Tattoos in Prison – A Complicated History

Although the majority of tattooed people have never visited a prison and have no desire to do so, there is a history around tattoos that connects some designs to the prison community.

Different tattoos may reflect different aspects of the community, and the most perplexing aspect is that similar tattoos can mean drastically different things to different people.

A spider web tattoo on one’s arm, for example, can symbolise a variety of things.

It usually refers to the bearer being frozen in time while life goes on around them, but it can also refer to a drug addiction.

It’s also a common tattoo among members of the Aryan Brotherhood, which is known for its severe racism.

The Aryan Circle, another white supremacist gang, frequently has tattoos with the number 13 (“A” being the first letter of the alphabet and “C” being the third).

However, some Hispanic gangs wear it as well, causing some misunderstanding.

Of course, the greatest answer to the problem of muddled ink is to stay out of jail, but it’s vital to realise that no matter how cool your tattoo appears to you, it may have a different meaning for someone else.

Not everyone with a spider web tattoo is a racist, and not everyone with a “13” is a gang member — the number 13 is, after all, a bad luck symbol.

However, the amount of time you have to describe your tattoo depends on who you’re explaining it to.