Yelp for Jail?

According to a recent story by Jacob Gershman in the Wall St. Journal,

"If you happen to be spending some time at Theo Lacy jail in Orange County, Calif., you might be pleased to know that at least one visitor thinks it’s the “cleanest and best organized of all the jail facilities in the County of Orange.”

That’s not from an official government or legal advocacy report. It’s one man’s opinion shared on Yelp.

The popular review site has become a forum for lawyers, inmates and their family members to pan or praise prisons, reports the Washington Post. Thumbs up and down have been given to everything from the quality of mashed potatoes at the cafeteria to inmate conditions."

I know I typically provide a punchline to blurbs like this...but I think I will simply stand back and allow readers to come up with what they will on this one...


  1. Anonymous24/5/13 16:53

    I actually think that this is a good thing, particularly for criminal lawyers. The lawyer was complaining about poor treatment of attorneys who represent the incarcerated. That's especially significant in jails because most of the prisoners in jail are awaiting trial -- and innocent until proven guilty.

    Many people have a knee-jerk reaction of "tough" when discussing prison conditions. But the difference between jail and prison matters: Jail is not (in many cases) meant to be punishment, but just to prevent flight. So we ought to think long and hard about how we treat those people who have not been convicted of any crimes. And how we would want to be treated while in jail awaiting trial for a crime of which we were eventually exonerated.

  2. Very excellent points Anon. And the prison/jail distinction is indeed one that not many readers of this post, or the initial article, would have made.

    Thanks for stopping by and providing an insightful comment.