Black and white is the new orange? Sheriff buys jail jumpsuits after orange becomes 'cool’
SAGINAW, MI — If orange is the new black, as the popular TV show title says, then black-and-white stripes are the new orange at the Saginaw County Jail. The jail’s all-orange jumpsuits increasingly are viewed as “cool,” Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel says, prompting him to begin purchasing jumpsuits with horizontal black-and-white stripes for use inside the jail instead.
The choice was not arbitrary, the sheriff says.
“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,” 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 says he’s trying to adapt to an apparent culture change.
“When the lines get blurred between the culture outside the jail and the culture within the jail,” he says, “I have to do something to redefine those boundaries, because they’ve been blurred far too often in public culture.”
And striped suits will become the new fad in . . . ?