Fulton County Announces Groundbreaking of its 'Courtyard of Second Chances'

Fulton County Announces Groundbreaking of its 'Courtyard of Second Chances'

April 03, 2023
The outdoor space will provide a safe and welcoming environment that promotes healing and recovery.

Fulton County Juvenile Court in collaboration with the Department of Arts & Culture is pleased to announce the groundbreaking of the ‘Courtyard of Second Chances’, a unique, outdoor space designed to encourage healing and wellness among young adults who pass through the Juvenile Justice Center.

The Courtyard of Second Chances will adopt a design approach that recognizes the impact of trauma on the lives of justice-involved youth.

The unique space is designed to include elements that stimulate the senses - including artwork, plants, and pathways to provide a therapeutic environment. The multi-functional design will incorporate independent quiet areas, an upgraded cafeteria with a dining area, special events space, restorative garden, and play areas. The combination of these designs is intended to create a space that is not only visually pleasing, but also functional and responsive to the needs of young adults in the justice system. In addition, the courtyard will repurpose existing concrete paving to create retaining walls for garden beds and benches, giving these materials a second chance.

"The Courtyard of Second Chances is a reflection of our commitment to providing the highest quality care for the youth in our system," said Timothy Ezell, Chief Administrative Officer of Fulton County Juvenile Court. "We are thrilled to partner with the Department of Arts & Culture's Public Art Program to create a space that promotes healing for our youth, and also serves as a valuable addition to the Judge Romae T. Powell Juvenile Justice Center."

"We are proud to be a part of this exciting partnership with Fulton County Juvenile Court,” said Arts & Culture Director David Manuel. “The 'Courtyard of Second Chances' represents an opportunity to demonstrate the power of art and design to improve mental health and well-being. We worked with justice-involved individuals to co-design the mural - creating a space that reflects their experiences and aspirations. We hope this courtyard will provide a sense of hope for the youth who pass through the center’s doors."

Studies have shown that juvenile justice service systems should implement trauma-informed interventions that address the needs of youth with mental health and trauma-related disorders. The adoption of a trauma-informed approach throughout the juvenile justice system and the implementation of interventions for juvenile offenders with a history of trauma has enormous benefits for justice-involved youth, the staff who work with them, their families, and the community at large.

The Courtyard of Second Chances is supported by Martin Rickles Studio, who led the project design and helped to create an innovative, functional space. The team at Martin Rickles Studio was instrumental in incorporating the trauma-informed design approach into the courtyard's design. In addition, Trees Atlanta generously donated trees for the new construction project.

The first phase of the 'Courtyard of Second Chances' is expected to be completed in the coming months.

For more information, please click here or contact the Department of Arts & Culture at 404-612-4000.