Written Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Assistance Offered by Drug Rehabilitation Centres to Inmates to Stop Addiction and Cultivate Healthy Pursuits, by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 06 August 2018

Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs how is the regime in the Drug Rehabilitation Centre assisting inmates to stop their addiction and replace addictive desires with healthy pursuits.



1. The Singapore Prison Service (SPS) introduced the Enhanced Drug Rehabilitation Regime (EDRR) in the Drug Rehabilitation Centre (DRC) in 2014. Under the EDRR, inmates are assessed for their risks of re-offending and the severity of their drug abuse problem upon admission into DRC. They undergo psychology-based correctional programmes which are calibrated to their risk levels and target the underlying attitudes and beliefs behind their drug abuse problem. For example, lower-risk inmates learn about the consequences of drug use and pick up skills to prevent relapse. Higher-risk inmates will undergo high-intensity counselling programmes which address multiple risks and needs, such as criminal thinking and drug addiction issues.


2. SPS also provides meaningful activities to engage DRC inmates and encourage them to desist from future drug abuse by pursuing healthy alternatives. One example is the Basketball Clinic programme, which encourages inmates to take up the sport, and inculcates positive values like teamwork. Another example is Urban Farming, which was introduced in May this year. Through this activity, inmates learn how to collaborate with others and to take ownership of shared goals. DRC inmates also participate in family programmes, skills training and religious counselling.


3. So far, we’ve seen encouraging results with the enhanced regime in DRC. The two-year recidivism rate of DRC inmates has come down from 60 – 70% in the 1990s to around 30% for the 2015 release cohort. We will continue to enhance the regime for even better outcomes.


4. While interventions within DRC are important, community-based programmes also form an integral component of rehabilitation. It allows inmates to serve the tail-end of their DRC detention in the community under structured supervision, supporting their reintegration back into society. We will continue to work closely with our community partners to strengthen the support to inmates on this front.


Prisons Management and Rehabilitation