Planning a stay at MDC? Check out the reviews - Albuquerque Journal

Planning a stay at MDC? Check out the reviews

If you like to check out lodging options before heading off on a vacation, then you likely are familiar with the online links that take you to guest reviews where you can read consumer comments about a place before you book a room.

Sometimes the same inn will receive nice comments from some guests who stayed there and negative remarks from others. Yet, overall I find them helpful.

But did you know that if you Google the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center, the information box that pops up also has a link for guest reviews?

True, the MDC’s not exactly a hotel, and the guests are not exactly on vacation, and you don’t even have a nice view. But it does have a fancy name for a jail, and its location way out by the mighty Rio Puerco does permit you to literally get out of town for a spell – if unwillingly.

So what do the critics have to say about our local “guest” accommodations?

“Can’t complain about free room service 3 times a day!” says a typical comment, this one from someone named Troy.

Because these posts are found on the Internet, there is no way to know if any of the guest reviewers were using their real names or whether they have actually had the privilege of spending a few nights at the MDC. Some are clearly being facetious. Others are unintentionally funny. Here are some excerpts of several MDC critics’ comments.

“First off, staff is underrated, super nice crew! … Best part was its all free!! A simple burglary charge sentence (and) straight to this BnB!!,” says Cam, who is obviously a glass-half-full person.

Inmates pass the time in a cell pod at Bernalillo County’s Metropolitan Detention Center. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)
Inmates pass the time in a cell pod at Bernalillo County’s Metropolitan Detention Center. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

So is Mesa, who wryly opines, “This facility is GREAT! I may be biased because both of my stays were free of charge, and without convictions. However, the staff really took their time to really make me feel as though I was actually a criminal. I was surprised at how cold the showers were initially, but the fashion/hygene consultant made sure that I stayed in the shower for long enough to be considered ‘deloused.’ ”

Matt’s standards are a bit higher, but you have to wonder why he thinks he’ll be back: “The arts and crafts area was exceptional. It was kind of noisy at night and they only gave me one blanket. Overall, I give it a C+ and would try it again.”

Food seems to be a common area of concern.

“I wouldn’t feed the food from there to a stray dog. Not sure what most of it was. I would give it an A+ for atmosphere and recreation though. Handball all day foo,” Alex says.

Krishneel offers this perspective: “Best meal of the day was the dinner, didnt know what you were eating but let me tell you something when your (expletive) is hungry for 2 days it doesnt matter what for dinner lol. If its ur first time at the jail then hang in there and if its more then twice then good luck to ya …”

(I did ask the county on Monday for an example of what a typical day’s meals consisted of at MDC but didn’t get an answer. So I guess the mysterious offerings on the menu will remain a mystery for now. On a tour of the jail several years ago, I do recall grilled cheese sandwiches being prepared in the kitchen.)

Bolo has a bit of advice for those who might be headed for an extended visit: “Don’t expect any service above the usual. I wouldn’t recommend a stay much beyond a week or two.”

Kristi, who apparently had been attempting to inquire about a guest, made this observation:

“Only spoke to the clerk at the front desk. … I asked her a question and got the stink eye.”

Rosendo, apparently a man of strong opinion and few words, offered only: “Hate this place.”

But Paul obviously is a realist. For those who find fault with the jail, he says:

“Yo to the peeps complaining about this. … This is a JAIL … not a Ramada inn.”

UpFront is a daily front-page news and opinion column. Comment directly to editorial page editor Dan Herrera at 823-3810 or dherrera@abqjournal.com. Go to ABQjournal.com/letters/new to submit a letter to the editor.

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