Rehabilitation by Quora

Prison Inmate Answers Question About Prisons on Quora

Is Quora finally going mainstream?
 Prison Inmate Answers Question About Prisons on Quora

Mr. Phillips. (Quora)

Eric “Phil” Phillips, a man allegedly imprisoned at San Quentin for second-degree murder, has 117 followers on Quora and has answered 12 questions, including this one about prison design according to the principles of user experience. “If I were designing a prison, I would eliminate double bunking in cells and double/triple bunking in dorms,” he wrote.

Look at the San Quentin cells where I am housed. They are the smallest, if not one of the smallest cells in the California penal system at 4 x 9. They house 2 of us in these tiny cells with our property. Another issue with the double bunking is that sometimes we’re forced to ‘cell up’ with people we don’t know. This leads to potential rapes, assaults, and murders.

Sound advice!

Mr. Phillips appears to be part of an innovative program at San Quentin, a progressive prison, called The Last Mile. Volunteers type inmates’ words into Twitter and, apparently, Quora. Inmates do not have access to the Internet themselves. Inmates also have access to an entrepreneurship program and participate in their own demo day. Mr. Phillips hopes to builds a music and video production business.

Mr. Phillips’s answer on Quora has 89 votes, although one user was critical. “I love this answer in general, but I don’t see what it has to do with the UX perspective requested in the question,” wrote buzzkill Tristan Kromer.

Follow Adrianne Jeffries on Twitter or via RSS. ajeffries@observer.com