College Planning & Management

DEC 2012

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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Safety & Security PROT EC T ING C AMPUS RESOURCES What I Learned in an Israeli Prison CPTED principles can be applied inside — and even to — the walls. BY MICHAEL DOR N The Use of Murals in CPTED Another thing that struck us as unusual was the extensive use of pleasant color schemes and, in particular, vivid and rather large murals being painted on prison walls by inmates in the women's prison we toured. During a briefing by a ranking officer from the prison system in broken but understandable English (which was far better than the two or three sentences of broken Hebrew I had managed to learn), we were introduced to the concept of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, or CPTED. As the commander recited data about this evidence-based approach, 10 COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / DECEMBER 2012 PHOTO © 2012 BY MICHAEL DORN F IRST, I SHOULD PROBABLY clarify that I was not serving time in an Israeli prison when I learned this valuable lesson. Instead, I was visiting a series of prisons while participating in a delegation of ranking police officials to the State of Israel through a fellowship from Georgia State University. As part of a 14-day program in conjunction with the Israel Police, the national prison system, Israeli Defense Forces, Intelligence services, and the Israeli Supreme Court, 12 American police chiefs, sheriffs, and state police command staff were touring the country for a seemingly endless and highly informative series of briefings and demonstrations. On this particular day, The use of murals we were touring both men's and other visual and women's prisons to see means to connect how they differed from their students, faculty, U.S. counterparts. And they staff, and visitors to institutions of higher were indeed quite different from anything we anticipatlearning can be a ed. For example, we learned great way to reduce risk while improving that even convicted killers campus climate and in Israel were afforded creating a more wel- conjugal visits; could have coming environment. a microwave oven, knives, forks, and spoons in their cells; and were granted a 30-day furlough from prison each year. I don't want to paint a picture of anything like a country club, as this would not be accurate, but there were some very distinct differences in how the prisons were operated. The experience was rather astounding to our group, particularly for those agency heads who operated jails. MAKING CONNECTIONS. This eye-catching mural in historic downtown Quebec, Canada, is an excellent example of how murals can enhance the intended purpose of a particular physical place while making people safer. I must admit I was not overly engaged until he told us about a reduction in edged-weapons attacks. He mentioned that although inmates rarely attack correctional officers and employees because they will lose their conjugal visits and annual furloughs, they do have a history of attacking each other periodically. He told us that stabbings among inmates had dropped by something on the order of half when pleasant color schemes and murals painted by inmates were added to a prison's walls. Since that time, I have learned a great deal more about CPTED and the concept of territoriality — in an oversimplified description, connecting people to a place through physical features to improve security through involvement and improved confidence. The use of murals and other visual means to connect students, faculty, staff, and visitors to institutions of higher learning can be a great way to reduce risk while improving campus climate and creating a more welcoming environment. If these powerful concepts can work in a prison to make inmates safer, imagine how valuable they can be in a more traditional environment like a college, university, or technical college campus. CPM Michael Dorn serves as the executive director for Safe Havens International, Inc., an IRS-approved, nonprofit safety center. He has authored and co-authored more than 20 books on campus safety. He can be reached through the Safe Havens website at WWW.PLANNING 4EDUCATION.COM

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