12 Jul Forum: Share more positive stories of ex-offenders who turned lives around
This article was originally published by The Straits Times on 7 July, 2022.
We appreciate the Government’s decision to not publicly release data on the racial composition of the prison inmate population and criminal offenders, as it might have a counterproductive impact and be divisive (Govt careful about disclosing racial data on inmates, crime stats: Shanmugam, July 5).
However, it is important to note that data plays a large part in our lives and, therefore, a lot more needs to be done in the field of data literacy.
Consistent consultation with members of the public is a good way forward, and we welcome the Government’s efforts to do so.
It is also useful to learn from our neighbours’ experience when it comes to dealing with ethnicity data.
Organisations like PPIS (Singapore Muslim Women’s Association) strive to remain current and up to date with the necessary data and information to provide relevant insights and co-create solutions.
Only then are we able to conceptualise relevant, substantive and evidence-informed services and programmes to better serve the needs of the segment we serve and address any service or resource gaps within the community.
To further lessen disparities in terms of social capital within the wider community and work on eradicating negative stereotypes, another way forward is to recognise and share more positive stories of former offenders who have overcome their past challenges and turned their lives around.
This would expand positive narratives and encourage others who are facing similar challenges. Former offenders are able to turn their lives around with greater community support, and this in turn breaks the cycle of reoffending.
Furthermore, building community support towards the common goal of an inclusive society would aid in the process of social reintegration and rehabilitation for these offenders.
Chief Executive Officer
PPIS – Singapore Muslim Women’s Association