Prison officials at Riker’s Island Prison Complex located on an island off the shores of the Bronx, which is New York’s northernmost borough, are attempting to create a “family friendly” environment by enforcing a new dress code that requires visitors to cover up with an oversized, baggy, green t-shirt.
New York’s Department of Corrections has gone to the expense of purchasing 750 bright green t-shirts in size XXL, which are large enough to be shapeless on all but the heaviest of body frames.
In the words of Sharman Stein, a spokeswoman for the department:
“We are trying to keep this a G-rated experience. If a visitor is dressed provocatively, it could potentially spark a chain of events among inmates.”
Prison officials fear flared tempers and even violence erupting over inmates making comments about visitors’ appearances, whether they be derogatory statements or a bit too flattering. A secondary reason for the upgrade concerns the fact too much clothing could be used to conceal contraband.
In the past, visitors who were dressed inappropriately were denied visitation rights. Under the new code, they will be offered the option of covering themselves up in one of the t-shirts and avoiding the frustration of a wasted journey to the prison.
Dress code details forbid any clothing that expose the chest, stomach or back. Skirts and dresses must have hemlines no more than three inches above the knee. Spandex leggings and swimsuits are discouraged, as is any clothing that is transparent. Hat or head coverings are only permitted if a visitor’s religion demands it.
It would seem common knowledge to dress appropriately when visiting a prison, but apparently there is no law against lacking common sense.
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