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Now Available Online! Christine and Boston Architectural College Faculty Address Correctional Design

Updated: Sep 2, 2021

Did you miss our talk on

Transforming Correctional Design for Justice Reform?

Based in the irrefutable facts

of the biological effects of trauma,

this talk is now available for you to stream!

What's it all about?

The panel addressed how trauma is often a pathway to criminalized behavior, and the real consequences of the prison environment on human biology, which results in lasting impacts on offenders. Highlighting the fact that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are more at risk for experiencing multiple traumas in their lives, and have significantly higher incarceration rates, the panel recommended a restorative justice approach for the future.

Our founder, Christine Cowart, joined Janet Roche, faculty member and Alumni Council member of Boston Architectural College (BAC), to discuss the implications of trauma-informed principles on correctional design. Christine drew on her experience working in the correctional systems of three Northeastern states to explain how trauma, crime, and correctional facilities are all inextricably related, and what that means for correctional design as we seek a more just and equitable response for the future.

In addition to her Masters in Design for Human from BAC, Janet holds a B.S. in Social Work from Boston University and a Certificate of Business and Management from Harvard University Extension School. She owns Janet Roche Designs, specializing in universal design, and the the design of environments for those who are aging-in-place or seeking accommodations for other human conditions. A longtime advocate for dignity in design, Janet set the tone for the discussion about how prisons have traditionally been built for punishment and intimidation, and set people up to fail.

A two-time Boston Architectural College alumni, Jana Belack earned a Bachelor's of Sustainable Design degree in 2010 and completed her Masters in Architecture in 2016 with her thesis entitled "A Women's Prison; Communities for Incarceration." Jana was named the 2017 John Worthington Ames Fellow by the BAC for her proposal to perform a comparative analysis of carceral facilities in the Scandinavian countries of Finland, Sweden, Norway, as well as Canada to gain an understanding of their success in achieving positive results and low recidivism rates. Jana shared a history of correctional facility design and philosophy in the United States and shared recommendations for a more just approach based on lessons learned and and a the more successful approaches she witnessed in Canada and Northern Europe.

Dana McKinney is an architect and urban planner who advances social justice and equity through design. Her academic and professional profile integrates wellness, policy, and economics into innovative design solutions to benefit even the most vulnerable populations

including formerly incarcerated individuals, persons experiencing homelessness, and the elderly. Dana graduated from Princeton University with an A.B. in Architecture and completed her Masters in Architecture and Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). During her time at the GSD, Dana helped to establish the inaugural Black in Design Conference, Map the Gap, and the African American Design Nexus. Dana shared her vision of the future of correctional design, by talking us through a plan she created for a restorative justice space in a neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey.

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