Getting Gangs Out Of South Mississippi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Getting Gangs Out Of South Mississippi

The Harrison County Jail houses members of some of the most notorious gangs in the country. With the age of gang members getting younger and younger, prison leaders say it's time for South Mississippi to change the way it fights back against gangs.  

"You have to let the gangs know that they are not going to be allowed to run anything," says warden Don Cabana.

He says he spends most of his day making sure gang members know who's in charge.

"We have to. We have to try and maintain assemblance of control over these gentleman for the sake of the other inmates, as well as the staff," Cabana said.

Cabana has been at the Harrison County Jail for more than year, but he brings nearly 40 years of correctional experience. And he hopes that experience will stop South Mississippi's growing gang problem.

"If they are turning out literature like this on the rules of the gang and all that kind of stuff, then that means they are pretty active and they are somebody that we are going to run a pretty tight reign on," Cabana said.

ViceLords, The Arian Brotherhood and The Black Gangster Disciples are just some of the many organized gangs that have created their own communities within the jail. But their potential for destruction goes beyond prison walls.

Deputy Frank Baskett is with the Harrison County Sheriff's Department. He says now gang leaders are targeting elementary school children.

"When I first started, it was primarily in junior high. Now you see kids in the fourth and fifth grade tagging and drawing gang signs on their notebooks," says Baskett.

That's why officials say they will continue to try and break the bond of South Mississippi's gangs, but they need the strength of the community to help.

by Elise Roberts

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