Justice Planning Associates to serve as Court Consultant

Justice Planning Associates to serve as Court Consultant

Justice Planning Associates (JPA) serves in the role of Court Consultant and Owner’s Representative for Spartanburg County. In 2017, JPA developed the Strategic Plan, which defined in broad, general terms the long-term needs of Court, County, and City components, and established project scopes and budgets.

In the current phase, JPA works in conjunction with the Project Manager and Owner’s Representative, to oversee implementation of the various capital improvement projects. The Project Manager is responsible for process-related and administrative tasks, such as managing contracts, invoices, schedules, construction, and costs. JPA focuses more on outcome-related tasks, such as the functionality, design, and appearance of the facilities.

JPA is responsible for the spatial and operational programming of the new Judicial Center, Emergency Operations Center, Municipal Court / Police Building, consolidated City Hall / County Government Center, and associated parking garages. The facility programs define each specific space to be provided in terms of size, furnishings, adjacencies, and special security or operational requirements. The programs also outline preferred operating philosophies, and include potential blocking and stacking schemes that reinforce departmental adjacencies and facilitate public movement and circulation. JPA will also provide design assistance to the selected design team, to ensure that the projects meet functional, aesthetic, and budgetary goals.

JPA is the leading strategic and operational justice planning firm in the country, with experience that includes planning and designing courthouses, law enforcement facilities, detention facilities, and general governmental facilities. JPA was founded in 1989 and is located in Columbia, S.C. JPA staff members have developed strategic plans for over 150 projects in approximately 30 states and in Canada.  Programming and design assistance services have been performed for approximately 100 facilities, totaling nearly 30 million square feet. Numerous projects have been cited by the American Institute of Architects’ Academy of Architecture for Justice in recognition of planning and design excellence.

In addition to project work, JPA was a principal author of The Courthouse: A Planning and Design Guide for Court Facilities, which was jointly published by the National Center for State Courts, American Bar Association, and American Institute of Architects. JPA has also developed a state-of-the-art courthouse security evaluation system, entitled Courthouse Security Planning. Michael Thomas, the President of JPA, has been a presenter at International Court Conferences on Courthouse Design and has conducted seminars on court planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. All JPA staff members have worked in the justice system, in law enforcement, court administration, juvenile justice, corrections, or in some other capacity, giving them a unique perspective about the relationships of operations and space.