Contact Us

Is the ‘Orange is New Black’ Prison Real? Yes, and it is Located Near Utica

Jason Biggs and Taylor Schilling play the main characters in “Orange Is the New Black” on Netflix. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images)

The critically acclaimed Netflix original series ‘Orange is the New Black’ is set at a prison for women in Upstate New York and it turns out, the writers want you to believe it’s located in the nearby town of Litchfield, which is just southeast of Utica.

While Litchfield, NY has existed since 1796, The Litchfield Federal Penitentiary doesn’t exist.

Screenshot from Netflix series, Orange is the New Black

According to the series, an educated, New York City woman named Piper Chapman is forced to spend a year upstate in prison for a drug crime she had committed a decade earlier.

There are plenty of references to Litchfield, N.Y..

Scenes from the series include several NYS Correctional telephone calls back and forth between Chapman and her fiancé in New York City, Larry Bloom and in one episode, a 315 area code cell number is shown on an iPhone from the location of Litchfield, NY.

Who is the Real Alex (or Nora) from OITNB?

The series delves into the real-life story of Piper Kerman and her fiancé, Larry Smith and their struggles in dealing with a long-distance relationship while Kerman spent a year in the Danbury Federal Penitentiary.  Smith, a struggling writer, penned a column in the New York

The ‘real life’ Piper Kerman and Taylor Schilling (R) attend “Orange Is the New Black” during 2013 PaleyFest: Made In New York at The Paley Center for Media on October 2, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images)

Times entitled, A Life to Live, This Side of the Bars, which was published on March 25th, 2010.  The column became a storyline in the series as the couple struggled with their life apart.

Despite the fiction, the storyline is a familiar one for many New York City families as they travel Upstate to Oneida County to visit loved ones in the prisons located in the area.

The series is created by Jenji Kohan who created Weeds.  Season two of Orange is the New Black is expected out on Netflix in early Spring.

 

Read the real-life column by Larry Smith that appeared in the New York Times back in 2010 here.

The Town of Litchfield, NY

The Town of Litchfield is a rural area south of Utica with a total population of around 1500 people scattered across some 57 miles of country roads.  According to the Town’s website, Litchfield is home to 3 churches, 2 golf courses, rural homes, several farms and a few other businesses. The township is known to have been part of the stomping grounds of the notorious Loomis Gang, which operated in Central New York in the 1800′s.

Litchfield made national news on August 18, 1993 when a 12-year-old girl was abducted while riding her bicycle on one of the Township’s country roads.  It’s believed that Sara Anne Wood was abducted and killed by child serial killer Lewis Lent Jr.. Despite giving clues to investigators as to the whereabouts of her body, she has never been found.   Lent is currently serving life without parole in a Massachusetts prison for the 1990 killing of 12-year-old James Bernardo.

 

 

 

More From WIBX

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://wibx950.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on WIBX 950 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on WIBX 950 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!