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Horse Farm Detention Center

NCJ Number
Date Published
2 pages

This article describes the architecture and design of a detention center built in the midst of prestigious horse farm country in Fayette County, KY.


On 71 beautiful but unkempt acres, a detention center was built and landscaped in the style of surrounding horse-farm buildings. A three-planked, white-wood fencing marks the perimeter of the grounds that anchor an administration building that looks like all the other horse barns in the area. Approximately 1/2-mile from the administration building and invisible from the road is a technologically advanced prison surrounded by a 7-foot concrete wall with a facade that transforms it into a rambling stone fence. The facility houses all types of offenders in eight dorms of eight beds each. The prison uses the "sub-dayroom concept," whose design provides for eight sub-dayrooms per pod. The sub-dayroom is typically used for passive recreation, and a larger area within the pod is used for various types of programming. Video-conferencing technology allows judges to talk to inmates or conduct video arraignments from chambers or a courtroom. Video visitation is also available for handicapped family members who cannot walk the length of the corridor to the inmate living areas. Other features are telemedicine technologies for mental health evaluations. The center was completed in less than 2 years and came in $6 million under budget, due largely to the use of the "design-build" concept, which involves concurrent design and building. Since its opening in May 1999, no complaints have been received from the surrounding community.

Date Published: January 1, 2000