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The Santa Clara County South Treatment and Re-entry Facility complex with large windows and grey facade illuminated at night
Santa Clara County South Treatment and Re-Entry Facility

Paradigm Shift Towards Healing and Equity


Santa Clara County

Project Location

San Jose, CA


265,500 SF

As envisioned, the Santa Clara County South Treatment and Re-Entry Facility design will provide trauma-responsive, therapeutic care in a secure environment. This includes specialized housing for the acute and chronic mental health population, program intensive re-entry housing, and specialized housing and expanded services for the female population in a physical environment supportive of programmatic goals.

The facility engenders a change from a philosophy of custody and control to one of care and custody, with provisions for step-up or step-down treatment and re-entry planning that focuses on community connections for continuing care and treatment.

Quality of environment for staff is of equal importance, providing them with areas for rest and respite to recharge and be better able to work in a direct supervision mode emphasizing interaction between the staff and people in custody as part of an integrated security and treatment team.

Standing as a beacon of hope and a symbol of the county’s and sheriff’s renewed commitment to those in their care and custody, the project is not a “jail” in the traditional sense – in program, in quality of environment, nor in architectural image. The building reflects this difference with an architecture that evokes a modern hospital or treatment facility, providing larger windows on the exterior skin that afford individual living areas with natural light and views – which are important to creating a normative therapeutic environment.

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