Study Guide

Orange Is the New Black Rules and Order

By Piper Kerman

Rules and Order

Chapter 1
Piper Kerman

When cash ran low, I would be sent off to retrieve money wires from Alaji at various banks—a crime itself, although I did not realize it. (1.43)

Do you think Piper really didn't realize it, or was she just hoping to plead ignorance should she get caught?

Chapter 3

"They count us five times a day, and you have to be here, or wherever you're supposed to be." (3.112)

This is one of the first rules that Piper learns, and this one actually makes sense. After all, how will they know if someone has escaped if they're not keeping count?

"He has to send [the check] to Georgia, then they'll process it." (3.17)

Sometimes the prison's rules seem intended less to create order and more designed to just confuse and complicate the heck out of everything.

"CO, that's the correctional officer.'" (3.98)

Part of learning the ropes in prison involves learning the lingo. This is one of the simpler ones that everyone probably knows from television.

Chapter 4

Hugging and kissing your visitors (no tongue!) was permitted at the beginning and end of the visit. (4.44)

The rules govern everything in prison, and even the visitors have their own set of rules to abide by. Do they think French kissing is just too sexual? Or they're going to smuggle something in under their tongues? Or are they just bent on keeping people miserable?

Chapter 5

Why not soap to clean your body? Why not toothpaste? Somewhere within the monstrous bureaucracy of the Bureau of Prisons, this all made sense to someone. (5.76)

We're not sure if this makes sense to anyone. Maybe the prisons just got a better deal with Tide than they did with Colgate, and that's why prisoners are given laundry detergent, but not toothpaste.

Chapter 6

"Break the rules, you're going to the SHU." (6.6)

The Special Housing Unit is the worst punishment for a prisoner—it's basically solitary confinement. It's like being asked to stand in the corner in detention, but being put into a box in the corner. For days.

Chapter 11
Piper Kerman

I wrote the cop-out, a simple one-page form the official title of which was BP-S148.055 INMATE REQUEST TO STAFF. The next morning I marched into DeSimon's office and hand it to him. He did not take it from me. (11.35)

Even though Piper usually follows the rules, that doesn't mean the guards do. If she follows the rules to a T it doesn't mean anything if they don't comply, too.

Chapter 15

My out-of-bounds infraction was a minor one, a 300-series shot, along the same lines of: refusing to obey a direct order, participating in an unauthorized meeting or gathering […] and indecent exposure. (15.88)

There are three long paragraphs detailing just a fraction of infractions that are possible in jail. Getting one of these is basically like getting extra detention while already in detention.

Chapter 16

She had a special knitting permit. (16.14)

We had to include this because of the sheer ridiculousness of it. A knitting permit. What do you have to do, prove you can knit one, purl two? Or that you won't stab someone's eye out with a knitting needle? Yikes.