- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The surging popularity of Netflix’s original series “Orange is the New Black” has forced one Michigan sheriff to switch back to traditional black-and-white jumpsuits for inmates.

Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel is switching to the black-and-white horizontal stripes to address “cultural issues,” USA Todayreported.

“The name of the show, ‘Orange is the New Black,’ is saying it’s cool to wear orange, and the show is enormously popular in Michigan,” the sheriff said, adding that the show “lends empathy to inmates.”

Mr. Federspiel said that with more of the public wearing orange, the uniform change also helps eliminate confusion of who is an inmate and who is a citizen, especially when inmates are being transported.

The Saginaw County Jail was due for new jumpsuits, so the decision to make the switch was a “no-brainer,” he told USA Today.

The decision apparently hasn’t gone over well for inmates.

“They think it makes them look like criminals,” Mr. Federspiel said.