kickin’ – adjective 1. extremely bad breath. See also bangin’
2. extremely good music. See also bangin’

kickin’ it – phrase: hanging out together, talking and spending time with a person or group of people See also kick it, kick the bobos

kick it – phrase: hang out, talk, spend time with

kick rocks – phrase: Instruction urging another person to go away. Usually said in an aggressive and unfriendly manner. See also beat feet

kicks – noun: sneakers, basketball shoes, tennis shoes, running shoes

kick the bobos – phrase: hang out, talk, most specifically take a walk – usually on the yard – and have a conversation one-on-one with a buddy See also kick it

kill – verb 1. to end the life of another person
2. to work a muscle or muscle group to exhaustion during weightlifting.

kilo – noun 1. kilogram
2. one designation for the weight of illicit drugs

knock me off my square – phrase 1. meaning to become so rattled, angered, or disturbed that a person will lose their cool and lash out in a violent manner
2. to become so upset that it throws a routine out of order and makes everyday life feel like a chore

knock it out – phrase: to stop putting off something needed to be done or to stop doing it slowly

knock upside the head – verb phrase: a severe penalty, usually excessively extreme <The judge knocked me upside the head – gave me forty years.> See also slammed

lamer – noun: a person with no gang affiliation.

land – noun: area a person originates from in the world See also hood, set

legal box – noun: correspondence box designated solely for the storage of legal papers and materials. See also box

line – verb: The grouping of individuals in a formation of one person behind another
noun: an actual grouping of individuals in this manner

line it up – phrase: order given by prison staff for a group of inmates to form a line

line movement – phrase: the moving of a group of inmates form one part of the institution to another as from the house to the chow hall

lockdown – noun 1. Measure taken for disciplinary purposes during which inmates are confined to their cells and temporarily stripped of all privileges including yard, gym, store, school. Depending on the severity of the situation that led to the lockdown, such as a fight involving multiple inmates or an attack on a C/O, the confinement may be so restrictive that all meals are delivered to the cells through the chuck hole and showers are given only once per week.
2. a thing to be dreaded and despised.

locked up – adjective: incarcerated in prison

loo – noun 1. lieutenant, third in the hierarchy of authority under the positions of major and warden, but a loo is more readily available than the other two. See also white shirt
2. authority figure responsible for walking an inmate to Seg

look out – verb phrase: to look out, take care of

lookout – noun: someone who acts as security to watch, guard, and warn of approaching officers while illegal activity is transpiring

loot – noun: money. See also paper, scratch, dust

love shack – noun: a facetious term for the outhouse on the yard because it’s a place where homosexuals often meet to copulate

Lunchables – noun: facetious designation for the insultingly small yellow containers that meals are served in while on lockdown or in Seg

mail – noun 1. slightly archaic and out of fashion form of sending communication between two parties
2. thing which a convict hopes, prays, looks, and waits for every weekday

major – noun 1. Directly below office of the warden in prison hierarchy of authority
2. a position seldom filled
3. a person who you rarely see, but when you do, it’s not good

major weight – noun: extremely large amount of illicit drugs, kilos rather than pounds

man – noun 1. friend, buddy. See also guy, boy, homey
2. excellent, awesome

man down – verb phrase: Using the toilet, defecating
phrase: injured

man up – verb 1. to man up, to behave in such a way as to meet or exceed expectations
2. to rise to the occasion in the face of adversity and take on the challenge in spite of its inherent degree of difficulty. See also cowboy up, soldier

marinate – verb  1. to marinate, marinated, marinating, to soak meat in some kind of sauce or juice concoction as a means of infusing said meat with the many scrumptious spices and flavors of the concoction
2. refers to the aggravating and disgusting habit of allowing one’s fecal odor to linger and build up during defecation rather than flushing the toilet in order to get rid of the offending waste materials

mat – noun: short for mattress, it is covered in tough water-resistant plastic and consists of cotton wadding as the internal padding. An average mat measures three inches thick, three feet wide, six feet long, and weighs close to fifty pounds. As time passes, the padding shifts and breaks apart so that the mat loses its dimensions and becomes smaller, flatter, harder. Most mats provided for an inmate on the new are old and in a state of dubious quality. See also sleeping mat

max – noun: Maximum Security Prison. See also behind the wall

mean mug – phrase: mean muggin’, to mean mug, to wear an expression or scowl on one’s face meant to express anger and toughness and that the individual is serious and hard. Often this amounts to a form of non-verbal woofing

Meals on Wheels – phrase: refers to food trays being delivered directly to the cell via wheeled cart while inmates are on a lockdown or in Seg

medium – noun: medium security facility, movement outside the cells consists of 4-8 hours per day with available activities more like a minimum than a max

medline – noun: short for medication line, prescription meds are distributed here for immediate consumption under the supervision of medical staff and correctional officers; usually psychiatric medications. See also dopeline

minimum – noun: minimum security prison, movement outside the cell is largely unrestricted with inmates mandatorily confined to their cells mostly just during overnight hours. Recreation activities like softball, basketball, soccer, and horseshoes abound.

minute – noun 1. a unit of time consisting of sixty seconds
2. an unspecified but finite and short to moderate length of time

money – noun 1. currency. See also loot, scratch, paper, dust
2. a good workout
3. the effects of regular strenuous activity

mouse maze – noun: refers to the processing procedure every inmate goes through at an intake joint. It involves being moved slowly through the complex labyrinthine layout of the prison, pausing at each station along the way to be subjected to another procedure meant to categorize and catalogue the inmate. Examples of these stations include being photographed, fingerprinted, administered a TB test, having one’s blood drawn and teeth x-rayed. The process is tedious, tiresome, tiring, confusing, exasperating, and inevitably can make an inmate feel like a mouse lost in a maze.  

movement – noun: normal operation and moving of inmates

movement officer – noun: C/O responsible for escorting inmates for line movement

mush – noun 1. Something soft, wet, shapeless
2. a meal which is soft, wet, shapeless and often tasteless
3. a fair assessment of and descriptor for much of penitentiary cuisine. See also sloppy

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Essays From Behind Prison Walls

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