The shoulder pad used by Russian thieves for tattoos is made of cords and called epaulette by military men (from French language "little shoulder").
It is commonly found in the uniforms of army's officers, and thus used by thieves to show a high rank in the mafia or gang. But it isn't a prison tattoo anymore, and modern ink lovers have twisted it to a more glorious meaning. Of course, war veterans and soldiers use it to show their time in the army and proudness to protect their country. But they can also show the warrior inside any man, and is often a recreation of an armor shoulder pad, with Viking or knight badass details.
But it is not a man-only tattoo. All the contrary, actually. The shoulder is a very elegant placement for feminine tattoos too and the epaulette can definitely get the sexy touch. The precious texture of cords or with some adds of lace and flowers, you've got a very beautiful ornamental tattoo here, which doesn't mean it is meaningless. High ranks and royal status are suiting girls too!