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  • Designing from the Inside OutSan Bruno Jail Workshop

    San Bruno Jail Workshop

    August 8th 2014

    August 8th 2014

  • 1Designing from the Inside Out

    Designing Incarceration NationThe United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any country in the world. 1 out of 100 people in the United States are currently incarcerated, spending anywhere from a few days to a few years to their whole lives behind bars. Incarcerated individuals are disproportionately people of color, especially men, and those who are poor and un- or under-educated and employed. Recidivism rates up to 76% suggest that incarceration does little to reduce offending and subsequently results in the reincarceration of the same individuals over and over again. At a cost of 68 billion dollars annually, this ineffective system diverts funding from vital social programs, such as education and health,

    10 to 15% of these dollars are spent on the infrastructure of our current justice system (e.g., architectural design, construction and operation of courthouses, jails, detentions centers, prisons). While facility design and operations are rarely considered in conjunction with system effectiveness, research suggests facility architecture and design impacts the physical and psychological well-being of the incarcerated and staff alike. Since prisons are ineffective at reducing recidivism and perpetuate feelings of anger and bitterness, and foster violence, there is reason to question whether current facility design is promoting or inhibiting justice goals aimed at reducing offending, encouraging productive community participation, and creating safe communities. While the goal of some justice architecture is to increase safety for those living and working there, the lack of privacy in its planning, the limited access to light and air, poor acoustics exacerbated by hard surfaces, and institutional furnishings all contribute in institutionalizing those within and fostering stressful and antagonistic environments that do not facilitate transformation and healing.

    We face a challenge. Do we continue to design prisons aimed to solely punish, knowing such designs are having little effect on recidivism and inhibits well-being? Or do we design to get at more fundamental concerns of accountability and personal transformation and promote well-being? Restorative justice may offer some insight into how to design for the latter.


    Bureau of Justice

    VERA Institute of Justice

    Incarceration by Education Level

    Some High School or Less


    High School

    Post Secondary





    Incarceration by Offense




    Public order15.8%

    29.1% 70.9%

    Incarceration by RaceBlack Latino White




    The Environmental Psychology of Prisons and Jails, Richard E Wener, Cambridge University Press , 2012

  • Designing from the Inside OutAugust 8, 2014 2

    Restorative Justice + Design

    Restorative justice seeks to restore and repair the people and relationships impacted by crime by understanding victims needs and holding offenders accountable in a way that meets these needs. One common restorative justice practice, victim offender dialogue, brings victims and offenders together for face-to-face meetings to discuss impacts, needs, and, when appropriate, ways to repair damages. Thousands of these dialogue programs operate in the US, Canada, and Europe, with many dialogues occurring in prisons when the offender is incarcerated and the crimes have been violent. Research suggests that these encounters contribute to increased empathy, improved restitution completion, and reduced offending.

    Rather than focused on punishment, this philosophical approach to justice relies on values such as respect, participation, trust, accountability, and healing. Just as the principles and values of our punitive approach to justice manifest in our current justice architectural typologies, the philosophies of a restorative model can inform the design of justice spaces, including correctional facilities, in a radically different way. Some restorative justice theorists and practitioners propose that since restorative justice is ultimately a philosophy and set of values, it could inform the design of physical environments in such a way that the environmental design supports the programs which occur within the space.

    This concern for the design of the spaces in which restorative justice occurs is new but important. As a localized, place-based criminal, cultural, and civic approach, restorative justice practices require local, flexible and immediately available meeting places. Currently, restorative processes occur in a variety of readily available civic, religious and personal spaces from homes, houses of worship, schools, to courtrooms. They also occur in prisons and jails.



  • 3Designing from the Inside Out

    Designing Justice + Designing Spaces

    The Designing Justice + Designing Spaces project aims to explore the relationship between restorative justice and the architecture and design of justice spaces, with a particular interest in the design of correctional facilities. It is one of the first methodological approaches to working with incarcerated populations to re-envision, re-appropriate, and re-create the spaces of incarceration using the values and principles of restorative justice.

    This project is funded by The Fetzer Institute.

    Use restorative values and

    principles to re-envision and

    re-appropriate institutional space.

    Engage with incarcerated men

    and women as active agents in

    envisioning healing spaces for


    Equip incarcerated individuals with

    materials, design skills and analytic

    ability to explore the implication

    of environment and its impact on


    Create a toolkit for re-envisioning,

    re-appropriating, and re-creating

    the space of incarceration using

    the values and principles of

    restorative justice.

    Harvest program participants

    knowledge and self-

    knowledge about the critical

    interrelationships between our

    inner and outer life, as it relates to

    design and restorative justice, by

    using tools for self-reflection, such

    as collage and a visual diary.






  • Designing from the Inside OutAugust 8, 2014 4

    Designing from the Inside Out

    The Designing from the Inside Out workshops invite incarcerated people to consider restorative justice and re-design criminal justice environments so that they are informed by restoration and healing, through a customized community engagement process in high security settings. These workshops are approximately 10-12 hours in length.

    The participants in Designing from the Inside Out workshops read restorative justice and design literature, engage in discussions, and participate in mini-design labs, the learnings from which they apply in the creation of a design concept for a justice space of their choosing that embodies the values of restorative justice. Participants learn and use a variety of design tools (e.g., image boards, models, collages) to express their vision of justice spaces that embody restorative justice values and goals. To date, three workshops have been offered in state prisons and county jails in Pennsylvania and California.

  • 5Designing from the Inside Out

    San Bruno Jail Workshop

    Final Projects

    The creation of a diagram to

    guide participants into thinking

    about the story of their designed


    Representing ideas of the space

    in the form of a collage to better

    visualize the restorative qualities


    Detailed 2-D floor plans of

    the designed space, or a room

    within their space, drawn with

    architectural precision.

    A perspective rendering of the

    design so participants can apply

    taught techniques and further

    communicate their ideas.

    Each team creates a 3-D paper

    model of their design, or a room

    within their design.

    Each team pins up their designs for

    a presentation of their concept,

    the restorative justice values

    that the design represented, and

    feasible aspects of the design that

    could be implemented.




    This document provides examples of design concepts created by incarcerated men and women in the Designing from the Inside Out workshops and features those created by men incarcerated at San Bruno jail in San Francisco, CA.

    This workshop ran for approximately 12 hours over 4 days and included 18 male students, all of whom were participating in the RSVP program. In addition to the workshop of reading, discussion, and mini-design lab, students also interviewed other incarcerated men and jail staff to solicit their ideas for designs informed by restorative justice. The students learned 5 design tools visual diary, collage, diagramming, perspective/montage, and model making.

    As a final project, the class divided into 5 small groups and each team was asked to create a design concept for a room, building, or collection of buildings so that its design and architecture represented the values inherent to restorative justice. They used their learnings and newly learned design skills to create these concepts.

    Upon completion, each team pinned up their designs for a presentation of their concept, the restorative justice values that the design represented, and feasible aspects of the design that could be implemented. A panel of reviewers, including the workshop facilitators, correctional administrators, and community-based program facilitators, offered feedback on each concept.

    The students designs and the narratives they created to explain them follow. Their work provides insight into the creation and design of justice spaces that embody

    restorative justice values.

    Project Components

  • Designing from the Inside OutAugust 8, 2014 6

    Peace WithinThis is what a cell would look like from a restorative justice point of view. There would basically be a peaceful setting with electronics to keep the mind busy and at ease. A place that feels safe and comfortable to work on self in nurturing ways. It would be a place to sit with yourself, to get to know yourself and become aware of your actions.

    Designed & Written by:

    Marion Tukes

    Donald Gillis

    DeAndre Hill

    3-D paper model of the design

    Everyone is equal

    Equality is the beginning of change

  • 7Designing from the Inside Out

    2-D floor plan

  • Designing from the Inside OutAugust 8, 2014 8

    Peace Within

    Representative collage

    The thing that we would be able to do is add a sunroof, two more big windows and a gym set such as pull up bars or a full court gym just more things to relieve the stress.

  • 9Designing from the Inside Out

    Interior view showing a phone in the cell and a privacy screen for the bathroom

    Window with views to the exterior

    Desk with a computer

  • Designing from the Inside OutAugust 8, 2014 10

    Perspective drawing of the redesigned cell

  • 11Designing from the Inside Out

    Creating a perspective

    Marion working on the 3-D paper model DeAndre presenting the teams project

  • Designing from the Inside OutAugust 8, 2014 12

    S.F. County Community Healing Center

    The San Francisco County Community Healing Center was founded by Omar, Raya and Dante, 3 former inmates who had a passion for change. The program is based around our six restorative justice values love, respect, confidentiality, privacy, honesty, and flexibility. We knew it would take change in order for our communities to heal. With our design these 6 core values were integrated into the building structure. The old monolithic setting had to be eradicated and replaced with a new much ideal infrastructure. With much dedication and hard work we would like to present to you our presentation of the new San Francisco County Community Healing Center.

    Designed & Written by:

    Omar Williams

    Raya Man

    Dante Hayes

    Exterior view of the Healing Center

  • 13Designing from the Inside Out

    Representative collage

  • Designing from the Inside OutAugust 8, 2014 14

    S.F. County Community Healing Center

    First floor plan

  • 15Designing from the Inside Out

    Omar working on the 2-D floor plan Dante drawing one of the floor plans

    Dante presenting the teams design concept

  • Designing from the Inside OutAugust 8, 2014 16

    3-D paper model of the design

  • 17Designing from the Inside Out

    View of the interior courtyard

  • Designing from the Inside OutAugust 8, 2014 18

    Restorative Justice Glass House Healing Center

    Designed & Written by:

    Anthony Grosso

    Michael Johnson

    Philip TorresEntrance to the Restorative Justice Center Glass House

  • 19Designing from the Inside Out

    This is a place where people who have broken laws come to heal. They are taught how to be productive members of the community through:

    1. Counseling/Triage

    Find out what the clients needs are;

    Make a list of goals for each client;

    Begin counseling sessions

    2. Music Therapy Room

    We have one of Californias newest music labs, with state of the art recording studios plus a full array of musical instruments and instructors;

    Learning how to express yourself through music

    3. Living Quarters

    All have memory foam beds;

    All have full closets;

    All receive MacBook Pros;

    All have full entertainment centers with no expense spared

    4. Multi Purpose Room

    Yoga, full time masseuse and acupuncturist;

    Herbal healing

    5. Full Kitchen

    Caterers with no expense spared

    6. General Space Living Room

    Phones, movies, glass roof, plants, dogs, fish, leather couches, La-Z-Boys for senior advocates

    7. Friday is Ice Cream Night Representative Collage

  • Designing from the Inside OutAugust 8, 2014 20

    Restorative Justice Glass House Healing Center

    Glass House floor plan

  • 21Designing from the Inside Out

    Anthony creating the 3-D model of the Glass House

  • Designing from the Inside OutAugust 8, 2014 22

    Healing Center floor plan

    Restorative Justice Glass House Healing Center

  • 23Designing from the Inside Out

    Back entrance to the Glass House

  • August 8, 2014Designing from the Inside Out


    Interior view of the Glass House

  • 25Designing from the Inside Out

    Anthony explaining his vision to the review panel and his peers

  • Designing from the Inside OutAugust 8, 2014 26

    Healing Sun Center

    Our restorative justice design concept is a healing center. We feel a healing center is needed in a jail or prison that is actually based on Restorative Justice. Inside of the Healing Center a healing circle would be included. In the circle there would be dialogue between the offender and the victim, making the healing process more possible for them both. The circle is a set of chairs surrounding a sun on the floor the sun represents life as one.

    Designed & Written by:

    Troy Jones

    Donte Sykes

    Nicholas JacksonView of the healing circle

  • 27Designing from the Inside Out

    There is a TV at one end of the circle as well. The TV comes in and out of the floor so it doesnt always have to be visible. The purpose of the TV is so that whoever could not attend could be present via video communications.

    A fish aquarium is also included in our design. The aquarium represents peace because looking at it creates a feeling of calmness and happiness, which is what we want in our center.