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Blurring

Prison

Boundaries


Blurring Prison Boundaries Rethinking the traditional typology of a prison in order to break the boundaries that hinder prisoner and community interaction.


Blurring Prison Boundaries Rethinking the traditional typology of a prison in order to break the boundaries that hinder prisoner and community interaction.

Tamara Ariel Cartwright Master of Architecture MARC 590 Thesis Seminar Thesis Advisor: Dr. Karen Spence Fall 2014


Table of Contents 1 Thesis Abstract 4 Background 6 8 10 12

What is a Prison History of Prison Design Prison Today What is a Community

24 30 32 38 40

Norwegian Prison System D.C Central Kitchen Paws for Life 499 Summit Sister Prisons

Studies 14 Case16 U.S Prison System

44 Research Summary 46 Site Analysis 56 Her Majesty’s Prison 62 Thesis Proposal


With approximately two million inmates overpopulating state, federal and private prisons throughout the country, the U.S prison system has been criticized as being the most inhumane living environment. Although it has become an essential part of modern society it is often surrounded with negative connotations and segregated from the public. Design has the possibility of addressing many of these issues, specifically overcrowding and the unsympathetic treatment of inmates by guards and even the community. This study will explore how architecture can impact societal views on the prison system, while defining its role as either a place of punishment or rehabilitation. [1]

As crime steadily increased throughout the 80’s and 90’s, pressure was placed on the courts to begin giving harsher punishments. Eventually this led to overcrowding as the rate of sentences from courts increased and the flow out through parole and early release reduced due to longer sentencing periods. The California Prison Focus has pointed out that no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens. Thus, it is crucial that we [2]

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Thesis Abstract begin viewing the prison as part of a community rather than something to be exiled. The Scandinavian prison system has shown us how design can begin to change the way persons perceive the prison. It can allow us to begin integrating prisons within our communities, and challenges whether or not a prison can enrich the urban fabric of a city and become a new landmark. Can there be a symbiotic relationship between the prisoner and the community? This exploration will first seek to identify the role of prisons within the U.S as a place of punishment rather than rehabilitation. It will question whether or not the current prison system can be challenged. As it stands today, prisons are not open to progressive forms of incarceration or prison design. I would like to challenge the power of architectural design and its ability to change and adapt traditional typologies in order to influence social perspectives on the prison system.

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Background The prison system within the United

States and other Western societies have expanded and developed significantly over the course of its existence. In the U.S., the prison system has grown so much that it now incarcerates more people per capita than any other nation. If assembled in one locality, the prison population would become the fourth largest U.S city, just falling short of Chicago, but beating Houston. The ratio of imprisoned to population during the 1970s was 110 prisoners per 100,000 U.S residents; by the end of the 20th century however, there were 476 per 100,000, and presently it is 750 per 100,000. It is possible to begin to understand the problem of these numbers when we compare them to those of a country of similar economic and social structure such as England and Wales with a modest 148 per 100,000 residents. Unfortunately for the U.S, studies have found that more prisons yield minimal crime reduction, and may even be responsible for increased crime rates. [2]

convicts who would not have been thrown behind bars 30 years ago. The movement towards harsher punishments and longer sentencing periods had little to do with changes in crime, but more to do with political and social changes of the 1960’s. It is the result of an attempt to stop anxieties created by “wrenching social changes.� Playing on these anxieties for short electoral gains, politicians seek votes by sentencing more severe punishments for criminal offenders. In fact, most of the victims of the criminal justice system in the U.S are minor offenders. [2]

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American prisons are overflowing with

The Commissioners of Vera Foundation of 2006 noted that over 13.5 million people spend time in jail or prison. Of those people, 95% will eventually return to our communities. We must consider the role of the prison and its direct influence on our societies. The prison, rather than being isolated, should be redesigned in such a way that it connects with its surrounding community and begins to reorganize the cities for which they serve. [4] [3]


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what is a prison?

Some people tend to use the terms jail and prison interchangeably. A jail, unlike the prison, can often be found in the city center and is used to confine people for short periods of time. For this study I will specifically be looking at prisons whose duty is to house convicted criminals for periods often longer than a year. Prisons are much larger in scale and are capable of handling far more prisoners than a jail. Its security is often very strict, and it is kept isolated from the free society in order to prevent escapes. Within a prison, there

are a variety of amenities that can help to facilitate prisoner-to-prisoner socialization. In this way, the prison can be considered a community of its own, with exercise areas, common areas for eating and socializing, church facilities, libraries, classrooms, and labs for work and study. Each prison has a separate identity, but share key attributes. They are often bordered off from the surrounding areas, positioned on acres of land far from the city center and have been developed in such a way that interaction with the surrounding community is unnecessary. [4]

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History of Prison Design

Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher of 348BC, anticipated the modern design of the correctional system. He proposed that there would be three prisons in the city: one for the safe keeping of persons awaiting trial and sentence, another for the amendment of disorderly persons and vagrants- those guilty of misdemeanors, and a third to be situated in the country, away from the habitations of man, and to be used for the punishment of felons. During the ancient world, prisons were not used for a place of punishment but as a place of detention. It wasn’t until the 18th and 19th century that they became a place of punishment for criminals. [5]

In America, the earliest prisons were structured to suppress the development of prisoner subcultures. The design of the prison, both in architecture and routine, was meant to provide total isolation from the free society as well as from other inmates. This was to allow the prisoner to “reflect on the error of his ways,� and describes solitary confinement within the modern prison. These prisons were often large castle-like structures that stood in the city center as a symbol of strength and wealth. At this time of development, prisons were wanted within the city center because it helped to insure a city as a new capitol. [6]

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In 1777, John Howard condemned the prison system for being barbaric, disorganized and filthy. Unfortunately, not much has changed in the United States. With the increase of crime and prison populations, the prison is no longer viewed as a gem, representative of a city’s elite status. Rather, the prison is now surrounded with negative connotations; which is why they have become isolated structures.

Within the U.S there are three types of prisons:

The U.S prison system has been a dumping ground for a variety of people with social problems. Those with addictions, the poor, the mentally ill, and the elderly are often housed in penal facilities. Seclusion of prisons provides security for the average citizen, whether the prison is fully removed from their community, or blended so well that it is hard to recognize.

Silent- prisoners work together in an assembly line fashion to allow mass production of goods. They are not allowed to have verbal communication, but just to work among one another.

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Solitary- prisoners spend their entire incarceration without ever seeing another inmate. “By meditating on one’s sins, repenting, and reading the Bible the prisoner, reformers believed, could be saved and returned to a productive life in a community.”

Reformatory- “served to siphon off the under 30 prison population, and was an important regulating force in prison population growth.”


“...new prison designs should be ‘free and original’, for they would give way to intensive community treatment programs that will no longer require traditional prison institutions.” - Prison Architecture (1975) [5]

Prison Today

Progressive programmatic ideas have been formed in regards to prison design; however, very little has changed for the traditional typology of the prison. As early as the 1970s, architects and critics of the United Nations prison system acknowledged that traditional prison designs had to be abandoned in order to prepare the way for a new typology focused on intensive community treatment programs. Yet almost 40 years later, the prison is still considered a place of suffering, punishment, and confinement. The U.S may have looked at past architectural types to form the variant [3]

degrees of the prison system, but they did not make good use of the case studies to determine the most successful route. In Prison Architecture, the authors state that architects “should not be called upon to explore the problem of interaction with the community since this cannot in anyway concern the architectural design,” but rather that architecture can affect the development, efficiency and usefulness of communityprison interaction. I believe that the only way to change societal views on the prison is to rethink its design. [5]

“…the prison should be actually part of the normal society surrounding it, and in which the same community, surpassing the walls of the institution and at the same time overcoming the rigid and antiquated schemes of the past, should share the responsibility for the re-socialization of offenders.” - Prison Architecture (1975) [5]

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“Prisoners learn to live inside and forget, or willfully suppress, the characteristics of life in normal society.” - Mary Bosworth, Explaining U.S. Imprisonment [3]

What Is A Community?

The words community and society are sometimes confused. It is important to understand that a society is a class of people and a community is a group of people living in a given geographical location. In general, prisons form a community within a society. [9]

Each community has unique qualities. Physical aspects such as size, look and feel of buildings, topography, and surrounding neighbors can be used to define a particular community. Their interactions become important in their definition. Thus it is correct to acknowledge the prison as a separate community from the cities located near them. Their living qualities, infrastructure, patterns of settlements, commerce, industry, demographics, and history all differ from the community that is outside of the prison walls.

Often, when we think of prison communities we think of gangs. The community leaders are usually those inmates that have proved themselves as the most brutal or resourceful. The quality of the living environment is usually significantly lower. This is why it is important that we begin to blur the boundaries separating the prison community from the free community. “A big city needs universities, large medical centers, and large parks containing metropolitan attractions”- just like they need a prison. Jane Jacobs notes that the point is not to disdain such facilities as these, or to minimize their value but rather the point is to recognize that they are mixed blessings. She argues that if we can counter their destructive effects, then their facilities will be better served. [10]

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Case Studies

U.S Prison System Pelican Bay State Prison Metropolitan Correctional Centers

Norwegian Prison System Bastøy Prison Halden Prison

Student Projects 499 Summit Project Sisters Prisons

Community Involvement Programs D.C Central Kitchen (DCCK) Paws for Life

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500+ prisoner’s have spent 10+ years in solitary confinement.

1 man has spent

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40

years in SHU.

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89 men have spent more than 20 years. 2000+ prisoner’s are serving indefinite SHU terms.

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U.S Prison System Pelican Bay State Prison

Constructed in 1989, Pelican Bay State Prison, is California’s fourth supermax prison. It is the result of the movements of the 1980’s that sought to remove the prison staff from direct contact with the prisoner in order to increase isolation. It was designed with the first Secure Housing Unit (SHU), which could hold more than 1,000 prisoners. [3]

“Supermax” is the term used to describe the most controlled prison typology. It usually refers to solitary confinement designs. At Pelican Bay State Prison, modular designs form several self-contained pods of eight to ten cells which allows officers in central control booths to oversee multiple pods while avoiding contact with prisoners. Often, the prisoner goes without direct contact with guards or other inmates. [12]

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“Some people have told me they’ve been locked down so long they’re fearful of their own behavior if they’re around human beings.” – Dvoskin [16]

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U.S Prison System Pelican Bay State Prison The SHU is where prisoners are kept in solitary confinement. There are no windows- the sole natural light enters through skylights in the main area around which the cells are arranged. Inside the cells the bunks and toilets are molded to the floor. The prisoner spends 22 to 23 hours a day in their cell, and are only allowed to leave to exercise alone in a concrete pen. [13]

Inmates are not allowed contact with anyone else; they are not given phone call privileges. Their only interaction with the world outside their cells is through feeding slots. [11]

More U.S prisons are turning to solitary confinement as prison gang rates and violence increase. Craig Haney, an American social psychologist, has explored the psychological effects of incarceration and the solitary confinement. Deprived of normal human interaction, many inmates who find themselves in ‘the hole’ reportedly suffer from mental health problems including anxiety, panic, insomnia, paranoia, aggression and [18] depression. [14]

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Pelican Bay State Prison

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“[The Chicago MCC] borrows the precision of Mies, and the stark cubic bluntness of the adjacent Monadnock building in an effort to give the civic weight to a marginalized program.” [13]

Metropolitan Correctional Centers Intended to house minimum and maximumsecurity prisoners, for short sentences or during trials, San Diego, New York, and Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Centers (MCCs) break free of penitentiary norms within the U.S while still acknowledging the panoptic ideal for prison design.

rent apartment of the 1970s construction. Ribbon and punched windows mimic the surrounding high rises. The same goes for Chicago’s MCC, which can easily be absorbed into the fabric of the city. Once the real function of the MCC’s are discovered they become a “monument to crime” within the urban fabric. [13]

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The interior of MCCs are arranged to guarantee control and facilitate constant observation while the exterior is remarkably different- adapting to the dense urban context of which they are found. MCCs of New York and Chicago blend within the context so well that it creates a sense of security for the public. The interior contains the high level of security needed for a prison, while the exterior adapts the “cloak of invisibility” technique. New York’s MCC could easily be an office building or low [13]

In contrast to the “cloak of invisibility” adapted by the MCCs of New York and Chicago, the San Diego MCC makes no attempt to disguise itself. Instead, it stands as a “brute icon of absolute control.” It is a very tall and isolated tower that is bulky and oppressive in form compared to its surrounding context. Its windowless façade is equivalent to rural prison designs and allows it to visually assert itself as a solid and secure prison building. [13]

“But when prisons are juxtaposed against cities what are the possibilities for such a uniquely specific program?” [13]

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Norwegian Prison System

Scandinavian prisons, and in particular Norwegian prisons, offer much more for their residents than a place to serve their time and be punished for their crimes.

and place in it. By placing importance on rehabilitation rather than retribution, the prison can start to make connections with society, making it easier to re-integrate.

Known to be the most humane prison system today, Norwegian facilities challenge Western society’s view on the role of incarceration. Here, life sentences don’t exist; the worst offenders usually serve no more than 21 years. Thus, architects and planners place considerable importance on the rehabilitation of prisoners rather than punishment in hopes of lowering recidivism rates. The key principle to this progressive form of incarceration is humanity: give them the opportunity and surroundings to understand society and their connection to

Modern facilities do not reflect traditional penitentiary typology; instead, the incarcerated feel as though they are staying at a resort. They are provided with amenities such as televisions, gyms, better sunlight and nicer furniture than most traditional prisons. The boundary walls are often blurred with landscaping, or a simple fence so that the prisoner can feel connected with the surrounding environment or community, while the community learns not to fear those within.

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“When I get out I want to live and have a family. Here I am learning to be able to do that.” [19]

“You know, on this island I feel safer than when I walk on the streets in Oslo.” [19]

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“It’s like living in a village, a community. Everybody has to work. But we have free time so we can do some fishing, or in summer we can swim off the beach. We know we are prisoners but here we feel like people.” [19]

Bastøy Prison Just 1.5 miles from the mainland, Bastøy Prison is a ‘luxurious’ home to some of Norway’s worst criminals. Here, rapists, murderers, and drug traffickers live comfortably among one another. There are no walls, crowded cells or armed guards. Instead, inmates can be found learning a skill, cooking for themselves, sun bathing, or watching television. [19]

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By forming a village on the island, prisoners

get used to living as they will live when they are released. Only one meal a day is provided in the dining hall. The men earn an allowance from the work they do from which they can buy provisions for their self-prepared breakfasts and evening meals. At Bastøy, prisoners grow much of their own food and tend to sheep, cows, and chickens. Life for the prisoner is as normal as it is possible to be in a prison. [19]

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“Nature is actively involved as a social rehabilitative factor in the architecture‌the opportunity to follow seasonal changes helps to clarify the passage of time for the inmates.â€? [23]

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“The world’s most humane prison.”

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Halden Prison Halden is another Norwegian prison that is made up of several unique building designs that form a prison village within a forested area. The designs of the buildings reflect the level of security and blend with the surrounding context. Once again, the cells include en-suite bathrooms, mini refrigerators, and televisions. Several prisoners share a kitchen and living room, where they prepare their own evening meals and relax after a day of work. There are indoor basketball courts, climbing walls, a cooking lab and a recording studio where

inmates can learn new talents. There are also two guest homes where families can be hosted overnight. [21]

The architect shared the same beliefs as those who designed Bastøy. He made the prison feel more like a home than a place of confinement. None of the windows have bars, and a lining of trees masks the prison walls. This unique typology is conducive to progressive rehabilitative techniques that keeps inmates busy and teaches them new traits. [22]

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Total Human Capital Impact 150 Employees 60 Employees are graduates of our Culinary Job Training program (40%) 80 new CJT graduates are trained each year, 75% of whom are ex-offenders 90% of CJT graduates find full-time jobs within 3 months of graduation For every dollar spent on CJT, we re-invest $3.50 in DC through saved taxpayer dollars (fewer people in jail, in shelters, and on welfare) and new tax revenue (putting people back to work) [24]


D.C Central Kitchen (DCCK) The D.C Central Kitchen (DCCK) enrolls ex-offenders who are eager to commit to a new career, once they have been released, within a culinary job-training program. The program, referred to as “knife skills and life skills�, offers valuable vocational training along with intense self-empowerment coaching. It forces trainees to take a hard look at their past, present, and future choices, while providing them with the preparation needed to obtain a job upon being released.

With approximately 60,000 D.C residents having criminal records, it has become essential that communities begin to get involved. As a result of DCCK, just 2% of those who were within the program re-offend. This success has saved D.C more than $2 million in prison costs each year, while helping to lower the rate of homelessness as a result of lack of employment once released. [24]


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“This program has given our hearts a chance to heal, has restored my faith in humanity. It’s made me feel like a human being, given me self worth again, that I had the ability to give back, brought me closer to my bros that I train with.” - Inmate [25]

Paws for Life California State Prison and Karma Rescue of Lancaster, California paired up this summer in order to implement a new program titled Paws for Life. Here, two discarded groups were able to come together to heal one another. The Maximum security prison houses some of the worst criminals- some who will never return to society.

14 inmates were chosen to train 5 dogs over a 12-week program that would boost the dog’s odds for adoption. Inmates had to go through interviews and write essays as an application process to be able to participate.

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“The calming effect of the staff, the interaction between the staff and inmates is amazing. Before it was yes sir, no sir -- now it’s more cordial ... it’s two human beings having a conversation. The hearts are totally open,” -Mr. Soto. [25]

Paws for Life

“I’ve never seen any of these guys smile and I’ve been here 14, 15 years ...They have smiles on their faces -happy, happy - and it gives them purpose.”- Mark Tipton [25]

For many it was an emotional experience. Just petting the dogs brought many to happy tears because they had not seen an animal in years. The program was so successful that it continued again in September with 10 new dogs. Everyone

involved in the program- volunteers, the prison warden and staff, inmates, dogs, and everyone in their vicinity- were transformed by it. There was a ripple effect throughout the prison.

“This program has saved my life. It’s pretty simple. I have been in prison for twenty plus years...The Paws for Life program came along with Karma and all of a sudden I can love again. I can feel love. I can experience emotions that I have been holding down for twenty plus years...I sleep better at night, I’m more able to speak with people, I’m a little bit more literate. All of this comes from having a dog.”- John M [25]

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“I think [the program] helped connect me to society. It helped me to heal and to a degree they gave me forgiveness because they are connected to society that I can’t reach and so I’ll be able to reach society through Oreo and Chuey.”- Travielle [25]

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Paws for Life

The quotations demonstrate to us how successful these programs may be- not only for the prisoner but also for those who volunteer with them. Programs like these are not new however. They exist across the nation, and have been helping inmates feel connected to society for quite some time. Not only are they gaining knowledge and skills while working, but they begin to see that there are people within the community that believe in them and in turn they begin to believe in themselves. They gain friendships and trust with those who frequently volunteer with them and are able to feel as though they are respected. No longer are they looked at as a failure to

society. Community members involved in the program help them to see that they can start over- that they do have a second chance to be better individuals. It is through these programs that they gain encouragement and hope, and are able to change. The implementation of these programs can create waves throughout a community, providing the change needed to rethink traditional prison typologies that are failing. Modern prison designs should begin to architecturally relate and enhance these community growth programs in order to seek future changes and improvement of the prison system.

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The 499 Summit student project examines the issue of recidivism throughout New Jersey. This urban prison design consists of three towers in the shape of an arch. Each consisting of three phases: 1. Incarceration 2. Transformation 3. Integration [26]

The project searches for a solution to help inmates transition back into society during their time of incarceration. As the inmates graduate through the facility they are being exposed to an increasing degree of social interaction that allows the transition back into society to be as soft as possible. The architectural design reflects the program needed to stimulate the process of transitioning. The three arches begin isolated during the incarceration phase and merge together both physically and programmatically during the integration phase. Here, public program and residential housing are introduced downwards, representing the reintegration of the inmates along their transformation journey. [27]

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Overall, the prison maintains the centralized surveillance design of traditional prison typologies but rethinks its purpose. Now the central core acts as a social space, encouraging inmate and staff to interact with one another. Although it is suggested that an urban prison design can directly influence crime


499 Summit- Student Project and recidivism rates while improving the quality of living conditions (thanks to accessibility to other amenities needed to rehabilitate inmates) there are many concerns and disputes from surrounding community members. People are apprehensive about their safety. Prison institutions designed within an urban setting need to fit within the surrounding standards

of the city, or be unique in style while providing a sense of security. In order to successfully form a new prison typology focused on community growth programs, the design must be able to balance the sense of security with the qualities needed for open community interaction. If the boundaries of the prison could be blurred, then the success of these programs will be seen. [13]

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Sister Prisons- Student Project

The Sister Prison of Newburgh, NY seeks to relocate and reintegrate a significant portion of prison infrastructure and inmates of the Fishkill Correctional Facility within the city. The purpose of this consideration is to introduce some parts of an active society back into the voids formed by boundaries and traditional prison programming. This will help higher security inmates to become acclimated to contemporary lifestyles once again. By doing this, they hope to lower annual costs of prison facilities while providing a better quality of life for inmates that will likely result in the reduction of crime and increase in safety and security of surrounding residents. Instead of spending so much of the public’s funding on prison facilities, the funds could go towards creating versatile public spaces that could be used by both inmates and community members at different times of the day and hopefully facilitate

constructive interaction between the two.

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The design arranges the various levels of confinement and support around the city in a loop that is intended to mediate Hotspots, or areas often associated with high criminal activities and gang violence. By doing this, the project will activate these areas and allow correctional officers to be on site around the clock, halting the opportunity of criminal activities in these spaces. [28]

The loop provides a path for transportation that the community can use when it is not in use by the inmates. Spaces will be formed for vocational training, after school programs, and public engagement. By engaging the revolving prison population with the city it self, Sisters Prison hopes to interrupt the cycle of poverty, crime and incarceration. [28]

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Sister Prisons

A project design as challenging as this is able to significantly impact the surrounding community. It allows the prison to spread out into smaller quantities and provide for a better quality of life that isn’t being offered currently in overcrowded prisons. It must, however, be careful not to spread out so much throughout the city that the city then

begins to feel like an open-air prison. The design proposal needs to look equally at the community and prisoner, and not just propose a program that benefits one over the other. By doing this, the design can ensure that the prisoner is being reintegrated into a less socially distressed community than the ones they came from.

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“An edge may be more than simply a dominant barrier, if some visual or motion penetration is allowed through it- if it is, as it were, structured to some depth with regions on either side. It then becomes a seam rather than a barrier, a line of exchange along which two areas are sewn together.”- Kevin Lynch [29]

At first glance, it is hard to understand why recidivism rates are so low if Scandinavian prisons are so comfortable. Prisoners do not fear returning, but they choose not to, because while confined they learn necessary traits and habits for living among ‘normal’ societies. They are given jobs that range from cooking, gardening, farming or tending to animals. These jobs allow them to learn a skill that could be used once they are released. More and more people are starting to see the benefits of rehabilitative designs over punishment and confinement. The Norwegian prison system has provided clear evidence of the relation between the treatment of inmates and recidivism rates. Only 20% of released prisoners are arrested for re-offending, compared to 43% in the U.S, where they do not learn the skills needed to live amongst a community. This rehabilitative design has become so successful that Norway and [1] other Scandinavian regions that share the [30] [31]

same progressive ideas face the challenge of closing and repurposing correctional facilities no longer deemed necessary. The approach of this new prison typology, proposed within the city center, must be well thought out and completely new. Jane Jacobs illustrates that borders in cities often create destructive neighbors in her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Neighborhoods surrounding places

with borders such as big-city university campuses, large hospitals, and prison grounds are blight prone. Even large parks can cause the surrounding neighborhoods to be stagnant- a condition that precedes decay in a city. No matter how beautiful a design may be, it is no blessing to the surrounding neighborhoods- or those who use them, to be surrounded by the dullness, vacancy and decay caused by borders. Thus the program surrounding the border of a community prison design must be well thought in order to bring diversity and life to the surrounding areas. [10]


“Every additional dollar spent on prisons is one dollar less that can go towards preparing for the next hurricane Katrina, educating young people, providing healthcare to the elderly or preparing roads and bridges. “ - Pew Charitable Trust 2007 [3]

Research Summary Design Objectives

• Use urban design strategies to allow community members to feel safe as inmates live comfortably within a city. • Blur the boundaries of the prison by using landscaped borders and responding to contextual urban fabric. • Programs surrounding the border must be thought about to bring life to these areas and encourage community activity. • Allow natural light and ventilation to encourage a relaxed atmosphere. • Promote views back to community. Degrees of open design can signify stage of reintegration and act as an incentive for good behavior. • Create different stages as incentive: final stage of rehabilitation should mimic normal community living characteristics. • Create public spaces that can be used by everyone. Community and prisons can benefit from better public spaces this way. This will also help to increase the number of programs offered to

• •

inmates. Use height as a security measure so as not to disrupt the urban fabric with boundaries. Design an integration phase that encourages prisoner equality so that they may start to blend with society and guards. Think about the community impact as equal importance to the prisoner impact. This is no longer a prison typology but an urban design project focused on improving the city by first improving prison infrastructure. Provide vocational training spaces for a variety of skills to be taught in order to create diversity among inmates so that they may be more marketable once released. Think about extent of prisoner reintegration. Not just focusing them all back into one city, but also into less socially distressed areas. Alleviate and retrofit existing prison [44] typology and program.


The Bahamas

Total Population: 377,374 (2013) Urban Population: approximatly 254,000 (2011) 70% of population lives on New Providence. New Providence is the 11th largest island @ 7 x 21 miles.

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Site Analysis

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Family life is important to most Bahamians. Often extended families gather for meals, storytelling, and playing dominos or card games. Holidays are festive times for gathering, especially for the annual Boxing Day and New Year’s Day Junkanoo festival that demonstrates the importance of music and art throughout the culture. [33]

Junkanoo is a large parade, which features men dressed in colorful costumes fringed with crepe paper and decorated with beads, feathers, and sequins. Partakers create the music and dance to the rhythms of goatskin drums, cowbells, whistles, horns, and brass instruments. It is an event that attracts not only locals and other Caribbean people, but also tourists from around the world. [34]

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Cultural Lifestyle

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The Bahamas relies heavily on tourism. Approximately 70% of Bahamians are directly or indirectly employed in tourism, therefore it is important that its rates remain high in order to maintain employment rates. [35]

The increased awareness to criminal activity in The Bahamas has already begun to hinder its tourism rates. Petty crimes are being committed against tourists and reported on popular tourist destination websites. Those committing the crime do not see the direct correlation between the two, but the government and working class have been able to see the rippling affect. [36]

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Tourism

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Agriculture is no longer an important part of Bahamian culture, although it should be. It’s tropical climate and natural resources makes an ideal situation for small-scale farming. Unfortunately, the natural limestone of the islands is ill-fitted for large-scale farming. [38]

In the past, The Bahamas exported grapefruits, limes, okra, papaya, pineapples, and avocado. More than 5,000 acres of agricultural land in the Bahamas are used for citrus production. In 1993, about 14 million pounds of poultry meat was produced, valued at $15.3 million; egg production was estimated at 4.15 million dozen eggs, valued at $4.85 million; and agricultural exports were an estimated 18,794 tons. In addition to citrus fruits, exports included honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, squash and crawfish. Although capable of growing such a variety of produce, The Bahamas relies on imports from other Caribbean island and the U.S because the younger generation has not been educated on local farming techniques. [37]

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Agriculture

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“Were it not for the Private schools and a few Public High schools in the Family Islands, the mean grade for the country would have been an astounding E [rather than D].� [39]

According to the Bahamas government, as much as 24% of the National Budget is allocated to education. Despite this fact, the quality of education has decreased over the past decade. [39]

Similar to the United Kingdom’s GCE advanced level examinations, The Bahamas has a national exam that every high school student must take, regardless of his or her ability, in order to graduate. Boys and girls enter school in similar numbers, however boys wrote only 39 per cent of the 23,000-plus BGCSE exams in 2006. And boys earned lower grades on average. These statistics demonstrate the male disengagement from education at an early age, and represent the correlation between lack of proper education and early criminal activity. Proper education, engagement, and encouragement are needed to combat these results and provide a better future for the younger generation that deters them from falling into the criminal cycle. [40]

[53]


“The mean grade for the Public High Schools on New Providence was F+ while the mean grade for the Private High Schools on New Providence was D+.� [39]

Education

[54]


The Minister of National Security, Bernard Nottage attributes overcrowding to the number of petty criminals incarcerated & the backlog in processing at the remand center. [41]

The Bahamas is a fairly young country, at just 41 years old. It gained independence from the United Kingdom on July 10th 1973. Since its independence, its close proximity to the U.S has immensely impacted the choices made by the local government. Carrying over the punitive habits adapted under British rule, while also looking at the U.S for precedent to many situations, The Bahamas has been struggling to define its own prison system. Just 7 by 21 miles, the capital of The Bahamas- Nassau has one prison: Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP), also known as Fox Hill Prison. It contains 1,433 inmates; that makes it number one in the Caribbean and ninth in the world with a prison population of 379 inmates per capita. The optimal size of a prison population is 400. Any prison with a population over 600 should be ran as two separate prisons in order to benefit from the facility and prisoner to guard ratio. [42]

[43]

If we consider the suggested 600 inmates per prison design, we can see that HMP is significantly overcrowded and has failed to meet international standards. As many as six inmates sleep in cells originally intended for one to two persons, this makes living conditions deplorable as inmates are crammed into poorly lit and ventilated areas where they spend the majority of their time. [41]

[55]


Her Majesty’s Prison

The cells lack regular running water, which means that “slopping”, the removal of human waste by bucket, still occurs. Such conditions also affect the guards and may be the cause of prisoner hostility and the rise in gang violence as tensions are heightened under these conditions. Petty, non-violent criminals are housed among career criminals in maximum security as they await their trial. This creates a breeding ground for some of the nation’s worst offenders. There needs to be an organization of hierarchy and transition stages that inmates can work their way to before being released. [41]

[41]

As of 2010, 72% of inmates were sentenced to a year or less. These sentences are hardly long enough to change the mindsets, attitudes, and behavioral patterns of inmates. [42]

[56]


Based on a sample selection collected in 2011:

93% of respondents were born in The Bahamas 3% were born in Jamaica 2% were born in Haiti 1% were born in America 30% lived in the Grove area 27% in the Central Area FIG 1 [44]

15% in the South Eastern District 11% in the North Eastern area [44]

FIG 2

FIG 1


94% of respondents were male 5% were female 1% were transgender [44]

FIG 3 44% were 20-30 years old 37% were 31-45 years 13% were over 45 years 5% were under 19 years [44]

54% of the respondents grew up in New Providence 23% grew up in the Family Islands 17% grew up in Grand Bahama 6% grew up outside of The Bahamas [44]

Statistics

FIG 2

FIG 3


79% went to public school 13% some private and some public schooling 8% private schooling 1% indicated no school 54% had dropped out of school

46% were expelled from school 54% dropped out of school Reasons for being expelled:

Fighting: 33% Bad Behavior: 22% Drugs: 11% Disrespect of Authority: 8% Age at first incarceration:

[59]

<12 13-16 17-20 21-25

16% 30% 24% 15%

40% lived with their mother 36% lived with both parents 13% lived with their grandparents 0.3% lived with father only

26-26 37-47 48-58 59+ years

10% 2% 2% 1% [44]


Annual cost per inmate

$16,151.36

Her Majesty’s Prison

Benefits of The Bahamas: • Young culture, possibly more willing to change. • At its worst crime rate, so willing to try new programs if they bring about change. • Small community- 7x21 mile island. • Cultural strength in art allow for creative programs.

Issues of Existing Prison: • Inhumane living conditions • Negative perspective from the community, and even other Caribbean islands • Non-Rehabilitative • Program hasn’t developed or changed much over the years • Significantly over crowded.

HMP wants to become a correctional institution that assists inmates with realizing their potential and assuming their responsibility to become valued members of society. The government of The Bahamas has already stated their commitment to genuine prison reform. They have begun developing and implementing training programs aimed at building skills, competencies, and capabilities. Before now, the community has been locked out of HMP and the reintegration of inmates into society has not been accepted. [45]

“I believe it can be corrected if there is an holistic view of the prison system…The only way for that to happen is to establish another prison outside of New Providence for sentenced men and permit HMP today to be the one for intake or remand.”- Paul Moss, Bahamian Lawyer. [41]

A more holistic view of the prison system must occur in order to make a difference, however, this does not mean that another prison should be created outside of New Providence. All of the research explored in this thesis attempts to demonstrate the importance of designing an urban prison for ease of communal programs and reintegration. [60]


Existing Program: Anger Management The Sycamore Tree Justice Program Faith Base Initiative Religious Counseling Substance Abuse Education Job Seeking & Keeping

Day Release Work Programme Auto Mechanic Repairs Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance Painting Electrical Installation Dry Wall Installation

Culinary Arts Tile Laying Plumbing Carpentry Masonry Roofing

Although new programs can be added to the physical structures that exist at Her Majesty’s Prison, limitations have been formed by the traditional design. It will be hard to develop new programs much further because of the restrictions imposed by the building.

A new prison typology must be made that is suitable for inviting the community to integrate the prison within its context whilst remaining flexible and adaptable in form to work for a multitude of programs.

“Light at the End of the Tunnel”

Art Therapy

Stages of Integration allow for a variety of criminals to be housed within the same prison and create an incentive for better behavior. Prisoners at the early stage of integration can see the freedom and benefits that they will receive if they advance to the next stage. This will also provide a response to attempted prisoner escapes, as there is less desire to be removed from a system in which they can set goals for an obtainable end result.

Art and craft shows serve as a platform to display the fruits’ of inmates’ diligent learning in prison as well as their determination to self-reform; thus evoking public attention, encouraging support and acceptance, and creating an opportunity for their rehabilitation. Providing areas for crafts will allow the inmate to engage in traditional art therapy techniques, as well as engage in cultural crafts such as Junkanoo costume making, straw work making and souvenir crafting.

[61]


Introduction to Computers Word & Excel Basic Numeracy Basic Literacy BJC Courses Cosmetology

Ceramics Tailoring Craft Production Auto Body Repair Basic Welding Entrepreneurship

[42]

Thesis Proposal Program Vocational Training

Agriculture

Currently, HMP has implemented a Job Readiness Program as part of its efforts to rehabilitate and facilitate inmates for reintegration into society upon release. The program was designed to equip inmates with the necessary skills and knowledge for obtaining employment upon release. By designing spaces that encourage community –prisoner exchange, programs can begin to fully provide the give-take relationship that is needed to reintegrate the prisoner within society.

The new prison typology can begin to focus on combating The Bahamas’ reliance on imports by forming a local community garden and farmers market on site. Not only will the prisoners be learning traditional farming skills, but they can begin to give back to the community through weekly care packages. Younger members of society can come to the prison to learn the farming techniques the prisoners have learnt from the older generations, and the cycle of traditional small scale farming will continue to pass through generations to come.

“It is hoped that through the educational and vocational training in prison, the seed of selfreform at the bottom of each inmate’s heart, can be awakened and in the future, grow to an enormous tree that displayed his gifts and talents in all of their splendor” – Dr Nottage [46]

“The creation of artwork and crafts provide an effective, therapeutic and rehabilitative tool” – Dr Nottage [46]

[62]


Socialization Programs encouraging community-prisoner interaction are now being implemented. In January 2014 a new baseball field was opened on the prison campus that allowed members of the community to play against prisoners selected for a team. In the future they wish to expand the campus into a larger sporting complex that both the prisoners and surrounding community can benefit from. Already the success of this sporting program can be seen, as violence against staff by inmates “has never been lower”, recidivism rates have begun to decrease, and the rate of escapes has dropped. [47]

[63]

Providing social programs that relate to the surrounding community’s interest helps to combat the “not in my backyard” argument. Additional spaces may be a library, recording studio, dance studio, laundromat, café or souse house. Community members will benefit tremendously from these programmed spaces and will be eager to engage on and near the site. As a result the boundaries between the prison and the community will begin to blur and the new prison typologyas an urban cultural center, will be formed.


Program

“Sports have played a critical role in the development of The Bahamas and it helps to build discipline… This is our way of helping in the fight against crime because it is my sincerest belief that the program upon which we are about to embark, can provide a better way of life for them with regards to receiving scholarships based on their abilities and capabilities and steering them away from a life of crime.” [48]

[64]


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...the difference between them and us is that we turned left and they turned right...â&#x20AC;?

-Warden at California State Maximum Security Prison

[13]


Tamara Ariel Cartwright Master of Architecture MARC 590 Thesis Seminar Thesis Advisor: Dr. Karen Spence Fall 2014

Blurring Prison Boundaries Thesis Research  

Masters of Architecture Thesis Research Fall 2014. Rethinking traditional prison typologies in order to break the boundaries that hinder pri...

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Masters of Architecture Thesis Research Fall 2014. Rethinking traditional prison typologies in order to break the boundaries that hinder pri...

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