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  • Writer's pictureMr Bigleys

The Gang Taking Over American Prisons: The Jeep Thing Gang

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

Prisons have long been breeding pools for gang activity. It’s no surprise, than, that a new gang has been taking American prisons by storm. It's estimated that they're now the third-largest prison gang in the United States. You may recognize their gang-affiliated bumper stickers including, "Better With The Top Off, Boobie Bouncer, I'm The Black Jeep of the Family, It's a Jeep Thing," as well as others. The gang we speak about is, of course, the Jeep Thing Gang. was recently granted permission, by a maximum-security prison, to enter the jail yard and learn more about how this gang came to be. Being that Mr Bigleys was raised in suburbia, I was exposed to the same wealthy conditions as many Jeep Thing Gang members. I spoke their language. In return, I was able to build a rapport with many of the gang members and hear why they decided to join.

One of the men I was able to speak with was Caleb, a 21-year-old caucasian male. I began by asking him how he originally got into the Jeep Thing Gang. He responded, “Join? Nah brother, you clearly don’t know where I’m from. I was born into this life. I didn't choose to receive a brand new lifted Jeep, with custom rims and offroading tires for my 16th birthday. Jeep Thing is a culture, a lifestyle, a family, bro.” He lifts the sleeve on his shirt revealing an Eat, Sleep, Jeep tattoo on his arm.

Caleb begins to talk about his lift kit. I quickly change the subject. I've been told by the Warden that if you let them ramble for too long, you'll begin to become delirious. This psychological warfare is the same reason why 43% of inmates who room with a Jeep Gang member will take their own life within the first 3 days, while another 30% will join the gang themselves.

I eventually get Caleb to speak about why he's in prison. Caleb states, “So, like, it was me and my Lacrosse teammate, Jacoby, from college. We were at our favorite bar getting absolutely Litski'd. At around 2 AM, my smash piece, Tiffany, told us to come over. She was a Jeep bitch through and through. One of those cool chicks with the bumper sticker "Silly boys, Jeeps are for girls.”

I ask him how many drinks he had before driving. He said, “Ahh dude, you know I don’t count drinks. I'm just here to blackout ferda boys! But, the police did check my Mom’s credit card and it said we had 10 vodka Red Bulls and 4 Jager Bombs each. Bro, we were so fucked up. I kept trying to unlock my Jeep until I realized the doors were already off! Jeep gang, baby!" He breaks into laughter. "Anyhow,” he continues, “long story short I flipped the Jeep on the highway. I was maxing that puppy out, going nearly 65 MPH. Next thing I know, I'm in jail for vehicular homicide. Never thought my ɹǝʌo ǝɯ dᴉlɟ 'sᴉɥʇ pɐǝɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟI sticker would actually be useful. Just wish it hadn't been before I laid the pipe...”

I decided to ask him one final question about his feelings on the situation. He told me, “Honestly, I think about Max every day and what I could have done to save him.” I interrupt and ask if he meant Jacoby. He answers, “No, Max. It’s what I named my Jeep. After the wreck, it was completely totaled. I asked my parents to use the lawyer fees to save Max, but they refused. He was irreplaceable. I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive them for that.”

Initially, I was shocked by what I had heard from Caleb. He had remorse for crashing Max, but not killing Jacoby. He even said, "It's a Jeep thing, you wouldn't understand," and referred to Jacoby as a "Honda driving bitch." But this wasn't something that I only saw in Caleb, it was consistent within all the Jeep Gang Members.

Later on, I was able to spend some time alone to observe the gang. At one point, a member's shoe came untied on the track. I witnessed 17 other members stop and help him tie it. They even offered to carry or "tow" him to the bleachers.

The members of the gang also had no problem flaunting their gang sign. They would constantly give "the wave" to one another, no matter how many times they passed. There were even times when a few people would sit on the bleachers while the others rattled and tipped it to reenact offroading.

To get another perspective, I spoke with one of Caleb's former roommates and Crip member, Darrell. He asked to keep his name anonymous, but we didn't listen. He feared his safety claiming that many of the white guards were rumored to be a part of the Jeep Thing Gang as well.

I asked him to tell me about his time rooming with Caleb. He said, "I get respect around these parts. Lasted 7 days with that psycho." I can see his pain. He raises his voice, "YOU KNOW WHAT I HAD TO GO THROUGH? I spent 15 years in solitary confinement and I'd never been tortured like I was with Caleb. I woke up in the middle of the night to Caleb jacking off to a picture of Max. You know Max, his FUCKING JEEP!?! HE NAMED HIS FUCKING JEEP, MAN! Every 3 hours him and all the gang members did what they called a Jeep Weep. Cried about the Jeeps they had lost. This white boy was even so crazy that he took the mother fucking cell door off like it was the door to his Jeep...Caleb even brainwashed me to the extent that I no longer dreamt about a Cadillac on 22's, I was having dreams of a Jeep with a lift kit." Darrell eventually was granted permission to move back into solitary confinement to serve the rest of his 75-year sentence.

My time at the prison was now over. As I drove home, I had some time to reflect on the things that I had seen and heard. Perhaps there's an inner Jeep Bro inside all of us whites. Perhaps lift kits and offroading are in our blood. Ultimately, it wasn't Caleb's choice to be what he became. He was just a product of his unfortunate environment.

All of a sudden, I drove by 2 Jeeps and watched them give the wave. From prison to the outside world, one thing was clear: The Jeep Gang is here to stay.

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