Govt should start hiring ex-offenders

I refer to the article “‘The Govt should start hiring ex-offenders themselves’: Benny Se Teo” (Channel NewsAsia, Oct 17).

It states that “”In my lifetime, I will never be able to see Singapore society really helping ex-offenders, hiring them, helping them integrate, giving them a chance,” Mr Se Teo told 938LIVE’s On The Record on Friday (Oct 16). “The Government should come out and start the ball rolling by hiring ex-offenders themselves.”"

How many employed by Govt?

Perhaps the most significant statistic that people have been asking for years is still not disclosed – how many ex-offenders are employed by the Government and Government agencies?

The public sector should set the example and take the lead to encourage the private sector to follow in helping ex-offenders.

How many ex-offenders are there historically, cumulatively in Singapore?

Highest recidivism rate in at least 9 years?

“According to statistics released by the Singapore Prison Service (SPS), the overall two-year recidivism rate of 27.4 per cent for inmates released in 2011 was the highest in at least eight years” (“Rate of recidivism on the rise“, Today, Feb 12, 2014).

According to SCORE’s 2014 Annual Report  – the 2012 cohort had a recidivism rate of 27.6 per cent. Since 2012′s 27.6 is higher than the 2011 cohort’s 27.4 per cent – does it mean that the the recidivism rate was the highest in at least nine years?

Only 22% assisted?

As to “In 2014, 96% of 1,938 ex-offenders assisted by SCORE secured a job before their release” – this “96%” is lower than the 99 and 98% in 2013 and 2012. The number of inmates assisted at 1,938 is also lower than the 2,123 in 2013.

Since “the prisons release about 9,000 inmates a year” – does it mean that only about 22 per cent (1,938 divided by 9,000) were assisted by SCORE? What about the other 7,062 ex-offenders (9,000 – 1,938) a year?

Ratio of trained to training places only 26%?

The number of training places fell by about 6 per cent from 22,504 in 2013 to 21,093 in 2014. The number of inmates trained fell by about 7 per cent from 5,896 to 5,482.

Why is this ratio of inmates trained to training places only about 26% (5,482 divided by 21,093)?

No. of community partners dropped by 37%?

The number of community partners fell from 257 in 2012 to 235 in 2013, and to 162 in 2014 – a decrease of about 37 per cent from 2012.

Yellow Ribbon Fund disbursed only 67%?

The Yellow Ribbon Fund raised 2.24 million, but only disbursed 1.5 million in 2014 – i.e. only about 67% was disbursed, compared to 86% in 2012 ($1 million raised and 0.86 million disbursed).

$27.6m accumulated surplus?

The accumulated surplus is $27.6 million

Reciprocate trust with more transparency?

Since the people have given their trust and mandate – shouldn’t we reciprocate by being more transparent?

We should also spend more to help Singaporeans.


Leong Sze Hian

A.S.S. Contributor

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