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Continuity of Care
Strengthening continuity of support for Muslim inmates and their families.

When he was sentenced to six months at a Drug Rehabilitation Centre (DRC) for drug-related offences in January 2017, Ahmad (not his real name) was at a loss. The 34-year-old divorcee had six children to care for. 

“During my time in the DRC, my children were always on my mind. Even though my parents took turns looking after them, they also had to work,” said Ahmad. “What would happen to my children?”

Before his arrest, Ahmad had worked as a security supervisor, often pulling long hours to make ends meet. “I was overseeing security at a few construction sites,” he recalled. “My work would start at 8am and sometimes end as late as 1am.” 

In December 2016, Ahmad was introduced to “Ice” (or Methamphetamine), a drug that would help him stay awake and alert – or so he was told. He was subsequently arrested and sentenced to six months in the DRC, followed by another six months under a Community-Based Programme.

Home Team News SPS AMP Ahmad
Through the DRP, Ahmad was able to cope with rehabilitation and ensure that his children were taken care of. PHOTO: Desmond Ang

Even as Ahmad worried for his children, he found a lifeline extended to him, in the form of a new programme by the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) and the Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP). Piloted in 2017 with 23 inmates, the Development and Reintegration Programme (DRP) provides support to Muslim inmates and their families. “It felt like a blessing to be approached by representatives from the AMP and to take part in the DRP,” said Ahmad.

“The DRP ensures that inmates receive support as they serve their sentences and undergo their rehabilitation,” explained Assistant Superintendent of Prisons (ASP) Muhammad Ali Mochtar, Staff Officer (Community Policy), SPS. “At the same time, the inmate's family members receive the necessary support and assistance to promote self-reliance and financial stability.”

Home Team News SPS AMP Muhammad Ali
ASP Muhammad Ali Mochtar supports the throughcare journey of inmates by working with various community partners. PHOTO: Desmond Ang

Since the DRP was piloted in 2017, it has helped over 185 inmates and their families. Under the Programme, each inmate will be managed by a case worker who will provide support to inmates (and their families) from their time in DRC and up to 12 months after their release. “Case workers will assist the inmates and their families even after their release from the DRC,” said ASP Ali. “This helps to establish a stronger rapport between case workers, inmates and their families.” 

Home Team News SPS AMP Hameet
As Head of the AMP’s Social Services Division, Mdm Hameet Khanee J Hussain has over 20 years of experience in training, education and family services. PHOTO: Desmond Ang

As Ahmad served his sentence in the DRC, his case worker visited Ahmad’s family and arranged for after-school care for his children, as well as for groceries and meal vouchers. “Many inmates such as Ahmad have families left behind during their detention under DRC,” said Mdm Hameet Khanee J Hussain, Head of the AMP’s Social Services Division. “But what we realise is that those with strong family and social support networks have a higher chance of turning their lives around.”

Having completed his sentence, Ahmad is now working as a food deliveryman, and is thankful to have a second chance at life. “I’m coping well,” he said. “When I was in the DRC, I attended programmes on financial management, and have learnt how to balance my budget and save money.” 

Through a referral from the AMP, Ahmad will soon embark on a course with Workforce Singapore to become a certified lift technician. “I feel blessed by all the help I’ve received,” he said. “Now I have someone to talk to about my issues; a helping hand; a listening ear. I know that my case worker is just one phone call away.”
 
Development and Reintegration Programme (DRP)
An initiative of the SPS and the AMP, the DRP helps inmates in their reintegration journey by providing continuity of care from prisons to the community. Piloted in 2017 as a comprehensive throughcare programme, the DRP was launched by Mr Amrin Amin, Senior Parliamentary Secretary (SPS), Ministry of Home Affairs and Health, on 17 November 2018. Read SPS Amrin’s speech at the launch here.

  1. by Desmond Ang
  2. 05 December 2018
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