By James Krueger, Design Principal, HMC Architects; and John Macallister

America has a prison problem. According to the International Centre for Prison Studies, we currently have upwards of 2 million people, or about 1% of our population, in the criminal justice system in the United States. This puts us at the highest incarceration rate in the world—nearly five times that of Britain, seven times that of France and 24 times that of India. A sobering report last year from the Bureau of Justice Statistics put the recidivism rate at 75% of inmates reentering the system within five years of release.

Our approach of administering punishment instead of rehabilitation and reintegration isn’t working. One forward-thinking county in California has been willing to bet that the thoughtful application of evidence-based design (much of which uses lessons found in educational and health care design) combined with holistic, treatment-focused programming can make a dent in some of those statistics.

>>Read the full article about Las Colinas Women’s Detention and Reetry Facility published in Fast Co.EXIST