In 2018, the prison population rate in Singapore was 207.8 prisoners per 100,000 population, a decrease from the previous year. Singapore's prison population rate has been decreasing over the years, as the country focused more on rehabilitation instead of incarceration for drug abuse crimes.
As of 2020, the number of inmates admitted to prison in Singapore was approximately half that of 10 years ago, standing at around 6.2 thousand. Of those, approximately three-quarters that made up the inmate population were admitted due to drug offenses. Recent figures also show that the country’s 13 prison facilities detain more than 12 thousand prisoners with a density of around 80 percent. Some do not have to spend their sentences fully in a prison though. Those who were deemed suitable for community-based programs are eligible to serve the last stage of their sentences in the community, albeit with restrictions.
Rehabilitation to prevent re-offending
Singapore’s focus on rehabilitation and reintegration of the convicted has shown results, as the recidivism rate, the percentage of inmates repeating offense within two years, was said to be at an all-time low. However, among juveniles, the probation recidivism rate seems to be on the rise. Even so, the current system to maintain law and order seem to be working. Singapore is known as one of the safest cities worldwide, and this messaging seems to be taken seriously as the city-state continuously increases its number of crime-free days every year.
Prison population rates in Singapore from 2009 to 2018
(per 100,000 population)
Prison population refers to persons held in prisons, penal institutions or correctional institutions on a specified day. It should exclude non-criminal prisoners held for administrative purposes, for example persons held pending investigation into their immigration status of foreign citizens without a legal right to stay held prior to removal.
The source did not provide a date of publication. The date used is the date of last access.
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UNESCAP. (May 12, 2022). Prison population rates in Singapore from 2009 to 2018 (per 100,000 population) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved September 30, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/699395/prison-population-rates-singapore/
UNESCAP. "Prison population rates in Singapore from 2009 to 2018 (per 100,000 population)." Chart. May 12, 2022. Statista. Accessed September 30, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/699395/prison-population-rates-singapore/
UNESCAP. (2022). Prison population rates in Singapore from 2009 to 2018 (per 100,000 population). Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: September 30, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/699395/prison-population-rates-singapore/
UNESCAP. "Prison Population Rates in Singapore from 2009 to 2018 (per 100,000 Population)." Statista, Statista Inc., 12 May 2022, https://www.statista.com/statistics/699395/prison-population-rates-singapore/
UNESCAP, Prison population rates in Singapore from 2009 to 2018 (per 100,000 population) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/699395/prison-population-rates-singapore/ (last visited September 30, 2022)