Green’s Dictionary of Slang

pogey n.1

also poggie, pogie, pogy
[? poke n.2 (2), i.e. something in which one is ‘put away’; dial. poghole, a boggy hole or Fr. poche, a pocket]

1. (US tramp) a workhouse; a relief centre.

[UK]Contemp. Review LX n.p.: Begging is called ‘battering for chewing;’ railway brakemen, ‘brakies; poorhouses, ‘pogies;’ prisons, ‘pens;’ liquor drinking, ‘rushing the growler;’ insanity, ‘bug-house,’ &c. &c. This slang is a very popular.
[US]J. London ‘The Road’ in Hendricks & Shepherd Jack London Reports (1970) 311–21: Their argot is peculiar study. [...] pogy, poor house.
[US]J. Flynt World of Graft 154–5: What ’ud become o’ all the people in the Tenderloin if money stopped passin’ around. He’ll tell you the truth: ‘We’d all go to the pogey’.
[US]A. Berkman Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist (1926) 422: ‘Go to th’ pogy’, they told me.
[US]G.H. Mullin Adventures of a Scholar Tramp 282: The hobos burst into song [...] ‘Oh dancing in the poggies (poorhouses), Tra-la la-la-la logies / Chewin’ snipes and stogies’.
[US]N. Klein ‘Hobo Lingo’ in AS I:12 652: Pogey—workhouse.
[US]‘Dean Stiff’ Milk and Honey Route 49: The hobo is no longer a customer any more than he is interested in spending a winter in the ‘pogie,’ or poor house. [Ibid.] 211: Pogey – The workhouse.
[UK]K. Mackenzie Living Rough 269: You ought to see the lousy Pogey (relief centre) they have here [...] I was in the Pogey a couple of nights. The joint stinks.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 813: pogey – A jail or workhouse.

2. a prison hospital.

[US]R.J. Tasker Grimhaven 46: ‘Why, we can get those from the pogey!’ he exclaimed [...] ‘Pogey’ was the underworld term for hospital.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 148: Pogey.– [...] A prison hospital, in which case no doubt a corruption of ‘bougie.’.
[US]D. Maurer ‘Argot of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 2 in AS XIII:3 189/2: pogie. A hospital.
[US]L.L. Stanley Men at Their Worst 16: He tries to attract attention and gain pity, and he will go to almost any length to gain the comparative comfort of the ‘pogey,’ which is his nickname for the prison hospital.
[US]T. Runyon In For Life 91: He was helped [...] on his way to the pogie, where doctors put 135 stitches in him.
[US]‘Red’ Rudensky Gonif 11: I must get into the pogy which was rarely an alert area or a close custody problem.

3. a house of correction, a prison.

[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 179: pogey a county jail [...] poggie A jail.
[US]P. Whelton Angels are Painted Fair 74: I might well find myself tossed into the pogey for annoying the citizens.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 813: pogey – A jail or workhouse.