EXTORTION IN PRISON

Every year, hundreds of incarcerated inmates are robbed or extorted by violent prison offenders. Although prison officials take serious measures in preventing these crimes, predator offenders continue victimizing vulnerable inmates. The average prison unit in America houses over 2,500 inmates and employs only 200 correctional officers per facility. Due to this shortage of Correctional Officers, predator offenders take full advantage of mentally and physically weak prisoners and are getting away with these crimes.

 

WHO EXTORTIONISTS ARE

Many extortionists are incarcerated for violent crimes such as Aggravated Robbery, Theft, Assault and Murder. Most are affiliated or belong to prison gangs that profit off the crime of extortion. Extortionists come in all colors, as do their victims. Many of these predator offenders are serving long prison sentences and have little to lose.

 

WHO THE VICTIMS ARE

Extortionists target inmates who are young and scared, old and confused, or mentally or physically weak. Most victims of extortion put up little or no fight and break down to the strong-arm tactics of the extortionist. They fear for their life so they do not report the crime. Extortion victims often experience feelings of depression and a loss of dignity.

 

HOW PRISON EXTORTION WORKS

Victims of extortion are often bought, sold or traded from one prison gang to the other. The 'value' of the extorted inmate is based off of how many funds are in the victims trust fund account. The more funds a victims family donates to him, or her, the more the victim is worth to extortion gangs. The fee of 'protection' usually comes at a high price. The price an extortionist imposes on his victim varies. While one prison extortionist may charge an 'average' 30 dollars worth of commissary a week, a more greedy offender can take everything their victim owns.


HOW EXTORTIONISTS MAKE THEIR MOVE

As soon as new inmates arrive to prison, extortionist gangs observe them from a distance hoping to find the weakest link. Extortionists work in groups and use 'good guy / bad guy' tactics. An extortionist may approach their victim and 'befriend' them and play the role as 'guardian'. Once the extortionist has made the 'mark' or victim comfortable, they motion for other gang members to make their move. The victim is then approached by other aggressive gang members who challenge the victim to a fight or make threats to inflict bodily injury. The extortionist posing as a concerned guardian then cements the deal by stepping in to 'save' the victim, for of coarse a price.

NO WAY OUT
Correctional Officers must first witness the crime before busting offenders who extort other inmates. Simple word of mouth is not enough. Victims are also required to prove to officers that they are in fact being extorted, but many times victims will not take that step due to fear of gang retaliation. Victims caught informing against gang members are sometimes brutally assaulted or even killed. Most extortionists have to spend the rest of their lives in prison and have little to lose.

 

DON'T BE A VICTIM

Extortionists avoid using mentally strong inmates. New inmates can avoid extortion by keeping his or her mind and body strong by reading knowledgeable books and conduct regular exercise. Do not show weakness and if threatened seek the help of family or close friends immediately and ask them to please report the crime to prison administrators and demand that you are transfered to another prison unit or placed in protective custody as soon as possible. Inside prison, the pen is sometimes mightier than the sword.

 

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