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More community involvement needed to deter inmates from reoffending

Published on Feb 11, 2014 3:01 PM
 
More community involvement and tougher measures are in the pipeline to help reduce recidivism amid a rise in the reoffending rate of released inmates. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

More community involvement and tougher measures are in the pipeline to help reduce recidivism amid a rise in the reoffending rate of released inmates.

Statistics released by the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) on Tuesday showed that 27.4 per cent of inmates released in 2011 committed another offence within two years of their release, up from 23.6 per cent for the 2010 cohort. This means about one in four inmates fall back to their old ways - a level that has remained stable over the years, said the SPS.

Among the 2011 cohort of inmates in drug rehabilitation centres, the recidivism rate was higher as well at 31.1 per cent, from 27.5 per cent for the 2010 cohort.

To deter inmates from reoffending, various amendments were made to the Prison Act last month including the introduction of the Conditional Remission System. Currently, well-behaved inmates can be released without any conditions after serving two-thirds of their sentence. Under the new system, inmates who are released early and later commit an offence while in remission, may face an additional sentence on top of the one imposed for the new offence.

 
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