ADL Urges Justice Department To Investigate Presence
Of Gangs In Prisons Following Racist Murder In Texas
New York, NY, June 15, 1998
In the aftermath of the apparent
racist murder of James Byrd, Jr. in Jasper, Texas, allegedly by former members of a white
supremacist prison gang, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged the Justice
Department to do an in-depth investigation into the presence of extremist and racist gangs
In a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno, Howard P. Berkowitz, ADL
National Chairman, and Abraham, H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said, "Two of the
individuals who have been charged with this murder were allegedly associated with a white
supremacist group while incarcerated in the Texas prison system."
Following yet another example of violence apparently perpetuated by
"graduates" of a racist prison gang, Mr. Berkowitz and Mr. Foxman urged the
Department of Justice to do an in-depth investigation into the presence of extremist gangs
While the League praised the Justice Departments initial 1985
report, Prison Gangs: Their Extent, Nature, and Impact on Prisons, it suggested
that an update would be timely and expressed the hope that a new investigation would
result in a current and comprehensive analysis of the problem as well as strategies to
confront this threat.
The 1985 report provided an outline of the nature of the
prison gang problem and information on organized hate activity in prisons across the
EDITORS/PRODUCERS NOTE: For additional information and to arrange interviews with
ADL experts on extremist groups operating in prisons contact the ADL Media Relations
Department at 212-885-7749.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.