Justice Services Provided

Goldberg Group Architects, PC specializes in Justice Architecture. It’s what we do.  GGA’s first justice project in 1985 was a prison renovation for the State of Missouri.  Expertise in this field, accumulated from hundreds of studies and projects over the last three decades, serves clients who have a need for jails, sheriff’s departments, courts and county offices.  Clients can be assured that their facility will be carefully planned and designed to minimize wasted space and staffing needs.  This ensures that not only is the total construction budget respected, but also that the owner can afford to operate and maintain the facility for years to come.  Our state-of-the-art facilities operate better with technology that enables staff to do more.   If you are thinking about Justice Architecture–think GGA.

Feasibility Studies

A Feasibility Study determines what kind of project is possible. You need to know how your project needs and available resources balance. Issues like site analysis, needs assessment, concept comparison, staffing, budget and financing options are all key aspects of a GGA Feasibility Study.

Security Systems Assessment & Engineering

Clients are becoming more aware of the need for building security and protection of the occupants. Our years of experience with detention facilities have taught us a great deal about security design and security systems. Passive security designs use the building plan and site features to provide security that is not intrusive during day-to-day occupancy. Active security systems include electronic access control, monitoring systems, and emergency access that provide safety for the occupants with minimal disruption of normal operations and workplace flow.

In the criminal justice industry, GGA has seen advances in electronic security systems. The large push-button control boards have been replaced by modern, fully-integrated electronic touch-screen systems. We maintain relationships with the top electronic security system companies in the country. Our Justice clientele benefit from our experience combined with cutting edge technology.


All buildings should be designed to address a “need” or solve a “problem”, whether it is a need for housing a family, a commercial building allowing a business to properly function, or a justice center for public service and protection. At GGA, we believe the design must successfully address the “need” and purpose for the building while meeting the client’s budget. Additionally, the building must incorporate attractive aesthetics, inside and out.

One of our greatest compliments came from a local contractor. Looking at one of our jails from across the street, he said, “It is one of the best looking buildings in town, yet people on fixed income don’t feel as if any of their money was wasted.”

Emergency Management Planning

Efficiently planned jail functions often overlap. GGA can create an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) within the proposed layout. This takes advantage of the facility’s secure construction, emergency power, staff exercise areas, storage and kitchen facilities. GGA has also been successful in helping its jail clients to obtain Federal EOC or SEMA safe-room grants.

Construction Administration

Construction Administration takes place while the building is under construction. It is critical for the Architect to have a presence on-site to assure that the integrity and quality of the design is maintained throughout construction. GGA accomplishes this through regular site visits, coordination meetings and discussion between the construction staff and the Owner. GGA will develop a relationship with the principal contractors and sub-contractors. It is also important to respond quickly to the inevitable questions and clarification requests that come from the field to keep construction on schedule.

GGA staff has years of successful construction administration, often developing excellent working relationships with contractors. We have had contractors comment that they sharpen their pencils more than usual for a GGA project due to the quality of the construction documents and the working relationship with our construction administration team.

While the following services are standard for all of GGA’s clients, they are not commonly provided by other architects. These extraordinary services assure project success now and in the future.

Needs Assessment & Custody Analysis

A crucial component of a feasibility study is the Needs Assessment, which determines how many and which type of prisoners the jurisdiction can expect over the next 10-15 years. Data such as arrest records, unserved warrants, local sentencing patterns, average daily populations and State judicial legislation helps provide GGA’s criminologist with key insight into population size and profiles. The emerging design concepts should accommodate this essential information.

Interiors & Furnishings

Owners will live or function for a large part of their day inside their new building. The interior finishes and furnishings must be pleasant and comfortable, without quickly becoming dated. GGA offers interior design services to facilitate the user’s functional and aesthetic needs and enhance their experience while in the building. GGA’s Interior designer works with the client on interior finishes and furnishings during the construction process, so that these materials can be properly budgeted, purchased and installed for occupancy as the building is being completed.

Financial Planning

Lawrence Goldberg, Principal & Director of Design, works closely with County officials, Financial Advisors and GGA criminologists to:

  • Accurately develop Staffing and Operational costs and options
  • Coordinate facility design and construction with funding scenarios
  • Work with the County’s staff and financial advisors to:
    • Develop Revenue Neutral Options, where viable
    • Analyze annual budget and construction costs
    • Develop project timing and phases to optimize funding opportunities
    • Balance sources and uses of funds to achieve long-term financial success
  • Assist county officials to identify potential sources of revenues such as jurisdictions and agencies needing beds, grants and special loan programs

Bond Assistance

The successful passage of a ballot initiative may be required for a project to proceed. Goldberg Group Architects has the know-how to assist in this critical step. Involvement of County officials, staff and community members is necessary to garner the needed support for successful passage.    

It begins with bringing all County officials and staff on board by educating them as to  the need for a new Justice facility and the benefit to the community.  Staff and officials must be a champion for the project if the ballot initiative is to be successful. During these informational sessions, GGA will relay information regarding the facility assessment, long range planning and provide for open discussion.  

The community is engaged through a variety of formats including “YES” Campaign Committee organization, promotional materials and mailers, town hall meetings, and social media assistance.  GGA can be a valuable partner in passing your next bond issue.

Training & Transitioning

GGA considers the safe and smooth occupancy of a newly-completed facility to be a crucial portion of its comprehensive array of services. The staffing plan, developed during the Feasibility Study, is finalized. GGA’s Criminologist begins the Transition process 5-6 months prior to project completion. He works with jail staff to develop new post orders and operating protocols. Key members of the staff participate in role-playing throughout the almost-completed facility, practicing sally-port, intake, classification, restraint chair, cell extraction, food service, and laundry. This host of customary procedures fully prepares staff to occupy and operate their new facility.

Procedures & Policies

A broad array of Operational Procedures is established and refined during the 5-6 month transition period prior to occupancy. The Procedures & Policies Manual must incorporate these new procedures. The process may require updating the Sheriff’s existing manual for recent regulatory mandates (PREA) or assembling an entirely new document. Whether new or updated, GGA considers timely completion of the Procedures & Policies Manual to be a critical aspect of a successful project.

Post-Occupancy Assessments

Once a new facility has been completed and occupied, GGA schedules 2-month and 6-month facility audits to assess firsthand how the new facility is being operated. Detention equipment performance and potential adjustments to post orders are crucial facets of these site visits. The Procedures & Policies Manual can be refined after these visits.

  • 520 Francis St., Suite 200C
    St. Joseph, MO 64501
  • 1100 Main Street - 4th Floor
    Kansas City, MO 64105

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