AB: Aryan Brotherhood, a white prison gang. This abbreviation can also refer to the California Department of Corrections' administrative bulletins.
AC: Aryan Circle, a white prison gang found in some states. This designation is not seen in California. More commonly in California, this designation would refer to the "Adjustment Center."
Ace: a puff of a cigarette, as in "Bust me down with an ace" (NY)
Ace Boon Coon: Best friend
Ace-Duce: Best friend.
Adjustment Center: The A.C., a segregated control unit.
The name was developed during the prisons adopted language
reflecting treatment of prisoners. In theory, the unit was to
provide an intensive program. In practice, such units remained
(and remain) "the hole." A landmark case challenging
conditions in San Quentin's Adjustment Center was filed in 1973
and continues to be enforced as a permanent injunction.
Toussaint v. McCarthy
Ad Seg: Administrative Segregation. Placement in a
controlled unit for the safety and security of the institution --
including allegations of gang affiliation, investigation of a disciplinary
offense, or repeated misconduct.
Aggie: A long handled hoe. (In Texas, field force work
squads are referred to as Hoe squads, usually by their squad
number such as 1-hoe,2-hoe.)
Aguas: Spanish word used to warn other prisoners thant an officer is making the rounds. Used as a warning in Spanish colonial times and usedd in Mexico as a warning tgo be careful. When water was thrown in the street after being used for cleaning, the person would cry to warn pedestrians.
Ain't Right: A situation, person, or object of dubious
correctnessas in "Somethin' ain't right with that Cat-J."
Alphabet: A sentence so long that it cannot be characterized by numbers. (VA)>
All Day: A life sentence, as in "He's doin' all day . . ."
All Day and a Night: Life without parole. (MI)
Ass Betting: Gambling without any funds or means of paying back one's loses.
Ass Out: A prisoner who has does not have anything coming or who has disprespected officers to the point where they do not give him anything.
Attitude:The display of annoyance, hostility, contempt,
courage, or an unbroken spirit toward others.
Attitude Adjustment: The need for drugs. Also, a physical act by officers, including use by electric shock (taser, stun gun).
ATW Stands for " all the way " . When an inmate is finished with his sentence in Maryland the officer that comes to get him to take him to be released will announce for him to "pack it up , ATW." (MD)
AW: Associate Warden. In some western prisons, this may refer to the Aryan Warrior gang.
B & B: Bag and Baggage - to leave prison or jail.
Baby: A weak prisoner used for sex, a "punk." (FL)
Badge: A correctional officer.
Bale: Loose-leafed tobacco purchased at a canteen.
Bam-Bam: The mental health ward or an inmate whom is a mental health patient.(MI)
Banger: A knife. Also called a burner or a shank.
Bastille by the Bay: San Quentin, a term coined by San Francisco columnist Herb Caen. Also, the title of a column in the now-defunct San Quentin News
Beast: Sex offender (England), also called a "nonce."
Bean Chute: Slot through which food trays are inserted. Also, slot through which ad seg inmates are cuffed prior to leaving cell. (TX)
Beat Your Feet: Order by an officer for a prisoner to move out of an area. (TX)
Beef: A disciplinary charge, as to "catch a beef."
Be Farts and Cell Partners: Beans and franks. (archiac)
BGF: The Black Guerrilla Family, an African-American
prison gang that originted as a revolutionary organization
influenced by George Jackson.
Bid: Prison term. Also called "bit."
Big House: Prison.
Big Jab: Lethal injection. Also, "stainless steel ride," "doctorate in applied chemestry," or the "needle."
Big Bitch: Convicted under the habitual criminal act which carries a
mandatory life sentence. See also "Little Bitch." (TX)
Billies: White men.
Bing: Segregation unit. (NY)
Bippy: A small paper cone of cleaning powder used for scrubbing cells. (TX)
Bird: Someone who is a fool or idiot. Also, a prisoner sings like a bird (rat). One who escapes from prison. Young offenders. (Ontario, Can.)
Birds on the line: Warning that someone is listening to a conversation.
Bitch Up: To cry or give in. (NY)
Blade: A prisonmade weapon, a shank. To "blade up" is to cut someone up.
Blanket party: Throwing a blanket over a despised
prisoner, so he or she can't identify an attacker.
Blickey: AIDS, as in "He or she has the blickey."
Blickum: Generic term used as a substitute for other words. As in "He got a 72 hour blickum,: substuting for lockdown. "Jont" may be used in a similar way.
Blind: Area where correctional officers cannot see, as in
"Let's go to the blind."
Bling Bling: Officers are coming.
Bit: Prison sentence. (IL)
Bitch Up: Chicken out or be a coward. (FL)
Blood In, Blood Out: To enter a prison gang by committing a stabbling, to leave by being the victim of a stabbing.
Blue Belly: Correctional Officer (Maine)
Blues: Prison clothes.
Boat: To transfer out of a prison, as in "on a boat."
Bo-Bos State issued tennis shoes. Shoes that may be bought through a prison commissary (FL).
Bolillos: Whites, perhaps from a term for a large loaf of white bread. (Sp., TX)
Bomb: Paper rolled tightly together that is lit and used to heat items.
Bonaroo: One's best clothes. "I've got my bonaroos
all ready for my next visit."
Bone: Cigarette. (NY)
Bone Crusher: A particularly large prison weapon (shank).
Boneyard: Family (conjugal) visiting area.
Boof: Contraband concealed in the rectum. Also, "boofed." (NY)
Books: Trust fund account, "on the books." All money
received by a prisoner is placed into a trust account and may be
withdrawn for canteen purchases, special orders, postage, and
Boot Camp: Military style programs used by many states for some first time offenders.
Booty Check: Rectal search.
Border Brothers: Mexican nationals.
Boss: An officer -- some say in it is "sorry son of a bitch"
Bounce: Move along, get lost. (Iowa)
Bow: Life sentence. (GA)
Bowling Alley Units that have a long and wide cement walkway. Inmates walk along the yellow lines on the side of the walkway, while officers and staff walk on the inside. (TX)
Box: (1) A carton of cigarettes. (2) Segregation or SHU, as in "I don't want to do any box time." (NY) (3) A quarterly package containing personal items sent from the outside.
BP: Federal grievance forms. Different numerical
designations identify the level of the grievance.
Brass: High ranking administration.
Brew: Homemade alcohol; "pruno."
Brick: A carton of cigarettes
Bricks: The outside, on the outside, as in "on the
Broadway: The first floor of some tiers. A wide area
where inmates come and go -- and occasionally may be housed if
the prison is particularly crowded.
Buck: Homemade alcohol (Florida).
Buck Horn: Hand rolled cigarettes.
Buck Master: One who makes homemade alcohol. See "pruno."
Buck Rodgers Time: A parole date so far into the next
century, the inmate cannot imagine release.
Bug: A crazy person.
Buggin' Out: Going ballastic, losing one's mind, going totally crazy. (SC)
Bug Nasties: The sack lunch given prisoners. (AZ)
Bull Dagging: Homosexual activities between women; taking a homosexual partner. Also, "Bull Dagger," a macho-acting lesbian. See "Dagging."(TX)
Bull Dog: A prisoner who uses fear and intimidation to get something from a weaker person.
Bullet: One year prison sentence..such as "They gave me a bullet."
Bum Beef: To falsely accuse a prisoner of doing some thing. (OR)
Bum Rap: A bad charge.
Bumpin Ya Gums: Talking Excessively.
Bump It On Down: An Order to get moving. (TX)
Bunkie: The person with whom a prisoner shares a double
Burn: Tobacco (England).
Burn rubber: Exclamation meaning "Get lost," "Leave me
Burnt Up: To get into trouble or to receive a disciplinary report.
Bush Pass: An escape or walk-away. (TN)
Bus Therapy: The practice of transferring prisoners from
one institution to another, to keep them from away from their
property, visits, and other contacts. Particularly used in the
federal system. Also known as "diesel therapy," "grey goose therapy," or "round robin."
Buster: (1) Disrepect referring to the fact that
someone "busted" or swore to a statement upon something of value in the
prison culture and was found to have lied. (2) A term for "Northern Mexicans" used by "Southern Mexicans"
Butched In: Having to perform oral sex for favors
C-file: The central file. The critical information
maintained on each prisoner.
Cadillac: (1) Coffee with cream & sugar, smooth, rich and
creamy. (2) A fish line. (3) A cushion job on the inside. (4) The best. (5) On officer's term for a vacant cell.
Cap pealed: Someone's head, as in "I'm gonna peal
Calaboose: Prison or jail (archaic).
Call: Time for specified events -- e.g., mail call or sick
call. May be known in some jurisdictions as a call out.
Camp: CDC minimum security facilities for firefighting and
Canton: One's cell (SP TX).
Cappin': Talking about one's family, relatives, or girlfriend in a disrespectful way.
Carnal: Homeboy. Street Language. (Sp.)
Case: Disciplinary violation, as in "to catch a
case." (TX) See also "Beef."
Cap: The amount of marijuana that fits into a chapstick
Catch a Square: To get ready to fight, as "You'd better catch a square, punk." Derives from the corners in a boxing ring.
Catch out: To request protective custody. Move around, leave an area rapidly (TX).
Catcher: Sexually passive or submissive, often
Cat-J: A prisoner who needs mental health treatment.
Sometimes referred to as a "J-Cat."
Cat Nap: Relatively short sentence.
Cat Walk: Walkway above yard or tier where officers patrol. Officers in the area, as in "cat walk front to back."
C.C. Consecutive sentences.
Cell Confinement: Disciplinary detention, confining prison to cell for 24 hour increments. (Iowa)
Cell Gangster: One who talks tough locked in his cell. Then says nothing when out of cell (NY). Also known as a "cell warrior." (AK)
Chain: Used when an inmate is transferred to another unit or arrives and departs on the bus. "He left out on the chain yesterday."
Chainin": Used when an inmate is transferblack to another unit or arrives and departs on the bus. "He went chainin this mornin."
Chalk or Raisin Jack: Home made alcohol, or pruno.
Chalking: To run interference with officers while another prisoner is breaking a rule.
Chapete: A Southern Mexican word used to disrespect Northern California gang members. (SP)
Chasing the Dragon: Looking for heroin on the yard. Also called, "chasing the horse."
Check In: To be placed into protective custody.
Check Out: To leave protective custody.
Checking: A fight. When it happens in the fields, it is generally sanctioned by officers. When it happens in the building, it is generally testing to see whether someone new is going to ride or to be a punk. See Hoe Check. (TX)
Checkin' It: Putting on one's best clothes for a visit with a prisoner. (NY)
Check Off: Someone who asks for protective custody due to debts, or because he is scared.
Cheese Eater: An informer.
Chester: Child molester.
Chin Check: To hit someone in the jaw to see if he will stand up for himself.
Chiva: Heroin (spanish). Also: scam, gow, stuff, hop.
Choney: A chocolate or candy bar. (BC, Can.)
Chuck: A white prisoner or officer. (MI)
Cho-Cho: An ice cream bar bought in the canteen
Cho Mo: Child Molester. (MT)
Chrono: Informational notes by prison officials
documenting classification decisions, minor disciplinary
offenses, medical orders, and just about everything else that
might be recorded on a prisoner. (CA) Also called "C-note" (UT).
Circuit: Transfers to discourage contact with others. "Diesel Therapy."
Clavo: A stash or collection. "He has a huge clavo
Clica: Spanish for gang, also "ganga." Related verb: cliquear,
meaning to cock up or ride with a gang. (Sp., TX.)
Click: A group of prisoners who use their combined strength, a clique. When two or more Inmates attack one inmate. "Those
Inmates clicked on me." (TX)
Click up: To join a gang.
Clicks: Minutes on the telephone. (NY)
Clipper Pass: A special shaving pass that allows prisoners with medical conditions to shave only once a week or to wear short beards. (TX)
Coffee and a Day: Out in just over a day.
C.O.: Correctional Officer.
Commandos: Prisoners who go to another prisoners bunk or cell, after lights out, for sexual reasons. (FL)
Commissary: Money for buying stamps, toiletries,
cigarettes, and other items. The place to buy it.
Convict: A prisoner with traditional values. One who has
pride and respect, who maintains integrity. A convict is
different from an inmate.
Convict Boss: A prisoner given authority in a prison system. Also, an officer who conducts his business and does not hassle or instigate trouble. (TX)
Code 21: Masturbation (TX, from the TDC offense code).
Cop Out: Form that a prisoner must fill out requesting action. (FED)
Copping Deuces: (1)) To contradict one's self, (2) To change one's mind, to the sore displeasure of another.
Corner:"A corner is defined by who a man hangs out
with. That's his corner. Lot's of times, even a loner is hooked
to a certain corner, so within that you've got `strong corners,'
`weak corners,' etc. Once you know all the corners, where they
are, and what their guidelines are, then you get an easy feel for
the pulse of a prison." -- Dannie Martin, Committing
Cross Bar Hilton: Prison (archaic).
Count: The institutional count, repeated at different
times in the day. Everything stops while prison staff make sure
no one is missing.
Court: Disciplinary hearing. (Ohio)
Cowboy: New officer. Spelled backwards, its "yobwoc:" young, obnoxious, bastard we often con." (FL)
Crate: Carton of cigarettes.
Crib: Home on the street. (PA)
Crime of Passion: Inmate serving time on a sex time.
Crimey: Best friend or co-defendant.
Cut: Area around an inmate's bunk, considered to be his territory/area. (GA)
Cut That Knot: Beat up on a prisoner. (TX)
Cutting Up: Suicide.