Number of repeat offenders remains low and stable: Prison service

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SINGAPORE: The number of former prison inmates who break the law again within two years of their release has remained low and stable, the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) said on Tuesday (Feb 14).

In a news release, the prison service said the overall recidivism rate for the 2014 cohort of inmates was 26.5 per cent, almost unchanged from the 2013 cohort. It attributed this to the inmates securing gainful and stable employment, as well as family and community support, and their own personal resolve not to run afoul of the law again.

(Table: Singapore Prison Service)
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SPS also noted that a consistently high percentage of inmates secured jobs before they were released.

In 2016, 96 per cent of inmates who were referred to the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE) found work before they left prison – comparable to the 95 per cent in 2015 and 96 per cent in 2014.

SCORE offers skills training that is aligned with the national Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) framework.

The prison service noted that strong support from the community is crucial in the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders.

The number of employers registered with SCORE increased by 7.3 per cent from 4,745 in 2015 to 5,093 in 2016.

This reflects the community’s increased acceptance of inmates and ex-offenders as well as commitment to giving them second chances, it said.

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