Prison Terms

It’s impossible to work as a court interpreter and not be exposed to terminology specifically related to prisons – whether it’s legal code pertaining to prison sentences or the daily expressions used inside prisons.  We’ve compiled a list of them.  Count how many you’re familiar with and have equivalents for in your working languages.   Let us know how you scored!

Shank
Cellie
The yard
Seg / the hole
Shackles / fetters / irons / leg irons / manacles
Riot
jumpsuit
Snitch
Body worn camera
Contraband
AND ON THE JUDICIAL SIDE…
Sentencing guidelines
Good time credit
Time served
B.OP.
D.O.C.
C.O.
U. S. Penitentiary / F.C.I.

We’ve provided a few definitions of the above terms.  Can you define the rest?

Shank A makeshift knife – for example, by the filing the end of a toothbrush.  Can also be used as a verb (to shank someone, is to attack with a shank.)
Cellie Cell mate
The yard
Seg / the hole Segregation Unit.  There can be different types of segregation.  Ad Seg  (administrative segregation) for example.  In some prisons they have ‘super seg’.  Terms usually refer to how restrictive the segregation is – more restrictions, fewer privileges (no yard time at all, shackles)
Shackles / fetters / irons / leg irons / manacles
Riot
Jumpsuit
Snitch
Body worn camera
contraband
And on the judicial side…
Sentencing guidelines
Good time credit
Time served
B.OP. Bureau of Prisons (Federal) – BOP is a subdivision of the United States Department of Justice.
D.O.C. Department of Corrections (State)
C.O. Correctional Officer / prison guard
U. S. Penitentiary / F.C.I. Penitentiary:  In the federal system, a penitentiary is a high- security prison.

Federal Correctional Institution (F.C.I.):  An FCI is a medium to minimum-security prison.

 

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