A Michigan sheriff is changing the color of the uniform inmates wear because the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black makes orange jumpsuits look “cool,” KCCI(Des Moines) is reporting.
Saginaw County (Michigan) sheriff William Federspiel made the decision because, as he says:
Some people think it’s cool to look like an inmate of the Saginaw County Jail… wearing all orange jumpsuits out at the mall or in public.
Federspiel is replacing orange jumpsuits with the more traditional, and apparently, less attractive, black and white stripes. According to Syracuse.com, the traditional black and white obviously says “jail inmate” to any member of the public who may see it. Saginaw County Jail inmates routinely work out in public on work projects. The new jumpsuits cost about $11 each, and will last two to three years.
Orange Is The New Black, the popular Netflix series, tells the story of Piper Chapman, an educated, wealthy, and sheltered woman who is sent to a minimum security prison for a drug crime she committed a decade before. The show is based on the real-life story of Piper Kerman, who wrote about the colorful characters she got to know while she did 15 months in federal prison, according to her website. The show cleaned up in the 2014 Emmy Nominations; see this Inquisitr article about the show’s multiple Emmy nods.
One thing that Sheriff Federspiel apparently failed to take into account is that the inmates on Orange Is The New Black don’t actually wear orange jumpsuits. As you can see clearly in the following picture, they actually wear orange jumpsuits; their jumpsuits are beige.
Apparently, precise attention to detail isn’t a requirement for the job of Saginaw County Sheriff. Although, to be fair, the inmates at Litchfield, the prison in Orange Is The New Black, new inmates (Piper included) do wear orange jumpsuits for their first few days in the prison before moving to beige.
This is not the first time a sheriff has made headlines for his choice of colors for his inmates. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known primarily for waging all-out psychological warfare against his inmates, made headlines in 2010 for making inmates wear pink, according to Femagination.
As for the Saginaw inmates, the new jumpsuits are not popular. Sheriff Federspiel tells Michigan Live:
A lot of them have said, ‘We don’t like wearing black-and-white stripes.’ And my response is, ‘Too bad. Don’t come to jail.’ If you come to dinner at my house and you don’t like what I’m serving, don’t come back. If you don’t like the food, don’t come back. If you don’t like the clothes that I give you, don’t come back. I didn’t ask you to come wear this uniform.
Do you believe that Orange Is The New Black is making incarceration look “cool”? Have you ever actually seen someone wearing an orange jumpsuit (besides at a Halloween party)? Let us know in the Comments.
Feature Image source: Michigan Live
Inline Image source: IGN