Joining the Home Team was always a given for Superintendent (Supt) Rockey Francisco Junior, whose father is a retired firefighter and uncle a retired prison officer.
"You can say the Home Team runs in my blood and it didn't come as a surprise to my family when I opted to follow in their footsteps," said the director of the Singapore Prison Service's (SPS) Community Corrections Command.
The 40-year-old was one of the officers promoted at yesterday's Home Team Promotion Ceremony and will be taking on the rank of Assistant Commissioner next month.
Supt Francisco joined SPS in 2001 as a fresh graduate and now works with community partners such as counsellors and employers to oversee the rehabilitation and reintegration of former offenders into society.
"One of the most challenging parts of the job is knowing that we can provide all the support to ex- offenders, but ultimately it is up to them to take personal ownership of their lives. But we always strive to do better and try our best to help them with transitional support," he said.
While the job has its challenges, he shared an uplifting experience earlier this year where he bumped into a former inmate he had known in 2002.
"It was at a friend's mother's wake, and he was part of the catering team. I went up to thank him for helping the family in their time of need, but what was amazing was that he, in turn, thanked me for helping him out during his trying time in the Drug Rehabilitation Centre," he said.
Such instances give him the encouragement to stay in the job, said Supt Francisco.
"Ultimately, I know that the impact we have isn't just on the inmates. We are also helping their families and children, and also making society a better place," he said.
Tan Tam Mei
Correction note: This story has been edited to correct the name of Singapore Prison Service's (SPS) Community Corrections Command.