BUILT REHABILITATION ENVIRONMENTS FOR JUVENILE DELINQUENTS

ABSTRACT
Juvenile crime is on the increase worldwide and design and construction of juvenile rehabilitation facilities has become necessary to help shape the young people back to acceptable members of the society. Over the course of time it has become apparent that the design of these spaces is crucial in encouraging positive responses from the juveniles while in custody.
However most of the spaces designed for the rehabilitation of juveniles are not internalised by the designer in terms of how they meet the needs of young offenders in all aspects of their lives as well as providing an environment that brings about progressive results from both the staff and the juveniles.
The study undertakes the case study methodology in a peri-urban context where it analyses the built environment for the rehabilitation of the juveniles using it. It outlines the findings from two juvenile rehabilitation centres in the outskirts of Nairobi. The centres are Kirigiti Girls’ Rehabilitation School and Kamiti Youth Corrective Training Centre (Y.C.T.C.).
Some architectural elements that juvenile professionals urge to be considered in the design of these facilities so as to draw out desired outcomes from the juveniles and to support the rehabilitation process are investigated. The elements studied include safety and security aspects that comprise of staff presence and security construction, group size and environmental character elements of natural lighting, views and outdoor spaces, sound control and materials and finishes. Program activity spaces and opportunities with regard to adolescent developmental needs are as well discussed.
The findings reveal that security is an important aspect in the design of these facilities and should be at the forefront when designing these facilities by being considerate of the risk of the residents. Views and open spaces should be integrated within juvenile facility environments to provide positive distractions for both the staff and the residents but should also be carefully planned so as not to compromise the security of the staff and the residents. Program activity spaces should be provided but determined by length of stay of the residents at the institution. Furthermore, the findings reveal that design strategies in juvenile facility design, although general in all settings, are specific to the age of juveniles, offences committed and duration of stay of the juveniles at the institution. xi

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