The Sheriff’s Office in Whatcom County is working hard to plan a new jail facility for the current overcrowded and outdated facility, which has been open since 1948. The existing jail, designed to hold 390 inmates, is facing significant overcrowding issues related to the county’s significant growth in the last 30 years and increased recidivism. Because of this overcrowding, many inmates with minor charges have been released early to free up space for other inmates who need to serve time.
In 2009, John Yost, maintenance superintendent for Alaska’s Goose Creek Correctional Facility was presented with a unique opportunity to design maintenance operations from the ground up for Alaska’s newest and largest medium-security facility. Yost created a proactive maintenance structure for all facility equipment before the contractor finished the project.
The American Institute of Architect’s Academy of Architecture for Justice (AIA AAJ) is holding its 2013 fall conference in Portland this week. The three-day conference is open to AIA and non-AIA members, all of those active in justice facilities including planners, architects, owners, public safety officials, officers and administrators, contractors and vendors.
Following a bitter battle between California Gov. Jerry Brown and a three-judge federal panel, lawmakers have approved a $315 million plan to bring California’s prison population in compliance with federal orders.
A new Texas law eliminating proxy marriages, a marriage that involves a wedding in which one party is absent, has ultimately ended marriages for incarcerated inmates. Though the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has said they will make no changes to accommodate inmate marriages, this may leave the state department in violation of a federal ruling.
Robeson County has faced several issues recently with the closure of the Robeson County Correctional Center (RCCC) on Aug. 1. The jail, one of five to be closed in N.C., was shut down to help the state save money. The prison closures stem from Gov. Pat McCrory’s budget of $20.6 billion for the state.
Hawaii state officials have recently stated that the Kulani Correctional Facility, located on the slopes of Mauna Kea, will be reopened in 2014. Former Gov. Linda Lingle closed the minimum-security prison in 2009 because of operating costs. Financial issues the prison faced included budgeting for inmates returning from the mainland, job creation or staff reinstatement and the continued use of a fully functional facility owned by the state.
The third phase of a new inmate housing facility, part of the New Orleans Parish Prison, will soon be constructed on a piece of land owned by the City of New Orleans. Mayor Mitch Landrieu recently agreed to the construction project, which will house women, youths, sick and mentally ill inmates. This new housing center will help keep these inmates separate from those contained at the Orleans Parish Prison.
Students from Iowa State University’s Department of Landscape Architecture teamed up with inmates at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women (ICIW) in Mitchellville to construct a set of classrooms on the ICIW campus. These multipurpose outdoor classrooms will be located in the center of the new 30-acre campus.