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Support for Architects
How can local architects compete for jail projects against large, outside, architectural firms having extensive jail experience?
 
Basically, you have three options:
  1. You can find a large firm and bring it in.
    Advantage: Not too difficult to do. -- Search the internet for names and ask around.
    Disadvantage: Often, the outside firm will serve as the prime and the local architect plays a support function.
  2. You can try to assemble a competitive group yourself.
    Advantage: You retain more of the lead role.
    Disadvantage: Requires knowledge of jail planning, jail consulting architects, and specialty consultants. -- Somewhat difficult to quickly acquire.
  3. You can obtain the assistance of a support team.
    Advantage: Sort of "one-stop shopping" that adds competitive capabilities, credentials, and in-depth knowledge to your organization.
    Disadvantage: There are not many of these type of support groups out there (we don't know of any others). And, you'll have to share in the design process -- about the same as in option two.
If you would like to consider the third option, here's how we can help

...by providing collaborative assistance of our jail planning team, which includes an experienced jail architectural consultant. We don't want to run the show; we'll help you through various project phases and provide our skills as you need them. This assistance also has the purpose of ensuring that the community receives quality services that are in its best interest. Our concern for quality and community interests are realistically based. A poorly planned and designed jail will be around for many years--to the chagrin of the local architect and dismay of justice officials and community.

Not only is it good business for a community to award contracts to local firms, it is a wise practice. Criminal justice issues are very important to a community. Isolation of the community from those involved in planning often spawns misperceptions that undermine bond referendums. Thus, the local architect who obtains strong facility-development assistance, is likely to be perceived more favorably by the community and county commissioners than an outside firm.
Explore the ten components of justice facility projects and how we can help.
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