i + D - September/October 2020 - 29

Evidence-based design
is improving outcomes for prisoners
and communities alike. But can
the system itself be retrofitted?

Few would argue with the old adage, "If you commit the crime, you do
the time." But the lost freedom accompanying a jail or prison sentence is
supposed to be the punishment-not the actual conditions of the facility
itself. Particularly in the United States, however, traditional jails and prisons
conjure notions of iron bars, windowless rooms, and so little privacy that
basic human dignity begins to erode.
Considering that 95 percent of the incarcerated population will eventually
return home, isn't it better to equip people for their reintegration into
society? That's why correctional facilities in countries like Norway and Austria
have gained attention in recent years for their progressive approaches, which
borrow from higher education and healthcare design. Today in North America,
a handful of correctional facilities are following that lead, with evidence-based
design solutions that lead to lower rates of recidivism.
"Does the quality of design have an impact on the people inside? History
tells us it does," says Alex Busansky, founder and president of Impact
Justice, a Washington, D.C.- and Oakland, California-based non-profit that's
devoted to reforming America's criminal justice system. "So why should
we be surprised that when we lock people up in these cinder block
fortresses with very little light we get this outcome? You have to start in
a different place."
Yet correctional facility design is also prompting a philosophical debate within
the profession. With approximately 2.3 million people behind bars as of
2016, at a rate of 698 people per 100,000, the United States has the highest
incarceration rate in the world: over six times that of Canada, nine times the
rate in Germany, and 17 times Japan's. Perhaps the most-needed redesign
isn't architectural but a reconsideration of the system itself.

The Juvenile Justice Campus in San Diego County
includes a 128-bed residential facility as well as
medical facilities, a visitation center, classrooms,
and a recreation center.
(Image: DLR Group)

i+D - September/October 2020

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i + D - September/October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i + D - September/October 2020

Contents
i + D - September/October 2020 - Cover1
i + D - September/October 2020 - Cover2
i + D - September/October 2020 - 3
i + D - September/October 2020 - 4
i + D - September/October 2020 - 5
i + D - September/October 2020 - Contents
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i + D - September/October 2020 - Cover3
i + D - September/October 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20210102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20201112_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20200910_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20200910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/asid/design_product_guide
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20200708_french
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20191112_french
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20190102
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20181112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20181112_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20180910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20180910_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20180708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20180708_french
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20180304
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