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From Intern to Home Team Officer (Part 2)
Curious about an internship with the Home Team? Find out why two former interns now serving with pride in the Home Team.

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GRAPHIC: Home Team News

For many students, an internship is a rite of passage into the working world, one that allows them to broaden their horizons and learn vital professional skills. Two former interns – one with the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) and the other with the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE) – tell us why they decided to join the Home Team.

From Curiosity to Certainty
Having majored in Psychology at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Rehabilitation Officer (RO) 1 Chua Yi Gang had a keen interest in what went on behind prison walls and how to help inmates turn over a new leaf. That’s why he applied for an internship with SPS’ Psychological and Correctional Rehabilitation Division in 2014.

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An eye-opening internship helped RO1 Yi Gang make Prisons his career. PHOTO: SPS

As part of his internship, RO1 Yi Gang researched and collated inspirational stories for the Reformative Trainees’ Handbook, a resource for inmates that also includes tips on emotional management, goal-setting and other essential life skills. 

The internship was an eye-opener in other ways. Attending his first engagement session between Correctional Rehabilitation Specialists (CRSes) and inmates, RO1 Yi Gang recalled his nervousness. “As I entered the room, I could feel the inmates looking at me,” he shared.

But RO1 Yi Gang's mentor assured him during a chat that the experience would be different once he started speaking with the inmates, and this gave him the confidence to carry on.

“On the second day, I psyched myself up and asked to attend the session again,” he said. “This time, I tried to converse with the inmates. I realised that my initial apprehensions stemmed from misguided notions I had about them. The internship really changed my mindset. Later, as we went through the feedback from the inmates about the sessions, I was heartened to read their expressions of gratitude towards their CRSes.”
 
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Leading with compassion: RO1 Yi Gang is currently a Housing Unit Officer at Institution A2. PHOTO: SPS

These interactions demonstrated to RO1 Yi Gang the necessity of addressing the needs and risks of offenders in Prison and beyond. After he returned to NUS, he made a conscious effort to take modules related to correctional issues. More importantly, he decided on a career with Prisons. 

Now a Housing Unit Officer at Institution A2, RO1 Yi Gang’s duties include managing a team of officers in round-the-clock operations for the housing unit. Asked what his main takeaway was from his days as an intern, he said, “I learnt that many Prison officers share a common value – compassion. This was my inspiration for joining the Service.”

A Sense of Belonging
In September 2010, Nuristianah Amran did an internship with SCORE’s Human Resource Division where she helped with recruitment matters. 

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Finding her vocation: Nuristianah is currently a Relationship Manager with SCORE. PHOTO: Natasha Razak

As part of her internship, the alumna of Ngee Ann Polytechnic visited SCORE’s laundry facility and bakery at Changi Prison. “It was really interesting to get a first-hand experience of the operations that are run inside Prison,” she recalled. “It’s not something that everyone gets to witness.” 

This experience helped Nuristianah better understand how such programmes provide offenders with skills that will help them after they’ve completed their sentences. After completing her internship, in 2011, Nuristianah accepted a temp position with SCORE as an Executive Assistant before becoming a full-time officer a year later. “I enjoy the working culture at SCORE,” she explained. “It’s like a close-knit family, and I feel a strong sense of belonging here.” 

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Sector success: Nuristianah supports the rehabilitation process by looking at key industry trends and ensuring that ex-offenders undergo the necessary employability skills training. PHOTO: Natasha Razak

Now a Relationship Manager with SCORE, Nuristianah liaises with and supports the agency’s many employer-partners. She also tracks developments in key industries in order to help ex-offenders find good employment opportunities. 

“For example, after the launch of the Industry Transformation Map for the logistics sector in 2017, we’ve seen productivity and role changes across the industry,” Nuristianah explained. “So we’re looking at the range of digital skills that ex-offenders have to be trained in, so that they’re prepared for future roles in the logistics sector. When ex-offenders have the relevant skill-sets, their employability will be enhanced!” 


Internships in the Home Team
SPS: SPS welcomes internship applications from university and polytechnic students from different fields of study. Internship opportunities are posted on the Captains of Lives Facebook page.

SCORE: SCORE welcomes internship applications from university and polytechnic students from different fields of study. Internship opportunities are posted on Careers@Gov.

Don't forget to check out Part 1 of this series!
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.


  1. by Natasha Razak
  2. 19 July 2019
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