Support the news

'Orange Is The New Black' In Federal Women's Prison30:20


Smith graduate Piper Kerman was bored with her middle class life — so she joined a group of bohemian artists-turned-drug smugglers. After traveling to exotic resorts and smuggling a suitcase packed with drug money from Chicago to Brussels, she broke free from the drug trade and found a new life, normal jobs and a blooming romance.

But 10 years later, federal officers knocked on her door. Kerman pleaded guilty to drug smuggling and money laundering and went on to serve time in a federal women's prison in Danbury, Conn.

In her memoir, Orange Is The New Black: My Year In A Women's Prison, Kerman recounts a year in which she learned to clean her cell with maxipads, to wire a light fixture, and to make prison cheesecake — all while finding camaraderie with women from all walks of life.

Copyright NPR 2016.

+Join the discussion

Support the news

Next Up

Where to now?

More NPR or Explore Audio.