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Singapore to set up facility for mentally disabled prison inmates: report

Singapore to set up facility for mentally disabled prison inmates: report

Singapore plans to establish a psychiatric facility to house and provide specialized treatment for about 100 mentally disabled convicts, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
The Singapore Prison Service facility will treat inmates with developmental disabilities like autism and mental disorders like schizophrenia, who are deemed to be of low to medium risk, The Straits Times newspaper reported.
The Prisons Department had no immediate comment when contacted Wednesday, but the newspaper said it planned eventually to open a secure psychiatric hospital and that the facility was only temporary.
Singapore's prisons currently have a psychiatric wing for mentally disabled offenders but is not fully developed, the newspaper said, quoting Judge Bala Reddy.
Prisons have recently been introducing occupational therapy and counseling to mentally disabled convicts _ a shift toward a more holistic approach from one in which such offenders were often only given medication following a psychiatric diagnosis, the report said.
Singapore, a wealthy Southeast Asian city-state where crime rates are low, has been tinkering with the strict policies and rules that its leaders say are a hallmark of its success as one of the most secure, modern places in Asia.
The new chief justice, Chan Sek Keong, has said courts should place more emphasis on rehabilitating criminals, as well as deterring them. He has set up a "community court" to hear cases involving teenagers, the mentally disabled, neighborly disputes and other instances in which judges may decide to impose probation, counseling and community service instead of jail or other more punitive measures.