Green’s Dictionary of Slang

boob n.1

also booby
[booby-hatch n. (1); note WWI milit. use for detention cells]

1. (orig. Aus.) orig. milit. use, a prison; thus (all Aus./N.Z.) boob dot, a small blue dot tattooed beneath the eye, indicating a spell in borstal or prison; boob gear, prison uniform; boob talk, prison jargon; boob tat, a prison tattoo; boob tea, weak, prison-brewed tea; boob weed, prison-issue tobacco; also a vb. see cite 1908.

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 6 May 10/2: [headline] Pampered Prisoners. Banquets in Bunbury Boob.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 25 Oct. 4/8: He must get some lodgers new for Bailey’s booby.
[US]G. Bronson-Howard Enemy to Society 159: Rats, who was well-named, many declared, being suspected of ‘stooling for the coppers and swearing many a right guy into the boob’.
[NZ]N.Z. Truth 23 Aug. 5/7: [headline] How He Bade Good-Bye to the Boob.
[Aus]Aussie (France) 8 Oct. 14/2: Again, the last time I was over in Blighty I got clinked for emphasising an argument with a Jack. In the boob next morning they were sorting out the sore and sorry when in came a parson pot with a couple of Emma-Pips.
[US]J. Callahan Man’s Grim Justice 138: There never was a grifter that had a steady cow that didn’t land in the boob.
[UK]V. Davis Gentlemen of the Broad Arrows 220: I’ll find it, if it’s in the boob.
[Aus]Western Mail (Perth) 13 June 2/3: A boob [...] is really a gaol for crooked soldiers.
[Aus]K. Tennant Battlers 107: I thought you was in boob by now.
[SA]H.C. Bosman Cold Stone Jug (1981) II 20: In South Africa, there was actually a class of person who spoke an argot that was known only to his kind. Boob slang, they called it. Boob, and not jug, being the Swartklei prison word for prison.
[Aus]R. Park Poor Man’s Orange 38: That dirty old cow, always making up to kids. Only been out of boob a few weeks.
[Aus](con. 1941) E. Lambert Twenty Thousand Thieves 141: Blokes who’ve been in Jerusalem boob reckon it’s ten times worse than Pentridge, Boggo Road and Long Bay put together.
[UK]F. Norman Guntz 15 I had [...] the dead needle to them screws in the boob.
[Aus] ‘Whisper All Aussie Dict.’ in Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xxxii 7/1: boobs [sic] weed: Poor quality prison issue tobacco.
[Aus]J. Alard He who Shoots Last 125: Gee, thanks, Ragged. Da stuff’s like gold in here . . . gees, it’s da grouse weed too – we gits a coupla ounces a week, but boob weed is like smokin’ horse dung.
[Aus](con. 1941) R. Beilby Gunner 164: He was a bad one, Gunner felt, the sweatiest of Old Sweats, probably done time in every military boob from the Glasshouse to Abbassia.
[Aus]J. Davis Kullark 55: Every night in the boob was worth it.
[Aus]R. Aven-Bray Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 19: Boob Weed Poor quality tobacco.
[Aus]Tupper & Wortley Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. [Internet] Boob. Prison. Term also employed as adjective to describe things associated with prison, usually denoting inferior quality, eg ‘boob clothes’, ‘boob tea’, ‘boob talk’, etc. [Ibid.] Boob shit. Prison issue tobacco. [...] Sometimes ‘boob weed’. [Ibid.] Boob tats. Amateur tattoos enscribed in prison.
[NZ]A. Duff One Night Out Stealing 10: With their obvious histories tatooed all over em, and the rare ones that had none or hardly any, like Sonny here who only had a very old boob dot under his right eye.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 16: What he does have going for him is the connections he’s built up over the years, in the boob and out.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 30: boob tat A tattoo acquired in prison.

2. (US) a police station, esp. the police cells, a local or city prison.

[US]J.M. Sullivan Criminal Sl. 4: Boob, the lockup, station house, or city prison.
[US]J. Lait ‘Canada Kid’ in Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 175: Shovin’ two-bit queers — ‘Silk’ Tavannes, the silk-lined terror o’ the rural boob.
[Aus]G. Casey ‘Short Shift Saturday’ in Mann Coast to Coast 232: I’ll always remember as a good sight, seeing Don get chucked out of the Ballarat and carted off to the boob.
[SA]L.F. Freed Crime in S. Afr. 107: A ‘boob’ is a police station.
[Aus]W. Dick Bunch of Ratbags 158: Quite frequently he spent the weekend in the boob and had to appear in court on the Monday.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak.

In compounds

boob cat (n.) [cat n.1 (5)]

(Aus. prison) a prisoner who suspends his usual heterosexuality for a homosexual life while in jail.

[Aus]Tupper & Wortley Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. [Internet] Boob cat. A prisoner who is usually heterosexual but engages in homosexual activities while in prison.
boob happy (adj.) [-happy sfx (1)]

(Aus. prison) institutionalized; no longer able to survive outside the prison environment.

[Aus]J. Alard He who Shoots Last 122: They approached the forbidding grey walls [...] which strike terror into the hearts of first offenders, which bring despair to the revisitors and which are home to the boob-happy or stir-crazy.
[Aus]Tupper & Wortley Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. [Internet] Boob happy. Used to describe an institutionalised prisoner. Someone who has done too much prison, who has given up, who cannot survive outside.
boobhead (n.) [-head sfx (3)]

(Aus.) a prisoner, esp. an influential one.

[NZ]Ian Hamilton Till Human Voices Wake Us 57: God help all boobheads when the codfishes of this world take charge.
[Aus] ‘Whisper All Aussie Dict.’ in Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xxxii 7/1: boob head: A prison organiser. Usually a tough type or prisoner.
[NZ]G. Newbold Big Huey 238: The only people I knew well now were boobheads and ex-boobheads.
[Aus]Tupper & Wortley Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. [Internet] Boob head. 1. A loutish or prisonised person. 2. The most influential prisoner in a division (Vic).

In phrases

do boob (v.)

(Aus. prison) to serve time in prison.

[Aus]‘No. 35’ Argot in G. Simes DAUS (1993) 19: He’s doing boob.