La Nuestra Familia/Prison Gang

Essay by smittynco April 2006

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The La Nuestra Familia (NF) originated in Soledad, now San Quentin, prison in

California in the mid-1960's and was formed to protect younger, rural, Mexican-American inmates from other inmates. The NF sold protection to these inmates who were fearful of the Mexican Mafia (EME). Former EME members who opposed EME tactics of preying on their own started the gang. This prison gang operates in the California prison institute mainly in the northern prisons and is highly structured with the general being the one that makes decisions affecting the group. The gang obtains income from unlawful activities such as extortion, drug distribution and robbery. Members of the gang are required to lifelong commitments and have to contribute 25% of all earnings to the gang to help other members who are incarcerated and to obtain weapons.

The NF is a criminal enterprise that has several other prison gangs that are allies. The main NF ally is the Black Guerilla Family. The NF and Black Guerilla Family (BGF) align because of early friendships between the leaders of both gangs. The BGF was formed to protect black inmates in the prison system just as NF was formed to protect Latinos. The NF also has Nortenos, Bloods and members of the Northern Structure who have on occasion worked with the NF. The NF also has many rival gangs. The EME is the biggest rival of NF. The organizational structure of the NF is far greater than EME ,but EME surpasses NF in the number of members.

Several types of tattoos and colors can easily identify the NF. NF members generally wear red. The color was chosen after the prison systems gave out bandanas to inmate workers. They gave out two colors, blue and red. The EME had already chosen blue, so NF chose...