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The sessions at the AIA AAJ conference 2017 had three tracts: courts, corrections and detention, and law enforcement. One of my goals with this final blog post is to help future scholars in understanding their role for those who, like me, never attended an AIA conference before. Interdisciplinary Justice was the topic presented when I discovered I won the scholarship. I assumed the sessions would be organized around this topic, and even though it was mentioned by conference leaders, the individual sessions did not focus on this as a main topic.             Because my career has led me to detention oriented projects, I tended to lean towards those sessions ...
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Session day and time: October 30 th from 8:30-9:30. The statistics are eye-opening. A study published a few years ago by the Bureau of Justice Statistics cited that within the state prison system,  73 percent  of women and 55 of men have at least one mental health problem. It’s no secret that mental health issues are prevalent amongst our incarcerated population, however, recognizing the need to address these issues is the first step to successfully reintegrating these individuals into society and reducing the high rate of recidivism in the United States. In this session, our speakers, Bruce Henley, AIA, Adam Gelb, Beverly Priori, FAIA, Michelle Robinette ...
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Join session leader Brian Meade, AIA, and presenters Johnathan Tallman, AIA, on Monday, October 30 th from 9:45-11:15am as they share the collaborative process that led up to the milestone grand opening of the new Glen Ellyn Police Department.   A much-welcomed improvement over previously cramped facilities, the new Glen Ellyn Police Station incorporates public amenities as well as vastly improved security features for its officers.  Join speakers as they explore creating this new stand-alone 30,000 square-foot facility, situated near the entrance of a popular park in a residential neighborhood adjacent to a busy commercial corridor, a location that allows ...
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Hello. I'm excited to be the scholarship winner for this year's AIA AAJ conference. As part of the Justice studio at Wakefield Beasley and Associates, I’ve had opportunities to work under licensed Architect, Karen Sicner. As a leading designer in the Southeast region of the United States for detention facilities, she’s taken me under her wing and led me through the interdisciplinary world of Justice Design and the involved programmatic requirements of this architectural genre. Our projects over the last few years have included RYDCs for the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, commissaries and classrooms for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and innovative ...
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Erin Persky, Associate AIA, CCHP   In conjunction with the American Institute of Architects—Academy of Architecture for Justice Research Committee and a multidisciplinary advisory committee, Jay Farbstein, Erin Persky, and Melissa Farling have developed a Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) “Toolkit” for Courthouses. Over the course of the next five AAJ Journal issues, POE lessons learned and recommendations will be shared based on the information gathered during a pilot POE conducted to test the Toolkit instruments and methodologies. This article will introduce the Toolkit, including the instruments and goals for its use. The Courthouse POE Toolkit is configured ...
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Lorenzo Lopez, AIA, LEED AP   The AIA’s 2017 Knowledge Leadership Assembly (KLA) was held June 25 th -27th in St. Louis, MO. KLA is a gathering for all of the leaders of Knowledge Communities (KC’s) like the Academy of Architecture for Justice. I was there with the other AAJ leadership group members, as well as about 150 other KC leaders. In addition to allowing time for each KC to plan out their own events, the conference is a means for the AIA to unite different KC’s in shared efforts and push down the AIA’s campaigns to its members. Diversity was the primary theme of a session titled “Implicit Bias” facilitated by Dr. Shirley Davis, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, ...
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2002 AAJ Chair, 2001 AIA National Vice President, AIA Edward C. Kemper Award recipient By the AAJ Communications Committee   Personal Information: When did you know you wanted to be an Architect and where did you go to college? BN: My interests were always in art, design and writing. I graduated from Binghamton University (State University of New York) with a Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Architecture. As an art major, I chose an architectural history course to complete the major, and was fascinated by looking at buildings in new ways. I studied at Cornell University School of Architecture for a semester and wanted to pursue it further. ...
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Letter from the Chair Welcome to our third Journal of 2017!  Summer is ending and it is time to start looking forward to our upcoming conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, October 29-31 st , 2017, where the theme will be Interdisciplinary Justice. To expand on that idea the conference page explains: Justice system research has long been conducted by social and biological scientists. Only more recently, however, has the influence of justice architecture on justice issues been systematically investigated. Increased societal interest in humane criminal justice presents a unique opportunity for collaboration between justice architecture professionals with experts ...
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By Gregory Cook, AIA, CCHP   What is good design? According to Vitruvius, when considering architecture it should successfully incorporate ‘firmness, commodity, and delight.’ [1] A more comprehensive modern assessment might go on to include honesty, innovation, clarity of intent, sense of place, and sustainability, among other attributes. These metrics are universal and are not limited to any specific project type, yet in my admittedly short tenure as a project designer working on criminal justice facilities I have come across a reluctance among many to fully assess our designs based on universal criteria due to what are seen as the limitations of ...
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By the AAJ Communications Committee   Personal Information: How do you like to spend your free time?  RM: I regularly spend my afternoons and evenings during the week, reading or listening to podcasts or audible books about U.S. and global politics, science & technology, motorsports news, art and film, history and new music.  My passion however, are cars, motorcycles and motorsports, which I share with my wife as well, miraculously [lucky me].  I have always appreciated the craftsmanship, styling and technology that went into the production of a beautiful car like the 1938 Bugatti 57SC Atlantic, motorcycles like the Ducati 916 SP, ...
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By the AAJ Communications Committee   The theme of the conference is Interdisciplinary Justice. This goes beyond collaborative design with our traditional consulting teams and stakeholders.   Could you explain this further? ML: The field of justice is inherently a multidisciplinary one. Addressing justice reform issues requires expertise from several disciplines.  As a former academic criminologist and penologist who has transitioned to an applied career in justice planning, I see many apparent links between the more scientific/social side of justice (and crime) and the practice of justice architecture. These links need to be explored if ...
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By Kerry Feeney B.E.S., B. Arch, MAA, LEED AP    The visit to Alcatraz In the Fall of 2016, I visited Alcatraz. As a Canadian architect with a specialty in justice architecture, I was excited to visit the historic facility. I anticipated that I would feel inspired upon reaching “the Rock”. Instead, I felt uncomfortable. Alcatraz is an iconic place of confinement; it’s interesting to note that even the island’s earliest inhabitants found it unsettling and ideal as a place for punishment: Long before Alcatraz became home to some of the most notorious outlaws in the country, it was known as a place to be avoided by Native Americans who believed ...
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Letter from the Chair Thanks for reading the Academy of Architecture for Justice (AAJ) Journal, and welcome to our second quarter publication! We covered a lot of ground in this issue.  Firstly, our thanks to Gregory Cook for starting our newest segment called ‘Design Dialogue’ where we address design directly within the specific context of Justice Buildings. He recognizes immediately that we are the “steward(s) not only of public dollars but also public trust.” See what else Greg is saying and feel free to send us your written perspective and experience on the matter. We hope our readers will find this topic engaging and spirited. We also continue ...
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Letter from the editor Welcome to our first Journal of 2017!  We are off to a great start and I think this year promises to be particularly engaging.  We have a great committee, with fantastic ideas and focus, that we will share with you throughout the next few months.   First, we continue our segments on getting to know some emerging professionals in the field.  This time we get to meet Kristina Koblusky. She is an impassioned lead designer, working towards licensure, with a drive to help people, communities and the environment.  My thanks to Kristina for taking the time out of her busy life to share her honest thoughts with us. In this issue, we address ...
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By the AAJ Communications Committee Personal information: How do you like to spend your free time? KK: I am currently working on my architectural license which is a time intensive process, so any true free time is usually planned well ahead. When time allows, I enjoy hiking or just getting outdoors. There are several trails close to where I live and I enjoy short hikes on the weekends. Once or twice a year, my husband and I take time off and go off to mountains to conquer the more intense trails. There is something special about the vast, serene, and open panoramas that the mountains offer. I cannot get enough of their energy and beauty. ...
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By Jim Beight, AIA, LEED AP   Courthouses have long served as the centers of community throughout the world, playing an instrumental role in civic identity and continuity. These important buildings have served to connect governments with their citizens while symbolizing the noble tradition of enduring justice. Despite this grand mission, courthouses as a facility type have often fallen short in terms of providing a user-friendly experience for the general public. The 2015 State of the State Courts survey, conducted by the National Center for State Courts, found that only 41 percent of respondents in the U.S. rated courts as good or excellent when ...
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 By the AAJ Communications Committee Experience: What are you most passionate about in regards to justice architecture?  GC:  What I am most drawn to is the opportunity to influence lives in a positive way by providing design solutions that support rehabilitation and re-entry into society. The expectations of our criminal justice system are changing, and I’m excited to work with the talented architects that are leading the response from the design community. What firm do you work for and how long have you been with your current firm? GC:  I have worked for HOK for 10 years. I was in St. Louis for 8 years before joining the Chicago ...
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By Laurence E. Hartman, AIA, NCARB, CCHP   The winter conference of the American Correctional Association (ACA) was held January 20-24, 2017 in sunny San Antonio, Texas.  Many AAJ members are active with ACA, principally with committees such as International Corrections, Sustainability, and Facility Planning and Design (of which I have been re-appointed chair for a second two year term). The Facility Planning and Design Committee meeting includes 25-30 industry members representing the architecture community along with federal, state, and local agencies (of which there has been increasing participation).  The committee role within ACA is multi-faceted: ...
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By the AAJ Communications Committee Personal Information: When did you know, you wanted to be an Architect? FM: The interest began at six years old, when I graduated from Lincoln Logs to an Erector set. At eleven years old, a scholarship to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago provided exposure to Chicago architecture on a weekly basis. At fifteen years old, a trip around the world on a freighter provided exposure to both landmark and anonymous architecture in 30 different countries. By then I knew I wanted to be an Architect. Where did you go to college and what degrees did you earn? FM: University of Illinois, ...
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The Honolulu Conference

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By Stephen A. Carter One of the two tour groups on Friday of the conference The Academy was wise to choose a location for the 2016 conference as far away from Washington DC as geographically possible. For three or four days, we focused on the excellent panel discussions, distracted only by the call of ocean breezes and temperate waters. Of course on return to the Mainland, a tsunami in US politics occurred, but at least we were relaxed! The four plenary and 17 panel sessions represented what AAJ has come to expect from the speakers and the audience participation. The Academy has truly evolved into a community of professionals who ...
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