Next Time You're in Jail, Be Sure to Yelp About It

The social-media website Yelp is known for offering consumers reviews of things like restaurants, salons, mechanics and now prisons. Wait, what? Yes, prisons are now part of the growing review enterprise that is Yelp. 

Why would someone choose to review prisons? Is it out of a sinister desire to damage the reputation of America’s prison system? Nope. It just so happens that some attorneys like to review prisons while waiting for clients. It isn’t only attorneys though who are taking to the incredibly popular website. Former inmates and families of inmates are also making profiles and writing reviews. They comment on everything from food, to treatment, to facility conditions.

Here are some of the best reviews: 

1. Manhattan Central Booking - Keith G. From Brooklyn Writes 

I realize one star is the lowest rating you can give, but I'd still like to say that the star is for my cell-mates, most of whom were good-humored and polite and in for petty drug violations. And, to be honest, the guards could have been worse.

But the Tombs only gets one star because it is filthy. Really filthy, as in unhygienic. It's a human rights violation to force people to stay here against their will (and of course most of the people in here are in here against their will). The bathroom is not only out in the open, it's covered in shit, and you have to ask for toilet paper. There's no soap.

The food was ok, but since I ended up paying a $120 fine, it was a little overpriced, for some pb&j and corn flakes.

2. Rikers Island - Elvis D. of Staten Island Says

If the roaches & rats don't mess with you the CO's will

3. Rikers Island - Yelp Reviewer U.N.O. reports 

Things you MUST remember: No matter what religion you (really) are/aren't, say you're 'Jewish.'

Why? Because, you'll get a box of Matzoh ('crackers, as some call it), a bottle of grape juice (both weekly) and, you'll get a trip  to meet the Rabbi (A VERY nice man who lets you use his phone).

2nd thing to remember is say you've a medical condition, in which you NEED to have 'double portions.' 

Trust me on this. Otherwise - you'll really starve.

4. Sing-Sing - Judith H. is not pleased with you.

You might as well kill yourself then be sent to this place. It is hell on earth. The people that work there are the most unprofessional staff in the world and the rudest. I wouldn't even let them tend my animals much less human beings. The staff creates the prison mentality for these people. It should be closed down. Just checked on the internet for the 5 worst prisons in the U.S.A and Sing Sing is number 2 with Rikers Island in the top 5. NYS be proud of how you are handling these 2 facilities.

5. King County Jail - Zach R. offers some harsh words.

The King's Motel... What a shit hole. This was the worst experience of my life and I am a combat veteran from Iraq. I would rather re-live Basic and the evil Drill Sergeant's. I would rather be in the box. I did 2 days 1 night for missing court and it was misery.

Reviewing prisons in this way could actually be the only way many individuals feel like they have to redress a system they believe will never listen to them. It is an incredibly vocal and public way to draw attention to problems that most of us never get to see. Something tells me the above reviewed facilities will not be receiving their Yelp sticker any time soon.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Andrea Ayres-Deets

PM Politics Intern- M.A. in Writing from the University of Warwick. Lover of sci-fi, awkward situations, and coffee.

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