Originally launched in 2004 as the Prison Design Boycott, ADPSR’s Prison Alternatives Initiative calls on architects and other design professionals, along with the public to support community-based alternatives to incarceration. Their website communicates the painfully stunning facts and figures associated with U.S. prisons.
Our prison system is both a devastating moral blight on our society and an overwhelming economic burden on our tax dollars, taking away much needed resources from schools, health care and affordable housing. The prison system is corrupting our society and making us more threatened, rather than protecting us as its proponents claim. It is a system built on fear, racism, and the exploitation of poverty. Our current prison system has no place in a society that aspires to liberty, justice, and equality for all.
As architects, we are responsible for one of the most expensive parts of the prison system, the construction of new prison buildings. Almost all of us would rather be using our professional skills to design positive social institutions such as universities or playgrounds, but these institutions lack funding because of spending on prisons. If we would rather design schools and community centers, we must stop building prisons.
Please join members of ADPSR in pledging to not participate in the design, construction, or renovation of prisons. We also invite you to learn more about the prison system, to join us in envisioning more just and productive alternatives to incarceration, and to work towards a society that treats all its members with dignity, equality, and justice.
Related Newscast: A plan to convert a State Prison for Women into one for men, is upsetting people in the neighboring community, who believe they’ve already been left behind…
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