The Board of Directors of AIA New York has recently released a statement discouraging the design of criminal justice facilities that uphold the current system. Taking a stand against designing unjust, cruel, and harmful spaces of incarceration, AIA NY solicited architects to reflect on the broader social implications of their work. Stating that “for too long, architects have been complicit in upholding intrinsic racism within the American criminal justice system […] good design alone is not enough to remove or overcome the racism inherent within the criminal justice system”, the AIA NY is taking actionable steps to address the current situation. Noting that architects are not responsible to alleviate an unfair structure and that it is beyond their scope of work, the Board of Directors has called upon American professionals of the field to no longer design “unjust, cruel or harmful spaces of incarceration within the current United States […] such as prisons, jails, detention centers, and police stations”.
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