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Correctional Facilities

NCJ Number
Architectural Record Volume: 163 Issue: 7 Dated: (June 1978) Pages: 125-140
Date Published
16 pages
Examples of recently constructed correctional facilities which attempt to incorporate features that provide for security and are humane are illustrated.
One of the most significant developments in the area of prison design has been the intervention of the Federal courts in demanding facilities that are both humane and secure. In some instances, the State legislatures' compliance has resulted in interesting challenges for architects in defining what 'humane' should mean in the context of facility design. It is often defined as a static imitation of middle-class lifestyle, with furniture and windows that recall real houses in a superficial way. Often, however, the resulting environment is merely new in tone, lacking the traditional symbols of incarceration but creating new and subtle ones of its own. Another solution has been to produce smaller facilities located in the center of large towns and cities close to families, professional resources, and employment opportunities. Some communities have regarded these facilities as worthwhile assets. Photographs and brief descriptions of the following facilities illustrate some recent solutions to design problems: the Washtenaw County Corrections/Law Enforcement Center in Michigan; the Ramsey County Detention Center in Minnesota; the Maryland Reception, Diagnostic, and Classification Center; the Foley Square Courthouse Annex in New York City; and the Lexington Assessment and Reception Facility in Oklahoma. In addition, the Mendocino County Detention Center and Justice Court in California and the Federal Correctional Facility in Butner, N.C. are illustrated. Floor plans for most of the facilities are included.