Jail ditches orange jumpsuits because Orange Is The New Black made them too 'cool'

Jumpsuit is worn by Piper Chapman on her first day in prison

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Black-and-white is the new orange at Saginaw County Jail in Michigan, which has ditched its luminous jumpsuits for inmates because of shows like Netflix's Orange Is The New Black apparently making them "cool".

Sheriff William Federspiel said that the recent move to horizontal monochrome stripes was not an arbitrary one, telling MLive: "It's because as you see shows on television, like Orange Is The New Black, some people think it's cool to look like an inmate of the Saginaw County Jail with wearing all-orange jumpsuits out at the mall or in public.

"It's a concern because we do have our inmates out sometimes doing work in the public, and I don't want anyone to confuse them or have them walk away.

"We decided that the black-and-white stripes would be the best way to go because it signifies 'jail inmate,' and I don't see people out there wanting to wear black-and-white stripes."

OITNB doesn't exactly glamourise life inside, giving a gritty, if comedic, account of life in the fictional Litchfield Prison, but Federspiel said it is important that fiction and reality aren't blurred in any way.

"When the lines get blurred between the culture outside the jail and the culture within the jail," he said. "I have to do something to redefine those boundaries, because they've been blurred far too often in public culture."

Video: Orange Is The New Black makes prison outfits 'cool'

The new uniforms, which cost $11.73 per jumpsuit, are being rolled out throughout the prison with the change expected to be complete by the end of the year.

Orange Is The New Black's second season was a critical hit, with filming already underway on season 3 in New York.

Comments