Not another prison: Towards a community-based treatment centre for women in the Philippines

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Munoz, Abigail
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Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Budgett, Jeanette
Pretty, Annabel
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Tondo Manila (Philippines)
Manila (Philippines)
women prisoners
women drug addicts
women drug dealers
rehabilitation centre design
architecture for rehabilitation of prisoners
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Munoz, A. (2021). Not another prison: Towards a community-based treatment centre for women in the Philippines. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
RESEARCH QUESTION How can architecture encourage the rehabilitation and reintegration of women suffering from drug use and dependence in poor urban communities? ABSTRACT The Philippines is experiencing an epidemic of mass incarceration. One significant factor contributing to this increase is their ongoing war on drugs. While women remain a minority in the prison system, the gendered aspects of this issue require special attention. Women involved with illegal drugs face numerous stigmas and discrimination due to the moral perception associated with drugs. They are imprisoned in ill-equipped facilities that do not meet their gender-specific needs, thereby increasing their vulnerability to violence, abuse, and health issues. These issues may have an adverse effect on women's ability to access services and successfully reintegrate into society. Additionally, society chastised women for forsaking their traditional gendered roles as passive, private individuals. Along with being stigmatised, having a criminal record makes finding opportunities more difficult once they are released. As a result, women's incarceration has the potential to have a devastating effect on their families and communities. While the penal system professes to prepare individuals for reintegration into their communities, society must be sensitised to accept persons deprived of liberty upon their return. This research addresses the unique needs and vulnerabilities of a historically marginalised group in the Philippines and catalyses reforming the system of women’s rehabilitation. The aim is to develop an alternative architectural approach to addressing the inhumane and unequal treatment of women suffering from drug addiction in a poor urban community. The project ultimately proposes a community-based treatment facility in one of Manila’s most deprived urban environment. A community-based treatment centre that interacts with its surroundings and fosters safe treatment and reintegration for women. SITE: Tondo Manila (Philippines)
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