When it comes to planning justice facilities, a design that works well for adults generally doesn’t fit the unique needs of youth offenders, and vice versa. As such, when the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) began planning the new $20.1 million, 61,000-square-foot Acadiana Center for Youth in Bunkie, the office relied on guidelines from the Louisiana Model for Secure Care created specifically to support youth offender rehabilitation.
Doors and windows, both in interior and exterior applications, are a major consideration toward effective correctional facility design. Doors and windows are more than just portals for entry and visibility; they are also conduits of light, vision, heat and sound. This presents both a design opportunity and a challenge. How do you use doors and windows in prisons to ensure optimal health, safety, security and efficiencies?
The Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls, both located near Irma, have been in the headlines recently for the alleged use of excessive force by staff and administrators against the juvenile offenders. A Department of Justice investigation into the matter also turned up allegations that certain staff and administrators covered up incidents of abuse by destroying or simply not filing the necessary reports. The facilities house primarily serious youth offenders with histories of abuse.
Connecticut officials are planning a prison that would exclusively house inmates between the ages of 18 and 25. The state would dedicate one of its 18 existing prisons to male inmates in that age group.
Correctional technology solutions company Global Tel*Link (GTL) of Reston on Dec. 21 announced it will pursue judicial review of a recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order that seeks to regulate inmate calling services. In a decision to pursue legal action, the company maintains it is advocating for “a balanced approach toward reining in phone rates…that relies on cost data and which is supported by evidence.”
The state of California awarded $80 million to San Francisco out of the $500 million in revenue bonds the state issued through Senate Bill 863 to help expand jails after a federal court order to reduce prison populations. While some San Francisco officials, such as Mayor Ed Lee, were hoping to use the money to build a new $240 million jail, the city’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously against it, calling for better investments in mental health services and rehabilitative programs instead.
Construction on the new Regional Intermittent Centre located on the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre campus in London is now nearing completion. The 112-bed project will span 25,000 square feet and help to address capacity issues, reduce contraband concerns and improve overall safety for both inmates and correctional staff.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Nov. 13 for the new Athens-Clarke County Jail in Athens. Atlanta-based Rosser International Inc. served as the architect on the new jail, while Augusta, Ga.-based McKnight Construction served as the primary contractor.
The Harford County Jail in Bel Air underwent a $32 million expansion four years ago, but one specific problem is keeping the jail from operating at its full capacity: Staffing. The Baltimore Sun reported on Nov. 27 that Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler has requested hiring an addition 36 new correctional officers to help put the currently unused expansion on line.
In need of new facilities for more than a decade, Skagit County finally broke ground on a new jail in mid-November.
The county outgrew the existing facility, which opened in 1984 with a capacity of 83 inmates and state funding for 73. The current population is about 2.5 times that, with a daily average of 188 inmates, according to the county website. It is a popular remote design, with housing pods clustered around one or more control rooms, where staff can operate the facility doors and observe inmat