Las Colinas Women's Jail In Santee Honored

posted by Marilyn Hyder -

When you think of a jail, you probably think of a little bed surrounded by bars and  small spaces, but Las Colinas Women's Jail in Santee is being honored for it's compassionate design.

Wide open spaces, plenty of natural light, brightly colored walls, walking paths and grassy fields.

It's not your typical description of a jail, but this new thinking and design for Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee is being hailed by Architectural Digest Magazine. 

Architectural Digest says Las Colinas is "the finest example of compassionate American jail design."

Las Colinas was designed with rehabilitation as a priority. 

The goal is to resemble life on the outside to help inmates adjust more quickly upon release. 

It has a college campus setting to foster interaction between deputies and inmates.

Housing units look like dormitories.

Instead of an enclosed environment, there is plenty of natural light and outdoor space. Careful consideration was given in choosing soft colors and materials that have been shown to reduce anger, stress, sadness and depression. 

The award-winning design of Las Colinas is changing the way jails are being built all over the country.

 Las Colinas is also leading the way when it comes to reentry and education programs. Sheriff Gore says, "Reentry is not about dismissing the crime or excusing the negative behavior. It's about stopping the revolving doors to our jails. We need to prepare inmates for release so they can learn to live a law-abiding and productive life. This leads to less crime and enhanced public safety."

Las Colinas opened in 2014 and can accommodate more than 1,200 inmates. Nearly 500 sworn and professional staff members oversee the safety, security, medical and administrative aspects of the facility. 

You can read the article HERE.

Photo Credit: SD Sheriff's Department

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