Why Did The COs Walk Out On 'Orange Is The New Black'? The Guards Took A Stand For Their Rights

A lot happened with the guards on Orange is the New Black Season 3, including a CO walk out, and that decision has a lasting effect on Season 4. But, why did the original Litchfield guards leave in Season 3? If you can't remember what happened a year ago, I've got you covered. Basically, after Litchfield was purchased by MCC and became a for-profit prison, they started cutting corners to save money. One of those corners MCC cut was the benefits for the COs by downgrading them to part-time employees. But, they didn't take the loss of their insurance and hours lying down. They unionized to fight for their rights.

Unfortunately, MCC decided that they'd rather hire a bunch of inexperienced COs for less money than pay the original COs more. So, the guards staged a walk out. The new guards were very ill-prepared to be so understaffed especially when the prisoners escaped through a hole in the fence. But, Season 4 spoilers through Episode 7 ahead, even that incident didn't make MCC bring the original guards back. They added some army veterans as COs instead (because of the tax benefits) and kept costs low.

So, where does that leave our favorite original guards? Struggling in minimum wage jobs as a restaurant busboy, a school crossing guard, etc. It's a pretty sad way for things to go for the guards who were so loyal to Litchfield for many years and so good at their jobs. Hopefully this storyline will be resolved in Season 4 and they'll be brought back to the prison, because these inmates need them, and most of the new COs are less-than-stellar workers.

I never thought I'd say I miss the original prison guards, but over the course of three seasons I got to know the faces of authority in Litchfield, and I care just as much about their lives as I do the inmates. Except for Pornstache... he can stay in jail.

Image: Jessica Miglio/Netflix