Study Guide

Orange Is the New Black Rules and Order

By Piper Kerman

Rules and Order

People break rules all the time. They drive over the speed limit, they cheat on their taxes, they talk during the movie. Depending on the severity of the infraction, sometimes breaking these rules lands people in prison. As Piper finds in Orange is the New Black, in prison, there are even more rules. It's like drowning in a sea of rules. There are rules for administration, for guards, and for prison. But just like in the real world, rules were made to be broken.

Questions About Rules and Order

  1. Piper is imprisoned due to mandatory sentencing laws. Are these rules fair for the crime?
  2. Who breaks rules more: the prisoners or the guards? Why?
  3. Are the rules in prison intended to create order, or do they exist mostly to confuse people?
  4. What are some of the more ridiculous rules Piper comes across in prison? Why do you think they exist?

Chew on This

Piper learns that, just like in the outside world, prison has tons of written and unwritten rules, and ignorance isn't an excuse if you break them.

The prison system seems more focused on layering rule on top of rule to control people instead of trying to help them readjust to society.