U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Melanics: A Gang Profile Analysis

NCJ Number
Journal of Gang Research Volume: 9 Issue: 3 Dated: Spring 2002 Pages: 1-76
George W. Knox
Date Published
76 pages
This profile provides an analysis of the history, structure, and function of the Michigan State prison gang known as the Melanic Islamic Palace of the Rising Sun.
In this report, the Michigan State prison gang known as the Melanics, is profiled. The report begins with a description of the methodology used to put together such a profile. The researchers used interviews with Melanic gang members as well as other prisoners and correctional officers. Written data in the form of legal documents, internal communications between gang members, public records, Internet, and newspaper articles were also used to gain an understanding of this group. The report discusses the history of this gang and explains its’ symbols, identifiers, and special language. Many case studies are offered throughout the report that detail interviews with gang members, other prisoners, and correctional officers. The Melanics’ religious and political beliefs are discussed in-depth, and it is shown that the gang considers itself to be practicing its own brand of religion. The doctrine and tenets of the Melanics are heavily influenced by the radical leftist political risings of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Also detailed by the researchers are the illegal activities and acts of violence that the Melanic gang frequently participated in. In fact, the December 4, 1999 prison riot at the Chippewa Correctional Facility is attributed to the Melanic organization. Finally, the report describes how after the riot, the Melanic leadership encouraged the gang to dissolve. Figures, references