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Prisoners Design their Own Prison

What would a prison look like if prisoners designed their own prison? Architect Deanna Van Buren is finding out. The Los Angeles Times reports on a small group of incarcerated men who are working together with a designer to plan a prison based on principles of restorative justice.

While some might expect nothing but luxury in the design, differences between the design and traditional facilities are more about humanizing the prison experience than just offering creature comforts to inmates. Privacy shields for toilets and showers, lots of windows for natural light and views of the sky, and a talking circle to replace more confrontational spaces all are featured.

Possible Preaching Angle:

While the specific design may never be implemented, the principles of humanity and justice have a lot to say about the world viewed through the eyes of a prisoner—no matter our life circumstances, we all have the same needs for belonging, for being viewed as a person, for a glimpse or two of the blue sky.

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