Designing for Humanity
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This thesis aims to explore the idea that a healthy prison design will in turn create a healthy atmosphere. I will work to design a prison that will aid in the inmates’ transition back into society. By designing a structure that provides views to nature, access to natural sunlight, and room to move semi freely, I believe inmates will be healthier and happier. Currently the United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world and over half of the people incarcerated will end up back in prison within 5 years of their release. The oppressive nature of prisons create an unhealthy, aggressive attitude, which is reflected in riots, outbursts, and threats. The main goal of all prisons should be to help inmates re-enter society successfully. However, most prisons in the United States run on the idea of retributive justice instead of reformative justice. Retributive justice is defined by Wikipedia as “a theory of justice which holds that the best response to a crime is a suitable punishment, inflicted for its own sake. The only goal in retributive justice is punishment.” This idea is extremely damaging, not only to the inmates themselves but to society as a whole. I cannot change the way inmates are being treated but I can change the way the architecture treats them.