Housing Young People in Justice Residence
Mass incarceration is not compatible with the goal of rehabilitation and upholding prisoners’ humanity. A reformation is necessary because young people may experience a range of negative impacts while living in secured residential care.
This proposal is an architectural inquiry into how further decentralisation of the youth justice residences in New Zealand by Oranga Tamariki could offer more freedom and facilitate better social connection within the context of a restrictive living environment.
Unlike adult prisons, the smaller scale youth justice residence is designed for the young people in remands or sentenced to prison. It is the temporary home for young people while simultaneously preventing possible further offending behaviour.
Decentralising the youth justice residence is an important initiative aimed at a more accessible residence that could fit into the urban context of 16 regions in New Zealand to allow for a better support system, especially from their families. This thesis is also interested in exploring the physical and symbolic effects of architecture on the rehabilitation and reintegration of young people grounded by the pragmatics of safety, security, and cost-effectiveness.
This thesis’s nature is sensitive; it imagines how architectural design can magnify the affordance of freedom and social connection, positing it as a place where young people can be rehabilitated in preparation for their return to society. Based on literary research, a site visit andvarious stages of design development, a 5-bed youth justice residence is proposed.