brutally enforced criminal social order, something which was often a source of pride rather than shame.
In fact, Russian prison tattoos are so complex that several books have been written on that subject alone.
Prison tattoos are done with home-made needles and tattoo guns. Normally, home made gun, needle or guitar string is used to apply prison tattoos.
Although many prisoners get tattoos without any complications, prison tattoos can be dangerous. The main risk with prison tattoos of course is that there is often very little or no concern for health and safety.
In addition to deadly blood borne viruses and disease, prison tattoos hardly have the same professional results. The makeshift inks used in prison tattoos may not be safe.
If you think prison tattoos are cool and want to get one, just be really aware that these styles of tatts carry a lot of coded meanings and be sure not to unintentionally send off messages that you don’t want people to see—or read.