booking table

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jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
The door clanged shut, and the lock tripped like a hammer hitting a railroad spike. The cops looked in for a second more, like people at the zoo, and then they about-turned and walked back past the booking table and out of the room, one after the other. Reacher heard the steel door close after the last of them. He heard it lock.
Source: No Middle Name by Lee Child
Context: Reacher was arrested for alleged felonious involvement with a racketeer-influenced organisation. He was locked in a billet in the holding area of the local police station in a hollowed-out town.

What is a booking table in a prison? Is it used for taking the offenders' details?

Other words I looked up and glossed:
to book: to take the name and address of (a person guilty of a minor offence) with a view to bringing a prosecution
the locked tripped: the lock mechanism activated a clutch release
railroad spike: a long metal nail used for fixing the rail to the sleepers.

Thank you.
 
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