Guantanamo Facility Modeled on Michigan Jail

ADRIAN, Mich. – A county jail and a state prison in the United States were the models for new detention facilities for terrorists and enemy combatants being held at Guantanamo Bay, according to the lead architect.

Charles Goodman is principal-in-charge for SchenkelShultz at Guantanamo Bay, where makeshift facilities are being replaced with facilities more in keeping with U.S. detention standards and layouts. Goodman says that Camp Five, completed last year, was based on the Indiana DOC’s Miami Correctional Facility. The planned Camp Six shares many features with a new jail in Lenawee County, Mich., completed in February. Both facilities were designed by SchenkelShultz.

“Camp Six is a significantly expanded version of the Lenawee County, Mich., jail,” Goodman told Correctional News.

“Gen. Jay W. Hood (commander of the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo) personally came on the tour and liked that, so we fashioned it after the jail.”

Both the 176-bed Camp Five and Camp Six were designed by SchenkelShultz with Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) acting as construction manager. Army planners are varying the schemes. Camp Five was constructed with precast cells, but Camp Six will be different. “Although Camp Six does have a precast fa?ade and structure, they are using premanufactured steel cells,” says Goodman.

In March, KBR was in the process of soliciting bids from three different vendors, Habersham, Sweeper and Coleslab. Materials will leave from the port of Jacksonville, Fla., by barge on a six-day journey to Cuba. The difficult logistics of building at Guantanamo are expected to drive up costs for Camp Six to more than $25 million.

Camp Six is expected to break ground in June, with construction taking 12 months. “We have an elevated central control room with five guard positions. The dayrooms are eight pods of 22 cells. We'll only double bunk 25 percent of those,” Goodman says of Camp Six.

Master control will have excellent sightlines that oversee all dayrooms and the circulation below. “We actually built the control room on top of the infirmary, with viewports down into the various rooms in the infirmary so the guards can watch what's going on directly below them,” Goodman says.

With Camp Six, one of Gen. Hood's stated goals is that he wants to reduce the number of troops that must be kept mobilized at Guantanamo just to provide a security staff. “All the services will be brought to the detainee,” says Goodman. “The detainee can spend all his days in the dayroom, cell and recreation area. The infirmary is right there. Food is brought in. There's an on-base facility off-site that will prepare the food and bring it over.”

The existing Camp Delta is regarded as inefficient for staff, requiring military personnel to move bound detainees through the camp for basic services such as showers. “They're living in chicken coops and it's not a good situation,” he says. “This will be a night and day difference.”