Mike Petty dropped out of the Nortenos gang when his girlfriend had a baby, but he could not hide the 11 tattoos of gang symbols on his face, neck and hands. This week, the year-old had these symbols of his past erased, joining more than other young people participating in a city-sponsored program offering free laser treatment to remove gang tattoos. Petty, who had a target tattooed under his right eye and dots and Roman numerals on his neck and hands, said he feared attack by the Surenos gang, rivals of the Nortenos. At the surgery clinic, former enemies sat next to one another peacefully, the Nortenos veterans with hands and necks carrying the trademark "XIV" and four dots tattooed on their necks and hands and the Surenos with "XIII" tattoos and three dots. Hurting Job Prospects.
This tattoo is typically found on the hands or around the eyes. The three dot tattoo is often created using a stick-and-poke method, requiring very rudimentary tools. Five dots These dots differ greatly from the previous tattoo — five dots represents time done in prison. Also known as the quincunx, the four dots on the outside represent four walls, with the fifth on the inside representing the prisoner. This tattoo can be found internationally, among both American and European inmates. The numbers 14 or 88 on their own can also be used, which sometimes creates confusion. Typically, these tattoos can be found anywhere on the body.
Tattoos have a long and fascinating history on their own, but jail tattoos take it up a notch: despite the hard setting that these tattoos come from, many of them carry rich symbolism, often blending the esoteric with the practical, the shocking with the plain. Many of these jailhouse tattoos have crossed over to mainstream culture, although some people might be unaware of their origins. Here are some jailhouse tattoos and their hidden meanings:.
The act of permanently marking oneself has historically set the individual apart from regular society, and has also symbolized the wearer as a dedicated member of a particular group. Though cultural acceptance has changed over recent years, tattoos have traditionally marked their wearers as outlaws, rebels, historically worn by sailors, bikers and criminals outside American society and across the globe. In prison, tattoos often have specific codified meanings.