SINGAPORE - Inmates in prison will be assigned the same case officer - whenever possible - from the beginning of their sentence until they are fully integrated back into the community after their release, under new efforts undertaken by the Singapore Prison Service SPS. This is one of the aspects that prisons will be adopting to expand its community-based programmes, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam on Friday Jan Speaking before a tour of the new government-run Selarang Halfway House, Mr Shanmugam said that having the same officer walk the journey with the inmate from the start to the end of his journey of rehabilitation would "strengthen throughcare" and help with reintegration of the former offenders. Other strategies that the prisons is looking into include the use of psychology-based correctional programmes and the use of data to assess the risks and needs of each offender. This will also include having counselling sessions through video-conferencing. The halfway house will boost efforts to help former inmates rehabilitate and reintegrate in society, in an conducive and secure environment, said Mr Shanmugam. The facility currently houses former offenders but can accommodate over residents, making it the biggest halfway house in Singapore. It is the only halfway house that caters to those who are undergoing the Mandatory Aftercare Scheme - a regime for former inmates who might have a higher risk of reoffending. It is also the only government-run halfway house in Singapore and the only one that caters to both men and women.
The Home Team
The Selarang Halfway House provides aftercare support to selected ex-offenders on mandatory aftercare. The newly operationalised facility is designed to provide a conducive rehabilitative environment for ex-offenders after their release from prison. They will attend counselling sessions and are allowed to work or attend vocational training during their stay there.
It is very good to be part of this project. A number of other facilities are still under construction, and will be ready by the middle of next year. The purpose is to improve rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders. This has been a key part of our thinking so that they do not come back to the prison. A lot of things have been done over the years, and this is a further big step in that process. So we try to make the environment conducive for rehabilitation and reintegration, but still secure.
A halfway house is an institute for people with criminal backgrounds or abusive drug use tendencies to learn or relearn the necessary skills to re-integrate into society and better support and care for themselves. As well as serving as a residence, halfway houses provide social, medical, psychiatric, educational, and other similar services. They are termed "halfway houses" due to their being halfway between completely independent living on the one hand, and in-patient or correctional facilities on the other hand where residents are highly restricted in their behavior and freedoms. The term has been used in the United States since at least the Temperance Movement of the s. Halfway houses in the US generally fall into one of two models. In one model upon admission, a patient is classified as to the type of disability, ability to reintegrate into society, and expected time frame for doing so. They may be placed into an open bay same-sex dormitory similar to that found in military basic training with fifty or a hundred similar residents in a gymnasium-type setting all going through the same thing at the same time.