The rehabilitative prison: challenging practices in prison design in order to challenge attitudes to prisoners
What role does the built environment play in positively shaping the experience of imprisonment and contributing to future desistance from offending? Can progressive, humane architecture effectively challenge the negative attitudes to prisoners that are sometimes held by prison service personnel and society at large? Exaggerated claims about ‘good’ prison design are frequently made by academics, architects and journalists, and some Nordic prisons are especially susceptible to being fetishized to a degree that elides their function as high-security establishments that inflict harm. In this lecture, Professor Yvonne Jewkes will relate two personal experiences of being part of teams planning and designing new prisons in countries that might be characterised as socially and politically conservative. The projects’ divergences, however, were more stark than their similarities, and only one of the facilities is likely to turn out to be an example of imaginative, humane thinking in contemporary prison design, even though both prisons were initially conceived as such. Where one fell foul of a highly risk-averse and security-obsessed corrections culture, the other has benefitted from a prison service prepared to take risks and commission a design underpinned by research evidence and international best practice. In the lecture, Yvonne will discuss how her ESRC-funded research sought to challenge not only conventional perspectives and practices in the planning and design process, but also challenged prevailing opinions among those who commission, design and operate prisons about the people who get sent to custody.
Date: 28 October 2021, 16:00 (Thursday, 3rd week, Michaelmas 2021)
Venue: 32-42 Wellington Square (Barnett House), 32-42 Wellington Square OX1 2ER
Speaker: Professor Yvonne Jewkes (University of Bath)
Organising department: Department of Social Policy and Intervention
Host: Dr Ben Chrisinger (University of Oxford)
Part of: Centre for Evidence-Based Intervention Seminars
Booking required?: Required
Audience: Public
Editor: Jeanpierre De Rosnay