Auki Provincial Prison

Location: Auki, Solomon Islands
Client: Regional Assitance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) / SKM
Status: Completed 2009

 

Auki Provincial Prison was completed as part of the RAMSI Infrastructure program aimed at developing facilities within the country following the civil unrest and ethnic tension since 2000. Studies undertaken by the Solomon Islands Prison Service (SIPS) in partnership with RAMSI recognised a need for regional prisons that would allow the separation of ethnic groups within the system and enable inmates to be held within their tribal lands. This was a significant decision aimed at reducing the pressure within the prison system and allowing greater family connection for inmates. Mr Fono said the Centre would provide a much “more effective opportunity for healing of offenders from Malaita province” than was possible previously when the majority of prisoners had to serve their sentences In Honiara. “It is Government policy to develop centres in locations such as this that allow offenders to keep in touch with family and support networks, such as church groups” who can encourage them and help prepare them to be better citizens.”...... Deputy Prime Minister to the Solomon Islands, the Hon. Fred Fono

JCA were engaged through SKM on behalf of RAMSI to undertake the design and documentation of the medium security prison. The site was located outside the small town of Auki on the island of Malaita, a 30min flight from the capital Honiara. The facility is capable of accommodating up to 60 inmates including Remand, Medium Security, Low Security, Female and Juvenile. Provision exists for future expansion if required taking the prison capacity to 100. The layout reflects a village with a series of single storey buildings centred around an open space - in this instance the exercise ground. Driven by cultural considerations, JCA worked closely with RAMSI and the Solomon Islands Prison Services in ensuring traditional social and cultural concerns were addressed with a sensitivity dictated by the nature of imprisonment within the Solomon Islands and the unique heritage of Malaita province. The buildings have been designed to achieve the necessary security levels but also meet the climatic conditions of its tropical location. Insulated pitched roofs with large overhangs provide coolth and protection from inclement weather. Large secure openings penetrate each building allowing for maximum ventilation - This also assists in the cleaning and reduced maintenance of the buildings. Selected materials offer a robust finish essential within the prison environment. The brief identified a need for the facility to ‘not exceed village standard’. This was required not only to reduce the perception of the prison as a ‘better’ alternative but also consider the unique cultural sensitivities associated with the Solomon Islands. Each building is centred around the main exercise ground - the transparent nature of the facilities allows inmates to connect with each other without compromising security.

 

 

Photography: SKM