Saturday, August 23, 2014

Roundup: Creative prison design

Grits doesn't track adult prison design issues much anymore, mainly because I want the state of Texas to tear down prisons, not build new ones. But over the last few months there have been a number of noteworthy articles on the topic that may interest some readers:
See here and here for a couple of useful, slightly older items on prison design that long-time readers will recognize as the subject of prior posts.


sunray's wench said...

It's a really important factor in corrections and one that really doesn't get enough coverage or through put into it, compared to other mass-holding buildings such as hospitals and schools. I am concerned that our government is following bad American examples and pracitces of incarceration, rather than looking to our European neighbours for good examples.

Thanks for collecting those articles into one place Scott.

brendan gibson said...

I'm in total agreement that they need to tear them down, not build more. Especially in Texas where prison is Slavery all over again and one of the biggest money making scams in Texas.

Anonymous said...

One of the biggest making making scams is the Gateway Programs at Henley and Barnet Units. The ones at Henley, if you complain on the slave like conditions as a family member one of the assistant Wardens will threatnen to send your family member back to Prison and out of that failed Gateway program.

Joorie Doodie said...

Here's an idea from Illinois:,36757/

Kidding aside, Grits, I'd certainly like to see a concise essay from you about your own ideas for reducing incarceration or making it effective in reducing recidivism. I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I'm a little uncomfortable with a "let's tear down prisons" mindset. I'm also uncomfortable with trying to apply European-style answers to problem here in Texas.

Of course, decriminalizing vices such as illicit drug use would free up who-knows-how-many jail and prison beds and reduce costs to the system by billions. I'd love to see an essay from you about this.

Anonymous said...

Smaller prisons are easier to manage and control. Prison gangs flourish in prisons that are large. It's easier for prison staff and administrators to keep track of activity on smaller prisons. In Texas the rates of contraband are out of control on the state's 2250 prototype units and larger units that house several thousand inmates.

With crumbling infastructure and outdated prisons, TDCJ should look at developing smaller concepts to replace some of their larger prisons.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@ Joorie Doodie, re: "decriminalizing vices such as illicit drug use would free up who-knows-how-many jail and prison beds and reduce costs to the system by billions"

You just wrote the essay. More difficult is writing the history, or rather, making it.