MP Pritam Singh

Mr Pritam Singh (Aljunied): Thank you, Mr Speaker. Just a quick question for the Minister. I understand this is a review that is in progress and full details of the proposals are not before the House. For current offenders who are incarcerated – because they have committed serious sexual crimes, in the course of their custodial sentence – are there constant reviews done as to their re-integration later into the public after they have served their sentences? Is that being done currently?

And in terms of the numbers of individuals that we are looking at who are currently serving sentences, how many people would the Minister estimate to come under the regime, based on whatever existing data the Government has?

Mr K Shanmugam: The first question, as I understand it, is whether we are assessing the current detainees, people who are in jail, for their re-integration back into society. As I have said many times in this House and outside, this is a matter of a very serious focus for the Home Team and the Singapore Prison Service, in that we focus a lot on rehabilitation. And in order to do rehabilitation, when someone who has been imposed with a custodial sentence comes into prison, he or she is assessed on a certain matrix of factors to see what sort of intervention is necessary to help the person. Without going into too much detail, they may be classified as low-risk, medium-risk, high-risk – for example.

And depending on the total set of factors, including the risk within prison and outside, they are given tailored interventions and assistance, job training, education – you name it – different things. Of course, some, based on our assessment, are not suitable for immediate job training, for example. They need other sorts of intervention first, to get them to be in a place where they can be better rehabilitated. So, there are a whole series of factors and approaches and it is done through the period of detention. But, of course, if they are in there for three months or six months, then these approaches do not work. We are talking about detainees or people in jail for a longer period of time and assessed to be in need of such assistance.

So, when they come out, we no longer take the approach that “you are out and, therefore, you are no longer my obligation”. The Yellow Ribbon Singapore (YRSG) takes a very detailed approach to try and get them jobs and place them on jobs when they leave and continues with other agencies to try and handhold and assist them thereafter.

Ministry of Home Affairs
5 April 2022

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