The first women's federal prison, Alderson in West Virginia, was opened for business in 1927. The same prison Martha Stewart reported to in 2004. Piper Kerman also began serving her prison term in 2004, reporting to the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury. She chronicles her experience in Orange Is The New Black and the basis for the Netflix series.
Much like Susanna in Girl Interrupted, Piper is a privileged protagonist. As her story unfolds, she exposes the different faces of privilege through her interactions with fellow inmates. Issues of race, sexuality, mental health and poverty are explored. Some of the women will have options when they are released, others will not.