Ex-offenders

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Definitions and Scope

Target Population: Ex-Offenders and their Families

Incarcerated persons [part of scope? Or outside of scope of aftercare?]

Ex-offenders

Ex-offender with drug abuse issues

Families of incarcerated persons (spouse & children)

Indicative Size of the Problem

In 2012 there are total of 9,901 Convicted Penal Population, out of which 9,077 are male. 6,287 are drug offences. Total DRC population is 1,503 of which 1,225 are males in 2012.Singapore Prisons

The recidivism rate for drug offenders are higher than the overall recidivism rate, suggesting that recovery is a greater challenge for ex-offenders with drug abuse issues.

• Overall Recidivism Rate: 27.3% (for 2008 Release Cohort), 26.7% (for 2009 Release Cohort), 23.6% (for 2010 Release Cohort).

• Recidivism Rate for Drug Rehabilitation Centres (DRC) Offenders: 30.5 % (for 2008 Release Cohort), 27.1% (for 2009 Release Cohort), 27.5% (for 2010 Release Cohort).

• 70% of inmates are those convicted of drug-related offences or admitted to DRCs for drug abuse and addiction.

Singapore Prisons

Policy Context

Criminalization of drug use and Singapore’s zero-tolerance policy

Long-term imprisonment of drug abusers: From 1 August 2007, first and second-time abusers of cannabis and cocaine will undergo a rehabilitation regime in Drug Rehabilitation Centres (DRCs). Recalcitrant abusers who are arrested for the third time or more for consumption of these drugs will face a Long-Term (LT) imprisonment regime. This is similar to the current approach taken for abusers of opiates, buprenorphine and synthetic drugs. Under the LT imprisonment regime, third-time abusers will be liable for Long Term Imprisonment 1 (LT1), and could face a minimum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment and 3 strokes of the cane and a maximum sentence of 7 years’ imprisonment and 6 strokes of the cane if convicted. Those who relapse upon their release from LT1 will be sentenced to a minimum of 7 years and a maximum of 13 years’ imprisonment, as well as a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 12 strokes of the cane under LT2.Singapore Prisons

The zero-tolerance policy on drug use has been a useful deterrence, but the criminalization of drug use also has negative consequences worth considering carefully. VWO practitioners expressed concern that the deterrence model and rehabilitation model (medicalization/disease model) may work counter against each other. An addictions therapist noted that when their clients relapse, they are ethically bound to report to CNB, who will then have to decide on a case by case basis whether to send them back to prison. As she puts it, “prisons don’t like the medical model; if addiction affects the brain, then whatever I do is not my fault.” She also noted that it took some time before Prisons started to recognize that drug recovery is a life-long process.

There is also the spectre of the possible criminologic effect of incarceration, and as one VWO practitioner puts it, “I find sometimes prison environment is very toxic.” While more evidence is required, the US has started to realize that keeping low level drug offenders in prison hurts kids[1] This raises the question of whether mandatory minimum sentences for low level, nonviolent drug offenders are necessary. One ex-offender said he continues to feel great bitterness that he had been treated “like a serious criminal” for taking Marijuana.

Ex-Offender Needs

Public Education and Information

Need for timely and accessible information about the criminal justice and prisons system

Family members experience uncertainty from time of arrest (especially for first time offenders) and need timely information to make critical decisions.

Offenders require information on reintegration upon release

Existing Resources Prisons website

AGC website

Gaps and Their Causes Accessibility of info:

-Online resources may be limited only to individuals who are digitally savvy?

Quality of info:

-Adequate info on family visit times, procedures, VWO services for referrals

-Little or no information for families of incarcerated on what to expect from point of arrest to sentencing and incarceration. Eg whether bail is possible, how long each stage is


Possible Solutions Enhanced throughcare for Family Resource Centre to brief families on typical procedures and stages as part of their casework

Trained volunteers to accompany spouse and/or children during first visit to prison – possible info resource

Need for public awareness and acceptance of ex-offenders and their families

Ex-offenders and their spouses may encounter stigma and stereotyping

Existing Resources Yellow Ribbon Campaign

Gaps and Their Causes 97% of persons surveyed know about the Yellow Ribbon, over 350,000 participated in events, and ten-fold increase in the number of prisons volunteers since 2000 (SCORE Survey).

Stigma and stereotypes may be hard to change, despite increasing awareness of Yellow Ribbon projects. [knowledge gap]

Stigma faced by family members of the incarcerated are “hidden victims of crime”

Possible Solutions

Family

Need for Family Preservation and Strengthening

Families need to cope with grief and temporary loss of incarcerated family member Important to maintaining contact during incarceration to preserve family ties


Existing Resources Fei Yue FRC

AMK Nexus FRC

SACA

-CMF programme

-EAS programme

SANA

-CMF programme

-Support group

-Family enrichment programme


Salvation Army

-Kids in Play (KIP) programme


Life Community Services

-Friends of Children/ Friends of Youth (FOCY) programme


Wraparound Care (WAC) agencies

Gaps and Their Causes Little or no services right at the onset of incarceration.

Current casework and counselling tends to be more offender-centric, rather than family-centric.

CMF programme had cases where clients terminated due to loss of contact; little done for families of offenders

Insufficient reach of KIP and FOCY programme – Both Salvation Army and Life Community Services met/ exceeded the client outcomes for FY11. However, the focus is on voluntary clients

Agencies face difficulty in contacting the clients and/or families, hence unable to follow up with intervention

Families could be in denial that they need help despite needing assistance

Possible Solutions Holistic family case management instead of focus on offenders only

Celebrating Families Parenting skills training program designed for families in which one or both parents are in early stages of recovery from substance addiction and in which there is a high risk for domestic violence and/or child abuse. http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?id=100

Parenting Inside Out (PIO) A 12-week voluntary parent management training program for incarcerated parents to assist in improving their interaction with their child and their child's caregiver. http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?id=345

InsideOut Dad Designed to help incarcerated fathers improve their parenting skills and develop stronger relationships with their children while in prison and after release. http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?id=337

The Creating Lasting Family Connections Fatherhood Program: Family Reintegration (CLFCFP) Designed for fathers, men in fatherlike roles (e.g., mentors), and men who are planning to be fathers. The program was developed to help individuals who are experiencing or are at risk for family dissonance resulting from the individual's physical and/or emotional separation (e.g., incarceration, substance abuse, military service). http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?id=324

4-H Life Program for Children with Incarcerated Family Members Consists of three integrated components: parenting skills class, planning meeting and 4-H LIFE Family/Club Meeting. University of Missouri

Need for Child and Youth Development

Existing Resources

SANA is great!

Gaps and Their Causes


Possible Solutions Early Risers A multicomponent, developmentally focused, competency-enhancement program that targets 6- to 12-year-old elementary school students who are at high risk for early development of conduct problems, including substance use. The child-focused component has three parts: summer camp, school year friendship groups, and school support. http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?id=304

Youth Mutual Aid Programmes A solution-focused, mutual aid group intervention and to examine the effects of the group on the self-esteem of elementary-age Hispanic children of incarcerated parents when compared to a no-treatment comparison group. (See Springer et al, 2000 Effects of a Solution-Focused Mutual Aid Group for Hispanic Children of Incarcerated Parents)

Equipping Youth to Help One Another (EQUIP) The programme uses guided group interactions to cultivate a climate for change and teach youth social skills, anger management, and moral reasoning. http://www.childtrends.org/?programs=equipping-youth-to-help-one-another-equip

Drug Use

Need to Avoid and Abstain from Drugs

Existing Resources


Gaps and Their Causes


Possible Solutions Incarceration-based drug treatment http://www.campbellcollaboration.org/lib/project/20/

Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) Seven basic treatment issues: confrontation of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors; assessment of current relationships; reinforcement of positive behavior and habits; positive identity formation; enhancement of self-concept; decrease in hedonism and development of frustration tolerance; and development of higher stages of moral reasoning http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?id=34

Structured therapeutic community interventions for drug users in the community produced a greater reduction in offending behaviour than standard treatment http://eppi.ioe.ac.uk/cms/Default.aspx?tabid=3362

Drugs: True Stories A multimedia intervention designed to prevent drug use among young people in grades 5-12 by positively changing the attitudes of youth and their parents and other caregivers in regard to the use of drugs. The intervention features a 30-minute video, which includes two vignettes of teenagers telling their personal stories to illustrate the harms associated with drug use, how teenagers and their families can work together to help teenagers abstain from drug use, possibilities for teenagers to recover from drug dependence, and how making smart choices can save lives. http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?id=233

Guiding Good Choices (GGC) A drug use prevention program that provides parents of children (9 to 14 years old) with the knowledge and skills needed to guide their children through early adolescence. Video-based vignettes and guide. http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?id=302

Employment

Need for vocational skills and job readiness

Existing Resources


Gaps and Their Causes


Possible Solutions

Resource Directory

Singapore Prisons Service

http://www.sps.gov.sg/

Link to Needs and Gaps Report