According to Newsweek magazine, pink is the latest trend. when it comes to incarceration. Last year, after a prison break in Missouri, all six inmates who tried to flee were re-captured and placed in freshly painted pink jail cells. Why pink? To pacify the prisoners, since pink is considered a non-aggressive color.
A few jails in Texas and Arizona have had similar makeovers, testing out pink cells and jumpsuits. The theory is that the hue makes for soothing surroundings, so hopefully there will be less violence. Pink is supposedly so powerful at decreasing hostility and aggression, it's often used in mental hospitals, too. Even some football teams have even used pink to paint the locker room of the opposing team! So does it work?
Margaret Miele is a color psychologist at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and she says, there’s an academic debate over the color pink’s calming abilities. She says, it does work, by creating slower, calmer brain waves – but only certain shades of pink are thought to diffuse aggression. For instance, hot pink won’t do the trick – and neither will Pepto Bismol pink. Lighter shades work best.
But Miele says the prison system may want to re-think pink and go with green instead. Green is suggestive of nature and it tends to alleviate tension - both physical and mental. Green is used in operating rooms and libraries because it helps concentration and eases stress. In fact, studies show that the greens that are found in nature lower blood pressure and heart rate. And whenever your heart rate slows down, so do your brain waves – which instantly shifts you into a more relaxed frame of mind. Just something to think about, whether you’re a prison warden painting jail cells. or a parent choosing a color for your out-of-control kid’s room.