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The Globe and Mail

Black-and-white is the new orange for Michigan inmates

Pop culture, including hit Netflix show, prompts sheriff to change jumpsuits so they are less 'cool'

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Inmates at the Saginaw County Jail wear the new black and white jumpsuits July 18 in Saginaw, Mich. The Saginaw County Sheriff's Department has purchased the striped jumpsuits for some of the inmates at the jail. Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel tells The Saginaw News that all-orange jumpsuits are increasingly viewed as fashionable as they’re seen on TV in places such as the Netflix prison show Orange Is the New Black.

Jeff Schrier/AP

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Corrections Officer Terence Moore frisks an inmate before the inmate meets with his attorney at the Saginaw County Jail. Sheriff Federspiel said “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.” He said inmates sometimes work in public, and he doesn’t want there to be any confusion.

Jeff Schrier/AP

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Corrections Officer Terence Moore, right, and Sgt. Ebony Rasco wait for an inmate to snap his jumpsuit closed at the Saginaw County Jail. “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,” Sheriff Federspiel told The Saginaw News.

Jeff Schrier/AP

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Inmates wearing new jumpsuits line up in a hallway at the Saginaw County Jail. “When the lines get blurred between the culture outside the jail and the culture within the jail,” the sheriff told the The Saginaw News, “I have to do something to redefine those boundaries, because they’ve been blurred far too often in public culture.”

Jeff Schrier/AP

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Inmates wearing a mix of orange and striped jumpsuits are lodged in a cell at the Saginaw County Jail. The jailhouse fashions come relatively cheap. The sheriff says the jumpsuits, which last for about two to three years of wear, cost $11.73 apiece.

Jeff Schrier/AP

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Inmates wait for their video arraignments at the Saginaw County Jail. Many inmates are not a fan of their new jumpsuits, the sheriff says. “They don’t like it. They’ve been very verbal,” he told The Saginaw News. “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.’”

Jeff Schrier/AP

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