A reason why prisoners become more violent is because of the influence of gangs in the prison. Gangs lure in new recruits by offering the inmates protection and brotherhood. To have someone to watch their back and not let anything bad happen, but if anything should happen the other members would take revenge. Although the brotherhood and protection are all good, prison gangs are not the greatest groups in the world. Gangs coordinate most of the organized crime within the prison.
Some of these illegal activities include:
“I didn’t come in here a killer,
but in here you learn to hate.”
When new prisoners become affiliated with gangs they get involved in these activities. The peer pressure from the gang members will force the new guys to do things they wouldn't normally do. In order for them to prove their loyalty and dedication to the gang they might have the recruit stab another inmate or a member of a rival gang.
A reason the death penalty is crucial to our society is to crack down on gang violence, prison gangs in particular. Gangs are responsible for a majority of the crime within the confines of the prison. These organized groups of prisoners are able to traffic drugs, organize hits on other gangs, and even have been known to brew then sell alcohol inside the prison. With most of the men serving life sentences, they have nothing left to lose because they have already received the maximum punishment besides death. Without the threat of execution to hold over these prisoners’ heads, argue some prison officials, there is nothing to deter them from committing further terrible crimes while in prison.
Another way the death penalty can deter prison gang activity is to use it to get rid of the root of the problem. Every gang has leaders within the prison who organize all of the gang’s activity. Most of whom have already been discovered and have been placed in solitary confinement or maximum security accommodations. However these efforts to isolate them to constrict their power are ineffective. In his short story “The Brand” David Grann describes in detail how one of the most notorious prison gangs, the Aryan Brotherhood, exploits the prison system to continue carrying out their organized crime. They send encrypted messages, use mores code by tapping on the walls, and have even been known to use the plumbing systems of the prison to communicate by talking into them and using them as telephones. No matter how hard we try, as long as they are alive they will always find a way to communicate. The only way to end their rein of power is in execution. If you cut off the head of the organization the rest will die off until someone else will take their place at the top.