Glossary Terms


Correctional Office // Guards – Their job is to enforce the BOP’s rules and regulations and discourage inmate violation of the rules and regulations.  But they are also human beings.  Some kind and fair and other real SOB’s that will bust you in a heart beast for anything.  Always deal with them respectfully and honestly.  Your fate good or bad must often rest in their hands.

Cop Out or Inmate Request to Staff –  A cop-out is how things get done in prison.  To make an appointment, to get permission to do anything, and I mean anything, you must send a cop-out through the staff.  Very little, less than 5%, gets done pro or con that you don’t start out with a cop-out.  In any government bureaucracy nothing gets done without paperwork.  The BOP’s is not an exception to this rule.

Call-Out- A call out is a formal notification, read order hers, for you to report to a certain place, at a certain time.  They are published daily and should be treated as if written in stone.  Harsh penalties can come from not being at an appointed place and time as posted on the call-out.  Never make a C.O. come looking for you if you are on the call-out.

Change Sheet – Change sheets are published daily and reflect any change to your status as an inmate. ie, movement to a new cube, etc.

Unit Manager- The unit manger is a highly experienced BOP employee who is responsible to the warden for the smooth operation and functioning of your unit. They fill the “Review” portion between the Case Manger, Correctional Counselor and the Warden and their staff. They also are responsible to process any positive or negative actions concerning you.  Their endorsement carries a lot of weight.

Counselor- Counselors are the “go to” guys at any institution. Almost any administrative action begins with them. They assign bunks and cells/cubes, job assignments and almost anything else pertaining to inmates. They normally have years of experience and have heard it all.  Don’t BS them.  If you do they may not be as quick to help you next time.

Case Workers- Case workers are responsible to ensure that you get something out of your prison experience and are processed out of prison on time.  They ensure you program, participate in prison programs, pay you fines and restitution and compete any required training before discharge.  They will also conduct scheduled term meetings to discuss your progress, lack of progress, any changes to your status, release date, etc.

Counts- Obviously, the staff must account for your where about at all times.  To accomplish this, they conduct scheduled and sometime unscheduled head counts.  Some are “stand-up” standing quietly in your cell/cube where the staff wanders though. These are normally conducted at 4:00 PM daily.  On weekends and holidays they also have a 10:00 AM stand-up count.  Other counts; 10PM, 12AM, 3AM, 5 AM are conducted Quietly as you are present in your cell/cube as the staff walks through. DO NOT MISS A COUT1!  The CO’s /Guards take this VERY SERIOUSLY and messing up a count can very quickly land you in the hole. DO NOT MISS A COUNT!

Incident Reports/Shots- Incident reports/ shots are the beginning of the formal disciplinary process.  It is the staff giving and inmate, in writing, notice of the charges he is accused of by the staff.  After this formal notification the clock starts for your initial hearing and discipline hearing officer hearing.

S.H.U.(Special Housing Unit)/ The Hole- The S.H.U. / hole is where you are sent after receiving a shot or committing certain infractions.  It is a cell in a segregated/ isolated part of the prison.  You will spend twenty three plus hours a day in your cell, including meal times. You will have no privileges or freedoms available to the other inmates.  It is a higher level, more restrictive form of punishment.  The guards are the toughest and only the worst inmates are there.  You don’t want to go to the hole.

10 Minutes Moves- 10 minutes moves are control measures used by the staff to quickly allow inmates to move around the facility but only during certain times.  They normally occur on the hour and last only for ten minutes.  Then any inmates moving about in certain areas are out of bounds and often in trouble.  Don’t take a chance on missing your move.  Especially if it’s required due to a call out plan ahead to avoid problems with the staff

Cellie/Celly- Slang for your cell/cube mate.

Cube-Your cube is your home during your prison stay if you are in a low or a camp.  Normally a small room with low walls, 5’9 high all round, and no door.  You will have it with 1 or 2 other inmates. (Cells have wall and a cell door.)

Dorm/Cell Block- A dorm is where your cube is located in a low or camp.  A cell block is where your cell is located in a higher security facility that can be locked down or secured.

Program Statements- Program statements are the written documents and regulations coving all the BOP’s activities.  They are available for review and study in the library or the law library.  It would be an excellent idea to review them as soon as possible.

Recreation/Fitness- Recreation is one of the bright sports of prison.  There are a wide variety of programs available to inmates.  Each facility is different so check them out as soon as possible.  Prison is also an excellent time to begin a fitness programs for life.  Don’t sit around and get fatter.  Exercise and extend you life for when you get out.


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