Singapore, 26 April 2019
- The Singapore Prison Service (SPS) and Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE) reiterated the importance of working with the community to achieve better rehabilitation and reintegration outcomes for offenders and ex-offenders at the annual SPS-SCORE Corporate Advance today.
- With the theme of “2Gather – Effecting Change, Transforming Lives”, this year’s Corporate Advance focused on SPS’ family programmes and SCORE’s employability enhancement initiatives, which were realised with the strong support of their community partners.
- The event was graced by Guest of Honour, Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs, and was attended by 360 staff from SPS and SCORE as well as 140 guests which included representatives from the halfway houses and voluntary welfare organisations.
Family Programmes and Community Support to Prevent Re-offending
- Through family programmes, SPS seeks to strengthen bonds between inmates and their families, which is an important factor for successful rehabilitation. SPS introduced the Social Skills Training Programme (SSTP) and Family Reintegration Programme (FRP) prison-wide in January 2019. The programmes help equip inmates with effective communication skills to engage their loved ones and provide them with opportunities to practise these skills. In collaboration with its community partners, SPS also helps to connect inmates’ families to resources available in the community.
- In 2018, SPS introduced the Family Interventions and Reintegration Support Team (FIRST) to better understand families impacted by incarceration and assist them. FIRST takes the form of case management, where Family Case Managers work with community partners and agencies such as MSF to help these families, and engage them to play a pivotal role in the rehabilitation of the offenders. The two-year trial has benefited 60 families since it was started in July 2018.
- “SPS recognises that good family support is essential in the inmates’ rehabilitation and reintegration journey. We seek to encourage inmates to take greater ownership of their rehabilitation, by leveraging on their families as a source of motivation for change in their reintegration process, and finding ways to maintain and strengthen familial bonds. To ensure the success of our efforts, it is vital for us to work in collaboration with our community partners and agencies specialising in family services.” said Ms Jessie Wong, Assistant Director (Family Policy), Rehabilitation & Reintegration Division, SPS.
Enhancing Employability, Job Matching and Retention
- Gainful employment is a critical factor in offenders’ successful reintegration into society. SCORE also works closely with its community partners to provide inmates with employability skills programmes and vocational training.
- In addition to assigning job coaches to ex-offenders for up to 12 months after their release, SCORE has partnered with Workforce Singapore (WSG) since 1 November 2018 on a six-month pilot programme to place offenders on the Career Trial (CT), a programme that aims to improve job matching and retention for employers and ex-offenders. The programme, offered under WSG’s Adapt and Grow initiative, strengthens employment outcomes through a short-term work stint with employers, and helps ex-offenders navigate challenges after a long period of displacement from work. As of end-March, 31 employers have come on board, 34 ex-offenders placed on CT and 7 ex-offenders offered permanent employment at the end of the programme. SCORE will continue to work with WSG to extend CT to more sectors after the pilot.
- “We need more employers to come on board to provide a wider range of job opportunities for ex-offenders. They have served their time and undergone relevant training to improve their employability. With self-determination, gainful employment and strong community support, they can lead crime-free lives and contribute actively back to society.” said Mr Huzair Hyder s/o Abdul Rahman, Assistant Director (Placement), Reintegration Division, Reintegration & Aftercare Cluster, SCORE.
About the Singapore Prison Service
The Singapore Prison Service (SPS) is an agency under the Ministry of Home Affairs. As a key member of the Home Team, SPS operates a secure and exemplary prison system. SPS protects society through the safe custody and rehabilitation of offenders, working closely with its partners in aftercare and prevention. SPS is committed to realising its Captains of Lives vision. Its team of uniformed officers and civilian staff work together to steer ex-offenders towards becoming responsible citizens with the help of their families and the community.
About the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises
The Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE) is a key partner of SPS and plays an important role in our correctional system by creating a safe and secure Singapore through the provision of rehabilitation and aftercare services to inmates and ex-offenders. SCORE adopts a multi-faceted approach to enhance the employability of offenders and prepare them for their eventual reintegration into the national workforce by focusing on skills training, employment assistance, the development of the aftercare sector, and community engagement. One of its key engagement initiatives is the Yellow Ribbon Project. With the support of the community, SCORE aims to rebuild lives of ex-offenders by helping them enhance their employability potential.