What does a green gown mean in jail? is Pooh Shiesty on suicide watch?

Bruno Cooke June 11, 2021

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Pictures of Pooh Shiesty wearing a green gown during court proceedings have emerged, sparking curiosity about the meaning of the garment. What does it mean if an inmate wears a green gown in jail?

What does a green gown mean in jail?

In some contexts, an inmate wearing a green uniform is indicative of that individual being low-risk, and/or on work detail.

This can include working in the kitchen or laundry room, being on cleaning or mail duty, or carrying out other tasks.

Other colours include red (high risk), khaki or yellow (low risk) and orange (for death row inmates in Delaware, for example).

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Realistically, the meaning of this colour or that colour is likely to depend on the institution.

However, the images circulating of Pooh Shiesty during court proceedings feature the rapper wearing a green vest different in shape to regular prison uniform.

Is Pooh Shiesty on suicide watch?

According to recent reports, Pooh Shiesty (real name: Lontrell Dennell Williams, Jr.) was denied bond by Judge Venzer, in relation to his 2020 Bay Harbor Islands, Florida shooting case.

Some users on Twitter have referred to Pooh Shiesty’s attire as a “suicide watch” vest.

True enough, the Tennessee rapper’s vest matches those worn by defendants deemed to be at risk of suicide.

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Source: YouTube [TruFLix Network]

What “anti-suicide” features do the smocks have?

It may just look like an oversized body warmer, but “suicide safety smocks” make it incredibly difficult for inmates to harm themselves.

Per Slate’s explainer, they are “noose-proof”. The base material is “10 times stronger than Levi’s jeans”, meaning a desperate inmate can’t fashion a makeshift out of its material.

They are also too bulky to burn effectively, and feature Velcro linings, rather than zippers or hard hooks and loops.

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Anti-suicide green gowns go by various names, including ‘turtle suit’ and ‘Ferguson’

In previous cases, suicide prevention clothing has been referred to as a “turtle suit”.

Meanwhile Urban Dictionary defines “bam bam suit” in the same way, as a suit given to inmates at risk of self-harm.

Ferguson Safety Products designed a similar suit in 1989, although theirs was blue. 

Spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Corrections Julie Walburn said of the suits that they “have to be proven safe”.

“They have no strings, or belts, or loops or buckles so they [prisoners] can’t hurt themselves.”

Bruno is a postgraduate student studying global journalism, with research interests in the intersection of the media, storytelling, culture and politics. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Packs Light and Forge Press, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com. He is a Student Ambassador for Tortoise Media, a big fan of Freddie Mercury and a novelist – his debut novel, Reveries, is available on Amazon.