chapter  5
Pink Prisons, Rosy Futures? The Prison Politics of the
ByPink Triangle
Pages 16

In 2010, a wave of sensationalist newspaper articles reported on six Swiss and one German correctional facilities designating pink prison cells for aggressive inmates (Rüegg 2007, Anonymous 2010a, Eichenberger 2010, Hettinger 2010, Tissot 2010). The hue is called “cool down pink,” created by Daniela Späth, owner of the color consulting company Color Motion. In a radio interview, Späth claimed there is evidence that the blood pressure of those exposed to the color goes down significantly (Anonymous 2010b).1 The news reports describe how inmates who are put in the pink cells are bewildered at first: “Me, in here? I’m not a girl, nor am I gay” (Ud 2010: n.p.). What these articles do not mention, however, is who ends up populating these pink prison cells and whether their occupants might have good reason to be angry. In Switzerland, 72 percent of prison inmates are non-Swiss citizens; most are deported after completing their sentences (Swiss Federal Statistical Office 2011).2