Orange Is The New Black: Why the inmates are in jail


Orange Is The New Black has officially dropped the sixth season on Netflix, but before we begin our weekend binge-watching session, let’s refresh our minds on why some of the inmates are in jail, to begin with.

Orange Is The New Black ended on a crazy note last season with the prison riot, and with the sixth season now available, we are taking a moment to remind ourselves why some of our favorite inmates ended up in Litchfield.

Throughout the seasons we’ve seen a number of flashbacks for a lot of the characters and have come to learn their backstories. While we know why some of the inmates have been incarcerated, others still remain a mystery. The charges range from unknown to elder abuse to murder to some pretty out there nonsensical things. Let’s dive into some of them, shall we?

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Oh, dear Piper. She is the leading lady of the series, and all that has unfolded begins and ends with her for the most part. She first came to Litchfield after being ratted out by her ex-girlfriend Alex, to whom she is now engaged to, but has been on and off with, and yeah, let’s just say it’s a very complicated relationship.

Piper was found guilty of money laundering when she tried to smuggle money across customs and was also caught for conspiring with criminals.

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Involved with a drug lord named Kubra, Alex was found guilty of trafficking heroin and then later violating probation. Her probation violation stemmed from Piper exacting revenge on Alex after she was released from prison and caught with a gun when the parole officer showed up. What a twisted love story, right?

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The character of Sophia is a fan favorite and her journey on Orange Is The New Black has been a tragic and devastating one. From being thrown in SHU, to attempting suicide, to being the target of ridicule, she has had to endure a lot.

She was sent to prison for committing credit card theft so she could pay for her gender confirmation surgery and hormonal therapy.

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Suzanne aka “Crazy Eyes”

It goes without saying that Suzanne is the most loved on this series on screen and off screen (Come on, who doesn’t love Uzo Aduba?). She is a delicate individual on the show and her mental condition leaves her vulnerable and at times susceptible to frequent meltdowns.

Suzanne always means love and truly has a heart of gold. Her past is tragic and complicated and led her to Litchfield in an unfortunate way. After being left home alone, she ventured out to the park and befriended a boy who followed her home after. An honest mistake and a confused state of mind caused her to force him to stay with her.

Out of panic the boy ran away, fell down the fire escape, and died thus leaving her with kidnapping and involuntary manslaughter charges.

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Aleida, who is also Daya’s mother, is no longer in prison but like many of the other inmates was brought to jail on drug-related charges. Her boyfriend, Cesar, sold drugs from her apartment and as a result, she got caught up and arrested for being involved.


On the other hand, her daughter Daya’s charges are somewhat unknown, although we can assume that they also are tied to Cesar’s drug business.

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Nicky’s journey on Orange Is The New Black has been tough, and her life prior to it completely unexpected. We learn through flashbacks that she comes from a wealthy family but has a tumultuous relationship with her parents.

Along the way, she got into drugs and was eventually charged with heroin possession. She was additionally charged for breaking and entering into a neighbor’s apartment to steal stuff she could sell to buy heroin.

Her issues with heroin never really seem to go away as she begins using again while in prison.


Lorna, Lorna, Lorna. She is a sweetheart and goes above and beyond for others, but her stalker tendencies and ability to fall deeply in love are always the bane of her existence. She was brought to Litchfield on multiple charges including mail-order fraud, harassing and stalking an ex, and then violating a restraining order he had against her.

And if that wasn’t enough, she also tried to kill the ex and his girlfriend by planting a homemade bomb on their car.

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Pennsatucky goes through her share of brutal moments in Orange Is The New Black, and at times we often find ourselves feeling sorry for her. Her charges include murder–yes, murder. She killed an abortion clinic employee who made a snide remark about the number of abortions Pennsatucky has had.


And while we previously mentioned that Piper was the epicenter of the series, it’s safe to say that over time Taystee has also become front and center in her role. The backstory we’ve come to learn about Taystee is very complicated but through a series of events in her life, she ended up trafficking heroin.

Although eventually, she did get out of prison, she violated parole on purpose in order to come back to Litchfield. She was overwhelmed by the loneliness and responsibilities that were calling out to her in the outside world, so she opted to be back to the only place she felt was home.

Big Boo

We actually definitively don’t know why Big Boo is in jail. It hasn’t ever been revealed except through some dialogue here and there. She was part of a gambling ring in the past and it’s presumed her arrest had something to do with theft or fraud.

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After coming to America with her husband, Red and her husband got caught up in the mob and after attacking the mob boss’s wife, she was pressured to take on jobs as punishment, such as storing dead bodies in the freezer. Ultimately, this is what led to her arrest, and landed her straight into Litchfield.

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Being one of the younger inmates, Maritza has a personality about her that is enchanting. She has been through the wringer before and during Litchfield, and watching her over the years has been fun.

She was arrested on charges presumably related to grand theft auto. She pretended to be an employee and customer at the same time, and when she was moments away from being caught, she faked an illness and then ran off with the car she was driving.


Flaca and Maritza are BFFs, and seeing the yin and yang of their relationship is one of the comedic aspects of the show. Blanca may come off as ditzy, but her character is knowledgeable and intelligent in all walks of life, it’s surprising the number of things she knows about.


Oh my, Blanca’s charges are freaky. She was essentially brought in on charges of elder abuse, but the crime itself is fairly disturbing. After having issues with an elderly woman she was taking care of, Blanca began to retaliate by inflicting psychological torture on her.

This included having sex in front of her with the gardener. It’s quite the jarring scene and you truly feel for the elderly woman.

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Let’s discuss how Brooke’s charges don’t even make sense, and there has to be something else that we just don’t know about. But as far as we do know, she was arrested for protesting logging. She decided to live in a tree so they couldn’t cut it down. Wait, what?


Leanne’s flashbacks revealed to us that she is from an Amish community, and while her charges are drug-related and dealing with breaking house arrests, she got into a bad situation when she “took a break” from the Amish life.

Her life went downhill after she tried drugs and eventually got caught up in a situation that led her to jail. Her Litchfield best friend Angie is also in for drug-related charges, and the two share a close bond in Orange Is The New Black.


In order to take of her family, Gloria dabbles in food stamp fraud and is ultimately arrested when a customer complains about her.


Watching Lolly in this show has been so difficult, especially after learning her backstory. She is similar to Crazy Eyes in that way because her actions aren’t entirely under control, and it feels extremely tragic.

She is arrested on charges of aggravated assault of a police officer, which plays out in an unfortunate manner. The officers thought she was pulling out a weapon but really she was hearing voices in her head and trying to make them stop.

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Mei Chang

Mei Chang is quite the perplexing character on Orange Is The New Black and from the little we know about her past, it’s assumed she was involved in organized crime.

Yoga Jones

Yoga Jones has a sad story behind her arrest which is due to accidentally shooting a teen she thought was a deer in a marijuana field.


Norma is Red and Gina’s biffle in Litchfield but doesn’t actually speak. In fact, we’ve only heard her speak twice throughout the whole series. Pretty crazy, right?

She is in jail for murder charges due to pushing her cult-leader husband off a cliff.

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Best known for proclaiming herself as a Neo-Nazi, Brandy is in jail because she poisoned and killed African American and Jewish customers at the coffee shop she worked at.

Next. Orange Is The New Black: Danielle Brooks dishes on season 6. dark


Freida is not someone you want to mess with because she is in prison for murdering five people who include a cop and for assaulting her husband with a butchers knife that she claimed “wasn’t sharp enough.

Orange Is The New Black is now streaming season six on Netflix! Make sure to check it out!