November AAJ Conference Focuses on Social Justice

ST. LOUIS — The 2014 AIA Academy of Architecture for Justice’s national conference, held November 5-7 in St. Louis, will focus on architecture for social justice, highlighting a growing trend in the correctional design community.

The event will provide participants with a platform to share solutions for detention, judicial and public safety facilities across the country. Additionally, it will allow attendees to explore how current justice facilities are meeting the demands for change, and how this will affect the next generation of architects.

“Not a week goes by that we don’t see, hear or read about the state of the justice system in the United States,” 2014 National AAJ Advisory Group Chair Linda Bernauer, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, wrote in a letter to conference attendees. “Most of what is reported is overwhelmingly negative, but there are pleas for change ranging from the U.S. Attorney General to local police departments, and most of all, from the public. This conference examines some of the positive changes happening in the system.”

Attendees will enjoy the networking and information exchange with both experienced and novice justice architect peers, and many speaker proposals will address the intersection of detention and health, according to Susan K. Oldroyd FAIA LEED, one of the conference organizers.

Sessions will focus on topics such as facility design for mental health in correctional environments, therapeutic justice, trauma-informed sustainable design and net zero prison engineering. Attendees can also explore how recent justice facilities are meeting the demands for change, and how these new models are influenced by the next generation of justice architects.

Conference speakers will include 22nd Judicial Circuit Judge Jimmie Edwards and Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Gary C. Mohr. Tours will also be given of the nearby Buzz Westfall Justice Center, the Thomas F. Eagleton United States Courthouse and the Illinois State Police Metro-East Forensic Laboratory.

“At this unique and special conference, our distinguished speakers will share a wide range of relevant topics,” added conference co-chairs Michael LeBoeuf, FAIA, and Rona G. Rothenberg, FAIA. “These range from a presentation demonstrating correctional mental health care delivery in a secure corrections and detention environment to design for special inmate populations, or from therapeutic justice demonstrated in panels describing the design and construction of a mental health and family justice center courthouse in San Jose California, and a community re-entry program from the St. Louis County jail.”

More information on the Academy of Architecture for Justice and the organization’s upcoming conference can be found at