A New Courthouse Paradigm

By Audrey Arthur
The traditional courthouse will become obsolete in 20 to 30 years, according to Chuck Oraftick, FAIA, justice director at HOK’s San Francisco office. In the presentation “A New Courthouse Paradigm: Changing Technologies, Economies and Community Expectations”, members of the American Institute of Architects and representatives of the National Association for Court Management discussed the future of judicial facilities and how societal changes are affecting courthouse design.

AB 109 Turns Two, Makes Strides for CDCR

Two years ago, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed Assembly Bill (AB) 109 or the Public Safety Realignment Act, which required the realignment of several low-level prisoners in an effort to reduce the number of inmates in the state’s 33 prisons to 137.5 percent of design capacity by June 2013.

$1.6 Billion Capital Plan to Replace San Francisco Hall of Justice

On Sept. 12, members of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) Northern California Chapter gathered to learn more about the San Francisco Department of Public Works Justice Facilities Improvement Program. The $1.6 billion capital program includes replacing the Hall of Justice (HOJ).

Funding Efforts Fall Short Again in San Mateo County

California State Senator Jerry Hill’s proposal to obtain funding for an estimated $150 million replacement jail facility in San Mateo County failed for a second time on Sept. 12.

Whatcom County Faces Issues with Overcrowding

The Sheriff’s Office in Whatcom County is working hard to plan a new jail facility for the current overcrowded and outdated facility, which has been open since 1948.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.

SMRT Inc. Selected to Design New Hampshire Women’s Prison

By Audrey Arthur
The new New Hampshire women’s prison will be built by SMRT Inc, based in Portland, Maine, to create a program intensive correctional facility and replace the outdated, controversial current prison.

2013 AIA AAJ Fall Conference Focuses on Alternative Delivery

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.

Brown Signs New Prison Population Plan Into Law

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.

California on Path to Drug Sentencing Reform

The California Assembly has passed a drug reform bill that would give counties more control in how to prosecute low-level nonviolent drug offenders.

Officials Discussing Utah State Prison Relocation

By Maggie Ryan
The Utah State Prison is being relocated in order to accommodate development in Draper on the prison’s 700-acre property.