The ‘80s and ‘90s saw a surge in public sentiment regarding punishment of offenders. “Three strikes and you’re out,” along with mandatory sentencing for many crimes, fueled an increase in adult prison and jail construction. That public sentiment then spilled over into juvenile boot camps and detention centers.
Across the country, however, there has been a recent rethink of how society provides rehabilitation for teens in the juvenile justice system.
A shift to a restorative model with programs focusing on therapy and education is taking us away from the punishment-focused correctional model. In many states, this movement has led to a dramatic drop in the number of teens housed in the system.
To support this new model, today’s juvenile detention facilities must provide spaces for a variety of activities and interactions, including group meetings, counseling and education. Moving away from an institutional feel, security now relies more on design that encourages direct staff and teen supervision, and less on fences and locks. Open interior spaces provide outdoor views and natural light; access to the outdoors reduces a sense of confinement.
Shive-Hattery knows that juvenile detention spaces no longer call for a cold, prison feel, with tile, steel bunks and secure separation between staff and residents. Instead, spaces are being designed to feel more like college dormitories and less like cells. Group lounges, carpet and exercise equipment are provided in common areas. Wood desks and beds can be found in sleeping rooms. Staff stations are located within housing units, providing access to youth. Spaces can be designed to support a variety of activities. We can help you create a secure, therapeutic environment for juveniles that balances safety and versatility.
Contact us for Juvenile Planning and Design
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