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The Mapping Project


TriMark is a Massachusetts-based company that designs kitchens and cooking equipment for prisons, among other facilities. In a page on the company's website titled "Fundamentals of Prison Kitchen Design," the company explains how to design a kitchen in such a way that the inmates who work on it can be controlled and surveilled:

Because correctional kitchens often employ inmates, many safety and security measures need to be taken into consideration. One of the most basic design considerations is to eliminate blind corners and make sure there is a clear line of sight in the kitchen. This means there can be no space between appliances, and no places for inmates to hide or go out of sight.

In addition to making sure the activity of the inmates can be constantly monitored, a continual concern in correctional facilities involves inmates hiding or stashing food or other objects that can be used as currency. A way some facilities have dealt with this issue is by placing the cooking and prep stations within a wire cage. Inmates working in the back must “check into” this cage, which allows officials to more closely monitor what goes in and what comes out of the kitchen.

TriMark thus not only profits from caging of human beings by providing kitchen facilities, but also participates actively in designing the prison space, making sure that the architecture supports the state's aim of surveilling and controlling the incarcerated. This logic also extends to the design of kitchen utensils, as TriMark explains on the same page:

...even something as seemingly harmless as a loose knob can be turned into a weapon. In designing equipment suitable for correctional facilities, manufacturers must think like a prisoner.

“You have to remember, prisoners have nothing but time on their hands and can be very creative,” says Rob Moak, the senior vice president of sales for Gill Marketing. “You have to figure out how creative they’ll be with the products.”

Obviously the inherently dangerous items, such as knives, must be used under strict supervision. Most often, knives used in the kitchen must be checked out from the chef’s office and secured with a metal leash.

Once you step outside the kitchen, utensils used by inmates need to be made with special materials. For example, because inmates can melt conventional plastic and shape it so it hardens into sharp and dangerous weapons, utensils must be made from a special type of plastic that stays soft once it is melted.

One of TriMark's projects was the design of the "Deer Ridge Correctional Institution" in Madras, Oregon, which TriMark describes on its pages as follows:

The Deer Ridge Correctional Institution consists of a 773-bed minimum-security facility and a 1,228-bed medium-security facility. TriMark Gill Group managed a year-long, $5M foodservice project which encompassed three different buildings including a kitchen, a large cook/chill facility, and a cooler/freezer room...“This year-long project required that we pay attention to every detail and show follow through. We had a very good team, and it turned out to be a great project,” said Weston Harmon, Project Manager for TriMark Gill Group.

TriMark has locations and show rooms across the country, including in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, Minnesota, Illinois, and California. It has also designed kitchens for restaurant chains such as Shake Shack.

9 Hampshire Street, Mansfield, MA 02048

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