The Confused History of Prison Tattoos

by  
Filed under Tattoo Tips

Although the majority of people with tattoos have never seen the inside of a prison in real life, and never would wish to, there is nonetheless a history around the tattoo which links several designs to the prison community. Different sections of the community may be represented by different tattoos – and the really confusing part is that similar tattoos can mean radically different things to different people.

A spider web tattoo, for example on one’s arm, can mean any one of various things. Most innocently it means that the bearer is stuck standing still in time while life goes on outside, but it can also mean an addiction to drugs. Additionally, it is a popular tattoo among members of the extreme racist Aryan Brotherhood. A fellow white supremacist gang, the Aryan Circle, often have tattoos bearing the number 13 (“A” being the first letter of the alphabet and “C” being the third). It is, however, also worn by some Hispanic gangs, thus creating some confusion.

Of course the best solution to this problem of confusing ink is to stay far away from prison, but it is important to remember that however cool your tattoo may look to you, there may be a person to whom it has another meaning. By no means everyone with a spider web tattoo is a racist, and not everyone with a “13” is a gang member – 13 is after all also considered to be a symbol of bad luck. But how much of a chance you get to explain your tattoo depends on whom you are explaining it too.

Full Arm Temporary Tattoo, Konsait Extra Temporary Tattoo Black tattoo Body Stickers for Man Women (18 Sheets)
for $17.99 New from $17.99
About Konsait: Konsait is a US registered trademark protected by US and EU Trademark Law; Combine with latest technology and design, we devote to provide exciting products using experience in people's daily life. We are the only legal owner and selle... read more
Melissa & Doug My First Temporary Tattoos: Adventure, Creatures, Sports, and More - 100+ Kid-Friendly Tattoos
for $3.99 New from $3.49
Press them on, peel them off, let your personality show! My First Temporary Tattoos are wearable art for kids. Their bright colors, amazing details and kid-friendly themes look great on all skin tones. And they're so easy to use!
Savvi Glitter Tattoos ~ 50 Dazzling Designs ~ Hearts, Butterflies, Flowers, and More!
for $5.95 New from $5.95
Add a touch of sparkle with Savvi Glitter Temporary Tattoos! Apply glitter tattoo designs to arms, faces , hands; anywhere you want a touch of glamour! Bag of 36 assorted glitter tattoo designs. These temporary tattoos are fun, fast to apply, easy to... read more
Aboat Pack of 9 Sheets Henna Temporary Tattoo Black Body Art Sticker
for $7.99 New from $7.99
Features:Non-toxic and safeDurable surface Easy to apply, transfer and remove without any glue.Including feathers, maple leaves, necklaces, bracelets, flowers, butterfly and so on.Quantity: 9 sheets How to use tattoo stickersStep 1: Clean and dry the... read more
Dalin 4 Sheets Temporary Tattoos, Warrior Elephant, Dead Skull, Koi Fish, Eagle Hawks
for $29.99 New from $8.99
About DaLin:DaLin Temporary Tattoo is a US registered trademark protected by US and EU Trademark Law. DaLin have more than 2000 tattoo designs. The goal of DaLin is to provide really realistic temporary tattoos, which will also last longer than norma... read more
Tapp Collections™ 280 Temporary Tattoos - M1 Style
for $8.99 New from $8.99
280 Temporary Tattoos Special Design for Men and Boys
DaLin 4 Sheets Extra Large Temporary Tattoos, Full Arm (Set 9)
for $16.99 New from $10.99
About DaLin:DaLin Temporary Tattoo is a US registered trademark protected by US and EU Trademark Law. DaLin have more than 2000 tattoo designs. The goal of DaLin is to provide really realistic temporary tattoos, which will also last longer than norma... read more
10pcs/package hot selling temporary tattoo stickers various designs including black peony/black flowers and butterflies/black roses/colorful flowers and butterflies/roses/peony/etc.
for $9.99 New from $8.99
Package include: 10 sheet of temporary tattoos.Fantastic value pack most popular designs10 Individual tattoos as picturedEasy to apply, just add waterSuitable for ages 5+Br> How to use? Br>1. Clean and dry the skin completely. Br>2. Cu out the design... read more
Silhouette Temporary Tattoo Paper
for $9.17 New from $5.95
Print designs onto this unique paper with an inkjet printer. Then, with the included adhesive, use the Silhouette’s print and cut feature to cut around each printed design. Silhouette temporary tattoos apply easily with water, generally last a day or... read more
Premium Metallic Tattoos - 75+ Boho Temporary Tattoos Shimmer Jewelry Inspired Fake Tattoo Designs in Gold, Silver, Black and Turquoise Bracelets, Feathers, Wrist, Arm Bands (Delila Collection)
for $22.95 New from $9.95
Our beautiful metallic tattoos are perfect for any occasion: Birthday parties, play dates, girls' night out, bachelorette parties, sleepovers, weddings, bridal showers, music festivals, beaches, anywhere really! Terra metallic tattoos are glamorous a... read more
by

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!