From shackles to jail cell: A convict's journey from court lock-up to Changi Prison Complex

The Straits Times gets unprecedented access to observe convicts and those on remand being moved to their cells at Changi Prison Complex.
Upon their arrival at Changi Prison Complex, the prisoners go through the first layer of security checks, which is conducted by a sniffer dog. "We have to be sure no contraband is smuggled inside (the prison)," said Chief Warder 2 Zulkarnaen Abdullah
Upon their arrival at Changi Prison Complex, the prisoners go through the first layer of security checks, which is conducted by a sniffer dog. "We have to be sure no contraband is smuggled inside (the prison)," said Chief Warder 2 Zulkarnaen Abdullah, who deals with the admission and release processes.ST PHOTO: ZAIHAN MOHAMED YUSOF
Prisoners are shackled at the State Courts lock-up facility in preparation for their journey to Changi Prison Complex.
Prisoners are shackled at the State Courts lock-up facility in preparation for their journey to Changi Prison Complex.ST PHOTO: ZAIHAN MOHAMED YUSOF
Convicts are then escorted into a Black Maria, or a prison transport bus, that will take them to the prison in Changi.
Convicts are then escorted into a Black Maria, or a prison transport bus, that will take them to the prison in Changi. ST PHOTO: ZAIHAN MOHAMED YUSOF

The Straits Times traces a convict's journey from court lock-up to Changi Prison Complex

An inmate's first time behind bars can be tough but wardens at Changi Prison Complex (CPC) look out for signs of anxiety among new arrivals and will pull these inmates aside to reassure them that they will be kept safe.

Said Chief Warder 2 Chai Kuo Fatt, who handles prisoner requests and welfare: "It's challenging for them (inmates) and also for us. We don't want anything to happen to them. They are under our custody, (we have to) make sure they are safe."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2018, with the headline 'From shackles to jail cell'. Print Edition | Subscribe