The city’s jails and courts pose ethical questions and design challenges, and shape the criminal justice system’s function and effects.

Structures: Perspectives

The buildings where fates, freedoms, and justice are decided sit at the center of our image of the justice system. What form should they take? How should they work?

Siting Rikers' Replacements

The city's plans call for new borough jails to replace those at Rikers. A set of drawings examines land uses in the boroughs' civic centers to consider: Can New Yorkers accept jails as neighbors?

Retrofit for Fairness

The city oversees an experiment: Can new signage and instructions improve experiences in New York’s busiest criminal courthouse?

Due Process and the Enclosure of Justice

What is gained, and what is lost, when justice takes place outside public view?

The People's Court

New spaces for justice replace punishment with problem solving and hierarchy with community.

A Jail to End All Jails

Mayor de Blasio promises to close the Rikers Island jail complex in ten years. But what comes next? A look at the island’s history reveals clues — and cautions.

What Jail Can't Do

Frank Greene and Kenneth Ricci discuss the changing paradigms of half a century of justice architecture and what we should ask — and expect — from courts and jails.


Introducing the Location of Justice.

Introduction: The Location of Justice

A new series examines New York's overlooked infrastructures of crime and punishment.

Map: The Location of Justice

How can we define the “criminal justice system”? What is it, where is it, and what are all of the things that it does?

After Arrest

Arrest sends New Yorkers down a complex path, away from their families, homes, and neighborhoods, oftentimes ending in jail. A drawing describes the spaces they encounter on the way.

About this Series

The Location of Justice is edited by Mariana Mogilevich and Olivia Schwob.

Greg Berman (Center for Court Innovation), Ronald Day (The Fortune Society), Insha Rahman (Vera Institute of Justice), and Susan Tucker (Consultant, criminal justice reform) generously shared their insights and expertise in the development of this series. They are not responsible for its content or any errors within. The editors would also like to thank the many people from advocacy organizations, legal services, city agencies, service providers, academic institutions, architecture firms, and other points of expertise who have shared their perspectives and experiences and responded to our questions and ideas as we have developed The Location of Justice.

The Location of Justice is supported, in part, by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and the Donald & Shelley Rubin Foundation.