Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

Guest Post by Bri Barrett

A complete eye-opener to life in a federal prison and taking for granted the simple things in life.

Piper Kerman is serving 15 months for a 10 year old crime where she was a small accomplice involved with a drug smuggling woman who was dating an international drug dealer. Orange is the New Black ventures into Kerman’s sentence at Danbury Women’s Federal Prison; the ins and outs, whose who, cans and can’ts, and the longings for “normal” life.

This story made me appreciate what I have and emotional for those, in this story, in prison for multiple year sentences that are missing out on the outside world. I was expecting more drama within the prison, but Kerman wanted to stay on the laws good side to have early release and to not get mixed with the wrong members of Danbury. Remind me to never get in trouble with the law.


With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187–424—one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system. From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison—why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they’re there.

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