Prison-related abbreviations and Slang – if you spot any that should be in here, comment at the bottom of the page!

ABBREVIATIONS – OFFICIAL

  • AA Administrative Assistant
  • ABS Anti-Bullying System
  • ACCT Assessment, Care in Custody & Teamwork – replacement for F2052SH
  • ACR Automatic Conditional Release
  • AO Administrative Officer
  • ARD Automatic Release Date
  • ATOS Company responsible for assessing long-term sick
  • BCU Briefing and Casework Unit – PS unit handling adjudication appeals
  • BME Black & Minority Ethnic
  • BOV Board of Visitors – now IMB
  • C & R Control & Restraint
  • C2W, CTW Custody to Work – pre-release focus on housing, employment and lifestyle issues
  • CARATS Counselling, Assessment, Referral, Advice & Through care Scheme – drug & alcohol team CC Cellular Confinement – a punishment
  • CCD Criminal Casework Department (Croydon)
  • CHCP Community Health Care Partnership
  • CLAIT Computer Literacy and Information Technology
  • CCT Criminal Casework Team (part of Home Office Immigration & Nationalities Dept)
  • CMU Case Management Unit – work on sentence planning & progress
  • CNA Certified Normal Accommodation
  • CRD Conditional Release Date
  • CSH Contracted Service Hours (pre-agreed paid overtime)
  • CSU Commissioning Support Unit
  • DASU Drug And Alcohol Support Unit
  • DH Dog Handler
  • EDR Earliest Date of Release
  • EMU Estates Management Unit
  • EO Executive Officer
  • EPDG Estates Planning & Development Group
  • EGP Ex Gratia Payment
  • ETA Employment & Training Allocation
  • ETE Employment/Training/Education
  • ETS Enhanced Thinking Skills – an OBP
  • F2050 Prisoner’s basic record
  • F2052A Prisoner’s wing record
  • F2052SH Record for prisoner currently at risk of self-harm
  • FLED Facility Licence Eligibility Date (when prisoner may be considered for ROTL)
  • FOCUS Financial Outstations and Central Unified Systems – the PS accounting system
  • GOOD Good Order or Discipline – Segregation under Rule 45/49 (historically GOAD)
  • HCC Health Care Centre
  • HDC Home Detention Curfew – the Tag
  • HDCED Earliest Date of Release on HDC
  • HEO Higher Executive Officer
  • HMCIP Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons
  • HMPPS Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, formed in April 2017 and previously known as NOMS
  • ICA1/2 Initial Categorisation & Classification Forms for Adults/YOs
  • IDTS Integrated Drug Treatment System
  • IDU Inmate Development Unit
  • IEP Incentives and Earned Privileges – Prisoners can be on Entry, Basic, Standard or Enhanced
  • IG Instruction to Governors
  • IMB Independent Monitoring Board
  • IMBMB Independent Monitoring Boards Management Board – new governance
  • IND Immigration & Nationality Department
  • IRC Immigration Removal/Reception Centre
  • JSA Job-Seekers Allowance
  • JSAC Job Simulation & Assessment Centre (for officers seeking promotion to SO)
  • KPI/KPT Key Performance Indicator/Target
  • LDR Latest Date of Release
  • LED Licence Expiry Date
  • LIDS Local Inmate Database System – IMB can use this to check location, dates, etc.
  • LSC Learning & Skills Council
  • MAPPA Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements
  • MDT Mandatory Drugs Testing
  • MSL Minimum Staffing Level
  • MQPL Measuring the Quality of Prison Life
  • NACRO National Association for Care & Resettlement of Offenders
  • NC The National Council for IMBs
  • NOMS Former National Offender Manager Service – now called HMPPS
  • OASYS Offender Assessment System – computerised risk & needs assessment
  • OBP Offending Behavior Programme
  • OCA Observation, Classification & Allocations
  • OLASS Offender Learning and Skills Service (part of LSC)
  • OSG Operational Support Grade
  • OI/OR/OP Own Interests/Request/Protection – Segregation under Rule 45/49
  • PASRO Prisons Addressing Substance-Related Offending – an OBP
  • PCO Prison Custody Officer
  • PCT Primary Care Trust
  • PGD Prison Group Director – former Area Manager
  • PIN Prisoner Information Notice
  • PMU Population Management Unit (central)
  • PO Principal Officer (now a Custodial Manager)
  • POA Prison Officers’ Association – the main trade union
  • POELT Prison Officer Entry Level Trainee
  • POPO Prolific and Other Priority Offender
  • PPO Prisons and Probation Ombudsman
  • PPP Public Protection Panel PS Prison Service
  • PSI Prison Service Instruction
  • PSO Prison Service Order
  • RAPT Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners trust
  • REAT Race Equality Action Team
  • RFW Removal from Wing – a punishment
  • ROAD Remission of Added Days (up to 50%)
  • ROM Regional Offender Manager
  • ROR Restoration of Remission
  • ROTL Release on Temporary Licence – e.g. to work in mess; town visits; home leave
  • ROWD Review of Works Departments
  • RRA Assistant to the RRLO
  • RRLO Race Relations Liaison Officer
  • SAU Standards Audit Unit
  • SCG Safer Custody Group
  • SED Sentence Expiry Date
  • SEO Senior Executive Officer
  • SIN Staff Information Notice
  • SIR Security Information Report
  • SLA Service Level Agreement
  • SMARG Segregation and Monitoring Review Group
  • SMART Systematic Monitoring & Analysis of Race Equality Team
  • SMT Senior Management Team
  • SO Supervising Officer
  • SPDR Staff Performance & Development Record – reviewed annually
  • TOIL Time Off in Lieu (of payment)
  • TSU Technical Support Unit – part of PS responsible for repairs/installations (“works”)
  • TUPE Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) – staff transfer
  • VCS Voluntary and Community Sectors
  • VDT Voluntary Drugs Testing VO Visiting Order – sent out by prisoners, allows named people to visit.
  • VTC Vocational Training Centre
  • Gold Commander Headquarters controller for serious incidents.
  • Silver Commander Person in the Establishment in charge of serious incidents
  • Bronze Commander Local Sub Commander for serious incidents.
  • Operation Tornado System to provide extra staff and resources for serious incidents

SLANG

  • Adjudication: Internal prison disciplinary hearing
  • App: An official application to do something or have an item
  • Bacon: A sex offender
  • Bang-up: To lock up in a cell
  • Banged-up: To be locked up in a cell
  • Baron: One who lends tobacco etc and charges interest
  • Baroning: To lend and charge interest
  • Basic: To be on Basic regime
  • Bend up: Held in restraint position
  • Bird: A prison sentence
  • Blagger: Armed robber
  • Block: Segregation Unit
  • Blood: Friend
  • Bolts & Bars: Routine security check of cell door and window
  • Boss: Term of address for a member of prison staff
  • Box: Wing post box for applications or complaints
  • Brew: Prison-made alcohol
  • Bruv: Friend (from brother)
  • Bud: Cannabis
  • Burglars:  Prison staff conducting a cell search
  • Burn: Tobacco (esp rolling tobacco)
  • Cell spin:Cell search by staff
  • Clown suit: Coloured overalls worn by high risk prisoners or those on the Escape List
  • Comp:  A complaint form (Comp 1, Comp 1a, Comp 2)
  • Con: Prisoner
  • Course:  An offending behaviour course
  • Cucumbers: On the numbers (Rule 45 or vulnerable prisoner unit)
  • Cuz: Friend (from cousin)
  • Deps: Depositions or Court paperwork, incl details of offence and sentence
  • Diesel:  Prison tea
  • E-List:  Potential or former escapee
  • Enhanced: To be on the Enhanced level of the IEP system
  • Fam: Friend (from family)
  • Fours: Fourth floor of a prison wing
  • Fraggle: Mentally ill prisoner
  • Fraggle Rock:  Psychiatric unit
  • Gat: Firearm
  • Ghost:  To be moved prison without notice
  • Grass:  Informer
  • Guv: Term of address for a member of prison staff
  • Hooch: Prison-made alcohol
  • IEP:  Incentives and Earned Privileges
  • IPP: Indeterminate Sentence for Public Protection
  • In possession:  An item that a prisoner has in his or her possession legally
  • Insider: A prisoner who provides advice to other inmates
  • Joey:  A package of drugs
  • Joey: A prisoner who does dirty jobs for stronger inmates
  • Jugged:  To have scalding water thrown in the face
  • Kanga:  Prison officer (from kangaroo = screw)
  • Knock back:  KB An official refusal, esp from the Parole Board
  • Lifer: A life sentenced prisoner
  • Line:  A string used to transfer items via cell windows
  • Listener: A prisoner trained by the Samaritans who supports other inmates
  • Lockdown: To cancel normal activities and leave cells locked
  • Lump:  A long prison sentence
  • Mamba: Psychoactive substances (generic name)
  • Mambulance:  Ambulance for prisoners using drugs
  • MDT:  Mandatory Drug Test
  • Meds:  Medication
  • Nicking:  Being placed on a charge
  • Nonce:  A sex offender
  • Numbers: On Rule 45 (segregation or a Vulnerable Prisoner Unit)
  • Ones:  The ground floor of a prison wing
  • Out:  On the outside (ie free)
  • Pad:  Cell
  • Pad mate: Cell mate
  • Pad thief: One who steals from other cells
  • Pat down: A basic body search over clothing
  • Peter:  Cell (dated)
  • Piece: Firearm
  • Plastic screw: An Operational Support Grade (OSG) member of staff
  • Plugged: To be carrying contraband in the rectum
  • Plugging:         To insert contraband into the rectum
  • Porridge:         A prison sentence
  • Prop card: A document listing every item of a prisoner’s possessions
  • Red band: A trusted prisoner (often an orderly)
  • Regime: Daily timetable
  • Riot squad: Tornado team (prison officers trained in riot control)
  • Rub down: A basic security search over clothing)
  • Safe:  OK
  • Scooby:  Prison officer (from Scooby-Doo = screw)
  • Screw:  Prison officer
  • Screw boy:  A prisoner who is seen as being too close to prison staff
  • Seg:  Segregation Unit
  • Serving: Punishment beating
  • Shank: Weapon
  • Ship out:  To be transferred to another prison
  • Skinny burn: Thin roll-up cigarette
  • Skins:  Cigarette papers
  • Snout: Tobacco (dated)
  • Spice: Psychoactive substances
  • Strap:  Firearm
  • Stretch: Prison sentence
  • Striped: To be slashed with a razor
  • Strip search: Full body search involving removal of clothing
  • Sweat box:  Secure transport vehicle
  • Threes: Third floor of a prison wing
  • Tie up:  Robbery with violence
  • Two’d up:  Sharing a cell
  • Twos:  Second floor of a prison wing
  • VPs: Vulnerable prisoners
  • Walking dead:  Queue at the medical hatch for medication
  • Wrap up: To be restrained by staff
  • Yard: Exercise yard
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