Singapore Prison Service (SPS) has regular engagements with international counterparts that provide opportunities to share latest correctional capabilities and learn from other correctional jurisdictions. These knowledge exchanges enable SPS to sharpen our capabilities for better correctional outcomes and organisational results.
SPS participates actively in various international correctional associations, such as the Asian and Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators and the International Corrections and Prisons Association.
The Asian and Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators (APCCA) is a forum for government officials responsible for prison or correctional administration in the Asia Pacific region. The International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA) is an international association which includes government agencies, academic groups, non-government organisations and private sector service providers.
At these two correctional associations, SPS shares its experiences in corrections, spanning across operations, staff training, as well as rehabilitation and reintegration.
Since 2002, SPS has served as the APCCA Joint-Secretariat with Hong Kong Correctional Services Department. In 2017, then Commissioner of Prisons, Mr Desmond Chin was elected to sit on the ICPA Board of Directors and stepped down in 2020 upon his retirement from SPS. Commissioner of Prisons, Ms Shie Yong Lee was elected to the Board in October 2020 for a four-year term.
Apart from these correctional conferences, SPS is also involved in key events organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Since 2016, at the invitation of UNODC, SPS has contributed to various Expert Group Meetings and provided inputs for handbooks covering topics from prison management to rehabilitation.
In 2018, SPS and UNODC jointly organised a training workshop on correctional rehabilitation for 63 participants from various correctional administrations across 16 countries in Asia Pacific.
In 2021, SPS and Yellow Ribbon Singapore organised a virtual event at the 64th United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs, titled ‘Inspiring Community Action in the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Offenders’. It was attended by over 125 international and local participants.
Asian Prisons Lockdown Challenge
SPS initiated the biennial Asian Prisons Lockdown Challenge (APLC), a tactical competition for correctional services in the Asia Pacific region to exchange best practices in the field of operational knowledge and tactical skills. The APLC is the first of its kind in the Asia Pacific region, encompassing competition segments that test participants’ tactical know-how through a series of mentally and physically challenging scenarios. Concurrent tactical workshops helmed by professional trainers are also conducted during the event to share with participants the latest developments in tactical response within correctional settings.
Since its inauguration in 2010, the participation in APLC has grown from three to 10 countries with over 70 participants in 2018.
Yellow Ribbon Project’s International Footprints
SPS’ sharing of the Yellow Ribbon Project at various international forums has shown the world a tenable working model to alleviate the social stigma faced by ex-offenders and create an ecosystem which is ready to accept them after their release. Several jurisdictions and non-state organisations in countries, such as Fiji and the Czech Republic, have been inspired and adapted their brands of the Yellow Ribbon Project.