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Monday, April 29, 2013

Inmates posting reviews of prisons on Yelp

Yahoo“Not recommended.” When it comes to a firsthand prison review, do you really need to know anything other than that?

Believe it or not, that was the actual review from a Yelp user named “Ticha B.,” who reviewed California’s San Quentin State Prison. And for the record, she gave it only one star.

And as it turns out, Ticha is far from alone. The Washington Post has written a story about the phenomenon of prison reviews showing up on Yelp, which lets users review any business, destination, or even prison, with a standard address.

“I think the reviews are actually helpful for bail bondsmen, attorneys, family members—a lot of people, actually,” attorney Robert Miller told the Post. In fact, Miller has written several reviews himself, though with the distinct advantage of being on the outside of a prison cell.

The Post notes that inmates have reviewed six prisons in the Washington, D.C., metro area.

Across the country, not many of the nation’s “worst prisons” have received formal reviews for the site. For example, you won’t have any luck finding a detailed description of the services offered at the nation’s only supermax facility, ADX Florence, in Colorado. ADX is home to some of the nation’s most dangerous convicted felons, including the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski.

Interesting, there appears to be a scarcity of reviews for what are considered some of the nation’s luxury prisons.

However, San Quentin does not suffer from a lack of attention, with 35 reviews at the time of this blog entry's publishing. continue reading...

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