Cleveland Co. Sheriff Dresses Inmates In Pink

Tuesday, April 14th 2009, 8:31 am
By: News On 6

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9 for

NORMAN, OK -- Orange it out and pink is in at the Cleveland County Jail in Norman. 

Cleveland County Sheriff Joe Lester recently changed inmates uniforms from the familiar orange jump suites to a pink top with striped pants.

Pink for inmates started in Arizona, the idea of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Since then, pink inmate wear--tops, bottoms, even underwear--has caught on in a handful of states, now including Oklahoma.

"Many of the inmates don't care for it, but since they're guests of ours and since they don't get to choose the kind of clothes they wear for safety's sake, everybody in the Cleveland county jail hopefully by the end of the month will be wearing this attire," Undersheriff Rhett Burnett said.

Some studies suggest pink has a calming effect upon violent inmates.

District Attorney Greg Mashburn thinks once inmates wear the new garb, they'll be reluctant to end up in jail again.

"I mean, pink top and black and white striped bottoms - that wouldn't be something that I'd want to put on everyday, for sure," Mashburn said.