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  • Government Name: Tewhan Butler
  • Register Number: 26852-050
  • Age:34
  • Time Served:11 years
  • Home Town:East Orange, NJ
  • Sentence:30 yrs.
  • Current Charge:RICO
  • Alias:Massacre
  • Release Date:2029
  • Prison Affiliation:Blood (Double ii/QSBG)
  • Circle of Influence:Altariq Gumbs, Emmanuel Jones, Lester Alford, Marco Miguel Robertson, Pele Brown, David Drone, Jermaine Ray, Marcus Martin, Michael Simpson, Omar Austin, Quaheem Edwards, Torvos Simpson, Vincent Gamboa
  • Institution:USP McCreary
  • Here, my life behind bars offers understanding for those of you who venture into ‘the life’ with no understanding of its consequences: the adversity, the obstacles and the journey one must travel alone when the gavel is slammed, your cell is locked and the lights go out.

Why Did I Join A Gang?

Just yesterday someone posed the question: “Why did I join a gang ?”

The question sort of threw me, though it is a question that one may figure I get asked often. The inquiry got me to thinking long and hard, and, as I sat back, I began to question myself. Hopefully, the person who asked me this question reads this because I never had the opportunity to answer them directly.

Well, at the age of thirteen my mental was still very much fragile. Thoughts, which I believed were mine, were actually the thoughts of outside influences. My environment sort of shaped my thoughts, and left me thinking that much right was wrong. And if I wasn’t doing wrong, then there was no way I could be right. Upstanding citizenship did not apply to my upbringing. Therefore, the way I saw things was completely different than those who traveled back and forth to their nine-to-fives everyday, rewarding the system with their blood, sweat and tears. My time, effort, and energy went toward the streets and what I thought I knew of them. I’ll admit, I was young; but what I wanted was what I wanted. Knowing better did not always mean doing better. What I wanted to do was whatever my homeboys were doing. To me that meant loyalty.

I took the road traveled by most and labeled it loyalty. The answer to the question should have been a easy one: Loyalty is why I joined the gang. Loyalty to my people. Loyalty to my hood. But can it necessarily be loyalty if all I did was join the crew and lead the crew into a path of destruction? Loyalty would have led me, and in turn I would have led them down a path of righteousness. Loyalty should have made me the example. Loyalty should have learned me, so I could teach them and show them a better way. Maybe loyalty is the wrong word.

Why did i join a gang? 19 years later and nearly eleven years in prison on a thirty-year prison sentence, and I still don’t have a answer. Please don’t take my lack of an answer as though I feel I did something wrong because I don’t. The fact that I joined the gang was not wrong. What was wrong was the fact that instead of me controlling it, it controlled me.

No matter the movement, I don’t deter you from becoming. But what I do advise is that you never allow anything, or anyone to control you. Is it the gang that caused me to end up in prison? No! It was my lack of control and my inability to exact knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.

For my friend who asked why I joined a gang, though you may not approve, this is my truth.


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