Slang for Elmira, NY: a small town in Southern Tier of New York State. The nickname dates back to an American civil war prison where Confederate soldiers knew brutal conditions. The intense cold, sparse food, human cruelty, terrible sanitation took its toll in human life and suffering. The Federal prison was closed after the Civil war. New York State established and maintained a maximum security prison, at a new location, that was quickly referred to by the old name. The non-incarcerated community's economy relies heavily on prison system since the closing of many of the manufacturing facilities. Other prisons have been added to the area. The growing economic despair, along with a diminishing local population, has affected the morale and means of the locals. Besides prison employment, most of the local businesses are poverty based: "rent to own", "high credit risk" types of businesses are all that can be sustained. The birthplace of persons of note such as: Hal Roach, Eileen Collins, and Tommy Hilfiger.
If you don't stop being a thug you're going to end up spendin' time in Hellmira.