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The US Courthouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a 2016 recipient of the Justice Facilities Review Award in the Citation category. Designed by William Rawn Associates, Architects with OPN Architects.

The Justice Facilities Review Awards (JFR) documents best practices in planning and design for justice architecture. Essential elements for identifying the success of these projects are:

  • functionality
  • security and safety
  • technology, accessibility
  • community impact
  • sustainability and economic feasibility (first cost and long-term cost of ownership)
  • longevity (lifecycle performance and operation)
  • as well as aesthetic achievements

The Justice Facilities Review Awards program is administered by the Academy of Architecture for Justice, an AIA Knowledge Community.


Citations will be given to projects that meet all seven essential characteristics of justice facility design outlined above and include specific metrics in the Sustainable Design Information section.

Published projects represent exemplary or emerging practices in the justice sector and will be included in the Review.

The jury has the discretion to waive the citation award requirement to meet all seven characteristics if they deem the project is exceptional in meeting the needs of all users or provides an exemplary solution to an atypical design challenge. The jury cannot waive the requirement for specific answers to all fields in the Sustainable Design Information section. lastly, the number of citations and published projects will be at the sole discretion of the jury.

National recognition and publication

This program offers AIA members, architects, designers, and justice planners an opportunity to be nationally recognized. Recipient projects reach an audience of court managers, law enforcement officials, sheriffs, public officials, facilities managers, and other client groups through online and in-person programs.

The recipients are first announced to the 1,700 members of the Academy of Architecture for Justice, closely followed by a feature in AIA Architect sent to all 88,000+ members of the American Institute of Architects. Recipients are also featured in AAJ and AIA social media.

Each project is showcased with selected imagery and narratives on AIA.org along with all AIA Honors and Awards. Firm-designed gallery boards are displayed at the National Association of Court Management conferences, the AIA National Convention, and AAJ fall conference as well as being combined into an annual publication, the Justice Facilities Review book.

Clients and architects accept their award certificate on stage at the JFR celebration at the 2017 AAJ fall conference.

Limited information on the citation and published projects will be included in the Justice Facilities Review Database after five years have elapsed.

Projects may also be featured in a number of publications, presentations, and conferences, or included in other AAJ-sponsored media presentations. Likewise, recipients may be invited to present their work at AAJ and partner conferences.

Image credits

edited_Greg Dowling - OkanaganCorrectionalCentre_AndrewLatreille_MainEntry

Andrew Latreille