Inmate clothes at Clark County Jail more than fashion

first_imgEach weekday morning, custody officers escort jail inmates, handcuffed together in a colorful human chain, into the Clark County Courthouse.They wear jail clothes in hues of orange, blue and green.While confined in jail, these uniforms are their pajamas, their gym clothes and their “street” clothes. The clothes also convey meaning to custody officers. Certain colors signify accusations of violence or unruly behavior and even a range of emotions, from rebellion to despair.One of the comforts of freedom is choosing one’s own clothes. Inmates are stripped of that privilege, as well as almost any embellishment, including makeup, jewelry and accessories.Instead, they enter a color-coded world aimed at maintaining security, order and frugality.Selecting clothesInmates in the Clark County Jail aren’t allowed to choose which color they wear. Booking officers do that. Their color selection signifies whether an inmate has been accused of a violent crime or if he or she is prone to unruly behavior.“They look at their character, how they’re behaving and what their charge is,” said former jail chief Jackie Webster, who retired in April after 33 years on the job.Makeup, jewelry and other accessories are confiscated at booking time to protect inmates’ possessions and to prevent fights over items. Inmates also receive a rolled-up sheet, blank and towel, a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, pencils, paper and envelopes.last_img read more