Study Guide

Orange Is the New Black Chapter 3

By Piper Kerman

Chapter 3

#11187-424

  • On February 4, 2004, Piper goes to prison in Danbury, Connecticut. 
  • Larry brings her there along with an envelope including photographs ("no nudie Judies" (3.20) she assures the prison guard), friends' and family members' addresses, and a check for $290.
  • Because nothing in prison is easy, the check has to be mailed in before Piper can use the money at the commissary.
  • The guard leads her into the prison and performs a strip search. "Turn around, squat, spread your cheeks and cough" (3.45)—it's like being in a Terry Richardson photo shoot
  • After that, she's given some ugly khaki prison clothes, has her photo taken, and gets assigned her number.
  • She meets her prison counselor, Mr. Butorsky, who looks like a walrus and dispenses advice like, "you do not have to have lesbian sex" (3.72).
  • Piper is herded through the gates where she meets Minetta, a prisoner who wears makeup and drives a van. 
  • She drives Piper to the Camp and takes her to her room.
  • Her roommates are Annette and Miss Luz, and they run down some of the prison rules: They're counted five times a day, you can only call people on your phone sheet, sleep on top of the made bed, etc.
  • They get counted, and then it's suppertime. 
  • Even though Piper hasn't been assigned a PAC number yet, she wants to call Larry and tell him she's okay.
  • She goes to Mr. Toricella, another counselor, and he lets her use his phone for two minutes.
  • She calls Larry and tells him she's okay and she loves him.
  • Then it's time for prison movie night: Bad Boys II.
  • The prison's white women show up to give Piper some soap, toothpaste, shower shoes, and more prison goodies. She calls it a "tribal ritual" (3.187)—every new prisoner gets greeted by a color-coded welcome wagon.
  • Finally, Piper's first day in prison is over, and she didn't even cry. She finds an old copy of Pride and Prejudice and reads herself to sleep.