State-of-the-art features at New Changi Prison Complex to facilitate rehabilitation of inmates
Singapore, August 16, 2004 – Cluster A, Changi Prison Complex was officially launched this morning by the Home Affairs Minister, Mr Wong Kan Seng. The purpose-built complex is a milestone step towards the Singapore Prison Service’s (SPS) vision of becoming ‘Captains of Lives’ and its long-term goal of centralising all prison institutions by 2008.
Enhanced security features at Cluster A – the first cluster within the Changi Prison Complex to be in operation – allows greater efficiency in the management of inmates. The streamlining of activities also enables prison officers to be deployed more effectively as they take on a more active role in the rehabilitation of inmates. Comprising five prison institutions, the new cluster is equipped with state-of-the-art security and monitoring technology, making it one of the world’s most secure prison institutions.
In line with the SPS’s mission to go beyond the secure custody of inmates and to focus on the reformation of offenders, the new Cluster A, Changi Prison Complex has allowed SPS to expand and improve the rehabilitation programmes already in place to help inmates rehabilitate, renew and restart their lives. Work programmes can now be conducted in purpose-built facilities such as a training kitchen, bakery and laundry workshops. These programmes ensure that inmates receive adequate work activities and skills training to gain employment upon their release.
Other programmes that will benefit from the purpose-build facilities include the core skills programmes which equip inmates with basic social skills and enhance their personal development, while community involvement activities provide inmates with avenues to contribute back to society even behind prison walls. The new facilities at Cluster A also allow more volunteers to participate in counselling programmes to guide inmates back onto the right path.
Director of Prisons, Mr Chua Chin Kiat, said: “As Captains of Lives, we see each inmate as an individual with unique characteristics and needs. The facilities at Changi Prison Complex Cluster A provide sufficient space, flexibility and security to better implement rehabilitation programmes for the inmates. These programmes will prepare inmates to become useful members of society.” Added Mr Chua: “The Prison Authorities can only focus on rehabilitation if the security concerns are well taken care of. The latest computerised security and monitoring features at Cluster A will do exactly that. The security system at Cluster A makes it even more secure than the old Changi Prison.”
Constant security monitoring is maintained at three levels of security, namely the Cluster, Institution and Housing Unit levels, with control centres linked by closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs), communications and other security sub-systems. In addition, all the corridors in Cluster A are secured using electronically monitored doors and gates and other surveillance devices. Perimeter security has also been enhanced with strategically positioned guard towers, vibration detectors and anti-climb features.