As prisons close across the US, hypothesis for their reuse abound from a yoga studio to a farm for medical marijuana. In Gainesville, since a medium-security prison reopened as a shelter, chronic homelessness in the Florida city has halved
The cinder block constructs that predominate the campus ought to have covered shining pink, orange and off-color. The razor wire that used to sit atop the chain-link barrier has been cut down. New trees have been planted, and stark warning signs such as No you are able to pass this time ought to have rubbed from concrete walls.
For two decades, this was the Gainesville Correctional Institute, a medium-security state prison in Florida where the guards main goal was to keep prisoners in. Now its Grace Marketplace, a nonprofit campus for the homeless, where social service laborers are facilitating residents find a way out. Around 115 parties live on the property, tucked away in an industrial area of this college municipality, receiving free meals, labor training courses and connections to government services, transportation and jobs.
About 150 commonwealth prisons like this one closed after the recession, the result of declining prison populations and consolidations meant to save on operating costs. Many of the properties have sat unoccupied for years, expensing money to conserve, inviting itinerants and prompting neighbourhoods of jobs that have disappeared. But across the country, the owneds are increasingly taking on new life.
In some instances, countries are exchanging, carrying or leasing the belongings to enterprises or nonprofits. A nonprofit in Manhattan will soon convert a closed womens prison into an office construct for organisations that serve women. In California and Colorado, entrepreneurs are eyeing the secure walls of two closed prisons as a perfect place to grow medical marijuana.
Travellers in Boston can hunker down for the nighttime in an age-old penitentiary that is now a indulgence hotel. And in four districts Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia neighbourhood nonprofits or tourism groups offer tours at old commonwealth penitentiaries, whose dark halls grown haunted attractions in the fall.