The sheriff of Saginaw County, Michigan, is ditching orange jumpsuits for prisoners at the county jail in favor of black and white stripes because, he says, he's trying to adapt to the culture. MLive.com reports:
"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," [William] Federspiel says, referring to the Netflix drama. "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."
Federspiel insists he sees a trend, at least in Saginaw County:
"I don't want them to not be easy to spot," he says. "That's scary. With the amount of people — it's not all across the country, but it's here in Saginaw. I see a lot of people wearing all orange, and they think it's cool. And some people even put 'Property of the Saginaw County Jail' on the back of it. I've seen that. It's like, 'What are you doing? Really?'"
The new jumpsuits cost less than $12 and are being phased in according to the sheriff.
In recent years pink jumpsuits have become popular among some jailers. Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio dyed prisoners' underwear because he said they were being smuggled out of the jail for their logos while a jail in South Carolina faced a lawsuit, thrown out, over using pink jumpsuits for prisoners who engaged in sexual misconduct. A sheriff in Mason County, Texas, claimed in 2007 that he reduced the number of inmates at his local jail by 68 percent by putting them in all pink gear.
Semi-related: This WikiHow on dealing with prison time includes both orange and black and white jumpsuits.