CENTRAL PRISON AT TRIVANDRUM. (B.Arch Thesis Project)
Correctional Techniques at the intersection of Law and Psychology.
CONCEPT: 'AN IRON FIST IN A VELVET GLOVE'
The iron fist refers to the unavoidable 'loss of freedom' as the shock or punishment, and velvet glove refers to the availability of compassion at the same time, with the offer of reform. The irony of the prison situation is such that on one hand, we are required to design with what would always be seen as soul-destroying stark solidity and metal bars that make escape impossible; while on the other, we are encouraged to create as decent an environment as possible, to disarm the prisoners from fear and anxiety, and thus, to encourage them into good behaviour. In other words - using an iron fist in a velvet glove..
While the outer peripheral walls are solid, chain link see through fences with alarm systems are used in the inner separation to prevent the feeling of captivity. This in turn is in a secured complex.
The circulation and control act as follows: The main guard tower is located at the highest point on the site ans satellite guard towers at the entrance of each block. The remaining blocks step downwards which makes the survellance easier. The recreation activities are placed at the centre of the block and the inmate accomodation units and other facilities placed all around it. There are CCTV cameras (with swivelling heads) on poles along with high mast lighting placed strategically along the perimeter of the blocks as well as outside the overall outer perimeter. The overall complex is divided into: Remand Block, Convict Block, Female Pricon and Open Prison. Each of the living units are placed in blocks secured within the inner perimeter of these, which in turn are in a secured outer perimeter within the entire complex perimter. Hence there exist 5 levels of security.
Sketches of the reformative environment - open interactive areas and activity rooms as well as amenities to cater to requirements of normal life.
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