January 22, 2015 / 8:58 PM / 3 years ago

Georgia city puts inmates in pink uniforms as crime deterrent

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Hot pink uniforms are the newest fashion for inmates at the city jail in Grovetown, Georgia, whose public safety chief views the style as a crime-fighting weapon.

“Folks will see our inmates picking up trash in the gullies wearing hot pink, and hopefully it’ll give them a second thought if they want to come here and do wrong,” Gary Jones, director of the city's public safety department, said on Thursday.

Inmates donned the first batch of the brightly colored uniforms a week ago in the working-class city of about 15,000 people in suburban Augusta, about 130 miles east of Atlanta.

Jones said he was inspired by his hero, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona. Arpaio made international news a few years ago when he required inmates to wear pink underwear and pink handcuffs.

In Grovetown, the pink uniforms will be reserved for inmates serving sentences for misdemeanor crimes. This week, about 10 inmates on a road crew are sporting pink as they pick up trash along the city’s roads.

Jones said he hoped passersby took notice.

“I know most men wouldn’t be caught dead in one, so I thought this would be an added level of deterrence,” he said.

Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Peter Cooney

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