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With few other outlets, inmates review prisons on Yelp (washingtonpost.com)
78 points by ted0 1605 days ago | hide | past | web | 19 comments | favorite

This reminds me of one of my favorite odd Yelp finds, reviews for Occupy Wall Street http://www.yelp.com/biz/occupy-wall-street-manhattan-4

I love the photo of the fat cat sleeping in a pile of money.

This also reminds me of a quote from the movie twelve monkeys - the insane asylum - seems to fit:

"Telephone call? Telephone call? That's communication with the outside world. Doctor's discretion. Nuh-uh. Look, hey - all of these nuts could just make phone calls, they could spread insanity, oozing through telephone cables, oozing into the ears of all these poor sane people, infecting them."


The link is to the second page of the article, by the way. The first is http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/with-few-other-outlet...

Do prisoners even get Internet access?

I don't even know what to say to this...

Prisons aren't meant to be fun or enjoyable. Now don't get me wrong, if prisoners are deliberately and excessively being treated badly, someone needs to be held accountable.

But if prisoners are complaining their meals are cold or have no taste, the guards don't smile or talk to them and Leroy tried to shiv me because I tried to overthrow his king like status in the prison yard or limited use of communication mediums, that's just sad. Prison conditions might not be great, but they're not as bad as movies depict and a hell of a lot better than being homeless on the street; getting kicked, robbed and beaten because you're homeless and drunks think it's funny.

It's a well-known fact if you go to jail for anything to do with abusing or hurting a child, you will not be treated like an equal by the guards and certainly not by the other inmates once they find out and I think that is more than fair in that instance.

Do the crime, do the time. A prison isn't a hotel or a luxury retreat...

Your entire comment reeks of privilege. Many of the people who end up in prison are the homeless people who were getting kicked, robbed and beaten, that you ostensibly care so much about. It is a well-known fact that the poor are severely disadvantaged in the legal system.

Also, your implication that someone who goes to jail for hurting a child deserves to be assaulted (sexually or otherwise) by other prisoners is obnoxiously offensive and ignorant. Abuse or neglect is not conducive to rehabilitating prisoners, so unless you want these people to recidivate (and possibly hurt more children) after their release, you may wish to reconsider your opinion.

> It's a well-known fact if you go to jail for anything to do with abusing or hurting a child, you will not be treated like an equal by the guards and certainly not by the other inmates once they find out and I think that is more than fair in that instance.

Yeah, while at it why don't be just throw the rest of the judicial system out of the window and let some prisoners take care of that as well.


No human being deserves to be treated like a dog. Prisons are exactly that, put em in a cage, feed em a couple times, let em shower so they don't smell. Nobody comes out of prison a nicer person. You shouldn't look down your nose at people who have probably had much harder lives than you. The system is fucked up, and any force to improve it, is a force for good that should be encouraged. Even if it's something as trivial as reviewing prisons on yelp.

Um, you do know that the problem is that the system in place to help prevent these legitimate problems are done by the prisons themselves. That's a huge, pretty corruptible system. I've seen prisoners go days without getting their medicine because the guards couldn't be bothered. Nothing the prisoner did that should have caused such a retaliation. (according to everyone in the block who talked about it. Naturally, asking the guards wouldn't have gotten me anywhere.)

They yelp portion is the icing to get people to bite. They also talk about a number of more nuanced legitimate ways different groups go about inspecting prisons, and getting information from inmates.

I think one of the comments on the article itself resonates with me. It talks about the distinction between rehabilitation and punishment. Are prisons for one, the other, or both, and are they effective in either capacity?

I also agree with the response prior to mine. Going to prison doesn't mean you're utterly stripped of all of your civil liberties and rights, nor should it. For one thing, even if we had 100% accuracy in convictions, I think that would be a dubious quality, and we sure don't have that.

Any one of the situations mentioned is far too nuanced and complex for a simple off-the-cuff "Do the crime, do the time" and screw you if you want to be treated like a human.

Convicted criminals go to prison AS punishment not FOR punishment. That's fundamental to a free civilized society. Prison isn't to mete out some kind of dysfunctional revenge fantasy on those who transgress our complex legal code.

Please feel free to take a gander at this :


You're partly right; prisons aren't meant to be fun or enjoyable. What they're supposed to be is reformatory, but these days, they're just for warehousing human beings. With budgets for reform being deflected toward building bigger and better mega-prisons (the Supermax) the focus now is keeping them alive until their release (if ever), not rehabilitation or reform.

The thing is, some people did not commit any crimes. They get arrested because of false accusations, corrupt cops, and overzealous prosecutors. Many people have served sentences and then get exonerated. Our judicial system along with the prison system is broken...

Given the overwhelming incarceration of the US populace (beyond any other country), we could imagine that most prisoners are probably innocent, by the standards of more civilized societies.

So what do you propose?

I know it's an incredibly radical idea, but treating prisoners like human beings would be a good start.

b...bb...but what about poetic justice?

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