Many Swiss prisons have actually painted their jail cells pink. They’ve decided to refer to the specific shade they’ve chosen as Cool Down Pink. The goal of this unique color choice for a prison is to ‘curb’ the aggressive behavior of inmates.
Switzerland isn’t the first European country to attempt this method, however many people still find it as a highly degrading tactic.
Psychology has found that certain colors can have an impact on our moods, such as red stimulating appetite, and blue that is said to suppress our appetites. Pink is generally believed to be related to compassion and happiness, but at the same time also with femininity and weakness, which is exactly what has made it such a highly controversial tactic.
Despite the psychological effects that pink can have, having it in a prison has been seen by many as an embarrassing and manipulative tactic. The idea of using pink in prisons first came out in the 1970s when Alexander Shauss, a researcher performed experiments to prove the powers of colors on behavior.
Schauss showed some impressive results for the color pink when it came to prisoner’s behaviors. Throughout the 1980’s, pink was used by many prisons to help reduce inmate’s aggression. But as more experiments were conducted, it was actually found that the bright shade of pink wasn’t all that calming. In fact, Schauss actually found that it could even lead prisoners to be more violent.
Thirty years later, his hypothesis was confirmed that the bright pink didn’t have calming effects. A Swiss psychologist decided to explore the effects of the color herself, and examined a more gentle shade of the pink which she named Cool Down Pink.
Ten prisons is Switzerland applied the light pink color in its cells, and inmates were reported to have less aggressive behaviors.Cool Down Pink continues to spread in prisons across Europe with the aim of curbing inmates aggression, despite their negative view towards it. One prisoner has even expressed that he feels like his cell is similar to a little girl’s room. Others have made claims that using the color pink is gender stereotyping and is sexist.