Chapter 4.2: The Prison Officers
You can't change the environment, but you can change yourself..
You can't change the facts, but you can change your attitude..
You can't change the past, but you can change the present..
Can't forsee tomorrow, but you can cherish today..
When you smile to life, life will smile back at you
Don't let your life be filled with too many regrets.....
You can't change the past, but you can change the present..
Let go of the past, better things will follow in the future.
Discard the unncessary burdens, only then will life be better.
Life is short, there is no better reason not to lead it well.
There are so many important things for you to accomplish, so many important people waiting for you to treasure.
Don't look back, for the world ahead is so much more amazing.
Because when i look back, I can point out the road of pain and tears and exclaim proudly that:
"look, this is the path i've walked out from.."
Can't forsee tomorrow, but you can treasure today..
"When facing a crossroad in the forest, I will choose the one with lesser footprints, only then will my life be different."
A road that has been walked by many is often filled with mud and dust.
Why not choose a different road, perhaps the future will too, be different.
Cherish (your) today and tomorrow will definitely be better..
Being curious, I sat down and chat with a group with malay inmates. One of them told me that he used to serve his national service in the Prison Department. He said if anyone wish to sign on as a prison officer during their national service, they will be schedule on a attachment to various institutions. They will on attachment for months for training and need to attend another 28 weeks courses in HTA after the attachment. They will then be posted to institutions that are assigned to them after their graduation and will start out as Personal Supervisors (PS) whereby a group of inmates will be under their care. There are other duties required such as reporting muster checks that they are account for, escort duties, etc…
(Please note the information may not be 100% accurate as the inmate told me that is many years ago).
Another inmate told me that the blocks of condominium
beside B4 are one of the welfare for the prison officers, which allows their family members to stay together as well.
Now I have done a research for all of us get to understand more about Prison Officer’s job:
Prison Officers are committed and driven individuals who aspire to be an integral partner in the Criminal Justice System, and protect society through the safe custody of offenders, as well as the rehabilitation of inmates.
• They are seen as our 'Captains of Lives', and are part of a highly trained and motivated team which plays a pivotal role in steering and helping inmates re-integrate into society.
Prison Officers are responsible for helping offenders make right their errant ways and restore their self-respect and confidence. One such role is that of a Personal Supervisor. The Personal Supervisor works with the Housing Unit Officer to maintain good order and discipline among the inmates in the prisons and drug rehabilitation centres. The Personal Supervisor is assigned to oversee a group of inmates. He is required to manage the inmates by engaging them in purposeful and meaningful interactions. This is a foundational posting all Prison Officers go through.
Depending on their aptitude and potential, Prison Officers can be rotated to other job functions (e.g. Intelligence Officer, Programme Support Officer, Security & Provost Officer etc) after their foundational posting. Such job functions will hone the officers’ development and prepare them to assume positions of higher responsibility.
Senior Prison Officers serve a leadership function within the service and are involved in planning and charting the direction of many aspects of the Singapore Prisons Service. They are also expected to take on various roles during their careers, exposing them to the many challenges that the service has to offer.
Depending on their aptitude and potential, Senior Prison Officers can be rotated to other job functions (e.g. Staff Officer, Intelligence Officer, Security & Provost Officer, Counsellor etc) after their foundational posting. Such job functions will hone the officers’ development and prepare them to assume positions of higher responsibility.
• Special allowance and Retention Payment Scheme for Prison Officer
• Retirement Fund Scheme
• Membership to Prisons Sports & Recreation Club
• Membership to Prisons Multi-purpose Co-operative Society
• 13 months’ salary and variable bonuses
• 14 to 18 days annual leave
• Home renovation, vehicle and computer loans at special rates
• Medical and dental treatment at subsidised rates
• Group Term Insurance Scheme
• Cash vouchers on special occasions
• Access to affordable holiday bungalows, both local and overseas
Applicants with 4 GCE "O" Level or NITEC (formerly NTC-2) would be considered on a case-by-case basis and would be appointed on 3-year contract if shortlisted for the position.
Newly appointed Senior Prison Officers and Prison Officers have to go through 37 & 32 weeks of residential Basic Officer Course at the Home Team Academy, respectively. This will be followed by on-the-job training for 8 weeks. Prison officers will undergo structured professional training with career advancement into operational/ specialised/ staff positions.
The rank structure is:
Corporal → Sergeant → Staff Sergeant → Chief Warder 1 → Chief Warder 2 → Senior Chief Warder Officer 1 → Senior Chief Warder 2
A Senior Prison Officer must have a degree from a recognised University (any discipline).
The rank structure is:
Rehabilitation Officer 1 → Rehabilitation Officer 2 → Asst Superintendent 1 → Asst Superintendent 2 → Deputy Superintendent 1 → Deputy Superintendent 2 → Superintendent → Asst Director → Deputy Director → Director of Prisons
Prison Officers and Senior Prison Officers are committed and driven individuals who aspire to be an integral partner in the Criminal Justice System. They contribute to a safe and secure Singapore by protecting society through the safe custody of offenders, as well as the rehabilitation of inmates.
As a Senior Prison Officer, you will be involved in the planning and charting of direction of the many aspects of the Singapore Prison Service. Their role as a Housing Unit Officer is to maintain discipline and order among the inmates under your charge and help inmates re-integrate into society. They should possess leadership qualities, good communications and analytical skills to be able to motivate and lead your team under your charge.
Prison Officers work closely with Senior Prison Officers to assist them in many of the vital functions of the Department. They are required to manage the inmates by engaging them in purposeful and meaningful interactions and ensuring good order and discipline of inmates. This requires one to possess good interpersonal skills, integrity, being firm and assertive, fairness and flexibility in discharging their duties.
It seems to be a very good prospect joining SPS to work as prison officers, but not to some of the inmates and some of the ex-prison officer’s mindset. They thought prison officer’s life style are not much differences comparing the inmates, as prison officers work, eat and sleep in the prison most of their time. Mentality must be strong for anyone who takes up this job!
Just a advice for anyone who are expected to go prison soon. Please obey your prison officer’s orders and followed the house rules and regulations. Learn and ask from the seniors (inmates whom are 2nd timer or had lock-up for quite some time) when you are in the prison on what to do and which prison officers you should beware of.
Prison officers are working for a living and many are just following orders, which you are only serving your jail term to get back your freedom as soon as possible. So just don’t create any trouble and get yourself into unnecessary punishments by the prison officers.
It is useless to question and challenge the prison rules and regulations. Behave yourself and learn from the ‘seniors’. Prison officers are just following the SOP (Standard Of Operation) set by SPS. Every procedures and prison’s welfare provided to the inmates, there must be various reasons behind. So don’t waste your time on complaining and comparing CPC with other country’s prisons.
Please note the my intention are not promoting for SPS and I do not have any relationship with them. I just hope for those readers who are going in soon, to understand the prison officer's job scropes, to behave yourself and don't get yourself get 'tumba' (extra jail term punishment) which is totally not worth it! And also always bear in mind that you are not going there for ‘holiday’ and it is not a ‘chatlet’ which you expect will have everything you need!
"People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually."
While I am sitting down with the malay inmates and listening to their conversations, one of them suddenly mentioned about RTC and start telling us about his life experience in RTC years back.............
Next Chapter 4.3: Reformative Training Centre (RTC)
To Be Continued