More in Singapore sent to prison for drug offences in 2015

The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) officers conducted an islandwide enforcement blitz over four days starting from Jan 25, 2016.
The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) officers conducted an islandwide enforcement blitz over four days starting from Jan 25, 2016. PHOTO: ZAOBAO

More people were jailed last year for drug offences, even while several other crimes continued their decline, according to the latest prison statistics released yesterday.

Total convicted penal admissions for drug offences jumped 10.4 per cent to 2,097 last year. In 2014, there were 1,899 such admissions.

Similarly, admissions to the Drug Rehabilitation Centre (DRC) last yearwent up to 1,213, with nearly half of these inmates between the ages of 21 and 30.

However, property, Customs and immigration offences have seen a significant drop - by half in one instance. Last year, there were 305 inmates admitted into prison for Customs offences, which marked a 50 per cent drop from the 612 in 2014.

In line with the Government's push for more community support towards the rehabilitation of drug offenders, more DRC inmates had the chance to serve the end of their sentences at home or in halfway houses and supervision centres last year. These community-based programmes, such as the Halfway House Scheme, noted a 13.3 per cent increase in DRC inmate placements to 1,003 last year, up from the 885 in 2014.

Such an arrangement will boost the morale of DRC inmates, as they are able to work on relationships with their family and make new friends, said Mr Bala Subramaniam, a case manager for the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (Sana).

"When they know that their family members are willing to trust and accept them, they will be motivated to stay on the right path," he said.

Ng Huiwen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2016, with the headline 'More sent to prison for drug offences last year'. Print Edition | Subscribe