University of Bath

The moral ambiguities of rehabilitation in the context of the healthy prison

Professor Yvonne Jewkes presents “My parents like that I’ve grown myself again”: The moral ambiguities of rehabilitation in the context of the healthy prison.

26 Feb 20191.15pm
26 Feb 20192.45pm
Prison courtyard
Can the architects of incarceration facilities aspire to rehabilitate those in custody with the help of design?

In recent times, a new vernacular has emerged in prison design; one of blandness and similitude. Yet, in other parts of the world, prisons are once again being designed as purposeful statements of penal philosophy and intent, often denoting that the jurisdiction in question does punishment differently to their near neighbours. In some cases, discourses of transformation, normalisation and rehabilitation have come to the fore in the briefs given to architects and in the new lexicon of prison planning and design.

So, to what extent can the architects of incarceration aspire to rehabilitate those in custody? Is the aspiration to transform prisoners’ thought and behaviour through environment a realistic one? Is it even morally justifiable? In this seminar, Professor Yvonne Jewkes will discuss what really matters in custodial design, including the individual and social consequences of ‘unhealthy’ prisons and the moral ambiguities that lie at the heart of progressive prison design.