Singapore Prison Service opens new rehab centre for young drug offenders

Singapore Prison Service opens new rehab centre for young drug offenders
The Community Rehabilitation Centre is Singapore's first housing unit for young male inmates that is located away from the Changi Prison Complex.

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Prison Service (SPS) has launched a Community Rehabilitation Centre (CRC) aimed at helping young drug offenders. It is the first of its kind for the nation.

Located at Jamaica Road, the facility will help young, first-time drug offenders fight their addiction and guide them towards avoiding re-offences.

The launch of this CRC also marks as a major milestone in the development of initiatives meant to rehabilitate young drug offenders. The rehabilitation centre can house up to 50 residents and offers a structured environment where young male drug offenders aged from 16 to below 21 undergo a comprehensive drug intervention programme while minimising disruption to their daily routines that occur outside their residence at the CRC.

This includes any involvement with school or work. The offenders will also have to undergo drug intervention programmes and life-skills programmes that inculcate pro-social values. These programmes are important as they encourage the offenders to resist the temptation to go back to using drugs as well as reject negative influences from their surroundings.

Families of residents are advised to maintain regular visits and be involved in the programmes the offenders undergo so that they will be familiariesd with the eventual post-release routine.

The six-month residential period commences after the residents have served a short period of detention in the Drug Rehabilitation Centre (DRC). Once they successfully complete this phase within the CRC, they will then be electronically tagged and placed on another six months of supervised home-leave.

In addition to support from their families during this subsequent phase of the programme, the young offenders will continue to receive counselling and guidance from the SPS' Correctional Rehabilitation Specialists to ensure they stay on track.

Mr Kelvin Hoo, superintendent of CRC, said: "The resident's family plays a critical role in ensuring the success of the programme, and must be fully committed to provide supervision and support, especially when the resident commences his home leave phase."

ssandrea@sph.com.sg

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