york county prison

The inmates in Orange Is the New Black have exactly one close call with a rodent in the first season. When Piper and Janae attempt to fix some wires in an air vent in episode seven, they discover that a rat has chewed through them.

But the rodents in Suffolk County jails are a bit more ubiquitous. At one facility, the NYCLU notes, there are “widespread vermin infestations.” Rodents make regular appearances in “housing and food preparation areas.” Inmates report that pests “are everywhere” and cannot be avoided.


York County Prison

Although this abandoned York County, PA prison is closed to the public, people have still been sneaking in to check out this decrepit historic structure for decades. And hey, for a sweet $3.9 million, this old jail could be yours.

The prison was built in 1906 on the sight of a previous prison built in 1853. The prison fell under fire in the 1950s for its racism. African-American prisoners were segregated from the rest of the prison and treated extremely poorly. Prisoners were also kept in tiny padded cells due to lack of space, and the prison also suffered from a bedbug epidemic. Later, a report surfaced that detailed how the only meat prisoners were fed came from roadkill picked up by various deputies. The prison closed in 1979. 

Various apparitions have been spotted inside the prison, all of prisoners. Visitors report being followed by these apparitions. They also reported smelling cigarette smoke with no explanation.  


New Sanctuary Movement

As part of her partner organization work, Lauren helped plan a protest for the National Day of Action to End Deportations.  Families converged outside of the York County Prison, where their loved ones are being detained for deportation.  Protesters called on President Obama to halt deportations, which have shot up under his administration, and showed their support for incarcerated community members by singing and chanting outside of the prison fence.