Voices Of Youth

Tech cannot replace guards in prisons

A prison without guards may not be the brightest idea at the moment ('Prison without guards' may be reality in future; April 14).

Technology can regulate and automate routine work processes and deliver differentiated rehabilitation.

However, robots may not be able to calm parties down when a fight breaks out in a prison and chaos ensues.

More intricate problems such as radicalisation may not be detectable by technology, let alone stopped in time.

Inmates are also humans. If there are no other people around them, except for other inmates, they may feel rejected from society, causing them to feel that they have to fend for themselves.

Guards are still needed in prisons.

But we can use technology to lighten the guards' load as well as improve the quality of the inmates' lives.

For instance, we can give inmates opportunities to study or to work. They can get e-mail messages from their families or read e-books to improve themselves for when they get released.

Jordan Loo Ming Zhou, 14, Secondary 3 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 26, 2017, with the headline 'Tech cannot replace guards in prisons'. Print Edition | Subscribe