The corrupt guards were organized by their superior, Captain Dale Shavers, and established a fight club using inmates of the Reagan Federal Penitentiary, their workplace, as their fighters. They also made a habit of abusing many of the inmates. On December 2014, one of the fights resulted in the death of an inmate, Devon White, who was clubbed to death by another inmate, Patrick Butler, with a baton given to him by Shavers. This was witnessed by Tom Polinsky, a guard who wasn't a member of the group. They forced him to help dispose of Devon's body and wrote his disappearance as a transfer to another prison. They then threatened Polinsky, telling him they will kill his daughter if he wasn't silent. That same month, Butler, traumatized by Devon's death and seething with hatred, lashed out along with an unspecified amount of other inmates, killing one of the corrupt guards, Rudy Hightower, with the aid of Polinsky.
In 2015, Butler and his accomplices killed another member of the ring, Keith Rivers, and Randall Jefferson Jones, an inmate who assisted them. The two murders resulted in the prison warden, Miles Tate, calling Hotch and Rossi and asking them to investigate with the rest of the BAU. Shavers and the other guards cooperate with the BAU during the investigation, but their operation is compromised when Reid discovers Devon and his strange disappearance. Eventually, Shavers is forced to bludgeon Butler to death when he becomes increasingly rebellious. Morgan and Kate later interview Polinsky about Devon, and he exposes the group to them. Overhearing, Shavers tries to orchestrate a prison riot that will kill all three of them, but it fails and Shavers is forced to commit suicide. The other guards are all presumably tracked down and arrested.
The corrupt guards targeted quiet prison inmates who weren't affiliated with any prison gangs, using them as their fighters in their fight club. They would have the inmates fight it out in secluded locations of the prison and placed bets on the winners. These bets would be transferred electronically through the members' bank accounts. The fights they conducted were brutal and (in the case of Devon White) fatal.
No official profile of the guards was made by the BAU, who were more focused on Butler and his accomplices.
The guard fighting ring appears heavily based off an uncanny fighting ring in the Corcoran State Prison in California, which inspired the motion picture Felon. The FBI opened an investigation into a "gladiator fight" ring where guards would pit violent inmates against each other, take bets, and even shoot them when they didn't comply.
- Captain Dale Shavers (leader; deceased). Portrayed by William Ragsdale.
- Officer Rudy Hightower (deceased). Portrayed by Scott Roderick.
- Officer Keith Rivers (deceased). Portrayed by David Farkas.
- Officer Tom Polinsky (reluctant member; status unknown). Portrayed by Matt Corboy.
- Randall Jefferson Jones (an inmate and their informant; deceased). Portrayed by Tommy Lamey.
- Several unnamed others (all incarcerated). All portrayed by uncredited actors.
- Abused and/or forced an unspecified amount of unnamed inmates to fight each other prior to Lockdown
- Unspecified dates:
- December 2014: Devon White (accidentally killed by Patrick Butler; fatally clubbed with a baton)
- The corrupt guards are extremely similar to The Rogue Deputies in Season Nine - Both were organizations whose memberships consisted of corrupt law enforcement officers and their associates, were active in Texas, and their leaders made elaborate but unsuccessful attempts to cover up their criminal activities. Both leaders were also shot and killed (though Shavers committed suicide, while McGregor died in a shoot-out with the BAU).