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AIA: improving justice facility architecture.

The American Institute of Architects' Justice Facilities Professional Interest Area is comprised of about 300 AIA members from around the country with a special interest in justice facility architecture. The group, now 20 years old, works to improve the justice system's quality and effectiveness by striving for excellence in facility architecture.

Todd Phillips, AIA, the group's AIA staff director, says the corrections construction boom and changes in the inmate population have given the group's work added significance. "As the number of inmates--many of whom pose special problems--continues to explode, we are aware of the extent to which our work will continue to remain on the national agenda," he says.

Although the task of improving the justice system through architecture may seem more than a 300-member organization could handle, Phillips says the group makes important contributions. "The numbers don't tell the whole story," he says. "Because of our relationships with allied organizations, the group has a catalytic power that gives it a greater impact than its numbers might suggest."

One of the committee's main objectives is to develop strong links with other architects, allied professionals and representatives of the justice system. The group has been an ACA affiliate for about five years.

The group holds three annual conferences. The main conference, held each fall, includes a full conference program, facility tours and an exhibit area. The 1992 fall conference, which was co-sponsored by the National Center for State Courts and U.S. Federal Courts and focused on courthouse design, was held in October in Washington, D.C. Six hundred participants came from as far away as New Zealand to participate. Next fall's conference will be held in Hartford, Conn., and will focus on prisons and jails.

Another group objective is to advocate and acknowledge excellence in architecture for justice. The committee does this through its annual Justice Facilities Review, an exhibition catalog of architecturally outstanding justice facilities.

A steering committee provides the group's leadership. It is made up of a committee chairperson, vice chairperson and three other members. The chairperson serves a one-year term and is appointed from the group's general membership.
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Title Annotation:Chapter/Affiliate Spotlight; American Institute of Architects
Author:Ogburn, Kevin
Publication:Corrections Today
Date:Apr 1, 1993
Words:351
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