ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Anti-Defamation League says it’s a growing problem – white supremacist gangs in Missouri prisons.

Regional director Karen Aroesty is tracking several white supremacist groups representing dozens of inmates.

She says the five main groups are: Sacred Separatist Group (SSG), Joplin Honkies, Peckerwood Midwest, Family Values and Aryan Circle.

“I don’t want to alarm people at how many folks are engaged in this, and trying to count individuals sometimes is difficult,” Aroesty says. “The reality is, they can do enormous damage as a single individual, and that’s what is worth paying attention to.”

The concern is that white gang members in Missouri prisons are getting radicalized, she says, and could carry out hate crimes when they’re released.

Aroesty says in late January, a Springfield police officer suffered career-ending injuries after being shot by a member of the Southwest Honkies.

Earlier this month, two members of the Joplin Honkies were charged with a hate crime for allegedly threatening to kill a black woman and her children while breaking into their home.

(TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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