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Strengthening the Ties that Bind
How two innovative family programmes by SPS are helping to strengthen the bonds between inmates and their families.

The strength of a family unit is a key element behind the successful rehabilitation of ex-offenders. With this in mind, the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) introduced two new family programmes to strengthen the bonds between inmates and their families. 

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Effecting change, transforming lives: AC Rockey Francisco Junior and Jessie Wong work hand-in-hand to strengthen rehabilitation and community corrections efforts for ex-offenders. PHOTOS: Janani Sivalingam]

“We want to ensure that families are a protective factor for an inmate,” said Assistant Commissioner (AC) Rockey Francisco Junior, Director of SPS’ Community Corrections Command, which is responsible for the supervision, rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-offenders. “When inmates are better prepared to re-enter society, it makes their rehabilitation much more effective.” 

Teaching inmates to Put Family First
SPS introduced the Social Skills Training Programme and Family Reintegration Programme in January 2019 to equip inmates with basic communication and relationship management skills to improve their engagement with their loved ones. This ensures there will be a supportive family network ready for them upon their release.

The Social Skills Training Programme and Family Reintegration Programme aren’t your typical classroom modules. Instead, inmates take part in experiential learning with activity-based modules featuring role-playing scenarios.

“Inmates now find it easier to understand and relate to the topics,” explained Jessie Wong, Assistant Director, Family Policy, at SPS’ Rehabilitation & Reintegration Division. “The feedback for the programmes has been positive, and we hope that every inmate will eventually be able to go through this Programme.”

An Open Exchange 
Feedback from the families of inmates has been encouraging too. “Because the programmes prioritise open communication and sharing, the families have noticed a genuine change in the inmates,” said Jessie. “They are more willing to engage with and share their reintegration plans with their families. In turn, this helps the families prepare to receive them upon their release.”

According to AC Rockey, the two programmes have also been designed to take place earlier in an inmate’s sentence. “We’ve started running more of such programmes upfront, with a series of ‘boosters’ throughout an inmate’s sentence, and then increasing in intensity before release, to support them as they transition back into the community,” he said. 
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SPS-SCORE Corporate Advance 2019
Read the speech delivered by Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs, at the SPS-SCORE Corporate Advance 2019.

Home Team 2019 Workplan Seminars
Tech Spotlight: Checkpoint Transformation (ICA)
Tech Spotlight: The Future of Emergency Services (SCDF)
Strengthening the Ties that Bind (SPS)
Tech Spotlight: The Future of Policing (SPF)
Eyes in the Sky to Guide Boots on the Ground (SPF)
The Future of Training; Training for the Future (HTA)
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  1. by Desmond Ang
  2. 13 May 2019
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