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NEARLY THREE-FOURTHS BELIEVE: GROUP WORSHIP IS NOT NECESSARYWhen inmates worship, the issue is: should they be allowed to congregate together in a large mass? Or can they achieve the same substantive quality experience by other means such as videotaped transmission or televised services or some other mechanism of the delivery of religious services behind bars? The survey asked “Do you believe prisoners can meet their religious needs individually without group worship?”, and 72.5 percent indicate “yes”. This may be the issue of the actual size of the group. If they are able to control or take over a prison facility, then obviously it wouldbe a security issue to allow everyone to show up for worship all together all at once in one place: that could not be done in any prison or correctional facility. What happens is some gangs and security threat groups use religious meetings as the basis for their gang meetings. When this happens the inmates abuse the right of religious worship, which does obviously occur in American corrections. Later in this report, an additional follow-up question about group vs.
individual worship asks the respondent additional — but different — information along these lines (e.g., could they do this in their cell by means of televised broadcast, etc).VAST MAJORITY AGREE: TOUGHER LAWS ARE NEEDEDThe survey asked “Do you feel we need tougher laws to control the gang problem in prison?”, and the results indicate that 84.9 percent responded “yes” to this question. Thus, a vast majority of those in adult corrections are expressing some level of frustration in dealing with the gang problem behind bars. Another way of looking at this is that perhaps the gang problem inside correctional facilities is escalating at a faster rate than society’s ability to respond to it through effective legislative initiatives. THE GANG DENSITY AMONG NEW ARRIVING INMATESThe survey asked the respondents “Please estimate what percentage of inmates were gangmembers before they came to your institution?”, and separate estimates were elicited for both males and females. The results indicate that a mean or arithmetic average of 25.9 percent for males, and 6.28 percent for females, were the respective gang density estimates for newly arriving inmates in American prisons today. This is the first variable about “gang math” that is presented, and several others will also be used, the issue of larger concern is perhaps how these gang math variable interact with each other. These two variables are the most important parameters for a correctional institution: what percentage of the incoming inmates are gang members, the incoming gang member density rate. Which means, basically, that slightly over a fourth of the males headed into the prison system today are gang members.
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Gang, gang members, Prison gang, National Gang Crime Research Center