Attending international conferences in the last 18 months on prison planning, design, management and security has highlighted just how advanced New Zealand and Stephenson&Turner is in this important sector.
At a London conference the speakers and their preambles suggested that there was much yet to learn in dealing with issues presented by old prison fabric and the increasing demands placed on agencies to provide rehabilitation and reduce reoffending. However, we would suggest otherwise! S&T, over the last 10 or so years, has gained a wealth of knowledge in these areas through planning and developing new prisons with the New Zealand Department of Corrections.
One successful example has been our approach to embedding fundamental and unique New Zealand cultural aspects into prison design. This experience has established a credential and capability in both interpreting and incorporating such cultural determinants into corrections solutions regardless of location.
Rehabilitation and reoffending reduction objectives supported by culturally aligned design elements have been carefully crafted into the architecture and building services of each S&T designed New Zealand prison at Mt Eden, Ngawha, Springhill. Recent performance reporting for Mt Eden indicates even in the first six months of operation that reoffending reduction targets are being realised.
The conference on effective strategies for prison design management and security in Asia, hosted by the Prisons Department of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, reinforced the common issues faced by all corrections agencies world-wide. This forum positively illustrated shared issues arising from prison population diversity including aged care, increasing women prisoner numbers, and requirements for specialist services such as protection units and psychiatric services. Solutions to these issues in all developing countries are being sought with a common vision of providing world best practise facilities.
Corrections agencies from both developing economies and so-called fully developed countries all are planning to change their approach to the delivery of both prison and community-based sentences and the support services required. A general lowering of prison populations worldwide coupled with the best practice drive means that agencies are looking to concentrate on the quality of corrections services provided for prisoner rehabilitation and on maximising the beneficial flow-on effect within communities. Our S&T experience is well positioned to be applied in the pursuit of such outcomes.
International conference events allow like-minded design and corrections professionals to share information, create on-going dialogue and to form important relationships to deal with the reform that is happening globally. Having made influential contacts from Angola to the USA (covering the alphabet!) there is little doubt that many jurisdictions could utilise S&T’s experience and valuable knowledge at varying levels.
S&T is excited to be engaging in the international corrections scene and demonstrating our strong globally relevant credentials.
For more information please contact Malcolm Gardiner Principal – Corrections Facilities