Over the last several years, the planning and design profession has gained significant knowledge of what constitutes a normalized and therapeutic environment. When considering architectural design that calms and provides wellness this may seem more applicable for healthcare needs, but professionals working in Corrections such as facility managers, healthcare workers, architects and designers (A+D) also recognize this need. As medical experts peer further into Correction populations, it is becoming clear that large percentages struggle with mental and addiction disorders. In addition, populations are increasing in quantity and in age. Since many under incarceration will return to our communities, concerns grow that the more often we elect to “warehouse” rather than humanize and rehabilitate, the greater the adverse impact this segment of the population will continue to have on public health and welfare.
Therefore, architects and consultants are working hard in this area to reinvent the fortress and meet changing needs, while preserving the non-negotiable issues of security and economics. Ensuring the public is protected from criminal behavior is without debate the foremost goal. However, the biggest question still stands: how can society balance the conflicting needs for security and the need to rehabilitate, but still protect the public and minimize criminal behavior?