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 Conditional Remission Order?

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 Conditional Remission Order?

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 Conditional Remission Order 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 Conditional Remission Order 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 Conditional Remission Order?

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. Arrest Warrant Issued Against You in Singapore: What to Do
  3. Police Arrest Procedure in Singapore
  4. Arrestable and Non-Arrestable Offences in Singapore
  5. What Should You Do If You Witness a Crime in Singapore?
  6. Can the Public Make a Citizen's Arrest in Singapore?
  7. What to Do If You’re Being Investigated for a Criminal Offence in Singapore
  8. "Right to Remain Silent" to Singapore Police: Does It Exist?
  9. Police Custody in Singapore: What You Should Know
  10. Search Warrant: The Issuance and Execution of It in Singapore
  11. Is Lying to the Police or Authorities an Offence in Singapore?
  12. Can You Say No to a Lie Detector Test in Singapore? And Other FAQs
  13. Surrender of Passport to the Police and How to Get It Back
  14. Extradition: What If I Flee After Committing Crime in Singapore
Bail
  1. The Essential Guide to Bail and Personal Bonds in Singapore
Prosecution
  1. What is Private Prosecution?
  2. Magistrate’s Complaints, Private Summons and Private Prosecutions in Singapore
  3. Prosecutorial Discretion in Singapore
  4. Compounding or Composition of Offences in Singapore
  5. Plea Bargaining in Singapore: All You Need to Know
During Criminal Proceedings
  1. Can I Represent Myself in a Criminal Court Case in Singapore and How?
  2. Claiming Trial as an Accused
  3. Pleading Guilty in Singapore: Consequences & Withdrawal of Plea
  4. The Defence of Unsound Mind in Singapore: What is It?
  5. Gag Orders in Singapore: Whose Identity Can be Protected?
  6. Mitigation Plea: How to Plead for Leniency in Court in Singapore
After Criminal Proceedings
  1. Guide to Filing a Criminal Appeal in Singapore
  2. Criminal Motion: What is It and How to File One in Singapore
  3. Guide to Filing a Criminal Revision in Singapore
  4. Presidential Clemency in Singapore
  5. Repatriation or Deportation from Singapore: How Does It Work?
  6. Criminal Records in Singapore
  7. Visiting a Loved One in Prison or On Death Row in Singapore
  8. Getting Parole (Early Prison Release) in Singapore
Types of Sentences After Committing an Offence
  1. Consequences of Receiving a Stern Warning in Singapore
  2. Probation: Eligibility and Whether It Leaves a Criminal Record
  3. How Can Adult Offenders Get Probation in Singapore?
  4. Reformative Training in Singapore: When Will It be Ordered?
  5. Are You Eligible for a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO)?
  6. Caning in Singapore: Judicial, School & Parental Corporal Punishment
  7. 7 Detention Orders in Singapore: When Will They be Ordered?
  8. Day Reporting Order: Eligibility and Offender's Obligations
Being a Victim
  1. Laws Protecting Informers/Whistleblowers in Singapore
  2. Counterfeit Medicine/Health Products: Redress for Victims in Singapore
  3. Using Your Right to Self-Defence When Attacked in Singapore
  4. Compensation for Crime Victims in Singapore: How to Obtain
Offences Against the Human Body
  1. Voluntarily Causing Hurt Penalties in Singapore (Non-Arrestable)
  2. Murder vs Culpable Homicide in Singapore (and Penalties)
  3. Is Suicide Illegal in Singapore? Will I Be Punished for Trying?
  4. Kidnapping Scam: Penalties & Responding to a ‘Kidnap Call/Text'
Sexual Offences
  1. Rape Laws in Singapore and How Offenders Can Be Punished
  2. Legal Age for Sex in Singapore and Common Sexual Offences
  3. Consent in Sexual Offences in Singapore and What Victims Can Do
  4. Accused of Molest: Outrage of Modesty in Singapore
  5. What Can Victims of Sexual Harassment in Singapore Do?
  6. What is the Law on Sexting in Singapore?
  7. Revenge Porn: What If Your Nudes are Leaked in Singapore?
  8. Crime of Voyeurism in Singapore (Penalties and Defences)
  9. Date Rape: What to Do If Your Drink Has Been Unlawfully Spiked?
  10. STDs: Can I Go to the Police If a Partner Infected Me in Singapore?
Vice-Related Offences
  1. Singapore's Legal Smoking Age & Common Smoking Offences
  2. Is Vaping Illegal in Singapore?
  3. Legal Drinking Age and Drinking-Related Laws in Singapore
  4. Is Watching, Downloading or Filming Porn Illegal in Singapore?
  5. Child Pornography in Singapore: Offences and Penalties
  6. Is it illegal to visit prostitutes in Singapore?
  7. Singapore's Drug Laws: Possession, Consumption and Trafficking
  8. Gambling Legally (In Public or Online) in Singapore
  9. The Offence of Human Trafficking in Singapore and Its Penalties
Property Offences
  1. Penalties for Committing Theft in Singapore
  2. Committing Robbery in Singapore: What are the Penalties?
  3. Penalties for Dishonest Misappropriation of Property in Singapore
  4. Vandalism Laws: Penalties for Damaging Property in Singapore
  5. Criminal Trespass in Singapore: What Happens If You’re Caught?
  6. Penalties for Littering and Killer Litter Offences in Singapore
Cybercrime
  1. Penalties for Cheating/Scamming and What Victims Can Do
  2. Penalties for Impersonating Someone and Victim Redress
  3. Singapore Fake News Laws: Guide to POFMA (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act)
  4. Laws and Penalties for Doxxing in Singapore (With Examples)
White-Collar Crimes
  1. Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) in Singapore: What is It?
  2. All You Need to Know About Corruption in Singapore
  3. Anti-Money Laundering Laws and You
  4. 5 Things You Need to Know about Insider Trading
  5. Dishonest assistance and knowing receipt - The case of David Rasif
Road Offences
  1. Charged with a Traffic Offence in Singapore: What to Do
  2. DUI: Here are the Penalties for Drink-Driving in Singapore
  3. What Happens If You’re Caught Speeding in Singapore?
  4. Road Rage: What is It and How are Offenders Sentenced in Singapore
  5. Penalties for Dangerous Driving for Singapore Drivers
  6. Fatal Traffic Accidents: Are Drivers Always Punished?
  7. Guide to E-Scooter and PMD Laws for Singapore Riders
  8. Is it Legal for Drivers to Carpool in Singapore?
Animal-Related Offences
  1. Is it illegal to feed stray animals in Singapore?
  2. Singapore Animal Abuse Offences, Penalties & How to Report
Offences Relating to Public Peace and Good Order
  1. Public Assemblies and Processions in Singapore: Police Permits and the Public Order Act
  2. Misbehaving in Public: 5 Things You Need to Know
  3. Racial Enmity: Sections 298 and 298A Penal Code Explained
  4. Religious Cults in Singapore: Are they Illegal? Penalties & More
  5. Penalties for Financing Terrorist Operations in Singapore
Certificate of Clearance
  1. How Do You Apply for a Certificate of Clearance in Singapore?
Other Criminal Offences
  1. Here are the Penalties for Committing Forgery in Singapore
  2. Penalties for Illegal Immigration and Overstaying in Singapore
  3. Criminal Intimidation: Penalties for Making Threats in Singapore