Published: 03 February 2020
Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what rehabilitation measures are young sex offenders subject to in their time in prison or probation to prevent recidivism; (b) whether studies are being done on the mindset of local sex offenders, be they for crimes with or without physical contact with victims, to improve the necessary corrective actions; and (c) whether there are plans to work with universities and schools to conduct outreach and introduce relevant material into the curriculum.
1. Regardless of age, sex offenders in prison or on probation will be assessed on their criminogenic risks and needs, and undergo suitable programmes to reduce their risk of re-offending.
2. The Singapore Prison Service (SPS) runs a psychology-based programme to help sex offenders better manage their interpersonal relationships and emotions, and address their negative sexual attitudes. At the end of the programme, offenders are guided to develop individualised relapse prevention plans. Sex offenders in prison also attend other programmes, such as those to build better relations with their families, which will help their overall rehabilitation and reintegration.
3. Where the Courts have ordered probation, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will work with probationers and their families to develop intervention plans, including treatment programmes. The family and community play a key role in providing support for and monitoring the progress of the probationer. Examples of interventions include the Positive Adolescent Sexuality Treatment Programme and the Positive Psychotherapy Group. They equip the probationers with skills to improve their relationships, emotional coping and sexual regulation. MSF’s research has found that for youths, who are at a developmental phase of sensation-seeking and impulsivity, their likelihood of re-offending is low when they have received appropriate treatment.
4. SPS and MSF will continue to strengthen their programmes based on research and evidence. For example, SPS has applied findings from a needs analysis of local sex offenders to enhance psychological interventions for them.
5. There are also ongoing efforts by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) to engage schools and universities to prevent sexual offences. SPF conducts crime prevention talks on sexual offences in schools, and advises universities on security measures and conducts joint patrols with campus security. SPF will continue to work with schools and universities to raise awareness of sexual crimes.