The following white paper is an in-depth resource regarding the relatively new concept of humanizing or normalizing correctional facilities. This approach aims to make these environments more residential in nature, opposed to the historically stark prison spaces we have come to know.
In doing so, research shows that correctional facilities may decrease inmate violence, reduce stress among staff, reduce recidivism, help the incarcerated re-enter society with a higher success rate, among other positive benefits.
There is a debate that is now quietly occurring in the United States regarding the construction and design of correctional facilities, prisons, jails and other environments where the incarcerated are housed. Historically speaking, minimal effort has been made to make these environments comfortable places, where convicted criminals or those awaiting trial may live in settings that are residential in any way shape or form. Frankly, in fact, the opposite is true. As part of their punishment – aside from the loss of their freedom – prisoners most often live in institutional environments that lack any of the normalization that you would find in the outside world. While some progress has been made through the the direct supervision model, those efforts have been compromised by historically high levels of incarceration and overcrowding, forcing corrections officials to search for ways to combat these challenges.