Prison Tattoos And Their Meanings

Tuesday, Aug 18, 2020, 4:08 pm
By:Tony Williams

1.MS 13 Tattoo

Tattoos that read: 'MS 13,' 'MS' or '13? represent the Mara Salvatrucha gang from El Salvador. The MS 13 tattoo is often inkedon its member'sfaces, necks, or hands. The Mara Salvatrucha was started in the Los Angeles by El Salvadoran immigrants. There are several MS-13 chapters all over the United States, with a total of over 70,000 members. The Mara Salvatrucha is known as one of the most brutal gangs in America.

MS 13 Tattoo-Prison Tattoos And Their Meanings

2.Aryan Brotherhood Tattoo

U.S. prisons are overrun with the Aryan Brotherhood. It is the biggest white supremacist gang in the US prison system. The Aryan Brotherhood makes up less than one percent of the inmate population, but they are responsible for about 20 percent of the murders that take place in U.S. prisons. Members of the Aryan Brotherhood are recognized by their tattoos, which are usually shamrocks and/or the letters 'AB,' as well as a swastika and SS bolts.

Aryan Brotherhood Tattoo-Prison Tattoos And Their Meanings

3.A.C.A.B. Tattoo

A.C.A.B. is a tattoo that is worn by British prisoners. It stands for All Cops Are Bastards. To throw people off, some inmates tell people the tattoo stands 'Always Carry A Bible', but don't be fooled. This tattoo is usually inked on the knuckles.Since the true meaning behind the tat is common knowledge, it's not hard for the police to pinpoint these criminals.Today, youngsters in Britain get A.C.A.B. tattoos to prove their readiness to go to prison for their crew.

A.C.A.B. Tattoo-Prison Tattoos And Their Meanings

4.Cross on Chest

People typically wear crosses as a way to be closer to God, or as a form or protection, but when it comes to a cross tattoo that's an entirely different story. In the Russian prison system, a tattoo on the chest represents a 'Prince of Thieves'. According to their beliefs, this is the highest rank a Russian criminal can achieve. This type of tattoo is usually donned by high-ups in the mob.

Cross on Chest-Prison Tattoos And Their Meanings

5.Playing Cards Tattoo

An inmate with a playing cards tattoo represents one who likes to gamble; this could mean gambling games or taking gambles with life. In Russian prisons, each suit of the deck of cards has a different meaning. The spade symbolizes a thief and clubs symbolize criminals in general. The diamonds represent informants, and the heart symbol represents someone who is looking for a romantic partner in the prison.

Playing Cards Tattoo-Prison Tattoos And Their Meanings

6.Clock Without Hands Tattoo

If you see a tattoo of clock with no hands you'll probably think it's just an ordinary tattoo. But in all actuality, this tattoo is sported by prison inmates. This tattoo usuallyrepresents a long prison sentence. This tattoo can come in the form of a wristwatch, Grandfather clock, or even a wall clock. Since prisoners don't count the days or watch the clock, inking the hands is meaningless.

Clock Without Hands Tattoo-Prison Tattoos And Their Meanings

7.Five Dots Tattoo

This tattoo may seem like a pretty design, but the meaning behind it, is much darker. The five dots tattoo (also known as the quincunx), symbolizes the amount of time spent in prison. The four outside dots stand for the prison walls and the dot in the middle represents the prisoner. This tattoo is internationally known and worn by both American and European inmates. The quincunx is typically found on the inmate hand between their thumb and forefinger.

Five Dots Tattoo-Prison Tattoos And Their Meanings

8.Three Dots Tattoo

Women tend to draw a dot or two on their face to give them a faux beauty mark. But when you see three dots around a person's eyes or hands, it's a prison tattoo. The three dots mean 'my crazy life,' which symbolizes the gang lifestyle. Inmates create these tattoos themselves with a pencil, sewing needle, pin or any sharp object they can find.

Three Dots Tattoo-Prison Tattoos And Their Meanings

9.Five-Point Crown

Crown tattoos don't just symbolize royalty anymore. A Five-point crown tattoo is almost always a prison tattoo worn by the Latin Kings gang. The Latin Kings, a Chicago-based Hispanic gang, has been around since the 1940s. The crown tattoo is often accompanied with the lettersALKN, which stand for Almighty Latin Kings Nation. The five points on the crown represent the People Nation gang, an affiliate of the Latin Kings, which is represented by the number 5.

Five-Point Crown-Prison Tattoos And Their Meanings

10.Teardrop Tattoos

Teardrop tattoos are worn under the eye of inmates. There are several reasons why an inmate gets a teardrop inked on his/her face. In the U.S. inmates get a teardrop to show that they have killed someone. If an inmate has more than one teardrop it can stand for the number of years they've been in prison or the number of times the inmate was raped. Rappers like Lil' Wayne have made teardrop tattoos mainstream. However, if a regular Joe gets one of these tats and then goes to jail, the other inmates won't be too happy with a fake teardrop wearer.

Teardrop Tattoos-Prison Tattoos And Their Meanings

11.Cobweb Tattoo

Cobweb tattoos are fairly common among the general public, but they're even more popular among inmates.Prisoners normally get cobwebs to representlengthy stints in prison. Much like a spider traps its prey in webs; the tattoo symbolizes inmates being trapped behind bars. Criminals normally get a plain black & white cobweb tattoos on their elbows or necks.

Cobweb Tattoo-Prison Tattoos And Their Meanings


Tattoos with the numbers 1488 are often donned by white supremacist/Nazi inmates. For white supremacists with the tattoo, the 14 represents a quote by Nazi leader David Lane, which consists of 14 words: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White Children" The 88 is short for the 8th letter of the alphabet doubled (HH)which translates to the Nazi salute, Heil Hitler. The 1488 tattoo can be found anywhere on the body.

1488-Prison Tattoos And Their Meanings



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