Everyone’s a Critic: Jail Cell Reviews on Yelp

Yelp, the customer review site that lets users rate and comment on their experiences with hotels, restaurants, nail salons and various other businesses, has become a regular go-to for many people looking to try out something new.

Turns out, the list of places available for reviews on this site includes jail cells. Yes, the place that holds inmates awaiting trial or transfer to state of federal prison is up for evaluation by those who have had first-hand experience.

One of these jail cells is The Lew Sterrett Justice Center in Dallas, which currently has a two out of five star rating. Rikers Island Correctional Facility fares better with its 4 out of 5 star rating, although it has a couple of less reviews than Lew Sterrett.

Reviews that describe these places as “hell” or “the crappiest place on earth” are offered from past inmates, as well as those who have only visited the facilities on tour. Some are obviously written for humor, such as the one coming from a Bob C who described Lew Street thusly:

“The industrial vibe of the accommodations, combined with the summer camp atmosphere among the guests, somehow managed to be both sophisticated and good old-fashioned fun. The noise level was high, like the best hipster restaurants. And the complementary proctological exam was a nice surprise.”

Others relay their experiences with reviews such as this one from user Michael H:

“The 20 hours I spent in this facility would have to be ranked as the 20 worst hours of my life. I have never been treated by such mean, nasty, vermin who wear uniforms […] when I got in to Sterrett it was like something out of a horror movie. I was stripped of my clothes, put in prison garb, and placed in a holding cell with about 10 other men. The officers were on a power trip” he wrote, adding “The problem I had with the place is that you are treated like you are guilty until proven innocent.”

Harsh words, but it makes us wonder these Yelp pages even exist. We don’t know about you, but if we ever do end up in jail, it sure won’t be an experience that we’ve mapped and planned out in advance.

Tell us what you think.