Designing for Effective Intervention in the Lives of Youth

Bridgeport Superior Court & Center for Juvenile Matters


Designed to serve the needs of the State of Connecticut’s juvenile offenders, the Bridgeport Superior Court & Center for Juvenile Matters was built to look and feel more like a school than a detention center.

The new facility also houses formerly-separate locations for court appearances, interviews and treatment, streamlining the continuing issues of juvenile services and security, consolidating all of the social services under one roof, and eliminating the need to shuttle youngsters from one place to another.

The design-build project’s completion has been met with resounding enthusiasm as the previous facility was substandard, overcrowded and overdue for repair. This new facility not only better serves the community but also is recognized as another step towards the revitalization of the downtown Bridgeport area. Constructed on the banks of the Housatonic River, the project was erected on the plot formerly serving the Bridgeport Electric Trolley Yard. The site is framed by a firehouse on one side, the City’s newly completed transportation center on the other, a United Illuminating substation, historic drawbridges, railways and Interstate-95.

This modern complex is set on a brownfield site and includes courts and detention components.  The 38,000-SF, two-story courthouse is made up of two courtrooms, a hearing room and all technical support areas. The 54,000-SF, three-story detention center includes 44 resident rooms and common areas capable of accommodating up to 84 residents, an outdoor recreation area, a gymnasium, food service areas and an education wing complete with multiple classrooms and library.


JCJ Architecture / Ricci Green Associates

Size / Cost

94,000 SF / $54 million


Engineering Excellence Awards, American Council of Engineering Companies, 2009


fire protection, mechanical, plumbing, structural