Written Answer by Minister for Law, Mr K Shanmugam, to Parliamentary Question on Offender's Mental Condition Considered for Sentence of Reformative Training
8 Jan 2018 Posted in Parliamentary speeches and responses
Mr Murali Pillai (Member of Parliament for Bukit Batok SMC)
To ask the Minister for Law whether the Ministry will consider expanding the requirement under section 305(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code that the court must call for and consider the Commissioner of Prisons’ report on an offender’s mental condition for imposition of a sentence of reformative training to include an independent report from a court-appointed psychiatrist.
At present, the Reformative Training (RT) pre-sentencing report mandated under s 305(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code already includes an assessment of an offender’s mental condition by a Singapore Prison Service (SPS) psychiatrist. The SPS psychiatrist is a professional who is familiar with the design of the RT regime and how it works to achieve the intended outcomes and benefits for the individuals placed under the regime. He or she would make an independent assessment based on professional judgment.
If the Court deems it necessary, it can exercise its discretion to direct that the SPS psychiatrist be cross-examined, or that further expert evidence or a second opinion be obtained, including from a court-appointed psychiatrist.
It would not be desirable or necessary to impose a general requirement that an independent report from a court-appointed psychiatrist be obtained in all cases, which will apply even to cases where there is no disagreement with the RT pre-sentencing report. Doing so is likely to prolong the offender’s remand period for the further opinion to be prepared.
Last updated on 09 Jan 2018