Prison numbers up or down?


The government should set the example to encourage the private sector to follow in helping ex-convicts.

I refer to the article “When prisoners return to being fathers, husbands and sons” (Straits Times, Oct 20).

It states that “I met Douglas and his family at the Tanah Merah Prison two Saturdays ago, when the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) allowed The Straits Times to be present during a special visit to celebrate Children’s Day and the end of the Family Care programme run by Focus on the Family Singapore, a charity.

That day, inmates were allowed an open visit when they could hug and hold their loved ones. At other times, they are separated by a glass panel during visits.

Douglas said: “To be able to hug and touch my daughter is very important, to reassure her that daddy is still alive.””

As to “In Singapore, about one in four inmates released in 2014 committed another offence within two years of leaving jail” – according to the Singapore Prison Service’s Annual Report 2016 – The recidivism rate has increased from 23.6 per cent for the Release Cohort 2010 to 25.9 and 26.5 per cent for 2013 and 2014, respectively.

The Convicted Penal Admissions for Y2016 was 10,211.

The Convicted Penal Releases for Y2016 was 10,371.

No. released about the same as no. admitted per year?

Does it mean that the number admitted is about the same as those released per year?

The Total DRC Population increased by 3.2 per cent, from 1,419 in 2015 to 1,464 in 2016.

Total DRC Admissions at 1,263 was 13.8 per cent higher than DRC Releases at 1,110.

DRC Admissions increased from 1,139 in 2014 to 1,213 and 1,263 in 2015 and 2016, respectively. This is an increase of 10.1 per cent in the last two years.

In this connection, according to the article “Silent screams” (The Economist, Dec 3, 2015) –

S’pore 2nd highest inmates per 100,000 population?

the chart shows that Singapore, at about 250, is the second highest out of nine countries for “inmates per 100,000 population, 2013”.

How many ex-offenders?

How many ex-offenders are there historically, cumulatively in Singapore?

With regard to “In the past decade, SPS and its partners have made great strides in helping prisoners find jobs after their release. Being gainfully employed and occupied is one key plank of rehabilitation” – why is it that for Employability and Skills Training – the No. of Training Places decreased from 26,660 in 2015 to 22,945 in 2016? This is a decrease of 14 per cent.

Also, why has the Work Programmes decreased from 4,065 in 2015 to 3,742 in 2016. This is a decrease of 8 per cent.

The No. of Capital Executions doubled from 2 in 2014 to 4 each, in 2015 and 2016.

How many employed by Govt?

Perhaps the most significant statistic that people have been asking for years is as I understand it – still not disclosed – how many ex-offenders are employed by the Government and Government agencies?

The public sector should set the example and take the lead to encourage the private sector to follow in helping ex-offenders.

What are your thoughts on the above statistics?

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.