Prison Social Hierarchy

In every prison across the world, there is a certain hierarchy system followed according to which the highest social class is considered the most dangerous and is highly feared within the prison walls whereas as class decreases, the social status of the prisoners also decreased.  Infact, the treatment given to prisoners by other prison mates also depends upon which class the prisoner belongs to or which crime he/she has committed. If you wish to know more about the prison social hierarchy in detail, then you can go through the information which has been given as follows.

Prison social hierarchy

Serial killers/murderers

At the top of the hierarchical order within a prison come the serial killers or murderers. These are the most feared prisoners and none of the other prisoners like t cross them. These individuals have committed the crime of the highest order and hold powerful and strong statuses among their inmates. They are also often feared by officers and sometimes enjoy special privileges like having other prisoners do their tasks etc.

Drug dealers

On the second position of the prison social hierarchy are the drug dealers. Drug dealing is also considered a serious crime in most countries and the punishment for it too is of a long term. It is a risky business and hence those acquitted on these charges are feared within the prison walls. Drug dealers usually order others around and have links throughout the prison.


In terms of the seriousness of the crimes, robbers and burglars come at the third position in a prison social structure or organization. These individuals are not considered as dangerous but still enjoy a position of fear and respect. They get along both with drug dealers and those below them in the social order.


Child abusers, gendered abusers and domestic abusers are at a slightly lower position in the prison social hierarchy. These individuals are punished for a comparatively shorter span of time than those above them and do not like to cross killers and dealers. They do not have much power and say in prison politics and usually keep to their own in between the walls.


Both child rapists and adult rapists come at the bottom of the hierarchy in prison social structure. They are usually asked to do the tasks involving hardwork by their superiors and serve shorter sentences. They are not as feared but some of them are notorious and hence live at a distance from others.