Costa Rica Comprehensive Care Units Represent a Change in Culture for Prison System
A new video released by the Inter-American Development Bank showcases Costa Rica’s new Comprehensive Care Units (Unidades de Atención Integral or “UAI”).
The units were envisioned as self-sufficient correctional facilities intended to function as rehabilitation centers. By providing dignified environments, humane conditions of confinement, and a variety of programs and services, these facilities strive to create a normative environment where inmates are afforded an opportunity for self-help and personal growth, educational and vocational skills development, and job readiness. This allows the period of incarceration to be used productively and in a manner that supports a successful reentry upon release.
Today, two UAI facilities are officially up and running – the Pabru Presberi Comprehensive Care Unit located in Pérez Zeledón and the Reinaldo Villalobos Comprehensive Care Unit in San Rafael de Alajuela – with a third set to open in Pococí in November.
During the planning and programming phase, CGL toured existing facilities/sites, conducted user interviews, held on-site focus groups and workshops, and developed detailed space programs and functional requirements for each of the facilities. CGL worked with the design team to develop housing unit layouts, facility concepts, and campus adjacency requirements.