This Is My Jail
Where gang members and their female guards set the rules
On January 5, 2013, Tavon White, an inmate at the Baltimore City Detention Center, had a cell-phone conversation that was intercepted on an F.B.I. wiretap. “This is my jail, you understand that,” White told an unidentified friend. “I’m dead serious. I make every final call in this jail. . . . Everything come to me. Before a motherfucker hit a nigga in the mouth, guess what they do—they gotta run it through me. I tell them whether it’s a go ahead and they can do it or whether they hold back. Before a motherfucker stab somebody, they gotta run it through me.” White was a leader of a gang called the Black Guerrilla Family. The gang had such control over inmates in the facility that, as White put it in another phone call, “I got elevated to the seat where as though nobody in the jail could outrank me. . . . Like, I am the law. . . . So if I told any motherfucking body they had to do this, hit a police, do this, kill a motherfucker, anything, it got to be done. Period.”
The New Yorker
Smith, Brenda V. and Toobin, Jeffrey, "This Is My Jail" (2014). Popular Media. 368.