DJDS Toolkit - Designing Justice + Designing Spaces
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Team: Barb Toews PhD, Deanna Van Buren



The DJDS toolkit was inspired by questions related to whether and how the architecture and design of justice spaces, such as courthouses and correctional facilities, perpetuated the punitive orientation of the current justice system. What would justice buildings look like if accountability, healing, and transformation were the goal?


This project brings together a designer and a restorative justice practitioner/educator to explore this question. Project activities invite incarcerated individuals and other justice stakeholders to engage in reading and discussions, environmental analyses, experiential activities, and mini-design labs, where they explore the intersection of design and restorative justice.


The toolkit provides all necessary resources for architects, governments, non-profits, and communities to work collaboratively with incarcerated men and women, along with staff, in workshops that can last anywhere from two hours to several months. The impact on participants has been dramatic; as they are given the tools and language to make change in their lives and in the spaces they live in, it helps to heal wounds and create a new vision for social change.