Over the past year, ISCOS has been working closely with Singapore Prison Service (SPS) to initiate several support and outreach programmes to meet the specific needs of various groups of inmates to better ease their transition from in-care to aftercare support, as a critical part of their reintegration. We also saw an increase in Prison engagements of ISCOS Titans, thus providing them the opportunities to share and motivate the inmates, in support of the various in-care programmes which were being conducted across the Clusters.
To build rapport with inmates and reach out to them before their release, the “Kawan-Kawan” ten-week befriending programme was started in March at Institution A2. Besides sharing by our Titans, the participants built rapport over activities such as tea appreciation and pick up skills such as being able to differentiate fake from real news on social media. After their release, we were delighted to see them turning up for our Project ReConnect and Men Support Group sessions. To continue the support for a year after their release, we engaged them through the quarterly bonding sessions.
Over at Institution B4, our Titans were invited since April, on a quarterly basis, to share about their renunciation journey for inmates who have renounced from their gangs and undergone the gang renunciation ceremony. Such engagements are part of the in-care Gang Alternative Programme (GAP) which are facilitated by the prison officers and counsellors. We further collaborated with B4 and in November, set up monthly GAP support sessions for them to ensure that the gang renouncees continue to receive social and emotional support from one another after their release and remain strong and resilient in the community.
At the Reformative Training Centre, we piloted a mentoring programme for the male Reformative Trainees. Initiated in April, fortnightly sessions were facilitated with ISCOS Titans sharing their experiences and challenges faced as adolescents, as well as the impartation of values and skills to the youths during these teaching moments. Our Titans will continue to provide mentorship and guidance to this group of Reformative Trainees during their Release on Supervision phase.
Not forgetting the female inmates, we extended our outreach to Institution A4, holding two sharing sessions for them with Sabrina, currently the only female Titan volunteering with us. We also shared about initiatives under the Fairy Godparent Programme to 120 mothers inside prison in September, so that we could reach out to their children’s caregivers for this year’s Bursary and begin care for them.
Since February 2019, we extended our Project ReConnect sessions to newly emplaced inmates from Community Corrections Command (COMC) to help them familiarise themselves with current societal trends and tips for everyday living. This has also helped to boost our outreach via Project ReConnect since it began in 2017.
We are glad for the coordinated efforts with SPS to continue building up our members and beneficiaries and helping them to start afresh. Here’s to a new year of making a difference!