LIM, Beng Wee
Case Study of the Singapore Prison Service
Strategic Transformation : A Bold Step Towards Excellence.
[Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]
Singapore Prison Service (SPS) operates under the framework of the Singapore government's criminal justice system (CJS) to uphold law and order in the society to provide a safe and secure environment.
This dissertation takes a case study approach to examine the collaborative strategy adopted by SPS since 1999 to work in partnership with the helping profession industry and how stakeholder value has been increased as well as the generation of possibly, a new rehabilitative competitive advantage. It aims to answer the following four questions:
(1) Is Rehabilitation a new Competitive Advantage ?
(2) Study the strategies adopted by SPS for this transformation. Is this transformation permanent or is it just a transient activity ?
(3) Can SPS be totally privatised ?
(4) What can be learnt from this journey towards excellence ?
Michael Porter's five forces (Porter, 1980) and B&N value net (Brandeberger & Nalebuff, 1998) model will be discussed. The latter proves that the collaborative strategy is the right direction for SPS to achieving maximization of stakeholderss'value. From a resource-based point of view, I will also show that SPS has its capability and resources to sustain the newly generated competitive advantage, i.e. a balance of security and rehabilitative mindset.
As part of the evaluative framework, two surveys were conducted, namely to measure the society's perception towards the support of SPS and employment opportunities for ex-offenders. Comparison of recidivism rates as an outcome of the collaborative strategy with overseas prisons and finally, continuous change in line with New Public Management (NPM) (Hood, 1991, 1995; Dunleavy and Hood, 1994) context to gain budgetary support from the government will also be discussed. Key findings are as follows:
a. There is alignment of society's expectation (76%) of SPS with what it is delivering, especially in areas of security and rehabilitation. Not surprisingly, a perception still exist (13% agreed and 48% remained netural) in the general public that SPS is a scary and dangerous place either to work or visit.
b. Although companies surveyed claimed to be willing to hire ex-offenders, a majority does not do so; only 12% of those 35% willing to hire ex-offenders actually do. According to the employers' perception survey, it was clear that attitude and skill-set are more important considerations for hiring (67%) than the ex-offenders' nature of conviction.
c. The encouraging results of declining recidivism rate from an all time high of 60% to an all time low of 31.2% for the year 2002 cohort is certainly good news to stakeholders. This also provided proof of meaningful role of SPS's officers.
d. Lastly, the increase of 9% overall budget, despite the new allocation framework of the government as well as the 5% cut in the basic-tier, definitely provided a boost to the overall morale of SPS.
These results are consistent with the NPM template of performance measurement and building the profile of intangible assets such as reputation as the management of strategic change.
Using economics theory of market failure, it is argued that total privatisation of SPS is not the direction to go if SPS wants to continue to create value in society through its successful rehabilitative programmes. Government intervention is still necessary to continue the rehabilitative responsibility. However, partial privatisation of SPS's prisons is a relevant option especially in prisons holding low security risk prisoners not needing any rehabilitative works.
Three main recommendations for SPS, namely, sustaining the new competitive advantage, privatisation strategy and lastly, back to basic of prisons existence will be elaborated following this case study.
Actions (Archive Staff Only)