In the third season, Piper admits to Alex that she was the one that alerted her probation officer that she violated her parole, causing her to be sent back to prison.
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After being rebuffed on her attempt to show the company that they were wasting fabric and could make an extra pair of underwear with each sheet, she uses the extra fabric to start a used panty business with her brother Cal, recruits some of the other inmates to wear the panties, and uses Officer Bayley to smuggle the panties out of the prison.
At first, she pays the women wearing the panties with ramen noodle seasoning packets, but is forced to give them money after Flaca threatens to cause a strike.
Faced with the loss of her business, Piper convinces the new guard captain Piscatella to let her start an anti-gang task force, but the women that gather at her meeting mistakenly assume that she wants to start a white supremacist group.
During a meeting with one of the COs, the women bring the used panty businesses to his attention (after Piper tried to downplay it), resulting in Maria being caught and Piscatella recommending that she get three to five years added to her sentence.
After perjuring herself at the recommendation of Alex, Piper is returned to Litchfield to serve the remainder of her sentence while Alex is released on early parole for her testimony.
After learning her grandmother is dying, Healy assists her in getting furlough to visit her, and then to attend the funeral, which aggravates some of the other inmates.However, as her business begins to succeed, she becomes darker and more ruthless, firing Flaca in retaliation for her instigation of the strike.This change in Piper's personality, as well as Alex's paranoia leads to the end of their relationship, and Piper starts a relationship with new inmate Stella Carlin and allowed her to tattoo the words "Trust No Bitch" on her arm.While high, Piper discovers that Kubra sent Aydin to kill Alex and she killed him after he failed.Later, she was able to get her swastika altered into a window, with the help of Red, Norma, and Alex, and she apologizes to Alex for not believing her during the branding.She works in the electrical shop at the prison and inadvertently takes a screwdriver from the tool crib and loses it.