Date of Submission

Spring 5-7-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Jade Yang



In the United States today, the incarceration experience has become entirely barbaric and inhumane. Basic needs are neglected, drug smuggling runs rampant, and the mental health crisis within the system is worse than ever before. The re-offense rate for formerly incarcerated people is one of the highest in the world. These issues stem from poor design choices meant to provide minimal social interaction between inmates, little to no privacy, and limited access to programmatic uses that contribute to the betterment of mental health. Building prisons better suited for rehabilitation instead of punishment will not only lower this statistic, but will have a much broader positive impact on society in many sectors of public welfare.

This thesis will explore the deficiencies in varying areas of prison design in the United States today. It will analyze how critical design factors affect the mental health of inmates and how to use that information to better design future facilities. The design of these spaces will take into consideration the main contributors to recidivism within the prison system and will seek to design spaces that are better suited for rehabilitation efforts among this population.

Included in

Architecture Commons