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Prison + Higher Education = "PriSchool"

Sahar D. Sattarzadeh

With only five percent of the world's population, the U.S. leads the world in the number of incarcerated people—nearly 25% of the total number of people imprisoned worldwide. Imagine if prisoners were granted access to higher education . . . within reach. Glen J. Santayana proposes "PriSchool," a design project in which joint prisons and schools would coexist, offering inmates opportunities, empowerment and hope for advancement and life after prison . . .

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  • Anita W

    This gave me a lot of food for thought. As a architectural designer that actually works on prison projects I would agree in saying that prison design is absolutely atrocious and does not center design on prisoner rehabilitation but rather on the further restriction on human freedom and human surveillance. And to further that I believe that funding a project such as this which spends tax payers money on giving prisoners a better life is slim to unreal. Its unfortunate to say but its an interesting project.

    As a side note: there ARE many prisons that are in our neighborhood. Consider the twin towers in downtown Los Angeles- located right next to union station at the foot of Chinatown/downtown LA.

  • Liz Dwyer

    This is super interesting: "Santayana suggests that the PriSchool could be sited in a rough Brooklyn neighborhood called Brownsville, surrounded by the so-called 'million dollar blocks'--areas with so much crime that that state is spending over a million dollars a year to imprison residents from each neighborhood.

    'I wanted to locate my project in the heart of where most of the inmates are coming from to continue and strengthen family ties, so that when they are released, they can return home with a better chance of reassimilation,' Santayana says."

    I wonder if the idea would actually work, and if NYC would do it.