More than 1.2 million people are currently incarcerated in America’s prisons. That figure has been growing for more than 50 years at this point. While life in prison has numerous challenges, certain factors can mitigate the hardships to an extent. Many studies have shown that the architecture of a prison and its furnishings can have a major impact on inmates’ lives. Tables, for one, may significantly affect inmates’ productivity and well-being. Consider some of the ways tables can bolster those aspects.
For one, prison tables may help to reduce violence in correctional facilities if strategically placed. Positioning tables appropriate distances apart and at specific places in common areas can give guards a more effective view of everyone in the room. An improved observational vantage point can allow guards to intervene in potentially dangerous situations more quickly than they’d be able to otherwise. As such, they may have more time to stop volatile scenarios before they get out of hand. That could lead to improved safety for inmates and guards alike.
Research also indicates that some types of tables can support more effective studying and learning in different types of settings. Prisons are no exception. Based on those studies, round tables are more conducive to learning. They can give people more room to spread out and place their books, papers, and other materials where they need them. They allow for better organization as well, which is essential for effective learning.
Of course, certain additional factors must be in place for optimal effectiveness. Tables must be the right sizes, and round versions have been deemed ideal for more productive learning. At the same time, it’s important for those tables not to be overcrowded as placing too many inmates at a single table could detract from learning rather than supporting it. With the right tables, inmates may be better equipped to obtain their GEDs, participate in job training courses, and benefit from other educational resources.
Fostering Work Programs
Additionally, some types of tables can foster productivity in prison work programs. Different types of tables are appropriate for different types of work. This varies based on the tasks in question and what inmates need to do their jobs effectively. Generally speaking, though, they need enough room to lay out their supplies and move around as necessary. If seated strategically, tables can allow prisons to maximize both space and work productivity.
Improving Mental Health
Tables can also lead to improved mental health for inmates. In group counseling, common areas, and similar scenarios, the right types of tables can give inmates opportunities for socialization. Having inmates seated haphazardly in these situations could lead to feelings of isolation and animosity, but giving them comfortable tables where they have both a space of their own and a chance to commune with other inmates may have the opposite impact. That concept extends to visitation areas as well where prisoners can have face-to-face meetings with their loved ones.
Safety is also a crucial factor to consider. Rickety tables that can’t withstand repeated use are sure to detract from safety. In fact, they may lead to injuries and other problems. On the other hand, sturdy, well-maintained tables with smooth edges and rounded corners will improve safety and reduce the risks of injuries.
Bolstering Productivity with the Right Tables
Numerous factors should be considered when designing prison interiors for safety, functionality, and optimal productivity. Tables can be an important part of the process. With the right tables in place, inmates can enjoy improved mental health, safety, learning opportunities, and workspaces. All that is sure to lead to higher levels of productivity.