Prison tattoos apparently have surprising meanings

In many countries, prisoners have a long history of receiving tattoos, often with meanings associated with crimes.

Prison tattoos are everywhere these days, many of them are becoming “mainstream” and regular people have them too.

People often don’t understand the deep meaning or story behind it, and when you read this, you realize that maybe it’s better that way.

So grab a comfy pillow, sit back and check out these 40 amazing tattoos and their meanings!

  • barbed wire

It’s easy to think that a barbed wire tattoo represents breaking free from a prison wire fence or something. But the thorns actually represent the number of years a person has been in prison.

A barbed wire tattoo can also symbolize a person’s strength to overcome a traumatic event. Tattoos became popular among prisoners of war during World War II and slowly made their way into the underworld.

  • Acab

Have you ever had a bad encounter with the police? Well, the prisoner with that tattoo. It means “all cops are jerks”. It can also be represented with 1312, which corresponds to the position of the letter in the alphabet.

Prisoners do not always have the utmost respect for law enforcement. It is precisely for this reason that they have found more than one way to represent it in tattoos.

  • five dots

A simple tattoo of five dots indicates that a person has served or is still serving a sentence. The four dots around the midpoint represent the prison walls, and the dots in the middle represent the prisoners trapped within the walls.

Although this simple tattoo is popular and easy to do, it has a strong meaning and is popular among prisoners. Perhaps for these reasons it has become popular.

  • three dots

The three-dot tattoo resembles a kind of Morse code on a prisoner. It means “my crazy life” or “my crazy life”. He indicated that they were probably part of a gang, but did not specify which one.

Members of the Mexican Mafia are big fans of the three-dot tattoo. The Mexican Mafia is primarily made up of two different factions, the Surinos and the Notinos, each of which have created their own symbolic tattoos, but both use the three-dot tattoo.

  • Bolts

Crackdowns on prisoners are often associated with white supremacist groups. The bolt is actually a disgusting tattoo if you know what it means. These symbols are often called hate symbols by non-white prisoners.

Lightning is actually the SS, also known as the Nazi paramilitary Schutzstaffel. Prisoners with these tattoos could show other prisoners their racist beliefs.

  • tear

Teardrops are probably the most famous tattoo and one of the most popular among the general public. The face is usually tattooed below one eye and looks like tears are running down the person’s cheek.

It usually means that someone tried to kill or was killed and served time. Tattoos are not as simple as they seem, they have different meanings in different countries.

  • prison break

Jailbreak tattoos are meant to show the attitude and intent of a jailbreak, and it’s not the smartest way to do it, if you ask us. In general, prisoners with escape tattoos are respected by other prisoners.

Over the years, tattoos have taken on different meanings. They highlight the rebellious attitude. Ironically, many of the prisoners’ jailbreak tattoos are actually from the TV series Prison Break.

  • Clowns

Clown face tattoos on prisoners usually have a happy face and a sad face. But don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing funny about them. The prisoners thought they represented the opposite, such as a happy life before and a sad life now.

In Brazil, this tattoo has a completely different meaning. That means you’re a cop killer. It’s not easy for prisoners with clown face tattoos in Brazil, as if prisons weren’t tough enough…

  • Angel Forever, Forever Angel

The phrase “Angels forever, angels forever” is often taken to represent the “Hell’s Angels” gang. AFFA tattoos are popularized on the hands of imprisoned members of the “Hells Angels”.

For some reason they love this tattoo… If non-members get Hells Angels tattoos just because they like it, it wouldn’t be so good if they were caught by actual gang members.

  • fourteen

Like many prison tattoos, the numbers often represent letters of the alphabet. In this example, the fourteenth letter represents the N, used by the band Norteno AKA Latino Kings, which operates mainly in California.

Tattooing often causes fights in prisons because it is hated by white supremacists. These monsters are tattooed with “1488” and take offense when the “Latin King” wears the number 14… World Wide Web

  • Spider web

Spider tattoos, especially on the elbow, indicated that the prisoner was serving a long sentence. Its symbolic meaning is that a prison sentence is like a slowly woven web.

The dark meaning behind this type of tattoo is popular among white supremacists, who are often the targets of the tattoos. But they add that, for some strange reason, you have to kill a rival prisoner to “earn” the honor of getting a tattoo, as if serving a long sentence wasn’t enough.

  • pointed crown

The five-pointed crown is another tattoo associated with the gang. His name is usually that of the California gang “The Latin Kings”, but other gangs like him too. The five-pointed crown was a popular tattoo among prisoners, as all these “kings” were often imprisoned.

The five-pointed crown tattoo symbolizes status rank within the gang. If we look closely at its meaning, it symbolizes loyalty and security and is usually tattooed on the back or neck.

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