50 Tough Prison Style Tattoos and their Meanings – Most Widely Types
As the name suggests these tattoos are associated with prison and what these correctional facilities represent. However, prison-style tattoos are quite popular, and so nowadays it is common to find none convicts with these types of tattoos.
If you are a tattoo lover who would wish to have one of these tattoos, it is important to understand what they mean and symbolize. There are hundreds or more prison-style tattoos since almost all prisons have their own style of tattoos.
However, the following are 12 of the most widely spread types of prison tattoos.
- Prison Break Tattoos
Every now and then you will hear of a prison break or an attempted prison break as convicts try to gain their freedom. However, the numerous prison breaks are not the source of inspiration for this type of tattoo as the name might suggest.
The prison break tattoos are inspired by a popular TV series by the same name. In the series the lead character had a blueprint of a prison inked on him which he used to break out of jail. The TV series was a massive hit, and it is what gave birth to this type of prison tattoos.
- Prison Gun Tattoo
The gun is what leads to the conviction of a high percentage of prisoners as it is their preferred tool of choice for committing the crime. Due to this there is a lot of fascination with this weapon and so it’s common to find convicts with gun tattoos.
There are many types of guns that can be drawn in this sort of tattoo and besides from giving the tattoo a different look, each type of gun can hold its own symbolic meaning.
- Russian Prison Tattoo
Russian tattoos are the most respected and also the most feared symbols in any prison in the world. Any prisoner with these markings on his body is treated with a lot of respected and also feared by other inmates.
Whether it is because of the gangs that this tattoos symbolize loyalty to or purely out of superstition, the Russian tattoo will always attract a lot of attention. These tattoos are highly coded, and they often tell a story of the inmates corrupted past.
- Prison Gang Tattoo
Most prisons are run by gangs, especially in the Americas. Convicts have to show affiliation to a particular gang in prison to ensure their survival and to get special privileges and special treatment.
Since prisoners cannot have uniforms to show where their loyalties lie, tattoos are the only way to show this. A prison gang tattoo can be a number or an image associated with the gang one is affiliated to.
- Prison Face Tattoos
Many people do not like getting tattooed on the face but in prison among hardcore criminals this in not the case as you would find some that are tattooed on almost their entire face. Prison face tattoos are thought to cool by their wearers and are also used for symbolic purposes.
There are certain gangs that use face tattoos as their identity, and so members must get a face tattoo to be considered one of them. For others prisoners the more the tattoos they have on their face, the more hardened they are or, the more the crimes they have committed.
- Prison Cobweb Tattoo
A cobweb is usually used to represent a lengthy term in prison and so people who spend a long time behind bars choose to get this tattoo. This symbolism comes from spiders trapping its prey the same way that a prisoner is confined behind bars. It is usually placed around the elbow and neck.
If you wish to get this tattoo you should keep in mind that it will only look like an authentic prison tattoo if you do not use multiple colors since they are usually not available in prison.
- The Teardrop tattoo
This is the most widely recognized prison tattoo, and it can be found in most prisons around the world. However, its meaning varies from one prison to another or from one geographical area to another.
In some places, it can be used to mean that a person has been convicted of murder while in other places it is a symbol of a lengthy prison sentence. In some cases, an inmate can use it to symbolize that one of his friends was murdered, and they are seeking revenge.
- The Five-Point Crown Tattoo
The five-point crown is a symbol of the Latin Kings Gang. This gang is one of the largest Hispanic gang in the USA, but its influence and affiliation is spread to different parts of the world especially in South American prisons.
Having this image tattooed on your shows that you are a member of this gang or you at least pledge allegiance to it and what it stands for.
- Three/Five Dots Prison Tattoo
The three dots prison tattoo represents “my crazy life” and it is not necessarily a symbol of affiliation to a specific gang, but it shows that one leads a gang lifestyle. The three dots can also carry some religious symbolism like representing the holy trinity.
The five dots tattoo, on the other hand, is used to represent time done in prison or to show that you were once a convict.
- Clock With No Hands
This tattoo is among the few prison tattoos that can be described as an amazing work of art. The watch obviously represents doing time in prison, but the lack of hands on the clock shows that one is serving a lengthy sentence.
The face of the clock can come in many forms, and this tattoo can be drawn anywhere, but it will be more meaningful when placed on the wrist with watch straps drawn to complement it.
- Playing Cards Tattoos
Although playing card tattoos can be drawn by different people to mean different things they are often associated with the prison life. A tattoo of playing cards usually indicates that the prisoner likes to gamble or that their life is a gamble, and so they are not worried by the conviction.
Thus tattoo is very popular in Russian prisons where each deck has a specific meaning.
- The EWMN Prison tattoo
The letters in this tattoo stand for “Evil, Wicked, Mean and Nasty.” By having this tattoo, a prisoner wants to show the world what he thinks of his character or at least what he believes people think about him or her.
The four words can also be replaced with any other words that you like, but you will have to change the abbreviation also. The tattoo is usually drawn on the knuckles.