Structured approach in place to help ex-offenders reintegrate

A Staff Sergeant looks on as inmates engage in interactive indoor recreational activities at the Changi Prison Complex.
A Staff Sergeant looks on as inmates engage in interactive indoor recreational activities at the Changi Prison Complex.PHOTO: ST FILE

We thank Mr Kuharajahsingam Karalasingam for his feedback (Give ex-offenders stronger support to reintegrate into society, Aug 12).

The Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (Score) adopts a structured approach to help inmates find employment upon release from prison.

They are assessed on their suitability for specific jobs and then given accredited skills training under the Workforce Skills Qualification framework.

They are also put through simulated work situations to better prepare them for the actual work environment.

Upon completion of training, inmates decide what jobs they would like to try for, and are then interviewed by prospective employers. Sometimes, they are offered jobs even before their release.

Score also works closely with employers to ensure that former offenders are paid market rates, and that they adopt fair and progressive work practices.

From July 2017, Score extended the support provided to former offenders during this early stage of employment from six months to 12 and, in some instances, even longer.

During this period of support, Score works closely with employers and case workers from other social service agencies to give the former offenders the necessary help to reintegrate into society and the workforce.

Families also play a critical role in the reintegration.

The Singapore Prison Service, together with community partners, conducts programmes which help inmates build stronger relationships with their families.

With support from employers, families and the community, former offenders who are motivated are better able to rebuild their lives and reintegrate into society.

Freddy Low

Deputy Director

Employability and Employment Division, Reintegration Group

Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2019, with the headline 'Structured approach in place to help ex-offenders reintegrate'. Print Edition | Subscribe