OK. You got busted robbing a police station thinking it was a Salvation Army donation center. As you wake in a holding pen with tattooed tagbangers calling you “Honey” and “Sweet Cheeks,” you think of the slow ways you will kill the dealer who sold you high grade snow which you snorted, licked, and injected hungrily into a vein in your neck, which you had confused with your arm. Only it was not snow you ingested. It was roach powder. And so of course gun-waving cops looked a lot like bell-ringing Salvationists.
As you are being handed your first prison uniform, you hear inmates talking in what seems like a foreign language. Prison lingo. To survive, you need to learn it fast.
Fortunately, you are a loyal reader of Noir Nation. We are hear to help.
Here are the first ten expressions you need to know:
1. All Day: A life sentence, as in “I’m doin’ all day.”
2. All Day and a Night: Life without parole.
3. Back door parole: To die in prison.
4. Beef: 1. A criminal charge, as in “I caught a burglary beef in Philly.” 2. A problem with another convict, as in “I have a beef with that guy in Block D.”
5. Brake fluid: Psychiatric meds.
6. Bug: A prison staff member considered untrustworthy or unreliable.
7. Bug juice: Intoxicants or depressant drugs.
8. Buck Rogers Time: (early to mid 20th century) A parole or release date so far away that it’s difficult to imagine.
9. Bum Beef: A false accusation/charge or wrongful conviction.
10. Cadillac: An inmate’s bunk. Also, Cadillac Job, an easy or enjoyable inmate work assignment.
For the full list of 50 essential terms to survive prison, click here.