USA Architects + Schrader Group were commissioned by the County of Bucks to evaluate the existing Women’s Correctional Facility to accommodate additional female inmates. The study was conducted in concert with key staff from the Department of Corrections and Facilities and Operations.
The report initially focused on an assessment of the existing building to determine the viability of expanding the facility to house medium and maximum security inmates. Though the building is nearly 50 years old, the infrastructure is generally in good condition. In order to meet current code requirements, many of the existing building systems need to be upgraded such as the electrical service and heating and ventilating systems. The building also needs to incorporate a fully suppressed sprinkler system to meet current local and State requirements.
The program centers on space needs for each of the three inmate classifications while also allowing the project to be constructed in phases. Phase I includes renovations and minor additions to the existing building to accommodate minimum and medium classified inmates. The second phase is currently planned as a future addition that would facilitate the female maximum security housing needs. This necessitates that the female maximum unit remain at the main Correctional Facility until Phase II is completed. Upon completion of Phases I and II, the existing building and the proposed additions accommodate a total capacity of 200 female inmates.