CHICAGO (CBS) — People turn to the website Yelp for reviews of restaurants, bars, hotels, and other businesses; it turns out you also can check out reviews of jails and prisons.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports the reviews include complaints and advice for inmates, and even some positive reviews.
Some reviews are obviously fake, intended to be funny, while others are clearly real considering the detail.
On the review for the Cook County Jail, “David B.” wrote, “The beds were very uncomfortable and my bunkmate was frequently rude. The only reason that I’m giving it two stars is because of the food; it was great and very reasonably priced. I suggest chicken mole, boeuf bourguignon, or cannelloni ricotta e spinaci.”
“Dave S.” wrote, “A unique and memorable lodging and dining experience in Chicago can be found here. The personal service and hospitality I received here are second to none.”
For the DuPage County Jail, “Sarah F.” wrote, “I really believe that they should screen their inmates better. Some of them belong in a psych ward, not the jail. I’ve met some characters in there.”
The reviews include plenty of complaints about the food.
“Dug H.” wrote, “The oatmeal was identifiable both by appearance and texture but only vaguely by taste. I will give them that they did have a very tasty breakfast roll.”
Another former DuPage County inmate, “Paul S.”, wrote “my experience at this jail was more pleasant that I would have expected, given the nature of what you’re dealing with when you walk in the doors.”
About the Lake County Jail, reviewer “Frank G.” wrote, “I found Lake Jail to be fairly easy going. Actually it was fairly modern compared to Kane Co. Your finger prints were taken electronically and put into a national data base instantly. All doors were controlled electronically also. Even their construction seemed to be a little ahead of the times although the good old toilet\ sink combo never seems to get old in these places.”
The jail reviews are not a new feature on Yelp, with some comments dating back to 2006, but are likely not widely known, with Cook County Jail having only 13 reviews, despite regularly holding 9,000 to 10,000 inmates.