The Dallas Jail designed by HKS, Inc. is located in Dallas, United States. In one of the largest urban counties in America, HKS is helping to change the way Dallas County handles its corrections business. This new design process is shaping the delivery of medical, dental and mental health services.
HKS, with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, explored the corrections process by using 3D modeling. HKS crafted a virtual direct supervision environment – showing the Sheriff, corrections officers, commissioners and medical providers see what it would be like to engage inmates in an open environment. The visual images led to discussions of possibilities and allowed debate on the risk of building such an environment. The sheriff chose to adopt podular, direct supervision in the 2,304-bed tower expansion of their current downtown Dallas Jail campus, where 64-bed pods were used to efficiently staff this portion of the 7,700-bed campus. Studies have shown that inmates managed in a direct-supervision environment will positively respond to and behave in a more civil and rehabilitative manner. The Texas Commission on Jail Standards allows for this positive effect in their review and acceptance of proposed facility designs and facility operations plans.
Efficient supervision, staffing and shared resources are a significant outgrowth of planning two direct supervision pods around a single exercise deck while providing visitation, medical services and support functions on each floor. The greatest contribution to cost reduction is consolidating off-site jail space onto a single property, reducing costs of transporting inmates and remote essential support services such as laundry and food. The result – Dallas County saves money, simplifies maintenance and optimises staffing.