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A Chance to Start Anew
Here’s how the Drug Rehabilitation Centre helps offenders pick up new skills and overcome their addiction.

Home Team News SPS Drug Rehabilitation Centre 01
The enhanced DRC regime helps offenders strengthen their motivation for change. PHOTO: Peggy Tan

For Farhan (not his real name), overcoming his addiction to drugs is something that only he can do. But with the knowledge and skills he has learnt at the Drug Rehabilitation Centre (DRC), he’s now ready to give his best. 

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Inmates exercising in the yard. PHOTO: Peggy Tan

The 30-year-old was introduced to drugs for the first time in 2011. A relapse led to his second stint in the DRC. Having also served time in prison for other offences, Farhan is now ready for change. “The DRC regime was different,” he said. 
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DRC programmes are designed to engage and help inmates commit to making a change in their lives. PHOTO: Desmond Ang

The DRC regime takes a structured approach to helping offenders change their attitudes and perspectives in order to overcome addictions. During their time in the DRC, offenders will undergo various programmes such as psychology-based correctional programmes, family programmes and skills training. 

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Inmates undergoing a psychology-based correctional programme to help them address their risk of relapsing. PHOTO: Peggy Tan
 
These programmes helped Farhan understand the underlying cause of his addiction, teaching him skills to manage his time more effectively and to set small goals for himself. They also gave him the confidence to say no to drugs. “I had no proper time management before; no commitment to improve myself,” he said. “But now I’ve learnt leadership and communication skills, as well as how to earn the trust of others.” 

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Empowering inmates to change their lives for the better. PHOTO: Desmond Ang

Fellow inmate Alan (not his real name), 27, is also serving his second DRC sentence. After mixing with the wrong crowd, Alan started abusing “Ice.” However, he also found the motivation to change through counselling programmes and workshops held at the DRC. 

Now Alan has a new focus in his life – to save money and start his own chicken rice business. “I want to concentrate on my career once I get out," he revealed. 

Through the Intermediate Family Programme, inmates also get to build stronger relationships with their loved ones. This has been a valuable experience for Alan as it has helped him to better understand his family’s needs. 

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One of the ways DRC inmates can speak to their family members is through tele-visit facilities. PHOTO: Peggy Tan

At the DRC, the intensity of the intervention programmes is calibrated according to an offenders’ risk of re-offending and level of drug dependency. Chief Warder (CW) 1 Muzakir works closely with the inmates, conducting group discussions with them to review what they’ve learned. “As a personal supervisor, it’s my job to guide them along,” he said. 
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CW1 Muzakir during a session with inmates. PHOTO: Peggy Tan

Farhan and Alan will soon be emplaced on Community-Based Programmes (CBP), which acts as a step-down process in helping offenders reintegrate into society. Additionally, through the lessons they have taken away from their time in DRC, both Farhan and Alan will be better prepared for their reintegration journey.



Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2018
The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill was passed in Parliament on 15 January 2018. The key provisions of the Bill will enhance our anti-drug framework and enforcement powers against drug-related activities; and strengthen our drug rehabilitation regime. 

To learn more about the Bill, check out: 
  -  Second Reading Speech by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law
  -  Wrap-Up Speech by Ms Sun Xueling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development
  -  Wrap-Up Speech by Mr Amrin Amin, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health
  -  Wrap-Up Speech by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

  1. by Peggy Tan
  2. 01 February 2019
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