Horrifying Conditions Plague Real ‘Orange is the New Black’ Jail
The popular Netflix series documenting a fictional women’s prison, ‘Orange is the New Black,’ is back for a second season today but the New York Civil Liberties Union has released a report showing that the hardships the show’s characters face don’t even come close to the horrid conditions in prisons like Riverhead Correctional Facility where the show is filmed.
The NYCLU has launched a social media campaign called “Humanity is the New Black.” They have also released a damning report illustrating the grotesque conditions prisoners encounter in prison facilities.
“What you don’t see on screen are the actual people who are forced to live in the jail’s inhumane and disgusting conditions. Prisoners describe actual floods of human feces; inescapable growths of thick, black mold; constant insect infestations; and brown water that smells ‘like a cesspool.’ The conditions are so deplorable that their skin grows bumps, changes colors, flakes, and bleeds,” the report says.
“Former prisoner Jason Porter described crowding onto a small table with his fellow prisoners for 30 hours while rivers of human waste 6-inches deep flooded the jail floor after toilets exploded, spraying human feces and urine as high as the ceiling,” the report adds.
The NYCLU filed a class action suit against the facility on behalf of 100 inmates in 2012 but “the county has been fighting tooth and nail.”
Five female prisoners have also filed a federal lawsuit against Suffolk County claiming that they, and many others, have been sexually assaulted by male guards.
Attorney Laura Solinger, who is representing the five women in court, said “this is a pattern of behavior that has been going on for years at the jail, and these are just the women willing to come forward now.”
“You’re a sitting duck for a sexual predator… One of the corrections officers allegedly said to one of the women, ‘This is jail. Get used to it,’” Solinger said.