Jail Politics Make Violence Hard To Predict

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 13:38



An expert on Aboriginal gangs says it’s tough to know whether the recent death of a gang leader at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary will spark more violence at the institution.


Len Untereiner, president of the Spirit Keeper Youth Society, says Aboriginal gangs have their own systems of politics and justice which makes it difficult to predict.


Untereiner says most Aboriginal inmates are pressured to join a gang when they enter federal institutions.


“Nine out of ten of the young guys who go in to that prison system, they have to hook up with a gang for their own protection. Otherwise, they won’t survive in there,” he says.


Untereiner says gangs used to be more tight-knit, with a clear sense of who was in charge, but that changed years ago, when drug use became rampant.