The Enware team attended the Melbourne Archiflex 2020 festival last Thursday at the Kino Cinema. The festival itself was themed around “Building Justice: The Future of Prison Design”. The festival raised the question of how might we redesign prisons to provide inmates with their sense of humanity intact, so that inmates can feel at home and ultimately prevent a reduction in recidivism rates Australia wide.
As a sponsor for the event and a believer in humanising the prisoner experience, Enware have come up with a solution called the Custodian® Range. The purpose of the Custodian® range is to provide individual control and comfort while balancing the facility manager’s priorities of safety and security.
It is one of the modern day challenges in not just Australia, but Western society with an increased trend of recidivism rates occurring globally. In Australia alone, the likelihood of repeat offenders from occurring had increased to 53% (Research Gate: 2016). In New South Wales, the number of reconvictions occurring in 2020 is already trending towards the monthly record of 13,651 in May 2018 (NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research: 2020). Even more concerning data is that Australia wide, increasing recidivism rates have resulted in prison operating expenditure almost doubling to $3.2 billion since 2013 (CEDA: 2019).
So, how might we reduce recidivism rates? Previously facility managers have attempted rehabilitation practices such as placing televisions to humanise the prison experience. Unfortunately more hostile inmates have been known to damage the television, this seems to be an inefficient way or managing the rehabilitation process (Corrections Queensland: 2019). This is where the Custodian® Range benefits both inmates and correctional facility staff, the product is specifically built to withstand potentially violent acts from offenders. Further, combined with creative prison designer from an architect, it can create a much more homely feel than before, making inmates feel at home. Ultimately this is to ensure that the transition from prison to society is a natural process.
Correctional staff will also benefit, as the Custodian® Range is complemented by Enware’s Smart Flow® Water Management System. What this means is that correctional staff will be allowed to control and monitor the temperature of each prison cell remotely without the need for staff to enter an inmate’s prison cell. This ensures that the safety of each correctional facility staff member while maintaining an emphasis on prisoner rehabilitation through design.
During the 2020 Melbourne Archiflex festival, legendary architect Frank Ghery said that “if people treated other people like human beings, what would that look like, what would prisons look like?”. One would hope that with Enware’s Custodian® Range, the future of prison design would look like one that would provide inmates with their sense of humanity intact as part of the rehabilitation process. Indeed, providing products and services that support the rehabilitation process would be a small step in reducing recidivism rates Australia wide.
NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research – https://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/nsw-prison-muster-approaches-record-level/news-story/fdba8a97edfbc3c8ea83dd8cb7d9e7ff