H-J

hard – adjective 1. Intense, extreme
2. full force
3. too much
4. describing an object which is neither supple nor tender, the opposite of soft
5. tough, unbending and unyielding when trouble comes, the opposite of soft

Healthcare – noun 1. building where medical diagnoses are made and treatments given
2. building where medical patients are ridiculed and treatments ignored
See also HCU

heater – noun 1. Slang term for a handgun. See also banger
2. device for cooking. See also stinger, banger, pistol

HCU – noun: Health Care Unit

hit – verb 1. To strike with force
2. to take a drag of a cigarette or joint
3. to get or receive

hit the pavement – phrase 1. To go home or arrive home after doing time in prison. See also touch down, hit the streets
2. to leave prison and go right back to criminal activity. See also back down, hit the streets

hit the streets – phrase 1. Meaning to go home from prison, or to get home after a prison term See also touch down, hit the pavement
2. to go home from prison and go right back to slingin’ and gang bangin’ See also back down, hit the pavement

hold – verb: to hold, to have, to borrow See also hold onto

hold down – phrase 1. keep for a brief period of time
2. hide, hang on to

hold mud – phrase: hold my mud, hold his mud, hold your mud, to hold one’s mud is to refuse to become a snitch or provide information even when faced with the threat of punishment or violence

hold onto – verb: borrow, have See also hold

holler – verb 1. Talk to, speak with
2. speak to confidentially

homey – noun: friend, buddy. See also guy, boy, man

hooch – noun: sour, alcoholic concoction made from fruits and bread. If done incorrectly, it’s just spoiled, soured fruit and can cause the expelling of copious vomitus or even stomach infections. If done correctly, it can usually cause a convict to act loud and gregarious for a while before settling down to look at pictures of family and cry.

hood – noun: neighborhood. See also set, land

horseplay – verb: playfighting, scrapping, screwing around with a buddy. White shirts have no sense of humor, camaraderie, or male bonding when it comes to this, and the individuals will be immediately walked to Seg

hot – verb 1. when weather conditions make for uncomfortably warm temperatures
2. when intemperate weather makes an inmate uncomfortably warm
3. an individual who attracts undue attention to himself from authority
4. when people living in a cell attract too much attention from authority resulting in severe scrutiny and multiple shakedowns
5. a very attractive person
6. the latest fad or popular trend
7. a good song

hot pot – noun: electronic device with a burner plate at the bottom of a heavy plastic or metal container shaped like a jug. When plugged in, the plate heats to a specific degree at which time the thermostat turns it off. Using one of these is the only legal way to heat water or cook, and they are only allowed at medium or minimum security institutions.

house – noun: a cell house, the buildings where prisoners are held <When you get back to the house, you have to check in with the officer.>

housing unit – noun: cell house. See also house

hurting – verb 1. to be in pain
2. the act of inflicting pain on an individual
3. having one’s property box nearly empty and therefore being in dire need of commissary

hustle – noun 1. any marketable ability or skill which fills a need that a reasonable fee can be charged for. There are a variety and abundance of these, come examples include: sewing, drawing, painting, fixing headphones/electronics
2. to hurry, usually in conjunction with a specific goal

hygiene – noun: refers to all items as a whole which are used for hygienic purposes such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, etc.

hype – noun 1. a heroin addict
2. an individual who behaves in an extremely agitated or excited fashion so that they are incapable of quiet stillness or repose.
verb: to hype, to hype up, getting an individual agitated or excited to the point that their behavior reflects such extreme agitation or excitement.

IA – noun: Internal Affairs

I’ma – phrase: contraction of ‘I am going’ or ‘I am going to’

in the car – phrase  1. refers to being in conversation with or regularly corresponding with, generally used when discussing a female
2. part of a request to be introduced to a person, most commonly used in referring to a woman
3. to be included in a plan or deal

in the streets – phrase 1. refers to activity engaged in previous to incarceration, or planned for post incarceration
2. often meant as a reference to gang-related activity while in the world

incident report – noun 1. official report and record of events written by prison staff which is to be referenced at any future hearings and whose contents are generally received as gospel truth. Any incident outside normal operations is to be recorded, such as a fight, verbal confrontation, shakedown, discussion with a snitch, etc.
2. avenue provided by prison administration whereby a C/O can cover their ass.

industry – noun 1. program and opportunity available at only a handful of joints anymore in which various necessities are manufactured or processed at one joint and distributed to all other joints. Inmates fortunate enough to land one of these coveted spots can make anywhere from $200 to $500 per month – a large amount in prison. Some examples of industry jobs are making eyeglasses, shirts, pants, mattresses, sheets, or baking cookies
2. good work if you can get it

inmate – noun 1. Official term for a prisoner being held in the Department of Corrections
2. amongst fellow prisoners, this term means the individual is not trustworthy or reliable and would fold or snitch if the situation were ever to get serious

Inmate ID Card – noun: a hard, plastic, credit card-sized form of identification that an inmate must have with them at any and all times they leave the housing unit. It consists of the inmate’s name, photo, inmate identification number, religious affiliation, and a bar code for keeping track of the commodity. During regular movement, the ID must be displayed on the left lapel, but for Rec times it can be carried in a pocket. Being unable to produce one’s ID upon command for a C/O or other official almost always results in a ticket for unauthorized movement. Depending on the circumstances and the C/O, it can be considered a serious infraction and include a walk to Seg.

Internal Affairs – noun: a separate division of C/Os, headed by a lieutenant, that is responsible for policing the inner workings of a prison to ensure that both inmates and officers are acting within proper guidelines. Any major investigation into inmate conduct is undertaken by Internal Affairs, and much of their information comes from allegations made by Confidential Informants. They have authority to hold an inmate in Seg for months under investigation until they’ve decided whether or not a snitch’s claims are valid.

iron pile – noun: area where the weights are kept on the yard. See also weight pile

it’s on – phrase: indicating that a disagreement has risen to the level of a confrontation and a physical encounter has begun, or is about to begin

jag – verb 1. to jag, to make a mistake
2. to jag, to miss an opportunity because of a mistake
3. to waste something or be wasteful
4. describes the consequences for a mistake, usually pertaining to disciplinary action and the loss of good time.

jam – noun 1. a song
2. a particularly good and much-loved song

joint – noun 1. a prison <I heard that was the worst joint in the state.> See also camp
2. marijuana cigarette

juice – noun  1. a delicious, fruity beverage
2. having the pull, ability, or authority to accomplish a given task

jump – verb: to jump or get jumped, when several people strike in a coordinated attack and assault a lesser number of people, or more commonly a single person See also beatdown

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Essays From Behind Prison Walls

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