THE MAGAZINE

Putting Technology Behind Bars

By Marta Roberts

The Fourth Avenue Jail in Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona, which opened its incarceration area in April 2005, is an example of how innovative building design, cutting-edge technology, and well-trained personnel can combine to create a secure environment. Built in a style that matches the architectural warehouse feel of the surrounding area, the facility is a mid-rise building that takes up one city block in downtown Phoenix. In addition to the prisoner facilities, it includes two initial-appearance courts—one for the county and one for the City of Phoenix—as well as a high-security superior courtroom, and an early-felony-disposition courtroom. Although the incarceration section of the jail—located on the second, third, and fourth floors of the building—was only recently opened, the intake area and the courts have been open since September 2004.

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