Architecture and inmate behavior: the surprising ways it influences design

Have you walked into a space and immediately felt calmer or perhaps more anxious because of its design? Imagine the impact design could have on an individual in a highly-stressful environment like a jail visit this link. The principles of design for correctional facilities are taking into account this connection between space-use and behavior. They have led to a new wave of innovative designs designed to encourage safety and positive changes in the behavior of inmates.

I find it fascinating to see how the nuts and screws of architecture can create not only buildings but also moods, and even outcomes. Think about the impact of natural and synthetic light. According to studies, natural light improves mood and can reduce depression. By installing larger windows and rooflights, designers can create spaces which help regulate sleeping patterns, reduce stress and improve inmate’s overall well-being, leading to reduced aggression.

Colors play a crucial role in psychological influence. Once the prison’s color scheme was as dark as a gray raincloud, there is now a move towards calming, soft colors which can reduce feelings of aggression and confinement. It’s a color spectrum that can influence behavior, steering moods to tranquility and introspection.

Design is also improving in the area of space layout. The traditional layout of rows of cell and long corridors is being replaced with units designed to promote community living and encourage interaction. The layout of such units can foster a social sense of belonging and normalcy that can be very beneficial to rehabilitation.

What are the materials used for construction? These materials are not only chosen because of their durability, they’re also selected for their ability create a homely and less institutional feel. Material that absorbs sound helps dampen the noise – a well-known irritant of high-stress environment. This consideration will reduce the stress levels which can often cause behavioral issues.

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