Scantily dressed visitors to Rikers Island have been slapped with a new dress code – neon-green T-shirts. 750 XXL T-shirts have been purchased by the city’s Department of Corrections at a cost of about $5,000 for improperly dressed visitors to wear.
These new rules are meant to be mutually beneficial. Previously, inappropriately dressed visitors were not allowed through the prison gates at all. If they are covered, they get to visit with the inmates, and the “family friendly” atmosphere that the prison is trying to build up is maintained.
The baggy T-shirts are meant to cover-up most frames. The prison officials’ aim is to reduce positive or negative comments by inmates about visitors’ appearance, which could lead to fights. Covering up is also meant to curb any contact between inmates and their visitors that may be deemed inappropriate.
Prohibitions include, among others, clothes that expose the stomach, chest or back, short skirts (should not be more than 3 inches above the knees), gang symbols and low cut tops. Hats are also not allowed unless they are worn for religious reasons.
Women are not the only ones affected by this new rule. Men would need to cover up if they don’t meet the standard because most jewelry is discouraged, as are ripped clothes or any clothing bearing expletives.