Community Matters

A podcast series hosted by JLG Architects

Empowering communities | Voices of vision

Architects alone can’t solve systematic problems, but evolved environments can be a catalyst for change. Community Matters isn’t here to justify the norm, but rather to challenge it. Through interviews and storytelling, we are seeking to amplify the perspectives of those often unheard and invite everyone to speak up for what matters to their community.

What is the purpose of incarceration?

Season 1 of Community Matters is focused on the question: “What is the purpose of incarceration?” We seek to gain deeper insights into life and experiences during, after, and adjacent to incarceration.

Listen to Episode 5

In this episode of Community Matters, JLG Architects’ Isaac Karley speaks with Clinique Chapman and Cristian Franco Jr. about the Restoring Promise initiative, which strives to create housing units centered on dignity for young adults in prison. Clinique and Cristian discuss the push to end mass incarceration and provide insight into Restoring Promise’s process within these facilities – and why they feel it’s critical to create humane spaces and processes that provide people with the opportunity to heal from trauma and move forward with their lives.

Clinique Chapman is an Associate Director with the Vera Institute of Justice’s Restoring Promise initiative, working to create organizational culture change within U.S. prisons. In partnership with correctional leadership and centering the incarcerated people most impacted by the system, she focuses on transformation of practice and policy. Before joining Vera in 2020, Clinique was a program manager with the Washington, DC Department of Corrections. Clinique honed her skills as a forensic social worker as a sentencing advocate and mitigation specialist with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Clinique is an adjunct professor at the Howard University School of Social Work, a board member of the DC Justice Lab, and an advisory board member of the Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop. Clinique is a double alumnus of Howard University and has a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in Administration of Justice. She also holds an MSW from the Howard University School of Social Work.

Cristian Franco Jr. joined Restoring Promise in 2020 and is a site and training coordinator. With more than 10 years of criminal justice reform experience, Cristian focuses on developing systems that help impacted youth succeed.

With over nine years of experience, Isaac Karley’s approach to architecture is first and foremost to understand intimately what the goals and expectations of the project are from the perspectives of the decision-makers, staff, and public who will be working in and using the space. Isaac graduated from North Dakota State University in 2014 with a Master of Architecture and a Bachelor of Environmental Design.

Listen to Episode 4

In this episode of Community Matters, JLG Architects’ Jennifer Burke Jackson and Rachelle Juntunen, Warden at Dakota Women’s Correctional Rehab Center, talk about what normal can look like for incarcerated women, the challenges of re-entering into the community, and the uptick in female incarceration. As a long-time administrator in this world, Rachelle shares her raw points of view and ideas on how we can begin to unpack real solutions, together.

Rachelle Juntunen is currently the Administrator at Southwest Multi-County Correction Center.  Her role includes oversight of both the local jail as well as serving as the warden of Dakota Women’s Correctional and Rehabilitation Center (DWCRC) in New England, ND.  Her career began as an addiction counselor but she has spent the last 17 years in corrections.  Rachelle is committed to implementing programs for those that are incarcerated and often struggle with addiction and looks forward to the day in which mental health and addiction can be treated as the medical conditions that they are.

Jennifer Burke Jackson leads JLG’s Community Studio, focused on projects of positive impact for the communities in which we live, work, and otherwise exist. Jennifer and her team recognize the far-reaching impact and value of personal stories, experiences, and voices within the community, especially those that are not often heard. Sharing challenges and understanding new perspectives drives Jennifer and the JLG Team to design solutions that do more to engage the full breadth of humanity. To be better architects (and better people), her team is learning out loud, sparking conversation, and inviting raw truth to redesign reality.

Listen to Episode 3

In this episode of Community Matters, JLG Architects’ Jennifer Burke Jackson and Jonathan Holth, Managing Director of the Recovery Reinvented, discuss common beginnings to addiction, challenges to staying in recovery, and how these overlay with experiences in and around incarceration. Jonathan shares his personal recovery story, as well as how he helps others find recovery in North Dakota.

Jonathan Holth is a lifelong North Dakotan, entrepreneur, and consultant who wears his long-term recovery on his sleeve. After spending 28 life-changing days at Project Turnabout in Granite Falls, Minnesota, Jonathan has dedicated much of his life to community service and sharing his journey with others in hopes that it will help normalize conversation around the disease of addiction and help more people find recovery. He became the second Managing Director of the Office of Recovery Reinvented on June 6, 2022, having previously served on the office’s advisory council. He is the Immediate Past Chairman of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation, and serves on the Boards of Directors for The University of North Dakota Alumni Association and Foundation and The Empire Arts Center. Jonathan has been recognized as a 40 Under 40 recipient by both Prairie Business Magazine and Business Watch Magazine, and was a 4 Under 40 recipient from the Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals. He lives in Grand Forks with his wife, Emily, and their three daughters.

Jennifer Burke Jackson leads JLG’s Community Studio, focused on projects of positive impact for the communities in which we live, work, and otherwise exist. Jennifer and her team recognize the far-reaching impact and value of personal stories, experiences, and voices within the community, especially those that are not often heard. Sharing challenges and understanding new perspectives drives Jennifer and the JLG Team to design solutions that do more to engage the full breadth of humanity. To be better architects (and better people), her team is learning out loud, sparking conversation, and inviting raw truth to redesign reality.

Listen to Episode 2:

In this episode of Community Matters, JLG Architects’ Zach Mathern and Isaac Karley interview Michelle Erickson, Executive Director of the Abused Adult Resource Center in Bismarck, ND. Michelle shares the gaps in the system, the impact of accountability and peer support, and the connection between childhood trauma and adult abuse, incarceration, and recidivism.

Michelle Erickson is the Executive Director at the Abused Adult Resource Center (AARC) in Bismarck, ND. Michelle works to free people from the ties of domestic and sexual abuse, serving a seven-county area in South Central North Dakota, including Standing Rock Indian Reservation. AARC provides emergency support, crisis intervention, temporary shelter, food, counseling, and advocacy for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and human trafficking. With a criminal justice background, she helps establish, lead, and maintain several vital programs and housing, aimed at breaking the cycle of abuse. Michelle also leads AARC’s Seeds of Hope – a thrift store and comprehensive program that coordinates with their New Directions Education and Employment program to assist clients with clothing, housing furnishings, and job skills training. AARC began as a citizen’s task force in 1976 and has been serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault for more than 45 years.

Zach Mathern, AIA completed his Master of Architecture at North Dakota State University as well as his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design. An advocate for sustainable development and civic engagement; Zach is a member of JLG’s public design studio and focuses on understanding the needs of community partners and the opportunities to improve the usability and experience in buildings and facilities which serve the people.

With over nine years of experience, Isaac Karley’s approach to architecture is first and foremost to understand intimately what the goals and expectations of the project are from the perspectives of the decision-makers, staff, and public who will be working in and using the space. Isaac graduated from North Dakota State University in 2014 with a Master of Architecture and a Bachelor of Environmental Design.

Listen to Episode 1:

In this episode of Community Matters, JLG Architects’ Jennifer Burke Jackson and her cousin Adam Burke have a conversation about Adam’s experiences during and after incarceration.

Adam Burke is a former chiropractor who grew up in North Dakota and attended college in Minneapolis. In his decade-long career as a chiropractor, Adam took pride in building clinics to help patients through chiropractic care, physical therapy, and pain management.

In 2015, Adam’s life took a drastic turn, initiated by an FBI raid at one of his clinics. After a tumultuous year, he was served an indictment and made the decision to go to trial. Three years later, Adam would surrender at FPC Duluth to serve a 7 ½ year sentence.

Despite the challenge, Adam endured, maintaining a loving relationship with his wife and family. Today, he has pursued a new career path in business development in Minneapolis, spending part of his time consulting with Time Partners.

Jennifer Burke Jackson leads JLG’s Community Studio, focused on projects of positive impact for the communities in which we live, work, and otherwise exist. Jennifer and her team recognize the far-reaching impact and value of our communities’ personal stories, experiences, and voices. Sharing challenges and understanding new perspectives drives Jennifer to design solutions that do more to engage its occupants. To be better architects (and better people), her team is learning out loud, sparking conversation, and inviting raw truth to redesign reality.

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