Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Yelp for Prison Reviews

Credit: Wikipedia Commons
Prison Conditions being reviewed by Inmates and Lawyers on Yelp

Have a plan to spend time in a prison. You may want to check out Yelp, the review site.

With the highest percentage of any population in prison, it's not that surprising to learn that Yelp prison reviews are becoming and increasingly popular item. Yelp prison reviewers comment on things that all of us, headed to prison would be interesetd in, from cleanliness, food quality, security issues to whether the prison staff violates "constitutional privileges." I'm certain the violation of "constitutional privileges" isn't biased and has been reviewed by a Federal Judge before being posted.

Should one question these reviews? I say just trust what you read. As Dale Carnegie once said, "the most innocent group of people you will ever talk to are those in prison."

On a positive note, the use of a site like Yelp to provide inmates with an evenue to voice complaints about prison life when they truly have few options can be a valuable outlet though seriously, is that the purpose of Yelp? No doubt prisons have comfort issues and prisoners aren't always treated reasonably and there are Constitutional violations. These complaints often get surpressed by prison staff or retaliation takes place if prisoners become too vocal.

David Fathi, director of the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union said that"Anything that increases public awareness of prison conditions is a positive thing." A lawyer adds that Yelp reviews " elevate consciousness of the problems and transparency and oversight to a system that isn’t used to being transparent." I'm unsure that their is a Constitutional right to transparency in prison. I know there is one against Cruel and Unusual Punishment, violation of which certainly should be brought to light.

This seems like the perfect opportunity for someone to create a FaceTime social network for Prison Inmates. Well maybe not FaceTime as I believe that may be protected by Apple, though "what's in a name?"


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