Jail Uniforms Get Splash of Color

By: Paige Lambrecht
By: Paige Lambrecht

There isn't a lot of variation at most jails. Cinder block walls, small twin-size cots and the typical orange jumpers for prisoners, but things are a little more colorful at one local jail.

When the Langlade County Jail moved four years ago from a 31-bed facility to a 120-bed facility, there was no increase in staff. That's what prompted workers to find a creative way to keep track of their inmates.

That creative way involves color, and lots of it. Prisoners are given certain colored clothes based on what jail privileges they have and where they're allowed to go. There are more than a dozen combinations of clothes. From orange for the non-violent offenders, to red for the prisoners that need to be watched the closest.

Jail administrator Baker says the system gives guards the ability to know in one glance if a prisoner is considered dangerous or is somewhere they're not supposed to be.

Baker admits administrators at some other jails consider the system degrading to inmates, but he says the system serves its purpose. It allows guards to control the inmates and keeps them safe.

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