Step Down Supportive Housing:
Vivienda de Apoyo como Instrumento de Reintegración Terapéutica
Student: Llorelys Martínez
Instructor: Davis Coleman
Project / Date: March Capstone / May 2013
TOS[er]: Raiza K. Rivera
Posted: Dec 2013
The capstone explores the possibility of using architecture as an instrument to facilitate the reinsertion or recently release prisoners into society.
The investigation focuses on rehabilitating ex-convicts in the metropolitan area of San Juan, Puerto Rico. A 2012 report shows that there is a very high percentage of convicts committing another crime after been released. More than a half of ex-convicts return to the prison. These imply that the system has ineffective methods of ensuring their reintegration in to the society.
At present, there are no facilities in Puerto Rico that maximise rehab effectiveness. Once on the street they have issues of alienation and depression, add to probably identity issues developed during their time on the inside. It is a psychological process, to return to society. If one develops a effective transition period, a therapeutic environment that might give them the tools they need, the percentage of reentry in to prison might drop significantly.
As a solution, the capstone proposal offers, a space that concentrates on the re-adaptation of young convicts. They live temporarily in a stimulating place where they receive assistance to become a valued member of society. How to find the right job, a place to live, learn to develop a formal identity would be essential, and maintain familial relations.
The proposal offers, and gives new alternative that are essential to their wellbeing and for their re-integration into the community. That’s why is an urban location selected. The uses abound in the neighbourhood, as well easy access to public transportation.
The rehabilitation process is divided in 3 steps and each one develops in different places of the propose complex. In each step there is different ambient, including the rooms. At first they live alone and then it change based in the development of the ex convict. The steps in the difference places are:
TOS[er] Reaction: It seems logical to recognise that whatever methods to rehabilitate prisoners are ineffective at reintegration them into society. The capstone proposal proactively addresses this need through a rational web of architectural spaces. But, definitely, the problem has to be treated before becoming an ex-convict. The prison system of Puerto Rico does not work. Their treatments and therapies to rehabilitate prisoners work even less. And it has been proven that many prisoners become further criminalised in jail. For many persons, the jail is a form of punishment, but it should really be a treatment. Both systems working properly – the prison system and urban Step Down Supportive Housing – would give a more effective result and lower the percentage of ex-convicts returning to the prison.