Study Guide

Other Inmates in Orange Is the New Black

By Piper Kerman

Other Inmates

Trapped Trapped Trapped 'til the Cage is Full

Piper tells us about many of the women in Danbury; although, without the magic of television flashbacks, we don't know much about how they got there. That's one thing you don't talk about in prison: how you got there. It's like Fight Club. But here are a few of the women Piper associates with, why they're important, and who their television equivalent is, if applicable.

  • There are some women who are pretty similar to their television counterparts. Minetta (Lorna Morello) is the "chipper" (3.80) van driver who wears makeup and introduces Piper to the prison. 
  • Miss Natalie (Miss Claudette) is Piper's roommate in B Dorm—we learn that Miss is a title given only to those "who were highly respected" (5.14)—and she's quiet and clean and gets her GED while in prison.
  • Sister Ardeth Platte (Sister Ingalls) is a nun who gets more mail than Piper.
  • Annette (Anita) is a "middle-class, middle-aged Italian-American lady from Jersey" (3.117), who is serving fifty-seven months in prison. She's the first woman Piper meets in the prison rooms and she's pretty nice to her. 
  • Her roommate, Miss Luz (Rosa), has cancer, but who knows if she robbed a bank or not. 
  • And Big Boo Clemmons, a three-hundred-pound "bulldyke" (9.63), is just like her television alter ego.

There are other women whose characters on the show are only loosely based on real life.

  • Someone named Delicious who calls Piper "P-I Piper!" (5.71) and comments on her perky breasts isn't really anything like Taystee on the show. 
  • A self-proclaimed redneck named Pennsatucky doesn't try to kill Piper, but she is friends with a crew of fellow crack addicts, like someone named Allie.
  • There's a woman named Morena, who has a crush on Piper and whom Piper calls Crazy Eyes (because of her crazy eyes), but the only thing Vanessa Robinson seems to have in common with Sophia is that both are trans women.

Finally, there are women who don't have a television show presence. 

  • First, a special shout-out to Little Janet, a "young black woman" (4.3) from Brooklyn whom Piper likes instantly. The two become prison BFFs, and she's admitted around the same time Piper is, goes through orientation with her, and is serving sixty months; plus she was also a drug mule. Somehow she gets immediate release, though, and goes home before Piper does. Little Janet is not to be confused with Yoga Janet, (Yoga Jones) who does yoga, is a vegetarian, and may or may not sound like Patti Mayonnaise
  • There's Jae who arrives from Brooklyn and later travels with Piper to Oklahoma City and Chicago with her cousin Slice
  • And Nina, who makes Piper a root beer float with commissary ice cream and later leaves to go into an early-release drug program. She tells Piper she'll knit her a scarf, like that woman who gave Martha that poncho.

There are a lot of people we barely know anything about: 

  • Rosemarie, who is from Boston and likes the Red Sox and Manny Ramirez, provides Piper with some initial comforts on her first day
  • The warehouse worker Lionnel, who helps Piper get a radio
  • Miss Esposito, who has a subscription to The New Yorker and a broken fan that needs fixing
  • Pom-Pom, whose mom also was in Danbury
  • Ghada, who is Muslim
  • Gisela, who talks to Piper about God, but not in a preachy way
  • LaRue who has a "weird ass" (15.78) and does talk about religion in a preachy way.
  • And last but not last, there is Alice Gerard, which is her real name, who is locked in the SHU for speaking out against an the abusive head of education. Go, Alice.