The forced imposition of architecture

Prison design for indigenous peoples in the USA and Canada

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter


The mass incarceration of Indigenous peoples is a worldwide phenomenon. Disproportionately, high numbers of Indigenous people are confined in prisons. The growing number of Indigenous people in prison systems and their treatment is deeply distressing as, simply put, the experience of prison causes immeasurable suffering and damage to individuals, families and communities. This chapter discusses the design of prisons for Indigenous prisoners in the USA and Canada. It argues that designing congruent environments for Indigenous peoples may not be enough while criminal justice agencies continue to operate under punitive agendas. It recommends that human rights instruments should be translated into prison design and Indigenous people and communities be given cultural agency in prison design and planning processes, as well as their management and operation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Contemporary Indigenous Architecture
EditorsElizabeth Grant, Kelly Greenop, Albert Refiti, Daniel Glenn
Place of PublicationSingapore, Singapore
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9789811069048
ISBN (Print)9789811069031
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Cite this

GRANT, E. (2018). The forced imposition of architecture: Prison design for indigenous peoples in the USA and Canada. In E. Grant, K. Greenop, A. Refiti, & D. Glenn (Eds.), The Handbook of Contemporary Indigenous Architecture (1 ed., pp. 869-894). Singapore, Singapore: Springer.