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Orange is the New Black, the Netflix series returning Friday, explores the lives of women serving time at Litchfield Penitentiary, a fictional prison in upstate New York.
The series was partially filmed at Suffolk County jail in Riverhead, a men’s facility in Long Island. But when viewers stream Orange over the weekend, they likely won’t see—and certainly won’t smell—the overflow of feces Riverhead’s actual prisoners are exposed to every day.
To mark the season two premiere of Orange, prisoners’ rights advocates launched a campaign to raise awareness of the notoriously squalid conditions at Riverhead and Yaphank, another Suffolk County jail. Twitter users tweeted from the hashtag #HumanityIsTheNewBlack to spread the word. A call to action posted online by the New York Civil Liberties Union reads, “Suffolk County should take the energy it puts into wooing Hollywood into cleaning up the shocking conditions at the Riverhead and Yaphank jails.” NYCLU Senior Legal Adviser Corey Stoughton said the campaigners hope to connect viewers’ empathy for characters in the show with prisoners in real life….
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