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Sheriff says he changed prison uniforms due to overwhelming popularity of 'Orange is the New Black' TV show

Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman in the hit Netflix show 'Orange is the New Black.' (AP Photo/Netflix)
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SAGINAW, Mich. (AP/WJLA) - A Michigan sheriff says he's trading his inmates' orange jumpsuits for black-and-white stripes, in part due to pop culture.

Saginaw County Jail inmates on July 18, 2014, line up in a hallway on the jail's second floor. (AP Photo/The Saginaw News)

Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel said that all-orange jumpsuits are increasingly viewed as fashionable, especially because they're seen on popular TV shows such as the Netflix smash hit "Orange Is the New Black."

Federspiel said "some people think it's cool to look like an inmate of the Saginaw County Jail ... wearing all orange jumpsuits out at the mall or in public."

He said since inmates sometimes work in public, he doesn't "want anyone to confuse them or have them walk away."

Federspiel said some prisoners have complained, but his response always is, "Don't come to jail. I didn't ask you to come here and wear this uniform."

He added that he thinks the change will be effective.

"We decided that the black-and-white stripes would be the best way to go because it signifies 'jail inmate,' and I don't see people out there wanting to wear black-and-white stripes."

The jailhouse fashions come relatively cheap. The sheriff said the jumpsuits, which last for about two to three years, cost $11.73 apiece.

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