Getting Parole (Early Prison Release) in Singapore

Last updated on January 8, 2020

officer unlocking handcuff on man

What is a Conditional Remission Order (CRO)?

Under the Conditional Remission System (CRS), a Conditional Remission Order (CRO) may be issued to prisoners to be released earlier than their scheduled release date (i.e. released on parole).

An early release may be granted if a prisoner shows good conduct and behaviour while serving his sentence.

The CRO is an order from the Commissioner from Prisons with basic conditions that you must follow even though you are released from prison. Failing to do so will result in penalties imposed against you.

This is to discourage you from re-offending and to encourage you to reintegrate into Singapore’s society.

What are the basic conditions of a CRO?

When you are under the CRO, you are effectively released from prison.

You will however have to comply with the basic conditions of your CRO. This means that you must not:

  • Commit any offence during your release; and
  • Be sentenced to prison, corrective training, reformative training or preventive detention as a result of that offence.

Who is Eligible for a CRO?

Generally, the CRO applies to all regular prison inmates who were sentenced to prison. However, there are several instances where you are not entitled to a CRO. These include where:

  • You have been sentenced to prison for not more than 14 days.
  • Your prison sentence is made up of enhanced sentences. This can happen because you:
    • Previously breached the basic condition of your CRO; and/or
    • Committed a serious breach of a condition under a Mandatory Aftercare Order (MAO) of the Mandatory Aftercare Scheme (MAS).
      • The MAS is an aftercare program structured to assist you in your rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
      • The Commissioner for Prisons may require you to comply with the MAO in addition to the CRO if you have a higher risk of re-offending after your release from prison. For example, if you are a repeat offender of a serious offence, such as drug trafficking, and have been sentenced to more than 1 year’s jail for the current offence.
      • Conditions of the MAO may include attending counselling, abiding curfew, turning up for hair or urine tests, or complying with any other activity to help you with your rehabilitation and reintegration into Singapore’s society.
  • You committed a serious offence while serving your sentence. In this case, the President of Singapore may order the Commissioner of Prisons to either postpone granting you a CRO or to not grant you one at all.
  • Your prison sentence is a default sentence. A “default sentence” comes about when you are sentenced to prison because you failed to pay a fine that you had been sentenced to.
  • You have been sentenced to corrective training or preventive detention. In this case, you can be released “on licence” instead. This means that you are to comply with the conditions mentioned in the licence upon your release. Failing which, you can be recalled to prison.
  • You have been sentenced to prison for life and have not served at least 20 years of your life sentence yet.
    • Once you have served at least 20 years of your life sentence, your case will be reviewed by the Minister for Home Affairs, who will decide whether to grant you a CRO. If you are not issued a CRO the first time, your case will be reviewed at least once a year to see if you should be issued one.

You will be informed if your CRO is forfeited for any reason.

When is a CRO Made?

A CRO is made on the day after you have completed two-thirds of your consecutive prison sentence or after 14 days of your sentence, whichever ends later.

You would be imposed with a consecutive prison sentence when you have committed more than one offence, and the imprisonment term for each offence runs one after the other.

If your sentence was enhanced because you breached your previous CRO or committed a serious breach of a mandatory aftercare condition of your CRO, the subsequent CRO will be issued after you have completed the total of the enhanced sentence and two-thirds of the consecutive prison sentence, or after 14 days of your sentence (whichever ends later).

The time you have served in prison must be reckonable in order to count towards the two-third or 14-day duration requirement for issuing you a CRO. If the time you have served is not reckonable, this will be explained to you. Instances where your time in prison is not reckonable include where:

  • One-third of any time you were confined in a punishment cell.
  • One-third of any time you were in a hospital because of your own fault or malingering.
  • Any period of remission that you had forfeited unless the Superintendent of Prisons restores your forfeited remission.
  • Any period of deferment that was ordered by the President of Singapore because you had committed an offence while serving your sentence (as mentioned above).

How is a CRO Made? Can I Apply for it?

You will not be able to apply for a CRO. The issuing of the CRO is dependent on either the Commissioner for Prisons or the Minister for Home Affairs who will issue you a CRO based on your eligibility.

The CRO will be issued to you before you are released, and its contents will be explained to you to make sure that you understand it. Once you confirm that you understand it, you are required to sign and acknowledge the contents of the CRO before being released.

How Long is a CRO?

The CRO will last for a period of time equal to the remaining period of your sentence that you would have completed if you were still in prison. For example, if  you are released after serving 6 months of a 9-month sentence, the CRO will last for the remaining 3 months.

The CRO will expire at the end of the remaining period of time unless extended.

Such extensions of the CRO may occur if, for instance, the Commissioner issues a notice for you to be recalled to prison on a specific date (1 January 2020) during your release, but you show up at a later date (31 January 2020). Your CRO will therefore be extended for the period of time you had delayed returning to prison (i.e. 30 days).

What Happens at the End of the CRO?

If you comply with your CRO, then the CRO will just expire at the end of the duration. You will not be recalled to prison.

If you breach your CRO, your sentence would be enhanced and the next CRO will be issued to you after you have completed your enhanced sentence and two-thirds of the consecutive prison sentence, or after 14 days of your sentence (whichever ends later).

If you are not sure about how a CRO works or whether you are entitled for a CRO, please feel free to get in touch with a criminal lawyer for legal advice on your specific situation.

Arrest and Investigation
  1. Police Investigation Process in Singapore
  2. When Can the Police Arrest Someone?: Arrestable and Non-Arrestable Offences in Singapore
  3. Police Arrest Procedure in Singapore
  4. Can a Civilian Arrest a Criminal in Singapore?
  5. Is lying to the police or authorities a punishable offence in Singapore?
  6. Surrender of Passport to the Police and How to Get It Back
  7. What to Do If You’re Being Investigated for a Criminal Offence in Singapore
  8. Can You Say No to a Lie Detector Test in Singapore? And Other FAQs
  9. What Should You Do If You Witness a Crime in Singapore?
  10. Do You Have a "Right to Remain Silent" to the Police in Singapore?
  11. Extradition: What if You Flee after Committing Crime in Singapore?
  12. Warrant of Arrest: What to Do If It is Issued Against You in Singapore
  13. Search Warrant: The Issuance and Execution of It in Singapore
Bail
  1. The Essential Guide to Bail and Personal Bonds in Singapore
Prosecution
  1. Magistrate’s Complaints, Private Summons and Private Prosecutions in Singapore
  2. Prosecutorial Discretion in Singapore
  3. What is Private Prosecution?
  4. Compounding or Composition of Offences in Singapore
  5. Criminal Records in Singapore
  6. Plea Bargaining in Singapore: All You Need to Know
Criminal Proceedings
  1. Criminal Compensation in Singapore
  2. What Can I Do to Protect Myself in Self-Defence in Singapore?
  3. Claiming Trial as an Accused
  4. Mitigation Plea
  5. Pleading Guilty in Singapore: Consequences & Withdrawal of Plea
  6. Guide to Filing a Criminal Appeal in Singapore
  7. Presidential Clemency in Singapore
  8. Probation: Eligibility and Whether It Leaves a Criminal Record
  9. Reformative Training in Singapore: When will it be Ordered?
  10. Visiting a Loved One in Prison or On Death Row in Singapore
  11. 7 Detention Orders in Singapore and When Will They be Ordered?
  12. Consequences of Receiving a Stern Warning in Singapore
  13. Are You Eligible for a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO)?
  14. Can I Represent Myself in a Criminal Court Case in Singapore and How?
  15. Caning in Singapore: Judicial, School & Parental Corporal Punishment
  16. Criminal Motion: What is It and How to File One in Singapore
  17. Getting Parole (Early Prison Release) in Singapore
Sexual Offences
  1. Legal Age for Sex in Singapore and Common Sexual Offences
  2. Accused of Molest: Outrage of Modesty in Singapore
  3. What Can Victims of Sexual Harassment in Singapore Do?
  4. What is the Law on Sexting in Singapore?
  5. Revenge Porn: What If Your Nudes are Leaked in Singapore?
  6. Crime of Voyeurism in Singapore (Penalties and Defences)
Vice-Related Offences
  1. Is it illegal to visit prostitutes in Singapore?
  2. Is Watching, Downloading or Filming Porn Illegal in Singapore?
  3. Singapore's Drug Laws: Possession, Consumption and Trafficking
  4. When Can You Legally Gamble (In Public or Online) in Singapore?
  5. Is Vaping Illegal in Singapore?
  6. DUI: Here are the Penalties for Drink-Driving in Singapore
  7. Legal Drinking Age in Singapore and Other Drinking-Related Laws
  8. Singapore's Legal Smoking Age and Common Smoking Offences
  9. The Offence of Human Trafficking in Singapore and Its Penalties
Cybercrime
  1. Is it illegal to cheat someone of an in-game item in MMORPGs?
  2. What to Do If Someone Impersonates Me Online
White-Collar Crimes
  1. Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) in Singapore: Elements and Penalties
  2. Dishonest assistance and knowing receipt - The case of David Rasif
  3. Anti-Money Laundering Laws and You
  4. All You Need to Know About Corruption in Singapore
  5. 5 Things You Need to Know about Insider Trading
Other Criminal Offences
  1. Murder vs Culpable Homicide in Singapore: What's the Difference?
  2. Is Suicide Illegal in Singapore? Will I be Punished for Trying?
  3. Is it illegal to feed stray animals in Singapore?
  4. Criminal Intimidation: Penalties for Making Threats in Singapore
  5. What are Sham Marriages and Are They Illegal in Singapore?
  6. Public Assemblies and Processions in Singapore: Police Permits and the Public Order Act
  7. What is the Offence of Rioting?
  8. Voluntarily Causing Hurt Penalties in Singapore (Non-Arrestable)
  9. Misbehaving in Public: 5 Things You Need to Know
  10. Is it Legal for Drivers to Carpool in Singapore?
  11. Complete Guide to E-Scooter and PMD Laws for Singapore Riders
  12. Is Joining a Gang Illegal in Singapore?: Being Recruited and Penalties
  13. What Happens If You’re Caught Speeding in Singapore?
  14. Charged with a Traffic Offence in Singapore: What to Do
  15. Penalties for Committing Theft in Singapore
  16. Road Rage: What is It and How are Offenders Sentenced in Singapore
  17. Singapore Fake News Laws: Guide to POFMA (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act)
  18. Laws and Penalties for Doxxing in Singapore (With Examples)
  19. Littering and Killer Litter Offences: Here are the Penalties in Singapore
  20. Organised Crimes: Penalties/Orders Syndicates Face in Singapore
  21. Animal Cruelty in Singapore: Offences, Penalties & How to Report
  22. Penalties for Dishonest Misappropriation of Property in Singapore
  23. Guide to Singapore’s Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act
  24. Penalties for Financing Terrorist Operations in Singapore
Certificate of Clearance
  1. How Do You Apply for a Certificate of Clearance in Singapore?