In new guidance, released Monday, HUD tells landlords and home sellers that turning down tenants or buyers based on their criminal records may violate the Fair Housing Act.
People with criminal records aren't a protected class under the Fair Housing Act... but blanket policies of refusing to rent to anybody with a criminal record are de facto discrimination, the department says — because of the systemic disparities of the American criminal justice system. — NPR
Rikers is built on a landfill. The ground underneath the facilities is unstable and the decomposing garbage emits poisonous methane gas. In addition to extreme heat and poor air quality, flooding and crumbling infrastructure pose a serious threat, especially when superstorms like Hurricane Sandy strike. As the violence and human rights violations worsen, so do the environmental circumstances surrounding Rikers. — Grist
The average crow takes less than two hours to travel from Sing Sing maximum-security prison to the Whitney Museum of American Art, institutions separated by just 32 miles of land along New York’s Hudson river. Yet few humans journey between them – museums and prison are at opposite ends of our society’s self-imaginings, and their populations tend not to intersect. — The Guardian
space and building costs are just as much of guiding principles in designing real prisons as they are in Prison Architect. [...]
"Prisoners themselves are generally not included in the conversation where the prison construction budget is allocated to different priorities, so their needs come last and cell size is generally set at the legal minimum," Sperry said. "The legal standard only bars 'cruel or unusual punishment'—a cell can be punitively small as long as it doesn't cross that limit." — motherboard.vice.com
this San Diego County jail, which houses everyone from petty criminals to accused murderers and was once known for its sickening decrepitude, is at the forefront of a new and, of course, controversial movement in prison design, one that manifests a counterintuitive idea: You could build a lockup so pleasant and thoughtfully devised that inmates would never come back. [...]
Welcome to Las Colinas Women’s Detention and Re-entry Facility. — ozy.com
As long as the City of New York has owned Rikers Island, since the 1880s, it has been a place for the unwanted. For a time, pigs were raised for slaughter there. [...] was converted to a partial landfill, full of horse manure and garbage. The odor repelled its neighbors in the boroughs, and the refuse attracted a sizable rat population, which the city tried to contain by releasing wild dogs. [...] It took poison gas to kill off the rodents. Next the city moved humans to Rikers. — nymag.com
On any given day, there are 80,000 U.S. prisoners in solitary confinement...has led some prisoners into a profound level of what might be called ‘ontological insecurity' — NYT
Faced with lawsuits and a growing mountain of damning research, New York City officials decided last month to ban solitary confinement for prison inmates 21 and younger. Just a few weeks earlier, the American Institute of Architects rejected a petition to censure members who design solitary-confinement cells and death chambers. [...]
What are the ethical boundaries for architecture? — nytimes.com
Welcome to prison, and a celebration of liberty. Ai Weiwei, the big man of Beijing, has spent years discovering pockets of freedom in the most straitened circumstances, resisting every effort by the Chinese government to shut him down.
This week he opens a major new exhibition in a place that makes that resistance literal: on Alcatraz [...]. The United States has the highest incarceration rate on the planet. But this prison is decommissioned, and Ai is using it to extraordinary effect. — theguardian.com
Though many scholars focusing on penitentiaries suspect that staff-prisoner relations are molded by institutional architecture, little empirical work has been completed on the topic. Now, a new study led by Beijersbergen and published in Crime & Delinquency has concluded that building styles, floor plans, and other design features do indeed have a significant impact on the way Dutch prisoners perceive their relationships with prison staff. — psmag.com
"ADPSP is asking the AIA to change their Code of Ethics to prohibit the design of spaces intended for executions and prolonged solitary confinement, as in 'supermax' prisons. This comes from the AIA's current code, which calls on members to 'uphold human rights in all their professional endeavors'—but includes no enforceable rules to provide discipline" - Raphael Sperry — Metropolis Magazine
eric chavkin penned a review of "Glen Small: Recovery Room" an exhibit at Assembly in Los Angeles, organized and curated by Archinect's own Orhan Ayyüce. MightyMike (aka Michael Locke) commented "For local (Los Angeles) fans of Archinect, there's a wonderful example of Small's work in the Franklin Hills...the Leiberman House". For his part davidd felt "This review and Small's work seems to come from an ingroup/niche point of view".
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