Regular meals, family visits, prescribed television and reading hours, work out exercises, Christian counselling group sessions and even a possibility of remission for up to ⅓ of their sentences. These are some of the perks that the five City Harvest Church (CHC) leaders who began serving their jail sentences last week can look forward during their days in Changi Prison.
City Harvest Church has been providing chapel services and support group sessions at Changi prison since 2001, although Singapore Prisons Service will likely not allow Kong Hee and the other leaders access to their own church services to ensure no “conflict of interest”. If they want to, they will have to be attended to by service members of other churches.
Once in prison, the men and women will undergo a medical examination for the 3 men in the Changi Prison Complex to determine whether to house them in maximum security or medium security facilities. Many high profile prisoners end up in maximum security facilities so that they have fewer encounters with other prisoners.
They will surrender their belongings and exchange their clothes for standard prison clothing and gear, which includes a blanket, mug and toothbrush. No long hair is permitted, even for female prisoners, as the hair must be above the ears.
Meals are typicaly rice with fish or meat and vegetables, to be consumed using plastic cutlery for the prisoner’s safety. After dinner, inmates are usually locked into their cells, each housing 3 to 4 persons, unless they attend night classes or are on late work shifts.