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Joseph Salvatore Caputo (also known as "Joe"or "Joey") is the tetartagonist of Orange Is the New Black and the former Director of Human Activities, or the Warden, of Litchfield Penitentiary (Director of HR-MCAA).


Despite his somewhat gruff and lecherous nature, Joe Caputo is an honest man who genuinely cares for the women in his charge. Though he holds a prominent position, Joe is an underdog in the prison because he is "soft" and both staff and prisoners have little respect for him. Like anyone, though, he does have a breaking point and will disregard the needs of others if he feels they have become selfish.

Physical Appearance[]

He is a balding man, with a walrus mustache that is graying at the ends. He is usually seen wearing a pair of glasses. He also has a large bald spot on the top of his head. He has a very big penis, earning him the nickname "beercan" in high school: Fig was shocked when seeing his penis, Linda said that it was "too big," and Piper called it "formidable" when seeing the picture on Linda's phone.


For a list of episodes featuring Caputo's flashbacks, see here.

Before Litchfield[]

Caputo went by "Joey" as he grew up. He was an accomplished wrestler. However, in 1978 his desire to be friendly to a wrestler with Down's Syndrome backfired when that wrestler pinned him effortlessly, dislocating his shoulder and ending his wrestling career ("We Can Be Heroes").


"Joey" Caputo at a wrestling tournament ("We Can Be Heroes").

In later years, Caputo was a part of a band with some friends. In 1991, he had just found out that they were going to be doing a ten-month tour, which the band was really excited about, when his girlfriend Lisa revealed she was pregnant by one of his band mates, Hank. Lisa wanted Caputo to know before Hank, and told him that she could live with her parents whilst he went on tour. However, Caputo insisted that he would stay to support her; he quit his band and intended to marry her.

In order to provide for his family, Caputo got a job as a Corrections Officer at Litchfield.

After the baby was born, Lisa decided to leave Caputo for Hank, due to his apparent success with Caputo's former band ("We Can Be Heroes") and her desire to be a family with her daughter's biological father, who she said she loved more than Caputo.

Season One[]

He is a talented musician, playing bass guitar and singing for an indie rock band called "Side Boob".

Sometimes he masturbates in his office after having meetings with women inmates (for example, after having allowed Piper to make a phone call). DeMarco mentions that he especially likes it when they cry.

Season Two[]

He is interested in Corrections Officer Susan Fischer, but she never returns his advances.

When Piper starts running a prison newsletter, he considers it as a good way to "communicate with the inmates and explain our side of things" and wants her to write something about the guards of Litchfield to show they are humans, too, which provides him his own front page story he proudly hangs up in his office.

In We Have Manners. We're Polite. he finds out about Fig, and reports her.  He smugly watches Fig pack her things in a box and leaves.  Next, he is seen emptying a drawer full of candy wrappers into the waste basket and Officer Bennett comes in. he invites him inside and says, "you like my new office?" but a hesitant Bennett admits to him that he is the father of Daya's baby, not Mendez.  Caputo asks him  if he loves Daya, which Bennett with a calm expression gladly says, "I do".  Caputo tells Bennett to not tell anyone else or he will send Daya to a max security prison in a cage, away from him, her mom and her friends. where she will spend the rest of her pregnancy and then have her child with her hands and feet cuffed to a bed. he asks him if he wants that, which a sad Bennett response "no" to.  In the end, he drops the conversation and Caputo cant believe his second day as - Executive Assistant to the Warden.  Bennett leaves and Caputo sits in a chair with a shocked expression on his face.

finally we see him walking with Sister towards the gate security booth were the nuns are. As they walk there he asks her what she is going to say but sees Rosa speeding, escaping prison.


Caputo, at his first job as a correctional officer, meets inmate Rosa Cisneros.

Season Three[]

He and Fig are shown having an affair. She accuses Caputo of seeing himself as a "nice guy," when in fact his actions are actually often self-centered. This is illustrated with his efforts to save the prison and his employee's benefits contrasted with a flashback to other times in his life where "being the nice guy" didn't work out for him like he wanted.

Season Four[]

Caputo becomes romantically involved with Linda Ferguson, who is in charge of purchasing for MCC. Eventually, it becomes apparent she is not only clueless as to how a prison is run but she is unsympathetic toward the plight of the inmates, and does not see them as human beings. She is responsible for changing his idea for an education program for the inmates into an unpaid physical labor program. Caputo hires Taystee as his secretary. When asked how he chose her, Caputo says she's the only semi-intelligent one that he's only semi-attracted to. Caputo struggles to keep Desi Piscatella from becoming too power hungry and eventually fires him, but Piscatella refuses to accept it, and puts his own orders for the COs ahead of Caputo's. Seeking solace from the increased chaos and corruption, Caputo visits Natalie Figueroa, who sympathizes with how hard the Warden's job is. She invites him in for a drink and he accepts. That night, Poussey Washington is killed after a peaceful protest spiraled out of control at the prison. Caputo is to make a statement to the media and the inmates assume he will confirm Bayley's arrest. Instead, he defends Bayley and sidelines Poussey entirely, not even stating her name. This sends Taystee into a rage and she incites a prison-wide riot.

Season Five[]

Caputo is taken hostage along with all other Litchfield staff. He spends the majority of the riot imprisoned, both in the guard's room and in a port-a-loo. He sympathizes with Taystee's grief and tries to apologize for sidelining Poussey's death in his speech to the media, stating he was trying to prevent another tragedy in Bayley going to jail. He tries to help Gloria gain furlough to see her son in hospital by telling her to call Jack Pearson's office. He is forced to confront Natalie Figueroa when she enters the prison, to try to convince her to meet the inmates demands. He initially stops the guards from ambushing the inmates when he sees Linda is with them, but is later unsympathetic towards her when she attempts to escape the prison. As Linda tries to convince Figueroa that she is an MCC employee, Caputo pretends she is a mentally ill prisoner who thinks she is in charge. The other prisoners support his story. Caputo is eventually allowed to go free with Figueroa and he continues to try to bargain for the inmates demands to be met. He briefly attempts to hook up with Figueroa but they are interrupted. He is extremely frustrated when the SWAT Team announces they're permitted to use deadly force to scope out ten remaining, hidden inmates, after the team does two sweeps of the prison.

Season Six[]

Joe Caputo is a mess. He's been placed on leave and doesn't know what to do with himself. He meets up with Sam who encourages him to take the money from MCC and forget about the Litchfield girls. Caputo gives himself a makeover and invites Fig over for dinner. They have sex but stop after Caputo finds out that Fig is the new Litchfield warden again. He calls Jack Pearson and demands to have his job back.

On Taystee's behalf, Ward sets up a meeting between Caputo and Taystee. Taystee tells him that she needs his help. He goes and talks to Linda about Taystee but it doesn't go anywhere. He ends up taking a warden job in Missouri after being blackmailed by Linda. Caputo finally takes Fig on a date and serenades her with Bruce Springsteen. She is saddened after she comes to terms with the fact that he's leaving. ("Gordons")

Caputo is called to be a character witness for Taystee at her deposition. He says only good things until the prosecutor asks him if Taystee really did punch him during the riot. Caputo is at home when Linda shows up. She yells at him for being on Taystee's side. He decides that he doesn't want anything to do with MCC anymore and quits. ("Break the String")

Caputo is now free to help advocate for Taystee. He looks for jobs and is unsuccessful. Cindy calls him and gives him a tip to check out the CERT team because of what she saw while hiding in the pool. He goes to interrogate Herrmann but the guy tells him to leave him alone. Fig tells Caputo to focus instead on how MCC allowed the riot to happen to begin with. ("Chocolate Chip Nookie")

Caputo goes to visit Sophia and suggests that she press charges against the MCC. She does it after he says to do it for Taystee, one of her last friends during the transphobic attacks. She thinks that him and Taystee are together which he denies. Unfortunately, that plan falls through when Sophia reveals that Linda visited her and offered her money plus early release to not sue the MCC. ("Well This Took a Dark Turn")

Caputo sees Sylvia Guillen, Taystee's lawyer and talks to her. She tells him he should've did an actual testimony and he tells her he isn't moving anymore. He asks how's Taystee's chances and she replies 50-50 and that the new Medical Examiner's report contradicts the previous ones. She excuses herself and goes to the bathroom. He talks to Taystee who is in her cell. She asks him how she's supposed to get the jury to care when even her friends don't give a damn about her. He tells her that Cindy does care about her and that Cindy was tricked. He also says he and the Black Lives Matter Movement care about her too. He also tells her that what she says on the stand matters and that she needs to fight like hell. That the jury might surprise her but that can only happen if she hasn't given up. Tamika Ward later sits beside him. 

Taystee ends up getting a guilty verdict. Caputo notices that Herrmann was at the trial and goes after him. Caputo gets his butt kicked and after he goes to the PolyCon Corrections gathering, much to the annoyance of Linda, where Fig is. He asks her husband where Gavin is before Fig moves him and takes care of him. 

Season Seven[]

Joe appears in frequently Season 7, helping inmates with a GED program and dealing with a Sexual Harassment call out on social media by Susan Fischer





  • Natalie Figueroa (casual sex, later girlfriend) - Joe originally despises Natalie due to her unfair treatment and negligence of the inmates and staff. She performs oral sex on him in Season Two, in exchange for Joe's silence regarding her embezzlement; he fails to mention that he'd already uncovered her until after the event. In Season Three, they are shown to be having an affair. This is partly due to Figueroa's lack of a sex life, because her husband Jason is gay. They are somewhat disgusted in themselves for sleeping together, but also find they relate to each other better than anyone else in their lives. In Season Four, despite having a girlfriend, Joe visits her for the first time in a while, when his job becomes too stressful. He apologizes for misjudging how difficult being a warden is and she accepts his apology, offering sympathy, then invites him inside to talk and have some wine. It is implied they may have hooked up again, as Joe has bite marks on his ear the next day. Figueroa enters the prison during the riot to try to meet the inmates demands. They bring Caputo in to handle negotiations but they mostly get nowhere. Caputo is freed along with Figueroa and he briefly attempts to hook up with her again, but they are interrupted. In Season 6, they begin having casual sex again, then soon started going on dates and eventually became an official couple. In the the final season, we see the two become much closer to each other. Natalie and Joe emotionally comfort one another, Natalie with her new ICE job and Joe with his sexual assault allegations. The two decide to adopt a child together in the finale. 
  • Susan Fischer (unrequited love interest): Joe showed an interest in Susan when she became a CO at Litchfield. When Joe finds out Susan has broken up with her boyfriend, he invites her to see his band perform at a bar. Unaware of his intentions, Susan invites the other CO's as well and ends up spending more time with them and later hooking up with Luschek.
  • Linda Ferguson (ex-girlfriend): Joe meets Linda, who is the Director of Purchasing for Litchfield, during a meeting regarding the CO's walkout at the end of Season Three. She proposes they hire veterans to replace them because the government offers tax deductions to companies who give vets jobs. Joe is hoping to get a call from her and asks his new receptionist Taystee if she has contacted the prison at all. Her proposal is accepted by MCC, and Linda celebrates by agreeing to go on a date with Joe. They later attend a correctional facility convention - CorrectiCon - together and, during her panel, Danny Pearson launches into a protest about the corruption at Litchfield. Joe gets into an altercation with him which leads to their arrest. Linda finds this side of Joe attractive and they have sex. Joe is later seen in bed with Linda one morning, pitching an idea to have basic life skill classes for the inmates. Linda is largely disinterested but pitches the idea to MCC, who rework his idea into making the inmates do construction work on a new dorm for incoming prisoners. When Linda and Joe are cooking dinner one night, Crystal Burset shows up at his house, and won't leave until Linda pulls a gun on her. Joe is bewildered but ultimately finds it attractive. After a body is found in the prison yard, Joe travels to MCC to figure out what to do next. He finds Linda waiting in the lobby for him past midnight. He says he needs to go back to the prison but she pressures him to go home instead. She mentions the inmates will be safe behind bars, in their cells, and Joe realises she has no idea how Litchfield's minimum security works. She admits she never found it necessary to visit any prison before and a stunned Joe doesn't respond. He is later shown wide awake in bed, while she sleeps soundly next to him. After an inmate's death, Linda shows up at Litchfield for the first time, to be there for Joe when he gives his speech to news stations about it. She isn't overly affected by the tragedy. As Joe is getting makeup done, Linda notices bite marks on his ear and is unimpressed. In Season Five, their relationship completely deteriorates as Caputo is held hostage and Linda disguises herself as one of the inmates.
  • Lisa (ex-girlfriend)


  • Caputo's computer password is "sideboobrulez".
  • He has a small cross tattoo on the little finger of his left hand.
  • He has a pet turtle. ("Comic Sans")
  • People in high-school called him "Beer Can" due to the shape of his penis. Fig then begins mockingly using this nickname during their affair. A picture of his penis is shown on Linda's stolen cellphone in Season Five.
  • He got "Me-Too'd" by Susan Fischer.

Memorable Quotes[]

"You know how many times I tried to fire his ass? Fucking unions were not created to protect the drunk and retarded."
— Joe Caputo about Joel Luschek (Imaginary Enemies)
"Christ on a cross."
— Joe Caputo (Fool Me Once)


Season 1[]

"I Wasn't Ready"[]