The AIA award-winning design of Northampton’s 48,000 sf Juvenile Justice Centre addresses the imposed challenges of creating a building that acknowledges emerging trends in juvenile crime. The Center accommodates all County juvenile services including courts and probation, eliminating the need to send juveniles to specialized facilities hundreds of miles away. The juveniles are classified in either juvenile detention, residential treatment or shelter.
Allowing for diverse classifications, the building is adaptable to accommodate fluctuating populations (up to 60 juvenile residents), yet still remain secure. Twelve residents occupy one pod. However, three of the five pods are designed to allow for two smaller units of six residents. An operable metal partition divides the housing pod. County construction and operation dollars were saved by designing the various functions to share similar program spaces at different times.
A 16-foot tall security fence (designed in accordance with the standards of the PA Juvenile Justice Commission) was constructed to enclose an outdoor recreation yard.
Construction was phased: Phase I included the housing and administrative spaces and Phase 2 included the gymnasium, courts, and probation.
Located on a restricted site within a historic residential neighborhood, the new facility is a linear, brick building that maintains the vintage of the urban fabric of the surrounding area.