emergency count – noun: institutional count called for at a time other than the scheduled counts. These, more often than not, are surprise drills called for by the warden to test how quickly his staff can respond in case of an emergency – all inmates must be returned to their cells and accounted for. Lockdowns are also initiated in this way.

equipment shack – noun: a building in some medium and most minimum security joints. Situated on the yard, it is where an inmate can borrow an item for the yard period in exchange for their Inmate ID Card as collateral. The equipment that is available varies from joint to joint, but some examples include: weight belts, dumbbells, basketballs, soccer balls, soft balls, baseball bats, baseball gloves, frisbees, bocce balls, horseshoes

fake kickin’ it – phrase: to act polite, kind, and talk to a person as if you actually like him and are his friend, when in actuality you despise him, as evidenced by the fact that you talk shit about him behind his back every chance you get

fall back – phrase 1. meant as a forceful response to some show of aggression See also back up off me
2. to slow down and allow people to pass you while in line so that a spot further back from the front can be secured
3. stay behind while the rest of the group goes elsewhere
4. to relax, lie in a state of repose
5. meant as a way to end a discussion, most often when two inmates are yelling to each other between cells See also fall back and hit my head, spin off

fall back and hit my head – phrase: used to end a discussion between two inmates yelling their conversation back and forth between cells. It refers to laying down and letting one’s head hit the pillow See also fall back, spin off

fall out – verb 1. to pass out, to lose consciousness
2. to disagree with someone, usually resulting in ceased communication

felon – noun: any individual convicted of a felony offense

fiending – verb: to fiend, as in a strong need or desire for drugs; however, it is applied not solely to drug addiction but rather any strong desire in general. Fiending has come to be pronounced with the letter “d” being silent.

NEW! finger food tray – noun: a tray of food prepared specifically for an inmate on suicide watch. This must be packaged in a disposable styrofoam tray and consists of only food items that can be eaten with one’s hands because no utensils are allowed. Sandwiches, carrot sticks, and apples are common fare

fireman – verb: to fireman, transitioning from sleeping to getting dressed immediately, preparing quickly as if rushing to put out a fire. Typically, but not necessarily, involves pants and footwear set out in such a fashion so as to be able to slide into both in one motion See also Fireman Bill

Fireman Bill – phrase: meaning to transition directly from bed into footwear and clothes then right out the door as quickly as possible. It is a reference to the character Fire Marshall Bill famously portrayed by Jim Carrey on the television show “In Living Color.” See also fireman

flood the cell – phrase: meaning to intentionally clog one’s toilet and flush it repeatedly in order to cover the floor of the cell with water. This can be done as an attempt to get removed from the cell; as a protest over some perceived slight; or simply because an inmate is bored, confined, angry, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. This is nearly impossible with a toilet on a timer

flood the deck – phrase: when the majority of convicts in a wing agree to all flood their cells at the same set time so that the water flows onto the gallery. This requires a coordinated effort because if the C/Os catch on to what is happening, they can shut off the water flowing to the cells. Not always, but mostly this is accomplished through STG activity, and can be done as a protest or possibly as the inciting act to send the deck up. This is nearly impossible to accomplish with a toilet on a timer

fresh off the bus – phrase 1. meaning an individual is new to the joint, most often reserved for those who just came off the street as opposed to transferring from another joint, and as such is unfamiliar with how prison life is
2. someone who acts like they don’t know any better when it comes to some simple protocols in prison

friendly – adjective 1. to be friendly, carries a connotation of being overly familiar, standing too close, punching, touching, and joking with a person like they’ve known them for years.
2. denotes a suspicion of homosexuality  

front – verb: to front, frontin’. To fabricate a story or present a personality or identity in order to better fit in

gallery – noun 1. area of a cell house where cells are located: pod, block, wing
2. specifically, the common area just outside the cells

gang – noun 1. group of like-minded individuals who congregate and organize together under a specific set of rules, by-laws, and agreements. Almost exclusively an extension of whatever street gang an inmate was a member of in the streets.
2. a large quantity

gang banger – noun 1. member of a gang
2. young buck wild member of a gang

gang bangin’ – phrase 1. Gang-related activity of a more aggressive or violent nature such as armed robbery and shooting at rival gangs.
2. any and all activity which denotes affiliation with any gang
3. any infraction of minor prison rules, meant as facetious

Gat – noun: abbreviation of Gattling gun, but is meant as a slang term for a handgun

gen pop – noun: general population

general population – noun: majority of the prison population, includes all inmates except those in Seg, in the hospital/healthcare, or on a work farm. See also Gen Pop, GP

getting it in – phrase 1. meaning to be working out strenuously as opposed to going through the motions of doing very little. See also getting money
2. doing any activity to the fullest or with great enthusiasm

getting money – phrase 1. The act of exercising well, vigorously, with focus and determination See also getting it in
2. masturbating, the act of masturbation

girl – noun 1. a young, female human being. See also baby girl
2. a girlfriend
3. a wife See also wifey
4. a celebrity whom an inmate has a crush on or who they find especially sexy or attractive See also baby

glute watch – verb: to glute watch, glute watching, refers to the act of hanging around the weight room or weight pile, specifically near where people are performing squats, in order to enjoy the sight of a man’s ass stuck out behind him, as is the proper form for a squat

good – adjective 1. admirable, one who acts admirably
2. ethical, one who acts ethically
3. honorable, one who acts honorably
4. doing well – financially, physically, or emotionally See also straight, right

got it like that – phrase: meaning to have a lot of money, or money coming in consistently, so that the person doesn’t have to worry about whether they’ll have money for store

got over on – phrase 1. To get over on, to take advantage of
2. to get taken advantage of See also scrape, sting

GP – noun 1. general population. See also Gen Pop
2. general principle, meaning to give or do something for a homey, friend, or even an acquaintance without expecting or planning to have some direct reimbursement in return. Rather than a quid pro quo arrangement, the unspoken agreement is that he person receiving the kindness will look out similarly sometime in the unspecified future

grievance – noun 1. official avenue through which an inmate can make their legitimate problems or complaints be known and seek some type of help or relief.
2. a waste of time, energy, paper, and ink
3. trash can filler
4. a good way to put a target on your back

grimy – adjective 1. Of little character, deceitful, duplicitous See also dirty
2. petty
3. dirty, filthy, unwashed, of poor hygiene habits – as in, full of grime. See also Viking

guy – noun: friend, buddy, homey

gym – noun 1. area for recreation which usually has at least a basketball court and cable-controlled weight machines. Medium and minimum joints should have free weights and possibly some other activities like racquetball and ping-pong.
2. area where beefs can often be handled in a semi-controlled environment outside the view of prying C/O eyes with a one-on-one fight between the two beefing inmates.

gym restriction – noun: penalty for a minor ticket that entails the denial of gym privileges for a specific and set amount of time

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Essays From Behind Prison Walls

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