Should prisons use Uber ridersharing for newly released inmates? That is exactly what the Monroe County Prison Board has met to discuss. Is it a good idea?
Residents who live by the jail in Hamilton Township, Pennsylvania have noticed inmates wandering around the area after they have been released.
David Hunh, a farmer who lives in the Snydersville area, says that within one month he has seen three released inmates on his farm.
What Are the Current Transportation Options for Released Pennsylvania Prisoners?
Currently, when Pennsylvania’s inmates are released, they are given one of the following for transportation away from the facilities releasing them:
- Use of a phone to call for a ride
- Free bus passes
- Prepaid debit card to pay a cab
Officials do admit that they can’t monitor how the inmates use these prepaid debit cards after they leave after release. So the system can be abused.
Pennsylvania Considers Doing ‘the Uber Thing’ for Newly Released Inmates
John Moyer, the Monroe County Prison Board Chairman says:
I, for one, would be supportive if we can do the Uber thing of saying specifically where do you want to go? We will get you an Uber if you don’t have a ride to get to that location and, you know, please stay on the property until the Uber shows up.
Can Uber Be a Reliable Transportation Source After Prison Releases?
Members of the prison board said the Uber program would still need to figure out some details before being implemented. For example, how far an inmate could go with the Uber?
This is an important question considering most prisoners are housed hundreds of miles from their homes.
What do Uber drivers think about Uber ridesharing for newly released prisoners?
Some of the Uber drivers from the area surrounding Monroe County Prison said they would not mind picking up newly released inmates. In fact, they believe it is a better system than using prepaid debit cards.
Uber driver Terry Weiss says:
I think it’s a good idea. Then they get exactly what the program is designed for and they don’t use it for other than even food, they can use it for other things besides that, too.
Uber driver Nicholas Deligatti says:
I think it’s a great thing for them to do. If it’s not used for the right reasons, then it falls to nothing. Hopefully, they use it for the right reason and get started on where they need to go.
What do you think?
Is Uber ridesharing for newly released prisoners a good idea?
Let us know in the comments below.