Are you a tattooed geek? Have you ever had a tattoo, even a temporary one? You might have heard about those murky prison tattoos. As the name indicates, the origin of prison tattoos is from the prison itself. Prison inmates portray their life stories and what they have been up to with the help of tattoos on their bodies. They give a strong message. They are not just some tattoos from the regular tattoo industry but they have a bigger meaning to them. 

Prison-style tattoos now are not just just for the people behind the bars but it is now trendy among the common people. Most international rappers make these tattoos on their bodies which has led to the creation of the prison tattoo trend among people. Continue reading the article if you are eager to know more about prison tattoos and several prison tattoo designs. 

What Is So Special About Prison Tattoos? 

Prison tattoos are inspired by criminals and mafias who represent their gang and their lifestyle with these types of tattoos. They look badass and hot for both women and men. But what’s so special about a prison tattoo? Well, unlike other tattoos, prison tattoos, in some cultures are a sign of maturity and a badge of one’s position in the tribe or community. They have a culture of their own. 

Also read: 8 Unique Things About Tattoos No One Told You!

You don’t have to spend time in prison to have a prison tattoo. You are not a criminal if you have a prison tattoo but make sure to make them a little different so you don’t put yourself at some unwanted risk so be careful before having your tattoos. Read on to find out about some popular prison tattoo designs and their meanings. 

Prison Style Tattoo Designs And Their Meanings 

Today, prison tattoo designs are so popular that everyone wants to have at least one of them. They are as famous inside the bars as they are outside. They look equally rebellious for women and men. Here are some incredible prison tattoo designs adorned by the prisoners which represent their life in prison. 

1. Cobweb  

Cobwebs are dark and big tattoos that are commonly made on the arm near the elbow. For people in prison, it represents the long term behind the bars. It is correlated with spiders (which are symbolized by the jail inspectors for the inmates) who have caught the criminals behind the bars.  Cobweb prison tattoo can also be located near the neck. Prisoners usually do not have access to colorful ink, so they mostly make it with black ink and not with colored ones. 


2. Teardrop 

Teardrop tattoo is more on the emotional side in the variety of prison tattoos. They are one of the most common prison tattoos which are adorned by prisoners around the world? What’s the meaning behind it? Well, as the word itself says, teardrop means the emotional pain from the loss of loved ones. It can sometimes be a sign of revenge for some prisoners. It is mostly made on the face just below the eye indicating a teardrop falling from the eye. 


3. Dots 

Dots are the simplest and most popular form of prison tattoos. It’s easy to make and requires very little ink. There can be a variation of three or five dots. This prison tattoo design can symbolize the life and the period of their sentence in the prison. The three dots represent the gang lifestyle but it is often symbolized as the holy trinity which has religious significance. These three dots are mostly made on the side of the eye. The five dots are a symbol of the time spent inside a prison in which the four dots depict the four walls of the prison and the fifth as the prisoner itself. 


4. Clock with No Hand 

This tattoo is one of the most popular among the most wanted criminals. As the name suggests, this tattoo is made as a clock that doesn’t have a minute or hour hand that represents a longer period in the prison or mostly a lifetime sentence. Prisoners who are serving a long term in prison have this tattoo on their wrist which makes it look like a real watch. There are many variations of the clock that can be made as a prison tattoo. It can come in any form.


Clock with No Hand

5. Eyes on the Stomach

The origin of this type of prison tattoo design comes from Russian prison circles. It is most commonly used by homosexual prisoners to symbolize their sexuality in the prison. It is made on the lower stomach or the abdomen. It makes other inmates aware of the sexuality of the wearer. To simply understand the meaning of it, think of this tattoo as a cute little face with a hanging nose and you’ll understand the actual meaning of it. 

Eyes on the Stomach

6. A Rose with Thorns 

This tattoo is common across the prisons of Russia and Asia. It is usually made on the hand but it can be adorned at any place on the body. This type of prison tattoo design represents that the prisoner who has made this has spent their 18th birthday in the prison. Non-prisoners can make this tattoo with a little embellished form like coloring it with red and green ink to add some life to it.

A Rose with Thorns 

7. Barbed Wire 

Barbed wire tattoos have a very specific meaning and they are worn by prison inmates to exemplify their sentence. They are traditionally made on the forehead and the arm. When worn on the arm, the barbed wire will represent the number of years the prisoner spends in the prison during their sentence while barbed wire on the forehead means the prisoner is serving a life sentence in the prison. 

Barbed Wire

These were some unique and popular prison tattoo designs worn by some wanted criminals and the depiction of their lives in the prison. Most people get inspired and design these tattoos on their bodies in a little different way to make them look more lively and vibrant as the prison tattoos are more likely to be dull and dark.

So, if you like any of them, try customizing it in your way and go have a tattoo like never before! 

Also read- Temporary Tattoos