FACILITIES OF MASS INCARCERATION: OUR POSITION

WE DO NOT WORK ON PROJECTS RELATED TO MASS INCARCERATION (JAILS, PRISONS, DETENTION CENTERS).

We are publicly sharing our previous commitment to reject any work in planning and designing jails, detention centers and prisons. 

We do engage in civic center projects for municipalities across the country which occasionally include police and court facilities. However, our involvement in that type of work happens when they are part of a complex that provides a broad range of social and government services for a community.

We recognize that we have work to do to correct systemic racism in our industry and our communities and this work begins within our own firm. We are taking tangible actions to address that. Most directly, we have had open, firmwide discussions about what other types of clients and projects align with our values.  We are working to clarify our position on other project types and clients to affirm our commitment to address and disrupt systemic racism.

The current discussions of racial injustice are critically important for all of us, especially when you consider the design industry’s poor track record in this area. In clarifying SmithGroup’s role on these projects and the fact that we don’t design projects related to mass incarceration, we are in no way abdicating our responsibility as a firm and as a profession to confront and oppose systemic racism in the U.S.  We must do a better job practicing and advocating for design justice.

 

Mike Medici

President, Managing Partner

June 16, 2020