Cut off from a society where technology has become the backbone of our daily lives, it's easy to see why reintegration into the populous can seem like an uphill battle for an inmate.
As a way to enhance rehabilitation and inculcate a sense of ownership within the inmates, Singapore Prison Service piloted the iKiosk within an institution of Changi Prison.
The inmate self service kiosk, better known as the iKiosk, is hardly groundbreaking technology but rather an innovative perspective on leveraging it.
Helping you help yourself
The functions of the iKiosk have been specifically selected to allow inmates to perform tasks that formerly would have involved seeking out a prison officer.
With the iKiosk, inmates are able to check the status of their requests, enquire on their eligibility for rehabilitation programmes and print letter forms for writing home among others.
"Basically, this (iKiosk) will help assist to improve rehabilitation for the inmates as they can now take ownership for certain routine and non-sensitive requests. It will improve reintegration of inmates back to society," said DSP Chin Soon Theen, assistant director for technology with Singapore Prison Service.
Chin added: "It will also allow us officers to enhance security of the housing unit as we focus on our hall duties."
Tried and tested
The pilot for the self-service kiosk was conducted from July 2011 to July 2012, with three iKiosks placed around the medium security Institution A3 of Changi Prison.
The robust machine was designed to withstand high impact and was built tamper free with smooth edges for security assurance.
Among the 200 inmates that used the iKiosk, 97 percent (in-house survey) agreed that they would continue to use the machine. Ninety-eight percent of the prison staff believes the iKiosk will enable them to focus on core functions such as purposeful staff-inmate interaction.
With the pilot completed, Singapore Prison Service sees the possibility of implementing the technology within the entire prison complex, subject to approval by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
"We are currently identifying more functions to add to the iKiosk," Chin said in response to improving the unit.
Adding to the validity of the iKiosk, Singapore Prison Service recently received the National Infocomm Award for "Most Innovative Use of Infocomm Technology - Public Sector".
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