Ushering In a New Era of Public Safety
Maricopa County, AZ
Located in Phoenix, Arizona, Maricopa County is the fourth largest county by population in the U.S., with over 300 people being processed through the intake system each day. The previous intake center was ill-equipped to handle the amount of traffic, increasing the intake process time, keeping officers off the streets longer than necessary.
In 2015, Maricopa County officials approved the $185 million Phase I of the Maricopa Jail Master Plan which included a new Intake, Transfer, and Release (ITR) and Detention Facility. The new ITR facility also includes four courthouses, judges' chambers, and administrative and staff support areas.
The new facility is designed to improve the efficiency of the intake and release process, provide adaptability for the county to address the current needs of the community, offer improved access to mental and medical health services, and respond to future environmental changes.
A Need for A New Justice System
As the nation's fourth-largest county in terms of population, Maricopa County's current jail struggled to support the amount of traffic and bookings coming through the facility. With an average booking time of four hours, officers were being kept from patrolling the streets. In 2015, the county approved the $185 million Phase I of the Maricopa Jail Master Plan which included a new Intake, Transfer, and Release (ITR) detention facility to help reduce booking times for arrestees and provide a more adaptive approach to population management.
As the lead planner/programmer and consulting architect to Arrington Watkins Architects, CGL's team began engaging with the county to develop a conceptual plan for the new facility.
Cross-Team Collaboration Between All County Groups
The development of the conceptual plan of the new facility required input from each of the key 16 user groups within the county. A subcommittee group made up of division leaders of each stakeholder group was created to develop a process to identify and address the needs of all departments. This group consisted of every department involved in the justice cycle, including members of the county and city courts, detention, support services, transportation, prosecuting and defense attorneys.
This highly collaborative effort allowed the project team to identify the stakeholders’ shared goals of reducing inmate recidivism, improving efficiencies for the county and local law enforcement, and creating better outcomes for those entering and exiting the county justice system. By addressing and capturing needs early on, the team was able to develop an agreed-upon program and operational strategy early in the design process.
A New All-in-One Facility
This new adaptable replacement facility is equipped to help inmates reassimilate into the community by providing treatment and educational programs aimed at reducing recidivism and allowing quick access to physical and mental healthcare services onsite.
A Humanized Approach to Intake, Transfer, and Release
One of the most considerable benefits of this new facility is a faster intake process. The county utilizes an open-seating design at the various stages of the intake process and a direct supervision approach, allowing low-risk offenders to move through the justice system process in 24 to 48 hours or less with a reduction in intake time from over four hours to under one. This ensures better outcomes for those who enter and exit the county justice system and allows those at low risk to stay connected to their communities, maintain employment, and maintain their family structure.
Adaptive Design to Support Changing Needs
Maricopa's new, progressive Intake, Transfer, and Release Facility is designed to provide adaptability for the county to address the current needs of the community and prepare for future needs. The center will be able to accommodate changes that take place over several years without requiring major remodeling, limiting the need for additional taxpayer dollars and quickly adapting to rapid expansion or reduction in inmate populations for years to come.
By the Numbers:
The new 485,000-square-foot facility features: