Thief in law: value, status

The culture of tattooing is very popular among young people. Those who want to decorate their body use pictures on a variety of subjects. The youth subculture should not be confused with the subculture of professional criminals whose tattoos are less aesthetic and are not used as simple jewelry. This article contains information about the thief in the law and their meanings.

captive thief in law

Why criminals tattoo?

It is a tradition to apply tattoos with various symbols in places of detention on your body. The drawings are stuffed with professional ringers, who have achieved great skill in this business. Nevertheless, in their work they use mostly home-made typewriters and not very high-quality mascara. Due to this, the images they perform are not particularly aesthetic. Therefore, tattoos among inmates are used as special characters of an informative nature. According to an embossed picture, an idea is made about its owner, the article on which he was serving his term, and the place he occupies in the criminal hierarchy.Among wearable images occupy a special place tattoos of the thief in law.

The special status of the drawings

From a wide variety of criminal tattoos, thieves in law belong to a completely separate group. The image itself is purely individual, it is stuffed exclusively on the skin of a certain person. Only the one who in the criminal hierarchy corresponds to the status of a “lawyer” has the right to wear a tattoo of a thief in law on his body. Otherwise, the person will be severely punished.

Thieves cross

In Christianity, this symbol carries a deeply religious character, reminding people of God and of his sacrifice. In the prison subculture, the cross has nothing to do with the Christian religion. Pictured on the body, he testifies that the owner of such a picture deliberately chose the path of crime and is ready to go through to the end. In Christianity, the cross is considered a symbol of spiritual purity. In prison, this thief in the thief in the law confirms the "purity" of its carrier before the thieves' laws.

tricks of the kingpin and their meanings

The “lawyer” must always adhere to the thieves' concepts established by them and honor them. A tattoo is applied to the chest or back.There is such a tattoo and in the form of a ring.


Characteristic of thieves in the law is the image of the stars. These tattoos are applied to the skin under the collarbone. The owner of such a tattoo demonstrates to those around him that he will never put on his shoulder straps, which means that he will not serve the state, but only the thieves' idea.

cunning thief in law

Stars are pricking in their knees too. This symbolizes that the “lawyer” will not break the prison regime. A person with such a pattern on his knees will not bow to anyone. Traditionally, the star is a symbol of thieves ideas. Tattooed people like that will never cooperate with law enforcement agencies and are ready to give their lives for thieves' convictions.


The epaulets depicted on the body are worn by people belonging to the highest category in the criminal hierarchy. Around these figures have long been heated debate. Since the epaulet is considered a shoulder strap, then, in the opinion of the minority, the “lawyer” is unsuitable for impaling such a pattern on his body. On the other hand, in tsarist times, epaulets were worn by generals, while “legalists” occupy the highest place in the criminal hierarchy, in the opinion of criminal authorities, equal to the rank of general.

thieves epaulets

"Death for treason"

Little is known about the procedure for the coronation of thieves in law. According to some eyewitnesses, the ritual is as follows. After the claimant to the title of "lawyer" swears allegiance to the thieves' idea, a tattoo in the form of a heart pierced with a dagger is solemnly applied to his chest. This drawing symbolizes loyalty to the thieves fraternity and the inevitable death, if the "lawyer" breaks the oath.

What else is prickling thieves in law?

In addition to the above tattoos, "lawyers" are still:

  • The image of a soaring eagle with a crown above his head. The picture is pinned on the chest and indicates that the owner of the tattoo has belonged to the highest “suit” in the criminal world.
  • The image of the crown, which is stuffed on the left side of the chest and symbolizes power in the underworld. Also wearing a tattoo of thieves in the law on his finger.
  • Domes The image is not related to the church and religion. In the underworld, it means: "A prison for a thief is a home." By the number of "domes" judged on the number of years spent behind bars, or criminal record.


  • An image of a cat. This animal represents dexterity and affection for the house.A man with such a tattoo, like an animal, feels good in other people's homes. Another cat is used as an abbreviation: The root inhabitant of the prison. The image of the animal is also applied to the fingers.
  • Peak suit. This tattoo of thieves in law is worn on the chest.
  • Signet with the image of the rising sun and the abbreviation "Evil". She decrypts: "Covenant beloved father." A man with such a ring belongs to the thieves' dynasty and honors the traditions of his father.


Knowledge of thieves tattoos can be classified as acquired for general development. In addition, they will warn too zealous tattoo lovers from the disastrous step. Before applying the next drawing, tattoo fans should think: does the planned image look like a thief's tattoo? After all, as you know, it is fraught.

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