Josh H

Jul 27, 2019

2 min read

Piper Would Not Be Free

An Orange Is the New Black Fact Check

Many times shows create situations that are not entirely accurate in order to move the plot along, In the case of Orange Is the New Black, the writers <clearly> wanted to get Piper out of prison for the final act of the show (the final season arrived on Netflix yesterday).

At the end of season six, as the result of overcrowding, Litchfield prison decided to give people who met certain criteria “early releases” and Piper (after some subterfuge) was one of the people allowed to leave incarceration early.

In reality, this could not have happened. As far as I know, these are the only ways a person incarcerated in a federal facility can leave prison:

  • Completely finish out serving their sentences
  • Earn early release through accumulating good time credits
  • Earn early release through participating in the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP)
  • Accumulate Earned Time Credits through the First Step Act
  • Get a sentencing adjustment through one of the many available avenues under the First Step Act
  • Receive a presidential pardon or commutation
  • Earn release using provisions of future federal legislation
  • Escape
  • Death

Anyway, the Warden of Litchfield prison does not have the power or the jurisdiction to institute an internal risk assessment program resulting in the early release of people in prison.

If you want to learn more about the differences between how prison actually works and how it works on the show, I have written recaps of all of the episodes of the show over the last several years (see below).

Josh is a 100% reader-funded blogger and freelance writer. Please consider following him on Twitter, throwing a tip into his hat on Patreon, or adding his blog OnPirateSatellite to your feeds. He is also the host of the Decarceration Nation Podcast.

Author, Criminal Justice Reform Advocate, Co-Host of the "Decarceration Nation" Podcast, Television critic and Movie Reviewer,

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