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NIJ service provides valuable corrections construction data.

The National Institute of Justice Construction Information Exchange offers a number of services to help corrections officials plan, finance, design and build new prisons and jails. Among the services the network offers are:

* information from a newly completed questionnaire on criminal justice complex facilities and facilities serving special needs inmates;

* a construction data base featuring more than 500 listings nationwide; and

* the Construction Reference and Referral Service.



A recent survey collected new information from criminal justice facilities across the nation. Questionnaires returned by corrections officials and architects reveal new data in two key areas: (1) detention and holding facilities with law enforcement or court components located within the same complex, and (2) facilities that serve special inmate populations such as drug offenders, women, the elderly and inmates infected with HIV.

In addition, the questionnaire results include information on land acquisition costs, equipment and furnishings costs, site development costs, financing methods and facility locations.

Federal, state and local officials can use the data to build on the experiences of others in developing well-designed, cost-effective prisons and jails.


Data Base

The construction data base now includes information on more than 500 facilities nationwide. This service includes information ranging from design concepts, construction costs and financing methods to staffing levels, cell capacity, inmate profiles and operational costs. It also lists administrators, sheriffs, architects and other professionals who recently have completed a prison or jail project. Updated regularly, the data base has more than doubled in size to keep pace with new developments in prison and jail construction.

Reference and Referral

The Construction Reference and Referral Service allows criminal justice professionals to share their experiences in managing prison and jail crowding.

The service provides a team of specialists who locate answers to questions or refer inquiries to knowledgeable sources. Special areas of assistance include:

Conference services. Staff refer planners of corrections-related conferences and meetings to resources they can use to publicize an event. In addition, an NIJ representative may be available to attend conferences and show participants how to use the resources of the Construction Information Exchange in their corrections practice.

Other conference-related services include providing NIJ materials for inclusion in conference registration packets, supplying reading lists and fact sheets designed to complement a program, and offering access to a variety of specialized or customized mailing lists.

The National Directory of Corrections Construction. This directory provides the information contained in NIJ's construction data base in a book format. It lists selected information on each facility in a two-page profile that includes floor plans.

Construction Bulletins. These periodicals highlight critical corrections issues and provide case studies of selected construction projects. Construction Bulletins demonstrate new building techniques, creative partnerships and financing methods that save time and money.

Publications. The following titles can be ordered free of charge through the Construction Reference and Referral Service:

Acquiring New Prison Sites: The Federal Experience - Describes how the Federal Bureau of Prisons selects and acquires sites for new institutions and offers suggestions for state and local officials facing this difficult issue.

California Tests New Construction Concepts - Discusses two advanced building techniques - pre-cast and tilt-up concrete - and provides test results from California.

Construction Cost Index - Provides a formula for estimating construction costs in various geographic regions.

Construction Options: A California Case Study - Explores construction alternatives considered by a local jail in California and emphasizes the need for jurisdictions to work closely with design and construction professionals to ensure that all appropriate alternatives are reviewed.

Cost Savings in New General Jails: The Direct Supervision Approach - Presents the economic advantages of direct supervision. Describes new general jail design and the potential for reducing construction and operating costs and improving staff morale and work conditions.

Florida Sets Example with Concrete Modules - Illustrates Florida's successful use of modular construction methods to obtain expanded corrections capacity.

From Arizona to South Carolina: Transfer of a Prison Design Model - Describes how the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the state of South Carolina shared plans for constructing new prisons using prototype facilities.

Inmates Build Prisons in South Carolina - Relates South Carolina's experience in integrating a capital improvement plan with an inmate training program.

Jail Construction in California - Shows how California and its counties formed partnerships to provide a wide variety of cost-saving methods to replace old structures and ease crowding problems.

Maine Jails: Progress Through Partnerships - Focuses on problems faced at the local level, including planning, recycling existing buildings and gaining public support. Describes how Maine's counties collaborated to produce innovative, efficient and timely jail improvements.

New Construction Methods for Correctional Facilities - Describes NIJ's Construction Information Exchange and reviews the use of prefabricated construction materials.

Ohio's New Approach to Prison and Jail Financing - Provides alternatives to traditional municipal bonds as the method for raising money for new construction.

Oklahoma Prison Expansion Saves Time and Money - Looks at how Oklahoma officials expanded an existing institution quickly and cost effectively.

Stopping Escapes: Perimeter Security - Discusses the value and effectiveness of different approaches to perimeter security tested by New York state officials.

Federal, state and local officials can tap into this unique network for corrections information by contacting the Construction Information Exchange at 1-800-851-3420 or by writing Construction Information Exchange, National Institute of Justice/NCJRS, Box 6000, Rockville, MD 20850.
COPYRIGHT 1993 American Correctional Association, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:National Institute of Justice
Publication:Corrections Today
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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