“ While ex-offenders acknowledged that they needed to play their portion in seeking a new life, they called for society to be more understanding, and for more rehabilitation and employment chances, so that they can reintegrate with, take part in, and contribute to society. ”
Para 69, Report on “ Young person: Creating our Future ” Consultation Exercise
1. The above infusion served as the launch tablet for our workgroup ‘s reappraisal into the issues environing wrongdoers before, during, and after captivity.
2. We hope that the infusion would help the reader in seting our study into perspective as it inside informations the countries of focal point, and the doctrines and proposals behind each focal point country.
In our pursuit to understand the primary troubles faced by wrongdoers, allow us weigh the experiences of a typical wrongdoer as he goes through his journey from captivity to reintegration:
During captivity: He suffers from the negative influences of the prison environment
Before release: He is enthused by his impending release, but remains disbelieving of pre-release programmes
After release: He is overwhelmed by the passage to society and estranged from the community
In response to the above, we directed our reappraisal and tailored our proposals in three wide countries of focal point:
Enforcing Incarceration as a Last Resort
Bridging the Divide between Incarceration and Reintegration
5. We have adapted the Bronfenbrenner ‘s theoretical account of an ecosystem as the environment of an ex-offender for fond regard as Annex A. This theoretical account may help the reader in seting our doctrines and proposals into the “ bigger image ” .
6. Feedback is greatly appreciated at youthreloadedsubgroup3 @ yahoogroups.com
Enforcing Incarceration as a Last Resort
1. While captivity or the menace thereof provides the elements of disincentive, penalty, and quarantine to the justness system, it can convey approximately unwanted side effects that work against the involvements of both society and incarcerated persons.
2. An incarcerated wrongdoer is subjected to the menaces of taint from hardened felons within the prison environment. The punitory stray environment is besides contributing for the wrongdoer to seek safety and individuality in the company of negative influences. Upon his release, the wrongdoer might happen himself distanced from his household and friends, while sharing a sense of individuality with his former inmates. Coupled with the stigma that society topographic points on him, the wrongdoer might be dragged into a barbarous rhythm of “ criminalization ” , where minor wrongdoers, through captivity, find themselves excessively estranged from society to reintegrate.
3. Our position is that if the application of captivity is non adequately accompanied with a commensurate attempt by the justness system to deviate redeemable persons to restorative programmes, a barbarous rhythm will stop up being progressively perpetuated.
4. While we recognise that young persons, in peculiar the older 1s amongst them, are mature plenty to spot the condemnable nature of their actions, and therefore be held blameworthy for their offenses, there exists great potency for rehabilitation in such wrongdoers and thereby debar the rhythm of criminalization. It is our wish that immature wrongdoers be given the chance to optimize this possible and every bit far as possible, be diverted from captivity onto rehabilitative programmes.
5. While we push for diversionary sentences, we are good cognizant of the demand to keep captivity for its original intents of disincentive, penalty and quarantine. We besides recognise that many betterments have been made to let rehabilitative programmes to take topographic point in the prison environment. We endorse the demand to keep a balance of punitory and rehabilitative sentences, while aiming the more indulgent and renewing programmes to those whom we assess as suited.
Review of Current Situation
Age bars and countenances
6. The Children and Young Persons Act ( CYPA ) defines a ‘Child ‘ as being a individual who is below the age of 14 old ages and a ‘Young individual ‘ as being a individual who is 14 old ages of age or above and below the age of 16. In attachment to this age bound, the wrongdoer must be below 16 old ages ( i.e. , juvenile ) when he/she is foremost charged in the Juvenile Court. Once he reaches the age of 16, the Juvenile tribunal relinquishes its legal power over to the grownup tribunal.
7. For the intents of this papers, “ young persons ” and “ immature wrongdoers ” are defined as persons aged 16 to 21, while “ juveniles ” refer to wrongdoers below 16.
8. For juvenile wrongdoers, pre-sentence studies ( PSRs ) are made after the young persons plead guilty, or are found guilty. PSRs allow the magistrate to reexamine the fortunes environing the juvenile ‘s offense, every bit good as his background, before the deliberation of the sentence.
9. For young persons aged 16-21, the justice has the power to order PSRs for first clip wrongdoers, but this characteristic is non compulsory.
10. Diversionary sentences are limited for young persons. They can be put on the Probation Programme ( PP ) , which is run by MCYS. Young wrongdoers can besides be sent to Reformative Training Centres ( RTCs ) and Drug Rehabilitation Centres ( DRCs ) run by the Singapore Prisons Service ( SPS ) .
Gaps and countries for sweetening
11. We have identified doctrines and policies that could be reviewed to further function the demands of immature wrongdoers and society at big. The undermentioned points are identified:
Age bars and countenances
12. The current age cap for the Juvenile Court is 16.
13. We are concerned on how this age cap would accommodate with other age bars:
The United Nations Conventions on the Rights of a Child defines a kid as a individual below 18 old ages of age.[ 1 ]
The right to devour intoxicant or baccy at the age of 18
The right to marriage without parental consent at the age of 21
The right to vote at the age of 21
14. To a smaller extent, we besides wonder if holding excessively many age bars would show a confusing image to the person on his freedoms and rights as an grownup.
Time slowdown between offense and test
15. Whether an wrongdoer is charged as a juvenile or an grownup depends on the age when he is charged, non the age when he committed the offense. This can ensue in the young person being treated as an grownup tribunal for offenses he committed as a juvenile. Therefore if 2 male childs, one who has merely turned 15 and the other about to turn 16, were to perpetrate an offense together – they will be treated otherwise if the older male child turns 16 before the decision of his instance. A rough judicial government awaits the older boy-even if he is merely marginally older than the younger one, and notwithstanding the fact that he could hold played a lesser function in the offense.
16. Although the justness system expedites the probes of juveniles approaching their 16th birthday, there is no legal warrant that juvenile wrongdoers will non acquire charged as grownups through this trifle.
17. We are besides worried about possible cases where persons who were good below 16 at clip of offense can be charged a few old ages after they committed their offenses ( for whatever ground ) .
Disparity in condemning options
18. While the Juvenile Court is more unfastened to alternative sentencing and employs the Renewing Justice theoretical account, the tribunal system that older young persons go through is more punitory and arguably less rehabilitative.
19. While we acknowledge that by and large, adulthood comes with age and a more ready credence of personal duty, we feel that older young persons should be given the chance to profit from the tonic programmes which juveniles are secluded to. We argue that these young persons are still at a phase where they are slightly waxy and susceptible to negative equal influences, but the possible to turn over a new foliage is still really existent. Notwithstanding the attempts of current establishments like RTC ( Reformative Training Centre ) , we respectfully urge the justness system and community to work even more the potency for young person to swerve off from the rhythm of criminalization and foster them as productive and active citizens of society.
20. We would wish to admit the attempts of authorities bureaus, particularly Ministry of Home Affairs ( MHA ) and Singapore Prison Service ( SPS ) , for invariably reexamining captivity doctrines throughout the recent old ages and on a regular basis presenting rehabilitative programmes in prison sentences. Through our proposals, we hope to turn to the countries where spreads have been perceived and policies can be furthered attuned. The proposals are predicated on our doctrine of maneuvering redeemable wrongdoers off from captivity and forestalling them from being dragged into the barbarous rhythm of criminalization.
Near Term Proposals
Proposal 1: Supply wider sentencing options for wrongdoers – harmonizing to the age when they committed the offense, non the age when they are charged.
Rationale: Wrongdoers should hold their sentences meted based on the fortunes environing the clip of their offense ( age being a really critical circumstance ) . While we recognize the division of tribunal ‘s legal power based on age, the incongruousness between a fixed event ( the clip of offense ) and a variable event ( the clip the wrongdoer is charged in tribunal ) can be resolved by giving the justice wider condemning powers, Internet Explorer. to handle him as per his age at clip of offense.
Constraints: One possible concern arises when there has been a clip slowdown of several old ages of more: Would juvenile programmes such as the Boys ‘ Home and Guidance Programme be effectual on an older young person or even an grownup? We feel that if the young person has since been free of offense, he can be deemed as holding reformed and should be meted out with a Community Service Order ( CSO ) alternatively.
Stakeholders: The Juvenile Court is best placed to defend this alteration in pattern, with the constabulary in partnership as the latter carries out offense probe.
Proposal 2: Make pre-sentence studies mandatary for all first-time wrongdoers aged 16 to 21[ 2 ]. For repetition wrongdoers, we urge the tribunal to name for updates to their PSRs to integrate new fortunes that may extenuate their instances.
Rationale: Pre-sentence studies ( PSRs ) are critical paperss which Judgess can mention to during the deliberation of sentences. In an big tribunal of jurisprudence, where even minor offenses can set down a immature wrongdoer in gaol, we urge the usage of PSRs to let the tribunal to better appreciate and understand the blameworthiness and reformability of the wrongdoer before condemning. Through this sweetening, we hope to reenforce the doctrine that captivity is a sentence of last resort. For repetition wrongdoers, updated PSRs would assist the Judgess achieve a complete image of the fortunes environing the wrongdoer ‘s offenses, every bit good as the development of his background.
Constraints: One concern is the resource and manpower restrictions of MCYS ‘s Probation Service as it is the division that churns out PSRs. We advocate a reappraisal of allotment of resources to turn to this restriction. Another concern is that the treating velocity of tribunal tests would be slowed down.
Stakeholders: The Judiciary is best placed to force for the increased usage of PSRs. MCYS should come in every bit spouse to work out the execution inside informations of the proposal
Proposal 3: Extend appropriate renewing programmes to young persons aged 16 to 21. Our proposed programmes include the Guidance Programme ( GP ) , Community Service Orders ( CSOs ) and Home Detention Order.
Rationale: With the extension of the aforesaid programmes, the grownup tribunal will hold even wider discretion to maneuver young persons off from captivity[ 3 ]. Coupled with the usage of PSRs, the Court will see diversionary condemning even more and go forth captivity as a last resort to handle repeat/ terrible wrongdoers.
Execution: We recognise that disincentive and penalty must stay as serious enforcement tools in covering with young persons. To equilibrate between the demand to keep stringency and badness in intervention of offenses with the rule of giving a 2nd opportunity, we urge the tribunal to see a “ cocktail ” intervention to implement our proposal: wrongdoers serve shorter sentences before come ining renewing programmes.
Constraints: One concern is the hazard of taint when older young persons mix with juvenile wrongdoers in the renewing programmes that had hitherto catered chiefly to the latter. This hazard is minimized as the option is chiefly for those charged for minor offenses or where relevant mitigating fortunes exist. The older young persons can besides be segregated from the juveniles. Another concern is the ability of renewing programmes to get by with the increased work load.
Stakeholders: The Judiciary is best placed to defend this proposal, in peculiar the Juvenile Court as adviser and the decision makers of renewing programmes as spouses.
Medium/ Long Term Proposal
Proposal 4: Review the current age cap of 16 for wrongdoers to be charged in the Juvenile Court.
Rationale: As mentioned earlier, there are different age bounds taging the different mileposts of maturity in Singapore. The age cap of 16 for wrongdoers to be charged as juveniles happens to be one of the earliest. Though this subject has been broached before in earlier reappraisals, we wonder if the governments can reexamine the fortunes around the age cap in visible radiation of the rise of the consciousness towards the demands of wrongdoers every bit good as the effectivity of renewing programmes to maintain them off the rhythm of criminalization.
Constraints: Whilst there are several schools of idea[ 4 ], we take the position that age caps are arbitrary as a individual ‘s adulthood can non be determined by age entirely. We feel that more room can be given to persons of age 17 or 18 to profit from the scope of condemning options presently accorded to under16s at the Juvenile Court. But the elevation of the age cap would besides allow more young persons to undergo a more indulgent and renewing tribunal of jurisprudence, which is in line with our doctrine of doing captivity a last resort.
Stakeholders: This proposal advocates a alteration in statute law. We suggest that the Ministry of Law, along with the Ministry of Home Affairs, behavior this reappraisal.
Bridging the Divide
1. The stage between captivity and reintegration is a critical one, during which wrongdoers can ship on renewing programmes and fix themselves for lives after captivity.
2. This stage is made up of pre-release ( the continuance right before release ) and aftercare ( the continuance after release ) . We believe that it should be run as a seamless passage to ease the inmate from one environment to a wholly different one.
3. Bing released from prison can be at times a climbing nightshade experience. Almost every inmate feels the initial haste of freedom. But that sense of excitement prohibitionists up when society turns out to be a queerly familiar yet distanced topographic point. What many an ex-offender fails to gain is that he himself has changed so much during captivity that accommodating to his new environment is by no agencies an easy undertaking.
4. Many ex-offenders fail to remain on top of things and bury the promises made to their wardens, their counsellors, and most significantly, to themselves. They end up avoiding outreach programmes and losing focal point on their rehabilitation. Other ex-offenders fail to set to the cogencies that society topographic points on them and seek safety and individuality with other ex-offenders. Alas, every ex-offender that turns his dorsum on society is a possible recalcitrant hardcore felon who drags non merely himself but his loved 1s down every bit good.
5. Bing cognizant of this hazard, society must assist ex-offenders pass through to a new environment and supply chances for them to reengage their communities.
6. We acknowledge and applaud the Ministry of Home Affairs ( MHA ) ‘s attempts in puting up an extended and well-planned pre-release and aftercare model that is tailored to run into the demands of the freshly released. To this terminal, we hope that MHA will go on to widen educational, societal, and employment chances through its model.
7. We as a workgroup seek to add value to the bing model. Our proposals will heighten the efficaciousness of certain programmes every bit good as create new 1s to reflect the demand to bridge the divide between the incarcerated and the released.
Review of Current Situation
Short Pre-release programmes with tight paths
8. Pre-release programmes range from two months to one twelvemonth before release, depending mostly on the continuance of the sentence. As a regulation of pollex, the shorter the sentence, the shorter is the continuance of pre-release.
9. The shorter the pre-release, the less clip is at that place to prosecute the impending ex-offender in guidance and debut to aftercare programmes. The tight itinerary foliages small room for a inmate to “ absorb ” the significance of the programmes. Coupled with the haste of cognizing that freedom is merely around the corner, the inmate is likely to hotfoot through the programme without paying attentiveness to how he wants to pull off his life after release.
Humble Nature of Community Outreach/ Service Programmes
10. Both aftercare programmes and community service orders ( CSOs ) advocate community service as a channel for ex-offenders to give back to society every bit good pick up accomplishments that might turn out utile in other facets of their lives.
11. To that terminal, we wonder if the humble nature of work and the limited capacities to add value service as faltering blocks to capture ex-offenders ‘ involvement.
12. Our doctrine is simple: to heighten and add on to the bing model of pre-release and aftercare to bridge the divide between captivity and reintegration.
Near Term Proposals
Proposal 1: Lengthening Pre-release Duration
Detailss: We seek to implement a minimal continuance in which there will be equal clip to carry on guidance every bit good as allow inmates to try more aftercare programmes. We advocate longer pre-release for longer sentences to factor in more guidance in visible radiation of his thirster exposure to the prison environment ( every bit good as longer absence from the outside community ) .
Rationale: We believe that no affair how abruptly a sentence is, an wrongdoer requires adequate guidance and readying for his passage to society. In add-on, we hope that, through the sampling of more programmes at a more relaxed gait, the wrongdoer would hold adequate information and focal point to settle down on an aftercare programme in which he has a echt and sustainable involvement.
Constraints: There is no warrant that the receptiveness to the programmes will increase with longer pre-release. Besides, pre-release programmes face security restrictions as wrongdoers can non go forth the prison environment up till their point of release.
Stakeholders: We see the Ministry of Home Affairs as best placed to defend this reappraisal, every bit good every bit VWOs as spouses to heighten pre-release programmes as sampling stations to their aftercare constituents.
Proposal 2: Enhancing Early Release Programmes
Detailss: We want to offer early-release programmes such as the Home Detention Scheme to every meriting inmate. The Home Detention Scheme is an early release programme where wrongdoers are tagged, monitored, and placed under curfew. Participants of this strategy are allowed to work or analyze in the twenty-four hours.
We hope to widen early-release programmes to those who wish to come in third establishments, or to seek hospital-based psychiatric interventions for dependences ( eg. gaming, substance maltreatment ) that spurred them towards offense. By taking participants from the prison environment, it will besides be possible to convey frontward aftercare programmes to the pre-release stage, every bit good as institute compulsory community service programmes as a manner to derive exposure and pay their dues to society.
Rationale: This proposal espouses our doctrine on striking a balance of punitory steps ( disincentive through captivity ) and rehabilitative programmes ( such as guidance, community service ) . Hitherto, inmates who have displayed good behavior and echt finding to reform hold been placed on early-release strategies ( eg. Community Based Rehabilitation Programme ) on that premiss. We seek to heighten the value of early-release by spread outing the array of enterprises inmates can set about to enrich themselves.
Execution: We would wish to concentrate on the Home Detention Scheme as a instance in point. A inmate can be considered for eligibility a twelvemonth or so before his release. The following showing standards ( by no agencies exhaustive ) should be considered:
Badness of offence/ Length of sentence
Behavior in establishment
Response to institutional rehabilitation attempts ( eg. reding )
Psychological appraisal of criminal/offending attitudes
Support of household
Likelihood to profit from programme ( eg. an overstayer/ illegal immigrant is improbable to profit )
The activities and programmes the inmate is eligible for:
Employment through SCORE or other channels ( on his ain virtue )
Education in any mainstream school ( on his ain virtue )
Hospital-based psychiatric intervention for possible dependences
Compulsory stretch in community service
Constraints: Expanding early release programmes entails an addition in the resources needed to back up the attempt. There is besides a fright of participants re-offending and bewraying the trust vested in them by their employers and/ or schools. Their unrepentance levies a load on their households and support groups.
While this fright is within ground, research has shown that breaches of the Home Detention Scheme have been lower than 1 % ( MHA, 2003 ) . Furthermore, our proposal does non loosen up the entry standards, but seeks alternatively to give participants entree to rehabilitative steps such as psychiatric intervention, community service and outreach programmes.
Stakeholders: We see the Ministry of Home Affairs as best placed to defend this reappraisal, since it is the ministry which manages early-release programmes. But the functions of spouses such as SCORE, aftercare bureaus, VWOs and IMH are every bit of import in supplying the avenues of battle for the participants.
Proposal 3: Provide functions of ownership and duty in community orders and aftercare programmes.
Detailss: To accept ex-offenders in bing or new community outreach programmes where they can lend in capacities most suited to their endowments. Other than widening a wider assortment of functions to provide a broad array of endowments, there must besides be functions where ex-offenders can gestate, program and put to death certain events.
Rationale: Many ex-offenders lack the self-pride and harbor an lower status composite which makes it highly hard to interrupt out of their shells to reengage society. Their state of affairs is kindred to a Catch-22, as self-pride is besides gained through satisfying interactions with the community. The self-pride of an ex-offender can besides be raised through the satisfaction of holding his endowment widely recognised and appreciated.
We believe community outreach programmes are first-class platforms to assist ex-offenders recover their self-pride. An ex-offender would happen pleasance and satisfaction in the programme if he can expose his endowment: be it thronging in a stone set at a community concert or taking a tally on a wellness consciousness twenty-four hours. His positive takeouts will decidedly raise his self-pride, which we hope will promote him to take charge of other facets of his life merely every bit seriously.
Constraints: Community programmes might be loath to open up higher profile functions to ex-offenders due to doubts on the latters ‘ competences and trustiness. Besides, for the proposal to be effectual there must be a critical mass of such functions to provide to ex-offenders and their countless endowments and penchants.
Stakeholders: We feel that the chief aftercare bureaus such as SCORE, SACA, and SANA are best placed to defend this proposal. But this is basically a little graduated table programme that can be undertaken by other VWOs to make a critical mass of value added functions. VWOs such as ego aid groups ( eg. SINDA, CDAC, Mendaki ) can research how they can suit ex-offenders into their existing array of community outreach programmes.
Proposal 4: Make a support group for freshly released ex-offenders
Detailss: Use older and mature ex-offenders who have successfully reformed and settled down as function theoretical accounts and wise mans for the freshly released. We aim to maintain this group low profile and shoot the support group into activities ( eg. community service ) which form the platform of interaction between the wise mans and their mentees.
Rationale: Mature and reformed ex-offenders have the possible to be function theoretical accounts the manner we as non-offenders can ne’er be. They portion a common experience with the freshly released and can sympathize with the concerns and distractions of the freshly released. We hope that our function theoretical accounts can be the ground tackles in the lives of ex-offenders after prison.
We want to maintain this group low profile to promote mature ex-offenders to fall in. Their engagement is cardinal to this proposal ‘s success. Alternatively of making a platform for the support group to interact with the freshly released, we can leverage on bing platforms such as community outreach programmes which are contributing for more laid back interaction.
Constraints: The first concern is obvious: How do we maintain the group low profile yet seek enlisting actively? We believe enlisting can be achieved by looking through databases of older ex-offenders, every bit good as by word of oral cavity and by timely advertisement latching on to wider advertisement runs ( eg. Yellow Ribbon Project ) . There is besides a hazard of negative influences fluxing from the freshly released to maturate ex-offenders and frailty versa. We hope to turn to this concern by choosing merely matured and reformed ex-offenders as wise mans.
Stakeholders: We find the chief aftercare bureaus such as SCORE, SACA, SANA, every bit good as the Singapore Prisons Service good placed to spearhead this proposal.
However, our workgroup, holding initiated this proposal, would wish to step frontward and take ownership of our thought. We would wish to see ourselves germinating into a guidance commission where we will hold representatives from the abovementioned bureaus supplying advice and conveying approximately cross bureau enterprises. We are thrilled by this alone chance to prosecute our ideals and to drive this proposal from origin to fruition. We hope the abovementioned bureaus can impart us their support in our attempts.
1. About 11,000 ex-offenders are released from the prison system every twelvemonth. However, many ex-offenders find themselves pass throughing to a “ 2nd prison ” , where they are locked up in unseeable cells: behind the walls of ignorance, fright, misgiving, and stigmatization.
2. This “ 2nd ” prison stymies the best attempts of ex-offenders to seek reconciliation with alienated household members, mend fencings with their community, seek employment and root themselves as prosecuting citizens of society. Confronting great trouble in seeking a gloss of a normal life, the temptingness of offense and the relief provided by their ex-inmates turn all the more alluring.
3. Our ex-offenders are contending an acclivitous conflict to reintegrate. They have particular demands and added troubles in transporting out twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours activities. We as the more privileged must widen a assisting manus where possible, without run downing the ex-offenders ‘ spirit of autonomy. Our step of success would be to assist ex-offenders up to the point where they can assist themselves.
4. In peculiar, we applaud the ex-offenders ‘ willingness to seek employment. A stable and satisfactory occupation is an ground tackle in an ex-offender ‘s attempts to free himself of the proverbial crutches. It is a major measure in his reintegration to society. Our group will therefore focal point on proposals that will help him in his occupation hunt, every bit good as aid employers who are willing to give him a 2nd opportunity.
5. Through our proposals, we seek to right the apparition of favoritism which hangs over the caputs of ex-offenders seeking employment. It is one of the walls of the “ 2nd prison ” that we have to rupture down.
6. We applaud the success of the Yellow Ribbon Project and attempts of the relevant bureaus such as the CARE Network in raising society ‘s consciousness of the ex-offenders ‘ predicament. We hope that through increased consciousness, the populace would be stimulated to change discriminatory mentalities and patterns.
7. Our proposals would sit nicely on the success of the Yellow Ribbon Project, as they seek to give ex-offenders the same chance as every other job-seeker, and allow employers see them for non who they were, but who they are and what they are capable of.
Review of Current Situation
Permanent felon records
8. Condemnable records in Singapore do non run out. In an ideal universe where there is no stigmatization, lasting felon records do non present a job. But we all know that such a universe is beyond us. Many a clip, ex-offenders are viewed with a raised supercilium and handled at arm ‘s length. Through stigmatization, lasting records go trade names that ex-offenders have to bear for life. These trade names frequently reveal themselves when ex-offenders shed their veneer of isolation and are most vulnerable, eg. seeking employment.
Discriminative occupation interview inquiry
9. The first measure in a occupation application is frequently an application signifier. Most, if non all, signifiers pose a one-liner inquiry which asks if the applier has of all time been convicted in a tribunal of jurisprudence for any offense in any state.
10. We acknowledge that employers have every right to protect their companies from bad persons. With the declaration, they can test off fractious wrongdoers who pose a hazard to the operations of their concerns. The signed declaration by the applier besides justifies the prompt dismissal of the applier should he fall back to deceit to acquire the occupation.
11. While there is nil incorrect with the purpose of the inquiry, it can be used to know apart against all who hold condemnable records. Job appliers with records can be screened out regardless of the badness of their offenses and their attempts to remain free of offense. We find it upseting that persons who have been convicted of minor offenses in their young person are being denied interviews along with fractious hardcore felons who form the minority of occupation searchers.
Proposals to help Ex-Offenders
12. As mentioned earlier, the purpose of our proposals is to undertake the favoritism faced by occupation appliers head on. Through our proposals, we seek to set discriminatory patterns. We know that taking favoritism wholly is a tall order ; what we can make is to set in topographic point patterns and policies that help those who can be helped every bit good as reflect our resoluteness to right favoritism.
Near Term Proposals
Proposal 1: Wiping slate clean ( sorting records as confidential )
Detailss: We are really encouraged by MHA ‘s recent proclamation that it is in the procedure of implementing such a programme. We are on a parallel path, forcing for what is basically a programme that has the power to render offenses as “ spent ”[ 5 ]. Once an offense is “ exhausted ” , it is classified as confidential and the ex-offender is no longer required to unwrap his record history to all except authorized organic structures. For illustration, an ex-offender has to uncover his history to the constabulary if he re-offends. He besides has to unwrap his record when seeking employment in authorities agencies/ industries that are sensitive to all offenses, eg. security forces, child care.
Execution: The programme will be based on virtue, the badness of the applier ‘s offense, and a minimal clip continuance to measure the applier ‘s successes in remaining clean. For illustration, an ex-offender caught for shoplifting can use for his record to be “ exhausted ” 5 old ages after his release. Another ex-offender convicted for rioting can use 10 old ages after his release. Programme decision makers will measure the attempts of the ex-offenders in their reintegration to society. Testimonies from aftercare officers and employers will help the appliers ‘ instances.
Rationale: This proposal addresses the job of lasting felon records maturating as trade names that ex-offenders carry for the remainder of their lives. We wish to widen a 2nd opportunity to minor wrongdoers who have shown the will to reform and reengage society. Through this programme, we will besides be giving ex-offenders a powerful inducement to work hard and remain free from offense.
Constraints: We acknowledge the concerns that society has in acquiring an uncomplete image of an ex-offender ‘s history. However, this proposal is merely a portion of an overall scheme to battle stigmatization. The long-run viability of this programme hinges on the success of the overall scheme. To equilibrate the demands to protect both society and the ex-offender, the key to the success of this programme will be the revelation rights of authorized organic structures. This is an execution item that is best left to the stakeholders to chew over over. The premiss behind the item remains straightforward: Different organic structures have different demands for revelation. A organic structure requires disclosure merely if its involvements face a realistic menace from uncomplete information.
Stakeholders: In visible radiation of MHA ‘s proclamation during the Budget Debate ’05 that it is in the concluding phases of turn overing out this programme, we hope that it can integrate our proposal in its reappraisal and see the Government and Singapore National Employers ‘ Federation ( SNEF ) as spouses to research into the revelation rights of different public and private organic structures, given the sensitivenesss of different organic structures to different classs of offenses.
Proposal 2: Rewording of the occupation interview inquiry
Detailss: Replace the current one-liner with a structured inquiry that requires the ex-offender to tag the class that his offenses autumn under, compose in the inside informations of his offense, and indicate the twelvemonth that he committed his offense.
Execution: To forestall the structured inquiry from blowing up to a long tenuous questionnaire, employers would hold to categorize offenses harmonizing to badness and concentrate on offenses that are more sensitive to the employer ‘s nature of work. Not merely will it restrict the length of the inquiry, but it will coerce the employer to concentrate on offenses that must be declared in item because of their impact on the employer ‘s nature of work. For illustration, a bank would desire to name white collar offenses such as fraud and condemnable breach of trust ( CBT ) under the structured inquiry. An applier who has been convicted of an unrelated offense ( eg. rioting ) will click the box that categorises his offense and fill in the inside informations. Conversely, another applier who has been convicted of CBT will click the box “ Criminal Breach of Trust ” , thereby alarming the employer of the sensitive offense.
Rationale: The execution is a procedure that we have termed as “ industrial distinction ” . This procedure is a going from the “ one size fits all ” one-liner that employers presently use to test high hazard appliers. Since the structured inquiry high spots sensitive offenses and relegates other offenses into wide classs, it allows the employer to pattern selective showing and encourages ex-offenders to use for occupations that they thought were unrealistic because of the barrier wittingly or unwittingly placed by the employer. With the execution of this proposal, employers can go from a discriminatory pattern and still guard their involvements against bad ex-offenders.
Constraints: We understand that workplaces are concerned with the opening up their environments to ex-offenders. Such concerns are within ground as there are fractious ex-offenders who betray the trust vested in them by harming the involvements of the company and/ or its clients. As the company bears most of the radioactive dust from the refractoriness, it is logical for it to test ex-offenders from its work environment.
That said, the company can seek to protect its involvements every bit good as progress the cause of ex-offenders through the acceptance of our proposal. Fractious wrongdoers are a minority, but it is really unfortunate to hold the bulk of ex-offenders suffer for the actions of a few black sheep.
Stakeholders: We are cognizant that the Government is unfastened to enrolling ex-offenders. But so much more can be done to cut down favoritism in occupation applications and justice occupation appliers harmonizing to occupation tantrum and virtue. We suggest that the Government, being the largest individual employer, take the lead in implementing our proposal. We besides advocate the partnership of Singapore National Employers ‘ Federation ( SNEF ) to sell this proposal to the private sector.
Proposals to assistance employers of Ex-Offenders
Employers play a critical function in their support of an ex-offender ‘s rehabilitation attempts. However, such functions are by no agencies easy as ex-offenders have particular demands and behavioral forms that can estrange their support construction. Through our proposals, we aim to honor employers who have given ex-offenders a 2nd opportunity, every bit good as aid employers pull offing ex-offender employees.
Proposal 3: Incentivising Potential Employers
Detailss: Supply financial/tax inducements to employers who hire ex-offenders. These could include dual revenue enhancement tax write-offs ( of ex-offender employees ‘ wages against nonexempt income ) or a decreased corporate revenue enhancement ( e.g. 10 % ) for employers with a ample head count of ex-offenders and/or with a high ex-offender staff keeping rate.
Alternatively, fiscal grants could be given to employers who add value to their ex-offender employees. These grants could be used to subsidize the cost of developing workshops and larning chances for ex-offender employees to better their accomplishments and progress in their professions.
Rationale: We to the full recognise that concerns, being concerns, will ever be focused on the bottomline.
However, we hope that companies who have stepped frontward to equilibrate corporate well-being with corporate societal duty can be rewarded and showcased as theoretical account corporate citizens. We would besides wish to supply inducements to prospective employers, as many companies need to acquire past the hurdle of fright that prevents them from giving ex-offenders an chance to interview or to turn out themselves on the occupation.
Constraints: Budget restraints notwithstanding, we want to underscore that fiscal inducements dainty merely the symptoms and non the malady: favoritism. Incentives would non be effectual if employers are non in for the long draw and do non see ex-offenders as long term employees. To beef up the efficaciousness of the inducement strategy, it would hold to sit on related public consciousness runs such as the Yellow Ribbon Project.
Stakeholders: This incentive strategy should be administered by SCORE in partnership with WDA and NTUC, so that it can leverage on the occupation Bankss of the several bureaus. We would besides wish to ask for MOF to reexamine the possibility of honoring revenue enhancement inducements to employers of ex-offenders.
Proposal 4: Supporting employers of ex-offenders
Detailss: Establish a formalistic support system for employers to get by with the alone challenges when covering with ex-offenders. This system could include dedicated resources and services such as sharing Sessionss and developing for employers, every bit good as reding for employers who have problem get bying with their debatable employees.
Rationale: Presently, SCORE conducts periodic site visits and tea Sessionss to beg feedback and supply an avenue for closer interaction between some bing employers and SCORE.
However, many employers continue to fight in the direction of job employees. We hope that through the proviso of a more holistic assistance bundle, every employer that is concerned with both the public assistance of his ex-offender employees every bit good as his company can have the counsel and preparation he needs to strike a successful balance.
Constraints: The work force needed to ease such workshops might be limited, which is a challenge if the proposal strikes a popular chord when implemented.
Stakeholders: We hope that SCORE, with its incumbent experience, can be given more resources to ticket melody and spread out the range of its employer workshops. WDA, NTUC, and PSD ( Public Service Division ) , can assist distribute the word and train themselves to be adept in employer guidance.
1. We hope our study has succeeded in advising the reader of our workgroup ‘s ends, philosophical mentions, and proposals.
2. Through this study, each of the three countries of focal point: their backgrounds, current state of affairss, and proposals, has been articulated against the subject of reintegrating ex-offenders.
3. While the focal point of our proposals is to present, enhance, and fix policies and programmes, the neutering of our mentalities of ex-offenders and their stereotypes remains the key to success.
4. With the patterned advance from current norms to a more forgiving attitude and the will to distinguish between the reformists and the recalcitrant, our proposals will sit favorably on the air currents of a more gracious society.
5. We would wish to widen our heartfelt gratitude to the bureaus and persons who gracefully offered their advice and support. Our findings would non be complete without their parts. Our list of recognitions is attached as Annex B.
6. In peculiar, we would wish to thank the inmates and ex-offenders who stepped frontward with their priceless penetrations on the troubles they faced, every bit good as the effectivity on some of our initial thoughts. We hope that the proposals in this study will take to the improvement of their lives on every phase of their journey.
7. We would wish to stop off by showing our gratitude for the exposure to the overplus of national issues, the opportunity to work with the different levers of Government and civil society, and most significantly, the chance to joint our thoughts and foster them into world. We are profoundly encouraged by the degree of inclusiveness the Government is widening to young persons and would wish to reciprocate by being more actively engaged in the issues that dot our national landscape.
End of Document
Sexual activity, age, wellness, working abilities etc
( A ) Family
( C ) Peers
( Tocopherol ) Religious groups
( B ) Vicinity
( D ) Work/ Study environment
Combinations/ Interaction of groups in microsystem
Support systems eg. Social workers, or support groups like SCORE
Attitudes and political orientations of the civilization
Sociohistorical influences on development eg. Meritocracy, gender differences in employment
Space-Time Ecosystem based on Bronfenbrenner ‘s Ecological Theory of Development
This system refers to the person ‘s intimate environment. It includes the household, friends, vicinity, spiritual groups, and work/ survey environment.
This system involves the combination of assorted Microsystems. For illustration, secular contacts might hold links with assorted spiritual groups, therefore presenting the ex-offender to assorted religions. These systems can interact straight, like the above illustration, or it can impact one another. For illustration, holding hapless relationships with equals might impact an person ‘s relationship with co-workers in his work environment.
This system refers to scenes in which the ex-offender does non hold an active function. However these systems would impact the ex-offender ‘s experience and life after prison. For illustration, if aggregate media portrays a positive image of ex-offenders, the latter might be more easy integrated into society. Employment Torahs besides have an consequence on the success of an ex-offender ‘s occupation hunt, or returning to his old occupation.
This system refers to the civilization in which the ex-offender resides. The civilization refers to the behaviour forms, beliefs, and all other merchandises of a group of people that are passed on from coevals to another. For illustration, in Singapore, the civilization is more risk averse: employers still necessitate some clip to swear ex-offenders before offering them occupations. The extent of this state of affairs might be different elsewhere in the universe.
This system is the development of the society and its values. For illustration, when person is released after 30 old ages in prison, many things would hold changed, including social values and mentalities. An ex-offender might be surprised to see many adult females working and carving out callings, which might non hold been the norm before he was incarcerated.
We would wish to thank the undermentioned persons for their priceless parts. The penetrations they have provided were instrumental in the crafting of our doctrines and proposals.
Dr. Ann Wee, Juvenile Court of Singapore
Ms Elaine Loo, MCYS
Ms Ng Chen Hoon, Ms Enon, Ms Goh Bee Shan, SCORE
Residents of Kaki Bukit Prison School
Three Cheers to the Crafters of this study: Young person Reloaded! Hip Hip Hurray!
Thank you, one and all, for the great advice, the endless brainstorming, and the sheer attempt of interpreting random thoughts into well-argued proposals. May the passion for progressing the cause of ex-offenders carry us forth into the following stage: Making our dreams a world!
Dr. Mohamad Maliki Osman, Parliamentary Secretary, WorkGroup Adviser
Mr. Ahmad Nizam Abbas, Co-Chair, Youth Reloaded
Mr. Goh Kim Hua, Co-Chair, Youth Reloaded
Ms. Kong Kum Peck, Senior Assistant Director, MCYS
Ms. Fiona Kanagasingam, MCYS
Ms. Lim Jia Ying, MCYS
Young person Reloaded Sub Group 3: Reintegrating Ex-Offenders
Mr. Samuel Chan Wei Mun, Facilitator
Mr. Sophian Abd Rahman
Mr. Mark Clinton Galistan
Mr. Chong Weien
Ms. Ang Siew Theng
Ms. Juliet Ler
Ms. Teo En Qi
Ms. Agnes Wong
Ms. Mika Yap
Mr. Tan Yong Liang
Mr. Fauwaz Nurhelmy Bin Maaroof
Mr. Chia Poh Meng
Mr. Don Yap