Printers Row Publishing Group:


Interesting Trivia: Know Your Prison Tattoos!

April 14, 2015

Today’s interesting trivia could come in handy if you ever wind up in the big house.

Interesting Trivia About Prison TattoosThe Cobweb

This design is popular among those doing a long stay in prison, suck behind bars so long that they’re sporting cobwebs. Others say that the tattoo is a metaphor—the web represents the prison, the spider is the justice system, and the inmate is the fly.


Originally, an inmate would place an inked teardrop below an eye to symbolize someone they’ve murdered (three teardrops = three murders). An outline of a teardrop represents an escape attempt. The tattoo has since taken on additional meanings to reflect the number of years someone has been incarcerated or the loss of loved ones.

Three Dots

This simple design is code for mi vida loca (“my crazy life”), or the gangster lifestyle. The tattoo, which consists of three dots in the shape of a triangle, can also refer to the Holy Trinity.


Similar to the now stereotypical “LOVE/HATE” typically seen on the fingers of bad guys in prison movies, this tattoo can sometimes be found on the hands of inmates. What does it stand for? “Evil, Wicked, Mean and Nasty.”

Playing Cards

Tattoos of cards can imply that an inmate really enjoys a good game of poker but they can also take on additional meanings. Apparently, these designs are popular in Russian prisons where each suit can symbolize something different. Clubs are said to represent criminality, whereas diamonds refer to informants. A spade represents a thief, and a heart indicates that the wearer is looking for a behind-bars love interest.

Follow by Email

Leave a Reply

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Subscribe to our Mailing List