Magazine article Corrections Forum

Innovative Programs

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Innovative Programs

Article excerpt

The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) bestowed a national merit award on the Federal Correctional Institution - Berlin project at its annual awards dinner. A joint venture of Heery and Bell Corporation designed and constructed the $245 million project and successfully overcame numerous challenges presented by the rural Northern New Hampshire weather and site, which included three years of record snowfalls. The team adapted the Federal Bureau of Prison's (FBOP) design standards to account for heavy snows by adding sloped roofs and an interior corridor. It also surmounted extreme weather conditions, a six and one-halffoot thick frost line and a demanding 37-month schedule. The team maximized the use of local labor, far exceeding FBOP's goals, and delivered the project on schedule and within budget.

Just under half of those released from prison in the U.S. will be back there within three years, according to a report by BBC News, Washington. And failure does not come cheap. It costs $27,000 to hold one prisoner for a year. Last year, states spent $50 billion on incarceration. Criminal justice professionals have a phrase that sums up the financial challenge: the "million dollar block" - a city neighborhood where a million dollars a year is spent locking up people from a single block. And then there is what might be called collateral damage from time spent in prison. "Like a party without the women" is how Antoine, a former crack dealer, describes it. The prisons he went to are rife with drugs and rich in criminal-learning experiences. …

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