Opened in 1997, the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles is one of the world’s largest jail complexes with over 3000 vulnerable prisoners. Prisoner care is a challenge in such an environment and staff have to be constantly alert to the possibility of self harm and attempted suicide.
The facility consists of two towers, a medical services building, and the Los Angeles County Medical Center Jail Ward. It is operated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies and officers monitor the security of the building through a central control room to look through secure optical material to see into all areas of the facility.
In a building such as the twin tower correctional facility, with its 7 floors and 1.5 million sq. feet area, safety of inmates can be a huge challenge.
In an environment which has to blend security with care, functional design has to bend to environmental design.
The potential for accidental falls have been mitigated with physical barriers wherever possible within the building, but there is always a risk to prisoners who suffering from mental illness, looking to attempt self harm or suicide.
The aim for the department was the safety of the patient and his or her ultimate well-being. The principal objective is to conclude the attempt in a way which results in no harm to the patient.
While researching the problem, Deputy Kevin Kazan of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department, came across the AirDeck website and thought it may help improve safety of inmates in such a situation. Whilst AirDeck was originally designed for fall safety within the construction industry, it is now used in various industries from logistics to aircraft maintenance and shipping as a quick to deploy fall arrest solution.
The final solution involved several trolleys with twelve bags on each, strategically located throughout the jail, can be rushed to any location and inflated within minutes to provide a soft landing solution for a potential fall.
AirDeck reduces the distance of the fall and softens the impact of landing.
Once inflated AirDeck forms a cushioned surface 750mm from the floor