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Passion and Dedication (Part 2)

It’s all about leadership and commitment – two Home Team Guardians share their most meaningful moments as officers.
Home Team News Home Team Promotion Ceremony 2021 02A
GRAPHIC: Home Team News

We spoke to two officers who were part of this year's Home Team Promotion Ceremony to learn more about their most meaningful experiences as Home Team Guardians.

Home Team News Home Team Promotion Ceremony 2021 02B

Rehabilitation Officer (2) Yusri Goh is committed to helping supervisees on Community-based Programmes turn over a new leaf. 

Rehabilitation Officer (2) Yusri Goh
Senior Reintegration Officer, Singapore Prison Service (SPS)

When did you join the Home Team, and why? 
I joined the Home Team in August 2009, about two months after I’d completed my National Service in the Singapore Armed Forces. I’ve wanted to join SPS since 2006 as I had a keen interest in its work. I attended a career fair during my polytechnic days to learn more about the role of a Prison officer, and found the job very meaningful and purposeful. 

What’s your current role, and what’s a day of work like for you? 
I’ve been a Senior Reintegration Officer with SPS’ Community Corrections Command since January 2019. I manage supervisees who are serving their Community-based Programme, mostly at Halfway Houses. A typical day includes monitoring the supervision conditions for supervisees, working with them on their aftercare needs and making interventions as necessary. 

I also work closely with SPS’ community partners to conduct case discussions on a regular basis. I’ll often work in the evenings, going to the various Halfway Houses to meet my supervisees and conduct interviews. 

I was also involved in working with our Halfway House on their COVID-19 response plans. Because of safe management measures, we’ve been conducting sessions and meetings via video conferencing or phone calls. 

What’s the most affirming experience you’ve had as a Home Team officer?
Working in Community Corrections has widened my views and exposed me to a lot more about SPS’ work in the aftercare phase. One of the most meaningful experience I had just recently was dealing with a supervisee who’d absconded from his programme after facing some personal issues. I managed to establish contact with him and eventually he decided to turn himself in to the authorities. 

When I met him before he was to serve his sentence, his first question to me was, “Why did you want to help me? You’re the only person to ask about me, and I’m thankful. I thought hard about what I’d done and felt it was time I made the right decision.”

That short conversation made me realise what a difficult state he’d been in. He could have given up on himself, but he decided to surrender himself and face the consequences of his actions. This affirmed to me that the support we offer to our supervisees can become a turning point in their lives.

How do you feel about receiving your promotion? 
I’m grateful for it. Regardless of rank, it’s important that with every role we undertake, we continue to seek opportunities to grow our competencies. 

What do you love most about your work?
Our work has a direct impact on people’s lives and in the community. It’s important to look out for one another during our tour of duty, and to be ready to provide support.

Being part of a team is important as our work can be challenging. Camaraderie and teamwork help us to feed off one another’s energy, overcome any challenges we face and get the job done.

Home Team News Home Team Promotion Ceremony 2021 02C

As a Career Specialist with YRSG’s Reintegration Group in 2019, Sebastian helped to ensure the placement of almost 100 long-term work release inmates. He shares what he enjoys most about supporting the rehabilitation of ex-offenders. 

Sebastian Sim
Senior Associate (Planning and Transformation), Yellow Ribbon Singapore (YRSG) 

When did you join the Home Team, and why? 
I joined YRSG in 2017. Having worked in the private sector for about two years after I graduated from university, I felt compelled to take on a role that would allow me to give back to society. I wanted a job that had greater meaning. 

What’s your current role at YRSG, and what’s a day of work like for you? 
My work involves ensuring that key organisational meetings proceed smoothly and that our corporate Key Performance Indicators are met. I’m also involved in developing and executing YRSG’s transformation plans. COVID-19 has greatly enhanced the digital aspects of my work, and now I regularly staff meetings through virtual platforms and engage with participants via virtual breakout rooms. 

What’s the most meaningful experience you’ve had as a Home Team officer?
For two years now, I’ve received well wishes on festive occasions from an ex-offender client whom I assisted. When I first received his message, I felt slightly embarrassed when I had to ask who he was, because we assist many inmates and ex-offenders at YRSG. 

The fact that this client remembers me and makes it a point to send his regards makes me feel extremely proud, not only of myself, but also of him. It means he’s doing well and hasn’t re-offended.

On other occasions, clients will call out my name and greet me when they see me near Lloyd Leas Community Supervision Centre or on the bus. I feel happy during such moments because it shows that I’m accepted by them, just as we accept them for who they are, and strive to support them on their rehabilitation journey.

How do you motivate yourself when it comes to challenges you encounter at work? 
My team members perform regular checks on one another’s well-being, during divisional meetings and over WhatsApp. We remind one another that we’re not alone in performing our work, and challenges may be overcome together. 

On a personal note, I also remind myself why I joined YRSG in the first place – to help ex-offenders and give back to society in my own manner. This drives me to give my best. 

What are the most important lessons you’ve learnt in the Home Team? 
Being open to feedback and learning from our mistakes. That’s how we can make improvements, no matter how small.

How do you feel about receiving your promotion? 
I was heartened by the support of my team members and colleagues, who were very happy for me. I’m thankful for the recognition and will continue to give my best.

Read Passion and Dedication (Part 1) and Passion and Dedication (Part 3)

Home Team Promotion Ceremony 2021
This year’s Home Team Promotion Ceremony was held on 19 May and saw 6,280 officers from across the Home Team receiving promotions. They comprise regular officers from the Home Team Departments and statutory boards; Operationally-Ready National Servicemen from the Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force; and members of the Volunteer Special Constabulary and Civil Defence Auxiliary Unit. Read the speech by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, at the Promotion Ceremony.

Written by

Rytasha Passion Raj


26 May 2021

Prisons Management and Rehabilitation
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