Sewage, Mold, Rats and “Brown Water” Plague The Real “Orange Is The New Black” Prison

June 6, 2014 | Sophie Weiner

Today, season two of the critically acclaimed Netflix show Orange Is The New Black is available to stream in full online. To coincide with this date, activist groups have launched a campaign to highlight the real life problems at some of the prisons where the show filmed. One of these is Suffolk County Jail, in Riverhead, Long Island, a prison which has been under scrutiny by human rights groups for a long time. The Nation posted yesterday:

The NYCLU and law firm Shearman & Sterling filed a class-action lawsuit in 2012 on behalf of current and former prisoners at Riverhead and Yaphank. The suit claims that prisoners housed at the jails live “amidst filth, overflowing sewage, and pervasive mold, rust, and vermin.” Tap water is regularly “brown or yellow in color,” and many inmates forgo drinking it to avoid getting sick.

To bring attention to the conditions in Suffolk County, the NYCLU has been promoting the hashtag #HumanityIsTheNewBlack, and posted a form on their site which allows you to easily send a letter to the management of Suffolk County demanding they clean up their prisons.

Another disturbing detail is that the majority of inmates held at Riverhead are awaiting trial. Which means the state of New York is subjecting possibly innocent citizens to inhumane conditions. Regardless of guilt, these conditions could fall under “cruel and unusual punishment.”