Security Threat Groups example

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Security Threat Groups

Security Threat Groups (or STG’s) are defined as “gangs in the prison environment”, according to Maghan. These groups can be formal or informal and they always consist of prisoners and no one else.

Security Threat Groups Identification

STG’s in an incarceration facility usually include three or more prisoners. They are not necessarily street gangs previously; they can be extremist groups in free society (Knox, 2012). In prisons, these groups usually pose a threat to the maintenance of security.

There can be various reasons for the creation of an STG in prison by those inmates who were not part of a gang in free society. First of all, these inmates might cling to the strongest among their fellows in new boy bashing activities. Then (it is a rather vague reason) these inmates might want to try to live high in the conditions of a correctional facility and to make up for the hardships in free society in gangland. Also, the inmates who were lone wolves in gangland might try to stick together to stand against the deprivations and hardships of prison life.

Speaking about strategies that correctional administrators might implement to control STG’s, it can be said that the development of these strategies depend on the specific traits of STG’s in correctional facilities. Administrators can monitor the conditions in a facility through security cameras and break up the meetings of STG’s promptly. Also, the administrative staff can implement encouraging activities for those who do not take part in STG’s. This may lead to infighting, but this is a very effective strategy to wipe out STG’s. In addition, administrators can implement severe punishments for taking part in STG’s. It is important to mention that the prison staff should not encourage (at least, explicitly) those who spy on STG’s, as it leads to infighting, chasing and general anarchical mood in a facility.


To conclude, STG’s are extremely dangerous units in the correctional facility conditions. They are always made up of prisoners and they always undermine peace and security in the facility. There are at least three reasons why those inmates who never took part in a gang join an STG and there are quite a few strategies to beat STG’s.


Electronic Sources

Knox, G. (2012). The Problem of Gangs and Security Threat Groups (STG’s) in American Prisons and Jails Today: Recent Findings from the 2012 NGCRC National Gang/STG Survey. National Gang Crime Research Center. Retrieved from

Maghan, J. Security Threat Groups (STGs). American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Retrieved from …

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