Threads of Time: Prison Uniforms

Threads of Time: Prison Uniforms

When you hear about prison, you might picture those familiar striped uniforms. They’re like a symbol of being locked up, showing the consequences of breaking the law.

Prison uniforms are used in most jails worldwide. They’re not just clothes; they help identify prisoners and keep order.

At first glance, these uniforms might seem unimportant. But they actually tell us a lot about prisons – their history, how they work, and the issues they face.

In this article, I’ll explore the world of prison uniforms. I’ll cover why they’re important, why they often look the same, and how they’re linked to security. So, let’s dive in and discover the hidden stories behind those iconic outfits.

Unveiling the Origins of Prison Attire

Step into the past and discover the tale behind those iconic prison garbs. Imagine a time when prisoners roamed in drab hues, their identity etched in fabric. It all began centuries ago when prisons birthed the idea of tagging inmates with distinct attire, not just to spot them easily but to stamp out their uniqueness, melding them into a uniform mass.

Origin Story

In 18th-century England, the Prison Act of 1877 set the stage for standardized prisoner attire—a rugged ensemble of jackets and trousers crafted from coarse serge fabric in somber tones of gray, brown, or blue. This simple getup swiftly sets apart captives from free folk, a visual boundary etched in cloth.

The American Transition

Fast forward to the land of the free, where stripes danced into the prison scene. Auburn prison, New York, in the 1820s, donned its inmates in the iconic black and white stripes, a sight etched in cinematic memory by classics like “The Great Escape.” Yet, as time marched on, stripes lost favor, deemed a badge of dishonor. Enter the era of single-color threads – denim blues and khaki hues, akin to military garb but less conspicuous.

Purposeful Dress Code

But why the uniform obsession? It’s not just about aesthetics. These outfits knit inmates into the institutional fabric, erasing individuality and fostering a sense of sameness. They’re also handy for quick identification – separating prisoners from guards and each other, a rainbow of behavior-coded attire steering clear of contraband and ensuring cleanliness.

The Palette of Consequences

And let’s talk colors. From the bold stripes of yesteryear to today’s coded hues, every shade tells a story. In LA’s jail, blue is for the masses, and red is for the risk-takers. Color is not just fashion; it’s a language that speaks volumes about crimes, behaviors, and levels of risk.

In the threads of prison uniforms, we unravel more than fabric – we uncover a complex interplay of psychology, society, and corrective strategies. Each stitch tells a tale of discipline, identity, and the ever-evolving landscape of incarceration.

Prison Uniform Diversity

Have you ever wondered about the secret world of prison attire? It’s a maze of fascinating details! Unlike your standard uniform, prison gear comes in all shapes and colors, depending on where you are.

In the USA, those iconic black and white stripes you see in old movies are a thing of the past. California inmates used to be allowed to sport denim, while in New York, orange is a no-go. Instead, prisoners there can rock their tees as long as they’re the right shade.

Across the pond in the UK, only the high-security joints stick to traditional uniforms. But hop over to Australia, and you’ll see a rainbow of colors, from green to maroon, paired with comfy track pants.

And hold onto your hat in Malaysia, where the color of your uniform isn’t just for show—it tells a story. Purple means you’re awaiting trial, while a mix of blue and red could mean something much more serious.

These twists and turns in uniform styles show that even in the clink, there’s room for individuality and cultural flair.

Prison Uniform Regulations

Discovering the secrets behind prison uniforms unveils a world of strict rules and hidden meanings. In the U.S., every correctional facility has its own set of guidelines, but some key principles apply everywhere.

  1. Everyone in Uniform: Inmates must wear uniforms all the time, not just for show. It’s a security measure to help them easily spot and maintain order.
  2. The Right Fit: Uniforms have to fit just right. Baggy clothes can hide stuff, so there are rules about how long sleeves and pants can be.
  3. Keeping it Clean: It’s not just about wearing the uniform; inmates have to keep it clean and in good shape. If it’s damaged, they have to exchange it for a new one.
  4. Color Code: Some prisons use colors to show who’s who. Wearing the wrong color can get you in trouble.
  5. Staff Dress Code: Even the people working in the prison have to follow uniform rules. This helps distinguish them from the inmates and keeps things safer.

Understanding these rules isn’t always easy, but they’re there to keep everyone safe and the prison running smoothly.

Prison Uniform Economics

In the world of prisons, getting the right uniforms for inmates is super important. But it’s not just about picking any old uniform. There’s a lot to consider, especially when it comes to how much they cost.

So, why do some uniforms cost more than others? Well, it depends on a few things.

  • First off, the material matters. If the uniform is made from a tough fabric like denim, it’ll probably cost more than one made from lighter stuff like cotton.
  • Then there’s customization. Some prisons need uniforms in specific colors to show different things about the inmates. Making these special colors can bump up the price.
  • And don’t forget about sizes. Prisons have all sorts of people, so they need uniforms in all sizes, which can add to the cost.

Buying lots of uniforms at once can actually save money. Just like buying a bunch of snacks at once, buying in bulk usually makes each one cheaper. That’s why bigger prisons might get a better deal on uniforms. That is, until we introduced our new E.D.B.P. Every Day Bid Pricing philosophy – which helps the smaller facility budgets.

But here’s the thing: prisons can’t just blow their budget on uniforms. They’ve got to be careful with money. Still, they need good-quality uniforms to keep things running smoothly and safely.

As someone in charge of buying stuff for the prisons, it’s my job to find the right balance. We’ve got to get good-quality uniforms without breaking the bank. That way, everyone stays safe and happy, and we get the best bang for our buck.

Public Access to Prison Uniforms

Have you ever wondered if you could strut around town in a real-deal prison jumpsuit? Well, the answer isn’t as simple as black and white stripes! Sure, you can snag yourself a novelty version for a Halloween bash or a goofy costume party. But if you’re eyeing up the genuine article, you might hit a legal wall.

See, while it’s no crime to rock a fake prison getup, getting your hands on the real McCoy is a whole different ball game. And for good reason. Imagine if anyone could easily grab a legit prison uniform—talk about a potential escape artist’s dream come true!

Different places have different rules. In some spots, just owning an authentic piece of prison gear without proper authorization could land you in hot water. Take the UK, for example. They’ve got laws in place that say if you’re caught with prison duds you shouldn’t have, you’re in trouble.

And Texas? Well, they’re pretty serious about it too. Messing around with a correctional officer’s uniform could have you facing some hefty consequences.

So, while dressing up as a prisoner might sound like a laugh, it’s essential to know where the line is drawn. Having fun is one thing, but pretending to be something you’re not? That’s a whole other story—one that could end up with you on the wrong side of the law. Best keep it lighthearted and legal!

Uniform Change Frequency

When we talk about prison clothes, we often focus on how they look, what they’re made of, and what they represent. But there’s another side to it: the practical stuff, like how often inmates get clean clothes.

So, how often does it happen? Well, it depends on the prison’s rules, how much money it has, and whether it has laundry services.

In many places, inmates get new clothes once a week. For example, in Oklahoma’s prisons, they get three new sets of clothes every week. At the same time, the dirty ones are washed and given back.

However, in places where they have more money for clothes, inmates might get new ones more often. On the flip side, in places with less money or where it’s harder to do laundry, it might be less frequent.

Cleanliness is super important in prison. It’s not just about keeping the inmates healthy and stopping diseases from spreading. That’s why, during things like the COVID-19 pandemic, prisons started cleaning clothes more often.

How often inmates get new clothes also depends on their needs. Like, pregnant inmates might need new clothes more often because they’re growing and need to be comfortable.

Even though it might seem small, how often inmates get new clothes is a big deal in prisons. It affects the budget, how clean the place is, the inmates’ health and comfort, and even how they feel about being there.

Uniform Materials

Choosing the right material for prison uniforms is super important because it affects how comfy, tough, and easy to take care of they are. Lots of things contribute to this decision, like how much it costs, how comfy it feels, and how well it holds up.

Polyester and Cotton

One popular choice is a mix of polyester and cotton. Polyester is tough and cheap, and it is great for withstanding the wear and tear of prison life. Cotton adds softness, so it’s not scratchy against the skin.

Some states use a blend of 65% polyester and 35% cotton for their uniforms, which gives a good balance between toughness and comfort.


Some places recommend denim because it’s super tough and has a history of being used for hard work.


For colder areas or outdoor work, they might use wool because it keeps you warm and dry.

Safety is also a big deal. Uniforms need to be flame-retardant to keep inmates safe in case of a fire.

So, even though it might not seem like a big deal, picking the right material for prison uniforms is really important for keeping inmates comfy and safe and the clothes lasting longer.

Unraveling the Mystery of Prison Uniform Colors

Ever wonder why prisoners often sport those eye-catching orange jumpsuits in movies and TV shows? Well, the reality behind prison uniform colors is quite intriguing. They aren’t just random fashion choices – they actually carry a lot of meaning.

Each color serves as a code, telling us important stuff about the wearer. It’s like a secret language for prison staff and law enforcement.

For instance, in some places, blue and gold might mean “regular Joe” inmates, while red or pink could scream “high risk!” It’s a quick way to spot who’s who and what kind of danger they might pose.

Take Durham County, North Carolina, for example. There, green means low security, blue means medium, and red means high. It’s like a traffic light for risk levels.

But here’s the kicker: each prison might have its color code. It’s not one size fits all. Some places might get super creative with their palette, depending on who’s behind bars.

What’s the point, you ask? Well, it’s all about keeping things running smoothly and safely. When everyone—from guards to inmates—knows the score, it’s easier to keep the peace and ensure everything stays in order.

So next time you see a prisoner in a bright orange jumpsuit on screen, remember: there’s more to it than meets the eye. It’s a whole system, keeping the wheels turning in the world of corrections.

The Orange Jumpsuit Phenomenon

Delving into the mystery of prison uniforms, the vibrant orange jumpsuit stands out as a captivating enigma. Why orange? What does it signify within the walls of incarceration?

Orange jumpsuits aren’t just flashy attire; they’re strategic. Their vivid hue makes escape nearly impossible by ensuring prisoners stick out like sore thumbs. It’s a practical choice rooted in safety protocols dating back to the 1970s. Orange screams “notice me” even in dim light, a crucial feature for keeping tabs on inmates.

But here’s the twist: not every prison paints its inmates in orange. While it’s all the rage in the U.S., European facilities often let prisoners wear street clothes or uniforms mimicking everyday attire. The color choice, or lack thereof, reflects a blend of cultural norms and security strategies unique to each system.

Digging deeper, orange isn’t just a color; it’s a mood. Its boldness suggests dynamism, energy, and even a hint of aggression. Depending on the prisoner, wearing it could evoke feelings of exposure or empowerment. Think of Guantanamo Bay, where orange jumpsuits became a symbol of both shame and defiance, highlighting the complex emotions intertwined with prison garb.

In essence, orange jumpsuits aren’t just about safety; they’re loaded with symbolism. Understanding their significance is key to unraveling the intricate dynamics of the correctional system.

Wrapping Up

Prison uniforms aren’t just clothes; they’re a whole system designed for safety and order. Whether you’re in charge of buying them or managing their use, understanding this complexity is crucial. It opens a window into a world many overlook—a world that’s part of our society and deserves our empathy.

As we wrap up, I hope delving into the world of prison uniforms has shed light on their importance in correctional facilities. Let’s use this understanding to spark more conversations and drive positive changes in the system. Together, we can make a difference and help our society grow for the better.

It’s crucial to know all about uniforms to run a prison smoothly. Lucky for you, our team is ready to help. We’ll dive deep into your questions and make sure you get what you need. Don’t wait; come to us now for top-notch, affordable uniforms that fit your facility perfectly.

Global Freight Problems Lead to Consumer Woes Affecting Both Public and Private Buyers.

Global Freight Problems Lead to Consumer Woes Affecting Both Public and Private Buyers.

Year by year comparison increase

Who is Affected:

With 80% of all goods being transported by sea, disruptions in the supply chain have created major price increases, product shortages, and service interruptions across the board. Virtually every retailer, supplier or distributor has been affected.

What is Affected:

Raw materials for manufacturing, manufactured goods, apparel, sugar, coffee and other food products have all seen limited or sporadic availability and soaring price increases.

What Are The Factors:

  1. Increased demand for products – From frenzy buying due to Covid 19 fears to government infused monies, more products have been in demand than ever before for a sustained period.
  2. Container Shortages – With the unforeseen demand for more products the global inventory of empty containers has been depleted. Manufacturing additional new containers isn’t an overnight fix due to construction lead times of 4-6 weeks per unit in many cases. A 40 foot steel container shipped from a port in China to a U.S. port pre-covid ran an importer roughly $3,500. In today’s global pandemic market, or the wake there of, that same container can cost a company upwards of $20,000 with the highest bidders getting the nod to fill the containers with their goods ahead of those jockeying for container space at the going market rate. We are seeing freight increases of 500% to 1000% in some cases.
  3. Over-Burdened Ports – As the demand for goods, containers and ships increase and the ports are being pushed past operation capacity. There is a significant labor shortage at ports along with a shortage of truck drivers that is causing significant backlog ports that is exacerbating the container shortage.
  4. Cargo Ship Shortage – Virtually every sea worthy ship has full bookings from 24-36 months. The building of new vessels usually is a 36 month process. You can’t just throw money at this one and you can’t speed up time.

Company and Consumer Choices:

  1. The Companies have to decide if the consumer will tolerate the increases in product prices and if the “juice is worth the squeeze” in selling particular products.
  2. The Companies must decide whether to pass on the increases to the consumer now or absorb them now (if they can support such a loss in revenue) and pass the increase on later. This is “robbing Peter to pay Paul” however it is an option to some mega companies, but “this chicken too will come home to roost.”
  3. Many Companies are being forced to limit offerings or shut down certain product lines or categories to accommodate either the products most in demand or those products with the best margins to be able to afford to do business and serve the customer, kind of. An example is when I went to buy a new refrigerator from a national big box home improvement store recently and was told there was a 60 day lead time which ended up being delayed by the manufacturer even longer to 75 days. The explanation was that the demand right now was for stainless front refrigerators and that all major brand manufacturers could not keep up with the demand for those, much less accommodate me in a timely manner since I wanted a white refrigerator.

Take Away:

Whether you are a consumer at your local retailer, a business owner, or an administrator of a public institution I would encourage you to continue to expect back order situations, out of stock notices, and sharp prices increases on everything from sugar to tee shirts and from coffee to refrigerators. Undoubtably this will affect your budget at home and at the office. One would be wise to not plan upcoming budgets on the last years Consumer Price Indexes or historical dollars spent per line item.


Based on my research of the projections on the global freight phenomenon by some of the leading industry experts I have found that many feel that their will be a “righting of the ship” (no pun intended) in early 2022 (After the Chinese New Year shipping season.) The big “IF” is that being possible if we are not shut down again Covid 19 mandates and “IF” the looming inflation fears do not come to complete fruition – but, I fear that ship has sailed! (pun intended)

Fake and Imposter Nitrile Gloves – Know where your supplies come from

Fake and Imposter Nitrile Gloves – Know where your supplies come from

Police raided a rented house containing more than 100,000 fake medical gloves and arrested the tenant in Wang Thonglang district.

Pol Lt Gen Permpoon Chidchob, assistant national police chief, led officials to search the 800-square-metre house no. 193/2 on Soi Lat Phrao 126 late Wednesday afternoon and found the fake nitrile rubber gloves inside.

The compound contains a three-storey European-styled house and two one-storey buildings. Police found over 100,000 blue-dyed rubber gloves in sacks, along with dye containers and washing machines.

Hard Time Products enjoys decades of experience in global sourcing for the very largest retail chains in the United States with a distinction on all categories of gloves to include the world’s largest distributor of retail work gloves. From product inception, manufacturing specifications, quality control, to fulfillment and delivery, we know the glove industry. Our CEO and VP of Sourcing have walked the factories around the world and our factories are required to be SER (Social/Environmental/Regulatory) compliant through SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit) and SA8000 Audits. Our factories must meet PSI (pre-shipment inspections) prior to leaving the factory.

Hard Time Products Internal Quality Control procedures prevent fake nitrile gloves from delivering to customers on April 1, 2021.

Not only were these gloves a different material than nitrile, but they certainly we’re not examination grade nitrile gloves. The Imposter gloves did not meet mil (thickness) specifications, color specifications, nor product gram weight specifications.

Glove certificates are just ink and paper. You can count on HTP to sort through the labyrinth that is the disposable glove market. We get it!

Do you know where your gloves come from?

Jeffrey S. Chandler, VP

What a blessing, conference season is back and “IN PERSON!”

What a blessing, conference season is back and “IN PERSON!”

The Common Theme:

From the various association events that we have participated in thus far in 2021 there has been a common theme. This theme was evident both from comments made by the associations’ leadership and observed in the conference climate among vendors and attendees – Fellowship!

Fel-low-ship: noun Friendly association, especially with people who share one’s own interest.

The benefits of training together, establishing and growing/maintaining a network of like minded folks are exponential. It has been said that “it isn’t always what you know, it’s who you know.” I say that it isn’t just who you know, but who you know and what they know. It may come across as completely cliche, but “team work truly does make the dream work.”

“Alone we can do so little; Together we can do so much.” -Helen Keller .

“As iron sharpen iron, so one person sharpens the other.” -Proverbs 27:17

It has been good to catch up, share ideas, and collaborate with old friends and nice to form new friendships. Business, whether in the private market or in the public sector, has proven to be a challenge to all of us. It has been encouraging to share experiences and celebrate the successes of these challenging times en rapport. I am very grateful for the opportunity to associate with colleagues and customers again at these conferences and I am certain that many others in attendance felt exactly the same way. What a blessing that I am not taking for granted!

Can’t wait to see you on the Road!


Jail Populations Begin to Increase as Jury Trials Resume as Covid Concerns Wane

Jail Populations Begin to Increase as Jury Trials Resume as Covid Concerns Wane

Detention and Correctional facilities experienced sudden and sharp decreases in their average daily populations, entirely by design. This was due to covid fears and a complete halt on jury trials in many judicial circuits. Population decreases reached 50% reductions in some areas at the peak of Covid 19.

As court proceedings resume and local policies transition to “closer to normal operations” in Law Enforcement and Detention arenas jail populations are trending upward based on my conversations and experiences with facility administrators and detention facilities.

The detention wholesale market finds itself subject to the same supply chain frustrations as retail markets nationwide. Product shortages, extensive delivery lead times, increased raw material and freight prices are affecting facilities operations and climates.

Increased populations, supply chain lags, increased product pricing to include fuel and freight prices will all impact operational budgets. Additionally, Administrators struggle to recruit, hire and retain quality detention and corrections employees. These hurdles will certainly prove challenging for some time.

Please be sure to say thank you to those who work behind the walls and those who manage these facilities. The average person rarely thinks about the challenges of the day to day operation of detention and correctional facilities, much less about the additional strains that the global pandemic has brought.