Be aware of what the people say! And interpret their slang so you feel, cool, and shit.
I get to hear and read a lot of slang in my line of work, so bear with me while I provide a guide to prison/ jail slang.
Snitch / Plant: One inmate trying to tell on another, in order to get a better plea deal. Advice to new inmates is often: be careful who you talk to, it could be a snitch.
Kite: a jail letter. This can be between inmates, or from an inmate to a department in the jail, or his or her attorney. If it’s a kite between inmates, its a tiny paper football, with tiny writing on it, that sometimes is “shot” between cells. Inmates also pass them to other inmates while they are walking to meals, etc.
If it’s a kite to a jail department, then it is usually about something the inmate needs to have done. For example “I kited a letter to accounting because I think they have my out date wrong. I should get credit for more good time.”
Out date: This is the date an inmate will be released. Inmates often write to their attorneys, the court, etc regarding their out dates.
Good time: No, this is not what the inmate did to get in jail. This is “credit” toward the out date. For example, a month in custody (with no incidents) usually results in 4 days “good time.”
Get a play, do a play: This means sell /buy some drugs.
Rillo, rello: These are the small cigars that party stores sell. Users often rip off the cigarello, and use the plastic tip that’s left to smoke a controlled substance.
On paper: This means on probation, or on parole. If you are on paper, don’t go posting facebook photos of yourself with money, guns, or drugs, as your PO will see that shit, and bust you for a PV.
PO: probation /parole officer. PV: probation violation, parole violation. Sometimes the inmate is PV, parole violator.
Trusty/ trustees. These are the inmates who get to 1. wear more comfortable clothing and 2. do jobs in the jail. The jobs can earn them more credit sometimes, or commissary. Plus the inmate gets a little more freedom, can sometimes leave the facility, as long as they report back at the scheduled time.
Color code (not a slang term) There’s also a clothing color code that goes along with inmate status. Low-level inmates are usually in the bright orange/ teal. Trustees get comfy brown scrubs to wear instead, or even a plain white tee to wear with the scrub bottoms. If you’re being transported to court, you might have to wear the traditional “stripes” uniform. If you’ve been caught fighting, then you might go back to orange/ teal and be put in lockdown /solitary. Sometimes called “greens.”
Lockdown: This is what it sounds like: the section an inmate stays in is “locked down” due to an infraction. Lock down means no activities, no phone calls – for the whole section – until the lock down status is clear. Infractions can be something dumb, like toothpaste on the walls, messy cells, etc. Or it could be fighting, or contraband in the cells.
Chore Boy: Users put this in pipes to smoke crack with. It keeps the crack in one place. So when users are arrested, the search often reveals Chore Boy in the pockets, vehicle, etc.
Bond! This is something set at arraignment, depending on the case. Typical bonds are between $1,000 to 100,000 or more. $1,000 might be set for a simple (non-aggravated) assault case, while $100,000 or more might be set for a rape/ CSC charge. PR Bond means “personal recognizance,” or the defendant is not a flight risk, and needs only to show up at court. PR bonds can still have an amount attached to them, so if Defendant no-shows at court, then the cash has to be paid. 10% bond means that the bond is set at $5,000 but the defendant can get a bail bondsman to guarantee it, so the defendant only has to pay $500. C/S is short for Cash/surety – defendant has to put up the whole amount.
Usually bond has other conditions. For example, a defendant can submit to SCRAM, tether/ surveillance or GPS monitoring to make sure conditions are kept.
Bid: this is the term or sentence an inmate has. 5 year bid = 5 year sentence.
Well, that’s all I got for now folks. Enjoy!