SPS’s regular engagements with its international counterparts provide opportunities for SPS to showcase its latest correctional capabilities, and to benchmark and learn from other leading jurisdictions on their latest developments and emerging strengths.
There are two key renowned correctional associations in the world, namely, the (i) Asian and Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators (APCCA) which is a closed group of correctional practitioners in the Asia Pacific region, and the (ii) International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA) which is a leading international association spanning government agencies, academic groups, NGOs and private sector service providers.
Since 2002, SPS has served as the APCCA Joint-Secretariat with Hong Kong Correctional Services Department. In 2017, SPS Commissioner of Prisons, Mr Desmond Chin was elected to sit on the ICPA Board of Directors and is still serving his tenure. At these two correctional associations, SPS exercises proactive and direct influence in building and sharing correctional best practices spanning across operations, staff training, as well as rehabilitation and reintegration.
Apart from these correctional associations, SPS is also involved in key events organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to learn and share best practices. Since 2016, SPS, through invitations from UNODC, has contributed to various UN 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.
Most notably, SPS’s sharing of the Yellow Ribbon Project (YRP) 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 by our work and embarked on or adapted their brand of YRP.
SPS also initiated the biennial Asian Prisons Lockdown Challenge (APLC), a tactical competition for correctional services in the Asia-Pacific region to participate in and 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. It encompasses competition segments which test participants’ tactical know-how through a series of mentally and physically challenging scenarios over 3 days in Singapore. Concurrent tactical workshops helm by professional trainers are also conducted during the event to expose participants to the latest developments in tactical response in correctional settings. Since its inauguration in 2010, the APLC has seen participation grow from 3 to 10 countries with over 70 participants at the latest edition in 2018.