The CSD provides persons in custody with appropriate rehabilitation programmes to assist them to rehabilitate and re-integrate into society as law-abiding citizens after release. For example, the “Risks and Needs Assessment and Management Protocol for Offenders” has been implemented to facilitate offender rehabilitation by using an evidence-based and scientific approach. Moreover, to keep abreast of the market needs, the Department has introduced various types of market-oriented vocational training courses to enhance the employability of persons in custody for their return to the labour market. Determination and perseverance are indispensable for persons in custody to turn over a new leaf. Clinical Psychologists of the Department provide counselling services and psychological treatment programmes for persons in custody. Besides, the Department will step up its collaboration with non-governmental organisations to help persons in custody form firm determination to start anew.
Criminal mind is the root of criminal behaviours. Psychological services aim to correct offending behaviours of persons in custody and enhance their psychological well-being. Systematic psychological assessments and continuous follow-up services are provided by using clinical tools. The Rehabilitation Division continues to strengthen the psychological treatment programmes targeting offending behaviours for sex offenders, violent offenders, young offenders and drug abusers. Besides, psychological treatment centres have been established to provide appropriate psychological treatment programmes for participants to help them develop a positive and healthy lifestyle through addressing their gender-specific psychological needs. The technology of Virtual Reality (VR) is employed to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment programmes. The following additional psychological treatment facilities were established in 2020.
“Mindfulness Place” at Hei Ling Chau Drug Addiction Treatment Centre
The Rehabilitation Division of the CSD strives to rectify the offending behaviours of persons in custody and enhance their psychological well-being through different psychological treatment programmes. In July 2020, the Department established the Mindfulness Place, the first mindfulness-based psychological drug addiction treatment centre for male persons in custody at Hei Ling Chau Drug Addiction Treatment Centre. Elements of mindfulness are incorporated into the Drug Abuse Rehabilitation Programme to enhance the existing drug treatment and rehabilitation services through which persons in custody could repent of their past mistakes and embrace a change from within. The Mindfulness Place offers a tranquil environment and comprehensive facilities for persons in custody to practise mindfulness. In addition, Clinical Psychologists have designed a series of diversified activities incorporated with innovative ideas and interesting animation to assist persons in custody in learning mindfulness.
Life Gym at Stanley Prison
Life Gym, the Positive Living Centre for Men established in Stanley Prison, has achieved positive preliminary results in areas including psychological assessment, institutional behaviour and prevention of recidivism after one year of pilot operation. In view of this, the Department continues to implement the treatment programmes and introduces innovative treatment elements, including psychological treatments incorporated with sports element. In collaboration with professional sports associations, the Department has launched a treatment programme to boost the participants’ interest in sports and assist them in cultivating a positive lifestyle. Competitive games such as video games, board games and group activities are included in the programme to encourage participants to flexibly apply their problem-solving and communication skills during the games. Besides, the “Inter-generational Life Review Programme” has been launched to provide an opportunity for the young participants to care for the elderly and practise the “masculine way of caring in action” through producing life review booklets for the elderly participants.
Industries and Vocational Training
Based on the rehabilitative approach, the Industries and Vocational Training Section (I&VT Section) provides up-to-date industries and vocational training to persons in custody to enhance their employability and facilitate their re-integration into society after release.
The Department arranges adult persons in custody to engage in useful work according to statutory requirements to help them develop self-discipline and a sense of responsibility. Through providing goods and services to users including government departments, persons in custody can acquire various skills and contribute to society.
In 2020, a daily average of 3 480 persons in custody were engaged in the production work covering 13 trades. Goods and services of a total commercial value of $497 million were provided.
With advancement in technology, the I&VT Section has introduced innovative production technologies and ISO Quality Management System Certification into institutions, including the introduction of automatic robotic welding to Tai Lam Correctional Institution, the 3D body scanner and printer to Pak Sha Wan Correctional Institution, and ISO 13485 Medical Devices Quality Management Systems Certification to filter mask workshops in Lo Wu Correctional Institution, Stanley Prison and Tung Tau Correctional Institution, enabling persons in custody to acquire up-to-date production skills and obtain knowledge about quality management systems so as to keep abreast of the market trend. To further promote operational automation and enhance the level of occupational safety and health, the first vacuum lifter and crane system has been introduced to the Carpentry Workshop of Pik Uk Prison.
Moreover, the I&VT Section provides market-oriented vocational training courses to eligible adult persons in custody to enable them to acquire up-to-date skills and common knowledge, and obtain recognised qualifications so as to enhance their employability after release. In 2020, the Department collaborated with local training bodies to organise courses in Specialty Cake Making, 3D Designing and Printing Skills and Virtual Reality Logistics Management, with a view to making it easier for persons in custody to find jobs or enrol in bridging or progressive courses after release.
The Department has also been collaborating with various training bodies such as Employees Retraining Board, Construction Industry Council and Vocational Training Council to provide diversified vocational training courses to persons in custody having regard to the situation of the local employment market so as to enhance their employability after release.
Rehabilitation Programmes for Young Persons in Custody
In recent years, a large number of young people who defied the law have been sentenced to imprisonment. As in the past, the Department upholds the principles of “correction” and “education” in managing and rehabilitating young persons in custody. Apart from ensuring that they strictly observe the institutional discipline, Clinical Psychologists of the Department have also devised a number of appropriate rehabilitation programmes having regard to their criminogenic mindset, so as to assist young persons in custody to turn over a new leaf, develop positive values and face positively the challenges ahead.
In 2020, the Department actively planned the establishment of the “Youth Lab” in Pik Uk Correctional Institution to provide specialised services for young persons in custody. In the Youth Lab, a spiritual space will be allowed for young persons in custody whose mode of thinking and emotion have come under challenge for some time to undergo psychological rehabilitation and rebuilding, adjust their mode of thinking, learn about themselves, think from multiple perspectives, rectify their criminogenic mindset and behaviours, and enhance their resilience in order to better prepare them for life after release.
With regard to education, apart from the basic education programmes, the Department’s Education Unit provides enhanced history and civic education through a diversified mode of learning to instil positive values into young persons in custody. For example, various educational activities under “Understanding History is the Beginning of Knowledge” were launched, including scholar talks, VR history learning activities, learning history through e-sports activities, and history and culture workshops, etc. to assist young persons in custody to learn history in an interesting way, enhance their sense of national identity, help them reflect on the meaning of life, so that they can develop a firm determination not to be sent back to prison again after release.
Besides, to be in line with the curriculum reform, subjects such as Junior Secondary Chinese History are provided, and values education are strengthened, including moral and civic education, Basic Law education and National Security Law education, etc. to enable young persons in custody to acquire knowledge about the newly-enacted laws so as to further enhance their law-abiding awareness. Amid the outbreak of the epidemic, primary and secondary schools across the territory were suspended for most of the time in 2020. It was fortunate that the Department’s education services were not seriously affected, with young persons in custody still being able to attend classes as usual. The Department will continue to spare no effort in carrying out the anti-epidemic work so as to ensure normal operation of its education services. Besides, to facilitate adult persons in custody to pursue continuing education, the Education Unit has included the e-learning materials of distance courses of the Open University of Hong Kong in the “Persons in Custody’s Self-learning System” of Stanley Prison for access by adult persons in custody enrolled in those courses.
Apart from taking care of young persons in custody, the Department places great importance on the rehabilitation of young persons in custody after release. The Department is planning to set up a specialised psychological service centre “Change Lab” to provide community-based psychological counselling for young persons in custody after release, and assist young people under supervision to build confidence and enhance their resilience, so that they can overcome difficulties, resist temptations and thus break the cycle of crime.
The Recall Team was officially established by the Department’s Rehabilitation Division on 1 June 2020 to perform recall operations swiftly and safely against those violating recall orders. The team is composed of one Officer and eight Assistant Officers I, with major duties including providing assistance to supervision teams in conducting recall operations, and managing the daily operation of the Mongkok Counselling Centre. Team members will be provided with personal protective and operation gear, including handcuffs, extendable batons, foldable arm shields and cut resistance jackets, etc. in every recall operation. In addition, the team is on 24-hour standby for recall operations. During recall operations, the team will raid the residences or workplaces of supervisees under a recall order and make arrests to ensure that the supervisees will be recalled and subjected to timely and appropriate intervention, thereby preventing them from committing crimes again and protecting the safety of the general public.