Testimonials for ex-offenders: Prison Service replies

Testimonials for ex-offenders: Prison Service replies

We thank Mr Goh Kok Gan ("Tough for ex-convict to keep cabby job"; June 25), Mr V. Balu ("Help ex-offenders earn a living"; Forum Online, last Thursday), Mr Belsha Aibil ("Govt agencies should help ex-offenders more"; Forum Online, last Friday) and Mr Satish Chandar ("Clarify stand on ex-convicts"; Monday) for their feedback.

The Singapore Prison Service provides testimonials to former offenders upon request.

Since the situation came to our attention, we have investigated and found that there was miscommunication between Mr Goh and our officers. We have contacted him to clarify his request and handed him the testimonial to apply for renewal of his vocation as a taxi driver. We are also working with the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (Score) to look into Mr Goh's request to continue his job as a taxi driver.

Testimonials are given upon request to assist former offenders who may use them to secure jobs or apply for admission to tertiary institutions. These testimonials indicate the programmes that former offenders attended and their general conduct during their period of incarceration.

The Singapore Prison Service encourages the employment of former offenders who are committed to leading responsible lives. Sustaining employment is a key factor in helping them re-integrate.

We recognise that the journey towards securing employment and acceptance is a challenging one for former offenders. As such, we work closely with Score to provide offenders with suitable skills training and job placement opportunities prior to their release.

Jimmy Lee

Senior Assistant Director

Corporate Communications and Relations Branch

Singapore Prison Service

This article was first published on July 3, 2014.
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