Glen Santayana, a student at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, has created quite a stir with his new prison design, PriSchool. In an attempt to create a prison that reduces the number of repeat offenders, Santayana’s design promotes education with a school of criminology and would be embedded within the community, instead of isolated from society.
With approximately 92% of the current prison population being incarcerated on non-violent charges and a stunning 67% recidivism rate in the United States within 3 years of release, PriSchool is tailored to non-violent offenders who continue to make the same mistakes after being released back into the world.
Instead of thinking of prison as a place purely for punishment, the new design promotes rehabilitation, where more prisoners can be educated and learn from each other.
PriSchool will have four buildings, consisting of the prison itself, a pre-release building, a community center, and the school for criminology.
The school for criminology will feature both students and prisoners, giving both an opportunity to interact with each other and gain knowledge that can’t come from a book.
The pre-release building will offer prisoners who are nearing their release date to learn new skills which can help them be successful once they are released back into society. Wood workshops and computer labs will be offered among other things that promote useful skills.
The community center will offer a place for prisoners and local residents to enjoy and hopefully break down the stigma that all prisoners are bad people.
Santayana’s new design looks at prisons from a completely different angle but it is an intriguing take on how to promote sustainable success for prisoners who statistically have struggled becoming re-acclimated to the real world after completing their sentences.