Healing Spaces, Prison Design That Nurtures Restorative Justice

Say the words inclusive prison design and you may just hear the future of justice blowing in the wind click to read more. In a world where iron bars and concrete walls give way for spaces bathed by natural light. Rooms that echo with reconciliation possibilities rather than the clanging of chain. The principle of restorative law is not only found in policies but on the walls themselves.

Imagine a place that doesn’t really feel like prison. Inmates and their victims are able to engage in structured conversations in the communal areas. This creates a healing environment. Rounds of chairs instead of rows of tables promote a sense equality and open communication. It’s not about facing judgement, but more about facing one another and bridging the gap with the power human-to-human interaction.

And it is not only about the people. Nature has its place in the conversation. Gardens are places of refuge for reflection, restitution and healing. The greenery that cascades down the walls is a visual representation of growth and renewal. It is about bringing outside life in, reducing an institutional feel, and re-connecting inmates to their natural ecosystem.

The colors are also different. They speak a new language. Greens, blues and earthy shades whisper calming stories in contrast to the harsh, gray and white tones of institutions past. Lighting mimics the rhythm of sunrise and sunset, dimming at certain times to maintain the body’s internal clock.

Second chances are the buzzword in vocational and education areas. Learning and upskilling are made easier with the use of technology.

Restorative justice has a real presence in these walls. It’s more than a programme. We’re creating narratives that speak of hope and the belief in the ability to change for everyone by designing environments that encourage healing and human dignity.

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