UAI Comprehensive Care Correctional Units


This project aimed to program and design six comprehensive care units of minimum and medium security, including one youthful offender, one female, and four male facilities. Costa Rica’s Unidades de Atención Integral (UAI) comprehensive care units are envisioned as self-sufficient correctional facilities intended to function as rehabilitation centers. By providing dignified environments, humane conditions of confinement, and a variety of programs and services, these facilities will create a normative environment where inmates are afforded an opportunity for self-help and personal growth, educational and vocational skills development, and job readiness. This allows the period of incarceration to be used productively and in a manner that supports a successful reentry upon release.

For the planning and programming phase, our team toured existing facilities/sites, conducted user interviews, held on-site focus groups and workshops, and developed detailed space programs and functional requirements for each of the facilities. All deliverables were responsive of the characteristics of the population served and the geography of each site. We worked with the design team to develop housing unit layouts, facility concepts, and campus adjacency requirements.