Do persons in custody (PICs) not need to work if they opt for study? Or they use their leisure time for study? CSD’s Education Unit provides half-day education for young PICs under the age of 21 while adult PICs can enrol in distance learning courses and sit for public examinations on a voluntary basis. According to Rule 38 of the Prison Rules, all convicted adult PICs (except on medical grounds) are required to engage in work. Therefore, convicted adult PICs have to use their leisure time for self-studies.
How do PICs conduct video visits with their family members? Institutions can arrange video visits for PICs’ relatives and friends who have difficulties in physically coming to institutions for visit due to age, pregnancy, disabilities or other special reasons. PICs may apply for video visits, and the management of the respective institution will carefully consider each application. Eligible PICs can receive video visit with no more than three visitors at one time. Each visit will last not more than 20 minutes. Upon approval, the visitors can conduct the video visit at Mongkok Counselling Centre located at M/F., Mongkok Government Offices, No. 30 Luen Wan Street, Mongkok, Kowloon.
What kind of work do PICs do in prisons? Is it different for male and female PICs? CSD keeps convicted adult PICs purposely and gainfully occupied for maintaining order and discipline with a view to facilitating prison stability. In the pursuit of rehabilitation for offenders, the Industries and Vocational Training Section helps PICs reintegrate into society through acquisition of skills in industrial work and by providing vocational training to enhance their employability. Currently, there are 13 different trades in Correctional Services Industries, namely laundry service, garment making, sign making, carpentry, fibreglass products, precast concrete products, metal work, knitting, leather products, envelope making, printing, bookbinding and simple manual work (including masks). The work is designed mainly for equipping PICs with suitable work skills and is subject to the facilities and environment of the institution as well as the categories of PICs, instead of gender-oriented.
What will be done if PICs fall ill in correctional institutions? If PICs feel unwell, they can notify the staff on duty. Medical consultation will then be arranged at the hospital inside the institution. Every correctional institution has a hospital or sick bay where 24-hour basic medical services are provided by Medical Officers from the Department of Health and correctional officers with nursing qualifications. If PICs need further examination and treatment as advised by the Medical Officers, the institutional management will transfer them to public hospitals for follow-up.
Are there any interactive programmes for PICs during festive occasions such as Christmas or Lunar New Year? All PIC, regardless of their religious affiliation, are offered spiritual and social services by chaplains of CSD, and visitors from other religious/non-governmental organisations. The services include visits, counselling, religious worship and recreational activities. Religious organisations will also hold masses and gatherings in institutions on festive occasions. For example, during the recent Christmas, the Reverend Joseph HA, The Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Hong Kong, and the Most Reverend Dr Paul Kwong, Archbishop of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui conducted masses/services at Stanley Prison. Besides, during Christmas or Luner New Year, some of the institutions organise design and decoration competitions for PICs to experience the festive atmosphere.
How can we learn about the registration number and whereabouts of a PIC? Any personal data are required to be securely kept under Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap 486). For such purpose, we can only answer the phone enquiry on the whereabouts of a PIC provided that the enquiring person is the declared visitor and prior consent is obtained from the concerned PIC. Enquiries involving other sentence particulars of a PIC will normally not be entertained. For enquiries, please visit our website or contact our hotline at 2511 3511. In fact, if PICs want to inform relatives and friends of their admission/transfer/discharge, they can seek assistance from our staff of Rehabilitation Division.
Can PICs buy newspapers and magazines? If they have to buy books for courses enrolled or examinations, what would be the arrangement by the management? Is there any regulation on the number of books each PIC can buy? A PIC can apply for receiving a daily newspapers paid by relatives or friends on his/her behalf by placing an order with the publisher or a registered agent. Correctional institutions also provide newspapers for all PICs to read. A PIC may receive no more than six magazines, periodicals and other general reading materials handed in by relatives or friends during visits per month. Devotional books are not subject to any limit. Textbooks required for courses enrolled are allowed on any approved quantities through normal channel where visitors can hand in the textbooks during visits for distribution to PICs.
Is there any guideline on the time and frequency of visit and the number of visitors for each visit? Remand PICs can be visited by relatives and friends once daily. Each visit shall not exceed 15 minutes and no more than two visitors, including infants and children, shall be allowed at one time. Convicted PICs can be visited by relatives and friends twice a month. Each visit shall not exceed 30 minutes and no more than three visitors, including infants and children, shall be allowed at one time. Besides, in the interest of a convicted PIC’s rehabilitation and relationship with one’s family, all convicted PICs may request to receive two additional visits per month with his family. On admission, all PICs are required to declare the name and relationship of their visitors. During their custody, they may add new visitors to or delete existing visitors from the list subject to approval by the institutional management.
How can youngsters join CSD’s community education activities if they are interested? CSD collaborates with educational institutions and community service organisations to promote community education. CSD aims at helping students and young people develop positive values towards life and become responsible and law-abiding citizens with a view to reducing crime. In September 2008, CSD launched the Rehabilitation Pioneer Project (RPP) targeting at secondary school students and youngsters. Through a series of community education activities such as Education Talks, Personal Encounter with Prisoners Scheme, Green Haven Scheme, Visits to Hong Kong Correctional Services Museum, Extended Training Camp, Student Forum, Drama and Music Performance of “Creation and Rehabilitation”, The Reflective Path, Summer Camp and Rehabilitation Pioneer Leaders, CSD seeks to disseminate to young people the messages of leading a law-abiding and drug-free life as well as supporting offender rehabilitation. Any organisations interested in participating in the activities of the RPP may visit our website for details from the timetable, download the application form and return the completed form to the RPP Office by email (email@example.com). For enquiries, please contact the RPP Office at 2259 3349 / 2320 7568 / 3525 0126 during office hours or send to the RPP Office (Address: Flat A, 16/F, Block F, 3 Lok Man Road, Chai Wan, Hong Kong) by mail. For updated information, please enquire by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit the RPP Facebook Page.
Lo Wu Correctional Institution has established the Psychological Gymnasium (PSY GYM), tailor-made for female persons in custody (PICs). What is the purpose of establishing the PSY GYM? How special is it? The Psychological Gymnasium (PSY GYM) was officially launched in 2011. It is located at Lo Wu Correctional Institution where diversified and specific psychological treatment are provided for female PICs with medium to serious emotional and mental problems. Clinical Psychologists find that factors causing females to commit crime are different from those of males. Besides, female PICs also have their specific rehabilitative needs, for example, they are more vulnerable to various kinds of depression than male PICs. They have more experiences of suffering from abuse and traumas. Many of them have a tendency to self-harm. In this connection, the PSY GYM is established to offer emotional treatment to female PICs to foster their mental health and personal growth. In particular, the PSY GYM is furnished with comfortable furniture, elegant decoration and soft illumination which can enhance the result of emotional treatment for female PICs. Apart from employing traditional psychological treatment, the PSY GYM also introduces positive psychology to provide a novel concept of treatment through which the participants can “identify self-potential” to enhance the result of treatment. As artistic elements are added to the psychological treatment, the PSY GYM facilitates participants to reflect their inner feelings and thoughts so as to release and address their personal distress. The PSY GYM adopts the Therapeutic Community to allow participants to help each other and build up relationship. They also put into practice the psychological skills acquired from the group. At the same time, clinical psychologists are also aware of their difficulties, which will be used as topics for group discussion to enable them to learn new handling skills so as to strengthen the treatment effects.
What measures does CSD adopt to assist PICs in finding jobs? CSD works closely with various employers, business organisations and statutory bodies to enhance employers’ understanding of PICs and rehabilitation services by visits to institutions and other exchanges so as to encourage them to offer employment opportunities to PICs and rehabilitated persons. CSD has all along been calling on the public and employers to include, accept and fairly employ rehabilitated persons in order to facilitate their reintegration into society. CSD also offers 'Employment Services' which aims to provide an interactive job-matching platform for potential employers and rehabilitated persons. Job vacancies of various trades from potential employers and updated employment information are regularly referred to PICs and supervisees by means of notice boards and Light Emitted Diode (LED) Display Boards in correctional institutions and supervising sections. Such information is also conveyed to PICs during Induction Programme and Pre-release Reintegration Orientation Course. Interested PICs/ inmates due for discharge within 3 months and supervisees who are under active statutory supervision may approach staff of institutional Rehabilitation Unit for filling in the form for job application. Job interviews in person/by video-conference/by tele-conference can be arranged by institutional Rehabilitation Unit at the request of potential employers.
How to lodge an application if anyone is interested in working as a volunteer in prisons? Anyone interested in working as a volunteer in correctional institutions may apply to join the CSD Rehabilitation Volunteer Group (RVG). The main duty of RVG’s members is to conduct a variety of hobby classes for persons in custody (PICs) in various correctional institutions, such as language courses of Cantonese, Mandarin, English; table tennis training, basketball, Qigong, Tai Chi, Yoga, Chinese calligraphy, beauty care, origami and light clay class, etc. Also, RVG’s members may conduct courses of computer application, oral English, DSE English and Interviewing skills upon rehabilitative needs from individual institutions. The RVG also participated in rehabilitation events and community education programmes organised by the Department. Training will be provided to new members by RVG in order to facilitate them with a brief understanding on CSD, our rehabilitation services and characteristics of PICs. Those aged 18 with tertiary qualifications or above may join the RVG. Please feel free to call the Office of RVG (Tel.: 2505 1492) for further details.
Do PICs serving life sentences have any chance to be released or have an early release? For PICs serving indeterminate or long-term sentences, if they are willing to rehabilitate and well prepared to reintegrate into society, their indeterminate sentence may be substituted by a determinate one, or they may be released conditionally under supervision. According to the Long-term Prison Sentences Review Ordinance, Cap. 524, the principal function of the Long-term Prison Sentences Review Board is to conduct regular reviews on the cases of persons, including those serving indeterminate sentences. All members of the Long-term Prison Sentences Review Board are appointed by the Chief Executive, and the President and the Deputy President should hold or have held office as a judge of the Court of First Instance of the High Court. Other members have expertise or experience in various disciplines including psychiatry, psychology, rehabilitation of offenders, social work, legal, education, commerce and industry. When conducting a sentence review, the Board may recommend to the Chief Executive that an indeterminate sentence of a subject be substituted by a determinate one or that a determinate sentence of a subject be remitted. Besides, the Board may order a subject who is serving an indeterminate sentence to be released conditionally under supervision. For a subject whose indeterminate sentence has been converted to a determinate one by the Chief Executive, the Board may also make a post-release supervision order directing the early release of the subject under supervision. The powers conferred to the Board to order conditional release and post-release supervision ensure that the subjects, after having been incarcerated for a long period of time, are provided with guidance and assistance to help them reintegrate into society and lead a law-abiding life.
How much do PICs earn? What kinds of work posts in prison are most and least well paid? How can PICs increase their earnings? Are their earnings adjusted with reference to civil service pay? Given all basic necessities of PICs including diets and medical services are provided by the Government, their earnings in fact carry the meaning of incentive payments to encourage PICs to develop good working habits and skills. The current earnings per week range from HK$46 to $200, subject to different work posts which can be further classified as apprentice labour or skilled labour. In general, earnings of more difficult work posts are higher. Correctional Officers shall observe and assess PICs’ work performance and learning progress, and propose work posts and earning increment for PICs to the Work and Vocational Training Allocation Board in accordance with the guidelines. Earnings of PICs will be reviewed annually according to an established mechanism or reviewed when there are changes in the contract prices of canteen items, so as to maintain PIC’s purchasing power and motivation at work.
How many meals can a PIC have a day? What food items are provided? If the portion of steamed rice is not enough for a PIC with a strong appetite, can the PIC have an extra portion? CSD provides all PICs with plain and wholesome food under the law. Currently, each PIC is provided with a total of four meals every day, namely breakfast, lunch, supper and night snack. Although the meals are said to be plain and wholesome, they are in fact by no means plain. The dietary scales and quantity of meals are designed by accredited dietitians and approved by the Department of Health. In addition, there is a wide variety of diets. Apart from the four main dietary scales, there are also 37 supplementary diets and the menu would change every two weeks. PICs may request for change of dietary scale with regard to religious belief, health condition and dietary requirement. For the food items, there are different combinations of food items every day, including pork, beef, chicken, fish, beans, bean products and eggs. PICs are also provided with food such as vegetables, fruits and skimmed milk every day. If a PIC has a particularly strong appetite or special needs on diets, after being assessed by Medical Officer, the institution will make suitable arrangement.
Is there any non-smoking dormitory in prisons? Would smoking and non-smoking PICs be arranged to stay at the same dormitory? Currently, there is a total smoking ban at correctional facilities for young PICs so they will not be affected by secondhand smoke. For adult PICs, with a view to promoting a no smoking culture, CSD assigned Tung Tau Correctional Institution as the first “No Smoking Correctional Facility” on 1 January 2013, and Pak Sha Wan Correctional Institution as the second “No Smoking Correctional Facility” on 1 December 2014 to accommodate adult PICs who do not smoke.
Are there any special dietary arrangements for pregnant PICs? Can postnatal women in prison consume nourishing food in light of their needs? Can they receive nourishing food from their relatives? CSD would take care of the dietary needs of different PICs, including pregnant or postnatal PICs. The dietary scales currently provided by CSD are designed by qualified dietitians and approved by the Department of Health. There are standards on the portion and nutrients of dietary scales so that PICs do not need to consume external food for nutrients. If PICs have special dietary needs, taking pregnant or postnatal PICs as an example, institutions will make suitable arrangements based on the advice of Medical Officer, which include providing extra food items such as meat, eggs, milk and rice. In addition, the law stipulates that convicted PICs can only consume the food provided by the institutions. Therefore, relatives cannot bring nourishing food to pregnant or postnatal PICs during visits.
Are PICs in penal institutions provided with sufficient daily necessities? CSD provides all PICs with daily necessities including clothes, blankets, towels, soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste and combs. In addition, PICs can also keep the approved hand-in articles received from their visitors, including wet tissues, dental floss, periodicals, exercise books and ball pens, but some of these articles require prior approval. Meanwhile, PICs can also use their earnings from work to buy the approved items, including daily necessities and snacks, through canteen purchase arrangements twice a month.
Are there any special programmes for PICs in correctional institutions during festive occasions? Please explain the arrangements made and the special food offered by the institutions. Though PICs are unable to enjoy the festive occasions with their families, CSD, adopting a people-oriented approach, provides PICs with extra food items and organises various types of activities in the three major traditional festivals of Hong Kong, namely Lunar New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival and Christmas to let PICs feel that they are being cared about and create a festive atmosphere for them during major festivals. In addition to normal meals, CSD will provide preserved Chinese sausages and vegetarian food during the Lunar New Year, and chicken legs, spring rolls, sausages, pears, mandarin oranges, etc. during the Mid-Autumn festival and Christmas. Besides, the department will arrange representatives from non-governmental organisations, religious organisations or foreign consulates to hold different religious activities or gatherings for PICs and distribute articles like mooncakes or snacks to PICs during the above festivals where prior approvals have been given. Correctional institutions will also organise various types of recreational activities and ball games for PICs.
If PICs wear prostheses or even falsies in the case of breast cancer, do they need to remove them upon imprisonment? It is known that PICs are not allowed to bring outside articles into the institutions. If a female PIC is wearing an intrauterine contraceptive device, does she need to remove it? Upon entering correctional institutions, PICs will undergo a body check by medical officers (MO). After the assessment, if the MOs opine that prostheses or other medical aids are required, they can continue to wear them. Generally speaking, upon admission to institutions, PICs have to hand over their personal belongings to the institutions for safe custody except medical aids. Of course, approvals for certain articles like compliant spectacles will be granted by correctional institutions on a case-by-case basis.
Apart from academic programmes for PICs’ enrolment, do correctional institutions provide other vocational training courses like haircutting and beauty care? CSD provides PICs with different vocational training courses to enable them to acquire the vocational skills required in the market, and to facilitate their smooth re-integration into society. To enhance PICs’ employability, CSD arranges them to attend market-oriented training courses and trade tests held by external training bodies (such as the Employees Retraining Board, the Construction Industry Council, the Vocational Training Council, Clothing Industry Training Authority) to attain vocational qualifications. Currently, CSD organises various market-oriented vocational training programmes annually to help PICs prepare themselves well for employment after release. Besides, CSD also provides half-day education and half-day vocational training for young PICs. Currently, CSD provides them with various vocational training courses, covering construction, business and service industries, like electrical installation, computer design & drafting, hairstyling, beauty care, food and beverage services and arranges them to sit for the examinations held by accreditation bodies, such as the certification examinations of the City and Guilds and the intermediate trade tests of the Construction Industry Council, and the certificate courses offered by various training bodies.
Can relatives and friends bring food for PICs upon visit? CSD provides all PICs with plain and wholesome food. All the dietary scales are designed by accredited dietitians with nutritional contents approved by the Department of Health and in compliance with international health guidelines. Having regard to the health, dietary and religious needs of PICs, CSD currently provides 4 main dietary scales, namely local staple rice diet (Dietary Scale 1), diet of curries and chapatti (Dietary Scale 2), diet of bread and potatoes (Dietary Scale 3) and vegetarian diet (Dietary Scale 4). Moreover, PICs may be provided with other supplementary diets derived from the four major dietary scales to meet their specific needs. For remand PICs, they may also procure or receive food. For private food arrangement, enquiries can be made to the institutional Rehabilitation Unit staff. They may also receive snack type food from their visitors upon visit. Please refer to the lists of Approved Hand-in Articles on the CSD website for details.
What kinds of items can relatives and friends bring for PICs upon visit? Relatives and friends can bring approved articles for PICs upon visit, such as paper tissues, lip balms, periodicals, exercise books and ball pens. Please refer to the lists of Approved Hand-in Articles on the CSD website for details. If visitors wish to hand in any approved articles, they have to hand those articles to the staff in the registration office for checking and registration. As a security measure, all similar hand-in items will be pooled together and mixed before random distribution to the concerned PICs.
PICs are subject to probation upon completion of their sentence. What is a probation? Haven’t they fulfilled their criminal liabilities already after release? If a person is detained under the Drug Addiction Treatment Centres Ordinance, Detention Centres Ordinance, Training Centres Ordinance or Rehabilitation Centres Ordinance, there will be a supervision period following release, with a length of 12 months for the former three and 36 months for the last one. If a person has been sentenced to imprisonment for 3 months or above, and is under 21 years of age when he/she began to serve, and under 25 years of age on discharge, he/she will be subject to supervision for a period of 1 year from the date of discharge. Besides, the Long-term Prison Sentences Review Board, Post-Release Supervision Board and Release Under Supervision Board would also specify the statutory supervision on qualified PICs. The Boards will decide the supervision period case by case with respect to the length of sentence. CSD is currently responsible for managing a total of 10 different supervision schemes. The purpose of statutory supervision is to ensure continued care and guidance for inmates released. Staff on supervision duties will continue to closely supervise the discharged inmates through regular visits made to their home or workplace and guidance provided. If a person breaches the Supervision Order, he/she may be subject to recall or re-imprisonment for the remainder of the sentence.
CSD has launched an initiative called the Reflective Path. What are the details of the project? The Reflective Path is one of the educational programmes to introduce simulated activities for experiencing custodial life under the Rehabilitation Pioneer Project launched in September 2015. Through the simulation of the real situation in prison, students are able to experience the life of PICs in correctional institutions and reflect on the detrimental effects of committing crimes. The project covers a wide range of activities such as mock court hearing, simulated reception procedures, custody in dormitories and single cells, foot drill training, simulated work groups and sharing session by PICs, etc. It aims to enhance participants’ understanding of the criminal judicial system and correctional services, as well as the heavy price for committing crimes.
As PICs with chronic illnesses may not be able to handle daily work, what will be the arrangement of CSD? If they cannot work due to illnesses, will the institutional management deduct their earnings? Is there any other situation under which their earnings will be deducted? According to Rule 38 of the Prison Rules, all convicted adult PICs (except on medical grounds) are required to engage in work. PICs shall work for 6 days a week, whose hours of labour shall not be less than 6 nor more than 10 daily. Medical officers at institutions will assess whether a PIC is suitable to take up a specific task, based on his/her physical and mental health. PICs who have been certified by the Medical Officer as unfit for work on medical grounds are exempted and may receive a basic level of earnings weekly. Every correctional institution has a hospital or sick bay where 24-hour basic medical services are provided by Medical Officers from the Department of Health and correctional officers with nursing qualifications. If PICs need to visit public hospitals or specialist clinics for treatments or medical follow-ups, the Department will arrange the PICs for outside medical treatment.
If PICs or the public would like to complain against CSD, what are the channels? CSD all along attaches great importance to the treatment of PICs and handling of complaints. If a PIC feels aggrieved by the treatments in the institution, he/she may lodge a complaint or express his/her discontent through various channels within or outside CSD. Within CSD, the PIC can lodge a complaint to the institutional management, directorate officers of the CSD Headquarters during their inspection to the correctional institutions or the Complaints Investigation Unit (CIU) of the CSD. CIU is an independent unit appointed by the Commissioner of Correctional Services which will carry out investigation on each and every complaint case in a fair, impartial and comprehensive manner, or make referral to other law enforcement agencies for follow-up according to circumstances. For instance, if it is a suspected criminal case, the Department will refer the case to Police for follow-up action. As for external channels, PICs may write to members of the Legislative Council, The Ombudsman, statutory bodies or other law enforcement agencies, etc. to lodge their complaints. Besides, they can choose to seek assistance from or lodge their complaints to the visiting Justices of the Peace during the latter's surprise inspections to their institutions. Complaints/opinions about any staff or policies of CSD may be lodged with CIU in person, by phone, by fax, by email or in writing.
What clothing will be provided to PICs during winter weather? Is there any limit on the quantity? Can they ask for additional bedding? CSD provides every PIC with a complete outfit of clothing and blankets adequate for warmth and replacement in accordance with statutory requirements. In winter, long sleeves underwear and underpants, long sleeves pullovers and pants, fleece pullovers, fleece jackets, socks, padded quilt blankets and blanket are distributed to them by the institutions. In the event of cold weather, the institutions will voluntarily distribute one or two additional blankets to them. If individual PICs need additional clothing and blankets on medical grounds, they can make such requests to Medical Officers (MOs) at the institutions. Suitable arrangements will be made in accordance with MOs’ recommendations.
Upon receiving complaints from members of the public, how can CSD avoid outside criticisms of “conducting investigation by peers”? CSD has all along attached great importance to the complaints lodged by any person and handled them in a fair manner. The Complaints Investigation Unit of CSD will conduct investigation into each complaint meticulously, and submit reports to the Correctional Services Department Complaints Committee (CSDCC) for examination. Cases with investigation findings classified as “substantiated” are those with adequate evidence to prove that all or part of the allegations and/or other misconduct directly related to the allegations are established after investigation. CSDCC is chaired by a civilian officer (Administrative Officer Staff Grade C) of CSD who is independent from the disciplined establishment. Its membership comprises an Assistant Commissioner of CSD, 4 senior correctional officers and a chaplain. The chaplain is appointed by the Chief Executive in accordance with the Prisons Ordinance (Cap. 234). He shall have access to PICs at all reasonable times and have the duty to report any improprieties in the prison which may come to his knowledge. The composition of CSDCC has duly taken into account the requirement of independence and impartiality. The Correctional Services Department Complaints Appeal Board (CSDCAB), established in August 2016, is chaired by the Deputy Commissioner of Correctional Services. Prominent community members familiarised with the correctional regime are invited to serve as non-official members to further enhance the transparency and credibility of CSD’s complaints handling mechanism to achieve openness, fairness and justice. CSDCAB is responsible for re-examining complaints and making final decision on the appeal cases against the findings endorsed by CSDCC. To broaden the structure of CSDCAB and to enhance the independence of the reviewing mechanism, the number of members has been increased to 24, comprising Justices of the Peace and religious persons who are acquainted with correctional operations.
In general, what is the time for distribution of letters to PICs in correctional institutions? For PICs in breach of rules in the institutions, can they still receive letters? In accordance with Rule 47 of the Prison Rules, PICs may receive or send any number of letters. Convicted PICs can send one free letter per week with envelope, papers and postage at public expense. If they want to send more, they can use their earnings from work to purchase papers, envelopes, and stamps. For remand PICs, they will be furnished with reasonable amount of paper and other writing materials to write letters. If necessary, all PICs may also apply to receive appropriate amount of paper, envelope and stamp from visitors. Hence, all PICs have the rights to receive or write letters. Even though they have committed indiscipline acts in institutions, their rights to receive letters are not affected. Generally speaking, upon receiving letters for PICs, the institutions will perform classification, security check and registration, and then distribute them to the PICs within the next working day. The time for distribution of letters slightly varies according to the actual operation of the institutions.
If a PIC is a mother whose children are only few years old, how can CSD help her maintain the relationship with her young children? Parent-Child Centres are established in female correctional institutions, such as Lo Wu Correctional Institution (LWCI) and Tai Lam Centre for Women, for mothers who are PICs to meet their children. The decorations in Parent-Child Centres in LWCI are no different from those of normal children's play rooms, providing a safe and comfortable environment for female PICs to meet their young children aged below 6. Parent-Child Centre comprises “Exploratory play zone”, “Social play zone”, “Creative play zone”, “Free play zone” and “Read and parent resource area”, where mothers who are PICs can play, read and feed their children, so as to encourage them to play their role in their families, rebuild the parent-child relationships and pave the way for them to reintegrate into the community. Mothers who are PICs have to make a booking via telephone, and they can meet their children for 2 hours each time to establish parent-child relationships.
CSD has launched a programme called the Reflective Path for young people to experience the life of PICs in correctional institutions. Will this cause negative impacts on young people? The content of the programme is designed with reference to opinions from different sectors and assessments by clinical psychologists to strike a balance among the impacts brought to the participants in order to ensure participants have valuable experiences without excessive negative impact. With five trial runs carried out since May 2015, the whole programme was finalised after thorough discussions and revisions, with minor adjustments made on particular items based on the actual response in the trial runs, including using different cases for discussion in mock hearings, and adjusting the rational thinking requirements of the programme according to the age and maturity of participants.
Do PICs of low education levels have the opportunities to take retraining courses? Currently, over 1 400 places in more than 40 various market-oriented vocational training courses are provided for adult PICs, and the training quotas would be flexibly adjusted with reference to the number and response of PICs. Only 3 courses require the education level of Secondary 3 or above and 14 courses require the education level of Primary 6 or above, while the rest of the courses do not require a minimum education level. All the academic requirements are specific admission criteria set by the course providers such as Employees Retraining Board (ERB) and Vocational Training Council (VTC), which are the same for the public.
Must PICs consume the food provided in prisons? Is there any arrangement for them to consume private food? All convicted PICs shall consume meals provided by institutions under the law. For remand PICs, they may choose to consume meals provided by institutions, or order private food at their own expense from designated suppliers after seeking and obtaining prior permission.
Do PICs need to work? Do they have time for study? CSD provides half-day education and half-day vocational training for young PICs, while adult PICs shall be required to engage in useful work for 6 days a week and not more than 10 hours a day. Adult PICs can pursue further studies in their spare time, enrol in distance learning courses according to their interests and abilities and take public examinations on a voluntary basis, such as enrolling in distance learning courses of the Open University of Hong Kong.
For young PICs who have completed secondary education, are there any opportunities for them to pursue further studies? CSD provides half-day education for young PICs and assists qualified PICs to take public examinations, such as Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSE). After completing HKDSE, PICs can apply for programmes of local universities or post-secondary institutions, and pursue first degree, associate degree and higher diploma programmes upon discharge. The Department also encourages PICs to enrol in distance learning courses of the Open University of Hong Kong and provides appropriate assistance.
Are PICs required to work every day? Any rest days on Sundays or public holidays? If they need to work overtime, do they have any overtime allowance? The institutions will arrange PICs to take a rest day every week. If PICs are required to work overtime during long holidays to meet the operational needs, volunteer PICs will be arranged to work and paid with overtime compensation (which equals to 1.5 times of their earnings).
Will correctional institutions arrange PICs to take exercise? According to the legislation, every PIC needs to take exercise unless exempted by the Medical Officers on medical grounds. PICs will be arranged to take exercise outdoors for not less than an hour every day. Physical education instructors will arrange suitable ball games or recreational activities for PICs having regard to factors like institutional operation, the area of sports ground, and the number of PICs in the sports ground. Physical education instructors will be present to provide guidance.
Does CSD have any measures for foreign PICs to learn about the grievance or complaint mechanism of Hong Kong? All PICs newly admitted into correctional institutions will be arranged to undergo an induction programme of which the rights and channels to file grievances and complaints constitute an essential part. Besides, CSD will provide an information booklet of 28 versions in 27 languages to PICs, where the rights and channels to file a complaint are set out. Notices on the channels of complaints will be displayed at prominent places in the institutions. PICs can also learn the details of various channels to file grievances or complaints through the electronic kiosks located at different places in the institutions. Foreign PICs can also file grievances or complaints to Consulate staff members who visit the institutions. If they cannot file complaints owing to language problems, staff of the institutions will arrange suitable translators for assistance.
Are there any books or newspapers provided in prisons for foreign PICs? CSD encourages PICs to use their leisure time for reading wholesome books. Libraries have been set up in various correctional institutions to provide PICs with appropriate books. The total collection of the libraries in correctional institutions currently extend to over 100 000 copies, including books in English and more than 30 other languages such as Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai, Japanese, Spanish, French, Hindu and Urdu. Besides the books in the libraries of institutions, PICs may also receive no more than six books per month from their relatives and friends to satisfy their reading needs. Apart from books, CSD also provides Chinese and English newspapers every day for PICs to read. PICs may also purchase newspapers at their own expenses if needed.
Can PICs search for information via the internet for assignments or examinations after enrolling in courses? CSD do not allow PICs to directly search for information via the internet due to security reasons. When PICs need to search for information via the internet, if there is no relative or friends to help them, teachers in the correctional institutions or staff of the Rehabilitation Unit may search for PICs, download the information and print it out for their use. CSD has been provided by the Open University of Hong Kong with e-learning materials for PICs’ distance learning courses since September 2015. E-Learning Resources Corners have been set up in 10 correctional institutions, and the materials are for the reference of PICs in need.
Are there any guidelines in prisons on work injury, occupational safety and health and relevant compensations? CSD has formulated and maintained a comprehensive safety management system in accordance with the Safety Management Regulation under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance (Cap.59), the Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance (Cap. 509), and the Code of Practice on Safety Management issued by the Commissioner for Labour under Section 7 (1) of Cap.59. The Department will arrange PICs injured at work to apply for ex-gratia payment. All eligible cases shall consult the Labour Department, Department of Justice and Security Bureau, and be approved by Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau. If a PIC suffers from a temporary loss of earning capacity, the Department will provide him/her with daily necessities, including medical services.
Most family members of foreign PICs live outside Hong Kong and they are unable to visit them. Are they allowed to make phone calls to their family members? If a PIC has not received any visits from his/her spouse, children, parents or siblings within a month and he/she neither makes any phone calls to the above family members, they are allowed to make a 10-minute phone call to their overseas spouses, children, parents or siblings. Moreover, Heads of Institutions can approve them to make long-distance calls having regard to individual conditions and needs of PICs. As it is rather difficult for family members of foreign PICs to come to Hong Kong to visit them regularly, CSD will refer the cases to non-government organisations, religious or voluntary agencies which will arrange visits and render assistance to PICs, so as to offer mental and spiritual support. Furthermore, making phone calls is not the only means for PICs to communicate with outside parties. For example, they can write and receive any number of letters to and from anyone.
The society is facing the problem of population ageing. Does the same problem exist in prisons? What measures does CSD adopt? Having regard to different needs of elderly PICs, CSD plans strategically and allocates resources in advance to formulate appropriate rehabilitation programmes for PICs aged 65 or above to assist them in developing positive and healthy lifestyle. CSD implements diversified rehabilitation programmes, covering healthcare services, recreational activities, rehabilitative and institutional facilities tailor-made for elderly PICs. In 2015, male PICs aged 65 or above conforming the security requirements were transferred to the “Evergreen Garden” in Tai Lam Correctional Institution. Inside the Evergreen Garden, there are integrated facilities and arrangements specially designed for elderly PICs, including rehabilitation counselling, exercise facilities and vocational training courses such as Foundation Certificate in Horticulture Assistant Training, Pest Control Training and Cleaning Skill Training to facilitate their reintegration into society after release. There are sick bays in all correctional institutions which are staffed by qualified CSD staff. All along, CSD has been collaborating with the Department of Health (DH) to provide 24-hour basic medical services for PICs in all correctional institutions. PICs who need further treatment and check-up will be arranged to consult visiting specialists or referred to public hospitals for follow-up. Apart from basic medical services, CSD will also regularly arrange body check-up and appropriate recreational activities for elderly PICs. Moreover, CSD regularly works with the DH and local universities to organise talks and workshops for staff to enhance their professional knowledge on nursing for the elderly.
What difficulties does CSD face in addressing the ageing of penal population? Will public expenses be increased? With population ageing, chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension are becoming more and more prevalent. Also, most PICs are drug addicts before admitting into institutions. Therefore, PICs’ demands on medical and healthcare services are rising. Every time a PIC is transferred to an external hospital for treatment, he/she has to be escorted by correctional officers. As each medical escort will probably pose serious security risk to the public, CSD have to deploy sufficient manpower to perform escort duties to ensure public safety. Over the years, the figures of demands on medical escort have remained high all along. This has put great pressure on security risks and human resources.
How do persons interested in correctional work join CSD successfully? CSD is a well-trained, well-motivated and well-disciplined professional force. We aim to recruit persons who share our values and have the motivation in pursuing a career in correctional services. Applicants for the post of Officer are required to pass the physical fitness test, written test, group interview and individual interview. Applicants for the post of Assistant Officer II are required to pass a physical fitness test, followed by a group interview. Once they pass, they have to take the Aptitude Test, Basic Law Test and individual interview. Persons who are interested in becoming correctional officers shall pay more attention to current affairs and information on CSD in preparation for interviews. They may also visit our recruitment webpage and watch the demonstration videos in preparation for the physical fitness test.
How does CSD arrange television time for PICs in general? What TV channels would be provided for them to watch? In general, PICs may watch television programmes by sessions during holidays and break time in common facilities of the institutions such as dining halls and day rooms. In the selection of television programmes, institutions take into account various factors, including resources allocation of institutions, television signals received, language and programme content, to ensure suitable television programmes are arranged for PICs to watch. Besides, PICs may request duty officers to switch to other television channels. Officers will make suitable arrangements based on actual needs.
It has been reported earlier that PICs are required to squat down in assembly? Is this true? Based on the operational needs of institutions, PICs are arranged to assemble at suitable sites before returning to dormitory for security procedures before lock-up, such as searching. Since the security procedures take time, correctional officers may make flexible arrangements during short breaks while PICs are waiting according to the situations. The institutional management does not require PICs to squat down during short breaks when waiting for security check.
Do PICs have the opportunities to learn music and musical instruments? If they form a music group, will there be any performances? CSD has all along been dedicated to providing diversified rehabilitation programmes for PICs. One of the important elements of the programmes is to enrich PICs’ cultural lives. For example, the Department has all along been establishing a close partnership with non-governmental organisations to run different types of interest groups, including those engaged in musical and recreational activities. CSD Rehabilitation Volunteer Group also organises interest classes like music (including singing and Chinese dances), Putonghua, beauty care and handicraft for foreign PICs. Besides, at the certificate presentation ceremonies held in different institutions and the “Creation and Rehabilitation” drama and music performance staged in Stanley Prison, PICs have the opportunities to perform and unleash their potential in front of prominent community members, students, teachers, principals and their families to demonstrate the fruits of their hard work in music and drama performance, and other talent shows.
Can PICs leave the institutions to see their dying family members? What are the criteria of the management for approving PICs to attend funerals? According to Section 17 of the Prison Rules, all PICs can apply for leave of absence with the Commissioner of Correctional Services. CSD will comprehensively consider various factors of individual cases in granting approvals. These factors include term of sentence, offence, criminal background, security level of prison, public concerns, risk of escape, length of sentence served and PIC’s behaviour in prison, pedestrian flow and security at the location, PIC’s relationship with his family members and other factors for granting approvals. Security risk is one of the important considerations. If PICs apply for leave of absence with the institutions to pay visits to seriously ill relatives or tribute to deceased relatives, correctional institutions will assess their cases according to the above factors. If applications are approved, correctional officers will arrange and escort PICs to pay visits or tribute to their relatives. Upon paying visits or tribute, PICs shall not have bodily contact with any persons, including their relatives on the spot.
For PICs who are not visited by families or friends, can they purchase daily necessities? Will CSD make any special arrangements? CSD provides daily necessities like clothing, bedding, towels, soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste and combs to all PICs. PICs can also spend their earnings to buy approved items, including daily necessities and snacks, twice a month during canteen purchases. Besides, if PICs have other special needs in their daily lives, they can make requests with staff of the Rehabilitation Section. CSD will provide assistance and make relevant arrangements according to individual circumstances. Apart from PICs’ needs for daily necessities, CSD also concerns about their psychological and spiritual needs. If PICs are not visited by family members and friends, after obtaining consent from these PICs, the institutions will arrange staff of religious organisations or non-governmental organisations to pay visits, so as to render care and support to them.
If PICs serving sentence require the signatures of their family members on certain important documents, how should they apply? Upon admission into correctional institutions, PICs cannot deal with daily family matters on their own, such as paying utility bills and handling school affairs of their children. Generally, PICs will require relatives or friends to bring documents for them to sign, or will sign an authorisation to authorise relatives or friends to handle the matters on their behalf. If PICs encounter such situations and need to sign documents, they may apply to the correctional institution via the staff of the Rehabilitation Unit. Institutional management may exercise discretion in allowing PICs to sign documents (including cheques) during visits while the signed documents shall be carried away by their relatives or friends. Upon admission into correctional institutions, PICs cannot deal with daily family matters on their own, such as paying utility bills and handling school affairs of their children. Generally, PICs will require relatives or friends to bring documents for them to sign, or will sign an authorisation to authorise relatives or friends to handle the matters on their behalf. If PICs encounter such situations and need to sign documents, they may apply to the correctional institution via the staff of the Rehabilitation Unit. Institutional management may exercise discretion in allowing PICs to sign documents (including cheques) during visits while the signed documents shall be carried away by their relatives or friends.
Can a PIC get married in a prison? What are the procedures? The Marriage (Introduction of Civil Celebrants of Marriages and General Amendments) Ordinance ("the Marriage Amendment Ordinance") has come into operation on 13 March 2006. According to Marriage Amendment Ordinance, PICs may apply to register marriage at prisons. If a PIC would like to register marriage in a correctional institution, he/she may apply to the correctional institution via the staff of the Rehabilitation Unit. Once the application is approved, his/her family members may hire a qualified civil celebrant from outside to arrange the registration of marriage. To maintain the security, discipline and order of correctional institutions, the PIC and his/her relatives or friends shall also comply with the rules of the correctional institution during the wedding ceremony. For instance, except exchanging wedding rings during the wedding ceremony, the PIC shall not have bodily contact with other participants of the ceremony. The wedding ring of the concerned PIC shall be taken away from the institution immediately after the ceremony, or else it shall be kept in his/her PIC’s property bag.
Some groups or organisations in society would like to assist in PICs’ rehabilitation. Will CSD allow them to provide services in prisons? CSD has been providing diversified rehabilitation programmes for PICs. An important element of the programmes is to enrich their cultural lives. To this end, the Department has all along maintained a close partnership with non-government organisations (NGOs) to organise various types of interest groups for PICs, including musical and cultural activities. Apart from cultural activities, prison visitors from NGOs also provide a wide range of services in different correctional institutions, including religious and interest groups, individual counselling, vocational guidance and regular visits.
What kinds of rehabilitation programmes does CSD provide for young PICs? Apart from arranging social visits and encouraging young PICs to write more letters to their family members, CSD also organises different types of Inmate-Parent Programmes on a regular basis, such as visits by parents of newly-admitted young PICs, birthday celebrations to enhance parent-child relationships, group activities, parents’ days and seminars offered by clinical psychologists. The aim of organising various kinds of activities is to enhance the relationships between young PICs and their family members, improve their communication skills, boost the determination of young PICs to turn over a new leaf, and help parents learn to manage parent-child relationships and teach their children with a positive attitude, in order to help PICs stay away from crimes and reintegrate smoothly into society upon discharge.
Earlier on, an online video in which Hong Kong high jump athlete Cecilia Yeung visited Pik Uk Correctional Institution and took part as the programme guest. What is that programme? The programme in which Ms Cecilia Yeung took part as the programme guest was "Youth Broadcasting Programme - Shall We Talk", an audio programme for broadcasting produced by trained young PICs. In the programme, young PICs are provided with the opportunities to interview celebrities from various trades or sectors as well as life fighters. They include renowned band Sugar Club, Outstanding Young Person Mr Lui Yue-chun, composers Mr Anthony Lun and Mr Peco Chui. Furthermore, famous athletes such as Hong Kong bowling athlete Mr Wu Siu-hong, wheelchair fencing athlete Ms Yu Chui-yee, and the Headmistress of Apprentice Jockeys' School, Ms Amy Chan, have also been interviewed. The personal experiences of these guests and their stories on how they overcame difficulties bring positive messages to PICs and show the society’s care to young PICs in order to motivate them on the road of rehabilitation. The one-hour programme includes interviews with guests, the broadcasting of songs, a radio drama and an interest workshop. Rehabilitation elements have been added to the programme while the melodies and lyrics of songs can arouse positive energy. The recorded programme is broadcast in correctional institutions for young PICs to spread rehabilitation messages.
Can PICs suffering from tooth decay receive dental filling or wear dentures? What are the respective procedures? Every correctional institution has a hospital or sick bay where 24-hour basic medical services are provided by Medical Officers from the Department of Health (DH) and correctional officers with nursing qualifications. Medical specialists from the Hospital Authority and DH visit the relevant CSD’s institutions on a regular basis to provide consultation and treatment to PICs, including dental treatments. In general, if PICs have dental problems, the resident Medical Officers will refer them for treatments by Dental Officers, such as dental filling or wearing dentures. In case of serious situation, PICs will be referred to public hospitals for further treatment.
Are there any leaves for the working dogs of CSD? Will extra food be provided for dogs during New Year? If they fall ill, will the management provide any treatments by veterinary surgeons? The guard dogs of CSD are the working partners of dog handlers. They work and take leave together with their respective dog handlers. Therefore, the dogs and dog handlers are entitled to the same number of leaves. During festive seasons like Christmas or New Year, the Dog Unit will provide extra food, such as canned dog food, to the working dogs for celebration. Apart from performing duties outside or training, the dogs will go out with dog handlers for a walk every day. If the dogs fall ill, dog handlers will arrange for them to receive treatment by veterinary surgeons of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Besides, all the dogs have to receive body examination and vaccination every year to ensure their body and health are fit for work.
Currently, for those employers who are willing to employ rehabilitated persons, how do they select employees? CSD arranges for PICs to attend market-oriented vocational training programmes and skills training for industrial work to enhance their employability and better prepare for re-integration into society. Regarding the employment of rehabilitated persons, CSD offers 'Employment Services' which aims to provide an interactive job-matching platform. Besides, the department will, as far as possible, arrange job interviews in person/by video-conference/by tele-conference at the request of employers to facilitate the selection of suitable rehabilitated persons. According to our experience, once the rehabilitated persons are determined to start anew and work with positive attitude, the employers are very willing to offer job opportunities to rehabilitated persons, enabling them to realise their potential and contribute to the society.
Can we adopt the working dogs? What are the procedures? To allow the Dog Unit’s working dogs, who have reached the retirement age or have been certified as unfit for work on medical grounds by veterinary surgeons, to spend their remaining days in comfort, the Dog Adoption Programme of CSD provides a channel for members of the public to adopt the relevant working dogs. Interested parties can submit their application forms to Correctional Services Dog Unit. Arrangements will be made with the applicants to conduct interviews or home visits by the Selection Board of the Programme so as to decide whether the applicants are suitable for adoption. The application form and notes can be downloaded at our webpage.
After PICs are released, will the management return their personal belongings submitted decades ago to them? Are there any items that the management will not keep in custody for PICs? When PICs are admitted into correctional institutions, their personal belongings shall be placed in the custody of institutions, including their clothing and properties. However, items which pose safety and security risks to the institutions will not be kept in the custody of institutions, such as dangerous goods, corrosive goods, perishable goods, tobacco or too bulky properties. If the above items are involved, institutions will require PICs to pass these items to relatives or friends upon visits. All clothing and properties placed in custody of the institutions will be returned to PICs after release, regardless of length of sentence.
If the child of a female PIC is received into prison together, what can the child play? Are there any toys for them? Can family members outside bring the child out for a vacation? According to the laws of Hong Kong, the child of a female PIC may be received into prison with his/her mother until the mother has completed her sentence or such child has attained the age of 3 years, whichever is the earlier. To allow the mother to be fully engaged in taking care of her child, she does not need to work during this period. Therefore, the mother can accompany by the child’s side in his/her everyday life. Apart from receiving approved toys and books for the child from relatives or friends upon visits, there are toys and books provided by the correctional institutions in parent-child centres of the institutions and their bedrooms. Currently, there is no arrangement for children in correctional institutions to have vacation outside.
After PICs have left the drug addiction treatment centres, will CSD follow up their cases and assist them to stay away from drugs? According to the Drug Addiction Treatment Centres (DATC) Ordinance (Cap 244), CSD has to provide 2 to 12 months’ drug addiction treatment for PICs in DATC, as well as 12 months’ post release supervision. During the supervision period, supervising officers will provide assistance to PICs regarding their adaptation to society, family relationship and employment issues after leaving DATC. They also supervise and urge them to abide by the law and comply with requirements of supervision orders, help them reintegrate into society, and stay away from drugs. In recent years, CSD has proactively implemented various measures such as enhancing the Pre-release Re-integration Orientation Course, strengthening counselling services, and organising enhanced anti-drug groups for recalled supervisees at DATC, so as to reinforce their determination to stay away from drugs. Moreover, the Department has stepped up spot check and surveillance of drug testing procedures of supervisees.
It is said that some PICs are under supervision after release, what are the details of such supervision? To ensure continued support and guidance, statutory supervision is provided for rehabilitated persons from training, rehabilitation, detention, and drug addiction treatment centres, discharged young PICs and PICs released under the “Release Under Supervision”. “Pre-Release Employment”, “Post-Release Supervision”, “Conditional Release” and “Supervision After Release” Schemes. The rehabilitation staff members on supervision duties, with the support of PICs’ families, establish sound rapport with the PICs and help them lead a law abiding and industrious life after release as well as prepare for the challenges and demands to be expected on their return to the community. Continuous contact is maintained with every PIC in the penal institutions, and close supervision continues after release through regular visits made to the discharged PICs’ home or workplace.
Who are eligible to take up residence in halfway houses of CSD? What are the arrangements in halfway houses? The halfway house programme is an extension of the rehabilitative programmes carried out within the detention, training, drug addiction treatment centres and prisons. Needy supervisees, such as those with accommodation problems or requiring close monitoring upon discharge, will be arranged to take up residence in appropriate halfway houses, which include Bauhinia House, Pelican House and Phoenix House. The residents go out to work or study during daytime and return at night. The programme seeks to cultivate a sense of self-discipline and positive work habit within a structured and supportive environment. The period of residence depends on individual needs and progress. Leave of absence is generally granted on weekends and holidays to them to visit family members or friends for social reintegration. Visits by family members and friends are also encouraged so as to foster and strengthen support conducive to their rehabilitation.
Upon the release of PICs, will CSD continue to help PICs reintegrate into society? It is said that a “Positive Energy Map” programme has been launched, what is this programme? CSD provides statutory supervision to released PICs in accordance with relevant ordinances to ensure continued support and guidance. Besides, to further assist rehabilitated persons in reintegrating into society, a “Positive Energy Map” programme was launched at the end of 2015 with an aim to utilise community services and resources to help rehabilitated persons stay away from undesirable peers and lead a healthy life. With past experiences in collaborating with different non-government organisations, CSD formulates a social resources blueprint categorised by districts and activities/services to disseminate information to rehabilitated persons on various activities of each district, including cultural and recreational activities and training for personal development provided by non-government organisations to rehabilitated persons so as to involve them in meaningful activities apart from working and studying.
Are there prisons not providing pedestal toilets? Will this cause inconvenience to mobility-handicapped PICs? To take care of mobility-handicapped PICs, CSD has put in place various measures to cater for their needs. Apart from pedestal toilets, institutions will also provide suitable ancillary tools like crutches and wheelchairs to PICs when necessary.
Do PICs form cliques and gangs as depicted in movies? Do they always fight against each other? How does the management handle their fights? Prisons are places where discipline is highly emphasised. Any indiscipline acts by PICs are not tolerated by the institutions. Staff of the institutions manage PICs according to the power vested by law. If any indiscipline acts such as fighting or assaulting other person are found, the staff will charge PICs concerned with relevant disciplinary offences. As for cases of a serious nature, the institution will transfer them to other law enforcement agencies for follow up action.
Is there a minimum wage for PICs who work in the institutions? CSD arranges PICs to work in accordance with the law. As CSD does not have an employer-employee relationship with PICs and all basic necessities of PICs, including food, clothing, sanitary products and even medical services, are provided by the Government, “minimum salary” is therefore not applicable to them. At present, the earnings for PICs are incentive payments to encourage and motivate PICs to work. PICs can save their earnings or spend them on purchase of canteen items (such as snacks and additional daily necessities). The rates of earnings will be reviewed once a year in accordance with the established mechanism.
Which prisons do young PICs serve sentence in? What are the differences between these prisons and other prisons? Do they also need to work? What are the schedules of their daily lives? Young PICs are remanded in various institutions for young PICs under CSD according to the judgement of the court. Institutions for young male PICs include Pik Uk Correctional Institution, Sha Tsui Correctional Institution, Cape Collinson Correctional Institution, while institutions for young female PICs include Lai King Correctional Institution and Chi Lan Rehabilitation Centre. According to the law, CSD has established various corrective treatment programmes in institutions for young PICs, such as Drug Addiction Treatment Centres, Training Centres, Rehabilitation Centres and Detention Centre, to provide appropriate rehabilitation programmes. Given different corrective treatment programmes in various institutions for young PICs, there shall be differences among the regular daily routines in these institutions. Please visit our website for more details of institutions for young PICs under CSD.
Are there any doors at the toilets for PICs in prisons? Are the toilets in prisons flush toilets or squat toilets? For security reasons, the toilets for PICs generally cannot be kept under lock. Correctional institutions provide both flush toilets and squat toilets for PICs based on their needs.
Under what circumstances can PICs apply to the institutional management for special visits? The law stipulates that convicted PICs may receive 2 social visits from their relatives and friends each month, during which the visits will be limited to 30 minutes on each occasion and no more than 3 persons will be allowed at one time, while remanded PICs may receive 1 social visit from their relatives and friends each day, during which the visit will be limited to 15 minutes and no more than 2 persons will be allowed at one time. Besides, to encourage young PICs to maintain and improve relationships with family members and facilitate their rehabilitation via social visits, the Department allows them to receive 2 extra visits without applying for prior permission. If adult PICs want to receive extra visits, they may apply to the institutions for special visits. The main purpose of special visits is to facilitate PICs’ rehabilitation and improve their relationships with family members. Therefore, institutions will generally approve the applications of adult PICs for 2 extra visits by their immediate family members.
How does institutional management arrange transgender PICs or PICs of different sexual orientation to serve their sentences? How to classify them to be in male or female prisons? According to Section 8 of the Prisons Ordinance (Cap. 234), CSD separates male and female PICs. In general, the Department arranges PICs of the same gender to be imprisoned together according to their gender on identity documents. As for transgender PICs, CSD arranges medical officers, clinical psychologists or psychiatrists to confirm their physical conditions and sexual orientation and arrange suitable custodial environment for transgender PICs based on their professional advice.
Can PICs receive Chinese medicine services? CSD strives to provide a secure, safe, humane, decent and healthy custodial environment for PICs, and ensures that appropriate medical services are provided to all PICs in accordance with the Prison Rules (Cap. 234A). Every correctional institution has medical facilities where 24-hour basic medical services are provided by Medical Officers from Department of Health (DH) and correctional officers with nursing qualifications. If necessary, PICs will be referred by resident Medical Officers to public hospitals for further treatment. Moreover, medical specialists from the Hospital Authority (HA) and DH visit the relevant CSD’s institutions on a regular basis to provide consultation and treatment to PICs. Currently, Chinese medicine services are not part of the regular services of HA and DH. Medical Officers of correctional institutions will not refer PICs to receive private medical services, including Chinese medicine services. The Government is now conducting a study with the HA on the positioning of Chinese medicine in the local healthcare system. CSD will keep abreast of the latest development about the concerned study report and take appropriate follow-up actions.
What are “Earliest Date of Discharge” (EDD) and “Latest Date of Discharge” (LDD)? “DD” is the jargon commonly used by PICs, which refers to “terms of imprisonment”. In general, “LDD” refers to the term of imprisonment of PICs sentenced by the court, while PICs do not usually have to serve the full sentence before release. According to the law, PICs can be granted remission of sentence on the ground of their industry and good conduct. The remission granted is one-third of the total term sentenced by the court. Therefore, the term of imprisonment of PICs sentenced by the court is called “LDD”. On the other hand, “EDD” generally refers to the actual length of custody. Its calculation is that the term of imprisonment sentenced by the court minus the remission of sentence granted under the law and then minus any period spent in custody before conviction.
As prison facilities require maintenance, will the maintenance works be outsourced? Are there any relevant maintenance works which PICs are responsible for? Regular inspections and repairs are necessary for all structures to ensure the safety of users. In general, more complicated maintenance works which require social skills, such as replacement or repairs of plumbing or pipes and works related to the security system of institutions, will be referred to Architectural Services Department or Electrical and Mechanical Services Department. Some minor maintenance works, such as repairing works of external walls of dormitories and clearance of blocked sewers, will be completed by PICs under the supervision of CSD staff. CSD staff will be there to supervise the whole process of both outsourced works and works undertaken by PICs to ensure the security and smooth operation of institutions.
What is the forfeiture of remission? Why can CSD increase the term of imprisonment of PICs? The forfeiture of remission means reducing the remission of sentences granted to PICs. According to the laws of Hong Kong, all PICs serving sentences of imprisonment for an actual term of more than 1 month may be automatically granted remission on the ground of their good conduct, but the concerned remission shall not exceed one-third of the total of the actual term and any period spent in custody, and the actual term shall not be reduced to less than 31 days. If a PIC breaches any institutional discipline requirement, the superintendent of the institution may make punishments in accordance with the law, including cancelling the remission of sentences of PICs, which in turn increase the sentences of imprisonment of PICs, so this is generally called “forfeiture of remission” among PICs.
If a PIC has no money or relatives or friends when he/she is jailed, how will CSD help the PIC when he/she has nothing left upon release? According to Rule 39 of the Prison Rules (Cap. 234A), PICs who work in prison may receive payment in accordance with the rates approved by the Commissioner of Correctional Services. The main purpose of earnings for PICs is to provide incentive to help them develop good working habits and acquire work skills via useful work in order to facilitate their reintegration into society upon release. PICs may use at most 90% of their earnings to buy approved canteen items or for other approved purposes, while the remaining at least 10% earnings shall be kept as savings until the mandatory savings accumulated up to $500. PICs may withdraw the saved earnings upon release to meet their needs. Besides, the staff of Rehabilitation Unit will make relevant referrals if PICs need to seek assistance from the Social Welfare Department or non-government organistions.
How will the management arrange if a PIC serving sentence has physical problems and requires a wheelchair or walking stick to assist him/her in daily life? Basic medical care services are provided to PICs in each correctional institution. Medical Officers from Department of Health and correctional officers with nursing qualifications will provide appropriate treatments or referrals to all PICs. If PICs require wheelchairs or walking sticks to assist them in their daily lives, the institutions will provide them with suitable ancillary tools in accordance with the recommendations of Medical Officers.
Are the beds in prisons made of wood or plastic? How much space for each PIC to place his/her personal belongings? Are there any restrictions on the quantities of letters and photographs kept? There are two types of beds provided to PICs, which are single tier beds made of fiberglass and double tier beds with metallic bed frames (bunk beds) respectively. For cleaning purpose, lockers or plastic boxes are provided in workshops, cells or dormitories of correctional institutions for PICs to keep their personal belongings. PICs are not allowed to place their personal belongings casually. For the quantities of letters and photographs to be kept by a PIC, it is stipulated that each PIC can keep a maximum of 72 photographs in his/her cell while there is no restriction on the number of letters although institutional management does not encourage PICs to keep too many letters. PICs can pass the excess photographs over the limit or excess letters to their relatives or friends upon visits for their custody. They can also place the photographs and letters under the temporary custody of the institution and take them back upon release.
Are sex offenders be imposed separate confinement? PICs will not be imposed separate confinement due to the offences they have committed. According to the law, PICs will only be imposed separate confinement under the following conditions: 1. If a PIC is reported to have breached the discipline, he/she will be imposed segregation from other PICs when awaiting the decision; 2. The Superintendent may, in accordance with the law, impose separate confinement on PICs who breached the discipline; 3. The Superintendent may order a separate confinement on PICs in order to maintain the good order and discipline of institutions; and 4. PICs may take the initiative to request protection from institutional management to be removed from association with other PICs to prevent from being hurt by other PICs. Therefore, sex offenders will not be imposed separate confinement due to the offences they have committed.
Are prisons classified into different levels? What is the difference among prisons at different levels? Can they be differentiated by appearance? Except half-way houses and custodial wards, correctional facilities under CSD are classified by different security levels, namely maximum, medium and minimum levels. Different categories of PICs are detained in institutions of different security levels. For example, Category A PICs can be detained in maximum security prisons only. Institutions of different security levels certainly have different security facilities. Although fences are installed in maximum, medium and minimum security facilities, the design and requirements of the fences are different. Apart from fences, perimeter walls and towers are installed in maximum security prisons. Therefore, correctional facilities of different security levels can be basically differentiated by appearance.
PICs can participate in certificate presentation ceremonies. Are these ceremonies held in every prison? What are the formats of the ceremonies? Who can participate in these ceremonies? CSD will consider factors like the operation of individual institutions, number of PICs attending examinations, examination results and PICs’ remaining sentence before release in holding certificate presentation ceremonies. The ceremonies aim at recognising PICs’ efforts made in their pursuit of academic training over the past year. PICs who have attended various distance learning courses and public examinations and have been awarded certificates will be invited to certificate presentation ceremonies. At the ceremony, the officiating guest of honour will present academic certificates to the relevant PICs. The institutions will also arrange them to share details about their journey towards rehabilitation, show repentance and express to their families their determination to start anew. Besides, PICs will stage fascinating performances to express their gratitude to their families, correctional officers and representatives from non-governmental and community organisations and community leaders in support of their rehabilitation, and share with them the joy of PICs.
How many prisons are there in Hong Kong? How are they distributed? Which of them are for male PICs, and which are for female PICs? At present, there is a total of 28 correctional facilities including prisons, correctional institutions, rehabilitation centres, addiction treatment centres, custodial wards and half-way houses distributed in Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Territories, Lautau Island and Hei Ling Chau. If classified by gender of PICs, institutions for detention of female PICs are Lo Wu Correctional Institution, Tai Lam Centre for Women, Lai King Correctional Institution, Nei Kwu Correctional Institution, Wai Lan Rehabilitation Centre, Chi Lan Rehabilitation Centre and Bauhinia House while institutions for male PICs are Cape Collinson Correctional Institution, Hei Ling Chau Addiction Treatment Centre, Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre, Lai Chi Rehabilitation Centre, Lai Hang Rehabilitation Centre, Lai Sun Correctional Institution, Pak Sha Wan Correctional Institution, Pelican House, Phoenix House, Pik Uk Correctional Institution, Queen Mary Hospital Custodial Ward, Sha Tsui Correctional Institution, Shek Pik Prison, Stanley Prison, Tai Lam Correctional Institution, Tong Fuk Correctional Institution and Tung Tau Correctional Institution. Queen Elizabeth Hospital Custodial Ward and Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre are correctional facilities where male and female PICs are detained in separate localities.
It is said that some Hong Kong citizens who are imprisoned in other countries can transfer back to Hong Kong after a period of time to serve their remaining sentences, what are the justifications for allowing them to come back to Hong Kong? According to law, Hong Kong residents serving sentences overseas can apply for transfer back to Hong Kong to serve the remaining sentences. In general, each application has to satisfy the following main conditions: (i) the act, on which the sentence has been imposed, would also constitute a criminal offence according to the laws of Hong Kong if it had been committed in Hong Kong; (ii) the sentenced person is a permanent resident of Hong Kong; (iii) the judgement is final and no further proceedings relating to the offence or any other offences are pending in the jurisdiction; (iv) there is a tripartite consent to the transfer given by the concerned governments and the sentenced person.
Is there hot water for shower in prisons? Is hot water provided in winter only? Or is it provided when the temperature is below a particular degree? Is there any limit on the number of times of taking shower for PICs? Do they take shower in the morning or at night? Are the staff present when they are taking shower? All institutions of CSD have installed water heaters. Hot water of appropriate temperature will be provided to PICs for shower according to seasonal changes and air temperature. Each PIC is arranged to take shower daily and the shower time depends on the daily schedule of the institution. To ensure the safety of PICs and to maintain the discipline of institutions, correctional officers are present when they are taking shower.
How to handle the everyday clothing and underwear of PICs? Are all the clothing washed together? How to ensure the hygiene? To ensure all the clothing of PICs are handled timely and properly, the clothing of PICs are washed in the laundry workshops of institutions according to the washing schedule fixed by institutions. In accordance with the guideline of the Centre for Health Protection, the washing of patients’ clothing and kitchen staff’s working clothes of centre hospitals must be separated from other PICs’ clothing, while other clothing are washed together. To maintain the hygiene, PICs working in the laundry workshop of each institution are supervised by an instructor. Besides, all the apparatuses and areas for handling dirty clothing must be cleaned with 1 in 99 diluted bleach.
Why do sex offenders commit sex offences? CSD provides PICs who are sex offenders with psychological assessment and treatment programmes. PICs who are sex offenders have different backgrounds. Most of them easily feel lonely or have other emotional problems. Some of them are rather introverted who cannot get along well with other people, have smaller social circles, feel difficult to share thoughts with others and generally have no interests or hobbies. A few of them even have abnormal sexual proclivity such as paedophilia or peeping. In face of various social problems and emotional disturbance, they tend to use incorrect means to make themselves feel better or satisfy the intimacy that they lack, such as frequently browsing erotic contents, getting indulged in social networking mobile applications and casual sex. They would like to relieve stress through sexual excitement and stimulation which they think can soothe their emotions, but consequently they fall deeper into the trap and become unable to extricate themselves and commit illegal sexual assaults. CSD understands the worries of the public about the threats posed by sexual offences to society, especially that many victims are children or teenagers. Therefore, as early as 20 years ago, the Department established the first residential treatment unit of this kind in East Asia to provide participants with comprehensive and systematic psychological assessment and treatment programmes. Clinical psychologists of CSD will assess their re-offending risk and treatment needs based on scientific evidence with reference to overseas and local research findings over the years in order to provide them with appropriate psychological treatments, aiming at achieving the goal of less victims and more law-abiding citizens in our society.
Are all letters to and from PICs only be sent after being read by CSD staff? To encourage PICs to communicate with outside people, they are allowed to send and receive any number of letters. However, for security reasons, all inward and outward letters to and from PICs may be opened and searched for security check by institutional staff to ensure that there are no items inside the letters which pose any threat to any individual's personal safety or the security, good order and discipline of the institution. According to the law, in a maximum security institution, the letters will be opened and searched and may also be read for checking. In other institutions of lower security levels, if the institutional management has reasonable doubts, inward and outward letters to and from PICs may also be read.
How should newly admitted PICs get adapted to and familiarised with the prison rules? All newly admitted PICs will be arranged to undergo an induction programme during which the staff from different sections of the institution will brief them on information about daily lives, including PICs’ treatments, routine procedures, facilities, discipline, ways of seeking assistance and channels of complaints. In addition, the institution will give them a booklet called “Information for Person in Custody”. This booklet not only introduces the procedures to be completed by newly admitted PICs, but also explains the matters to note in custodial life. The information booklet has been translated into 27 languages to cater for the needs of PICs of different nationalities. If PICs have any queries or problems about their daily lives in correctional institutions, they may enquire our on-duty staff. Our staff will explain to them or refer them to other sections for further assistance.
There are more and more foreign PICs and some of whom may not understand English. What measures are in place to assist correctional officers to communicate with foreign PICs? With a view to further facilitating communication between correctional officers and foreign PICs, CSD has introduced tablet computers with the capabilities to translate multiple languages (currently 62 languages) since 2015. In addition, CSD provides correctional officers with foreign language courses of six languages, including Nepalese, Urdu, Punjabi, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Spanish, to facilitate their communication with foreign PICs. If foreign PICs encounter communication problems, CSD may arrange correctional officers or other PICs speaking the relevant foreign languages or of the same nationalities to offer assistance, or seek the help of Language Centres and Interpretation Hotline operated by NGOs. If there is still any problem, CSD may contact government official translators or relevant consulates to assist with the communication. Also, CSD provides Cantonese language classes and self-learning kits for foreign PICs to enhance their ability to speak and understand Cantonese.
Are all areas of correctional institutions without air conditioning? Are there any fans in areas where PICs sleep at night? Are there any measures to prevent heat stroke of PICs? Most areas in correctional institutions are not air-conditioned, while some of the workshops such as printing workshops are installed with air conditioners for the operation of machines which require a lower temperature. CSD shall ensure that the ventilation of all the cells is adequate for health in accordance with the law. Currently, the ventilation of all the cells are in compliance with the standard of Buildings Department on Habitable Room (natural means), which is 1.5 Air Change per Hour (ACH), and CSD has installed fans in the surroundings of the cells to enhance ventilation. CSD shall pay close attention to the ventilation of the cells in correctional institutions and adopt any feasible measures in co-operation with Architectural Services Department and Electrical and Mechanical Services Department to improve ventilation. To prevent heat stroke, PICs are provided with adequate drinking water to replenish the water loss in correctional institutions. Correctional officers regularly check the heat stress index under hot weather to decide whether to continue with the outdoor work or sports activities of PICs. Heads of institutions also regularly review the vigorous exercises conducted during hot and humid seasons to ensure appropriate measures are adopted by institutional staff to help PICs prevent heat stroke.
If a PIC is diagnosed with impairment of intelligence, autism or hyperactivity disorder, and has difficulties in adaptation to some orders and disciplines, will he/she be subject to punishments? How does CSD handle such situations? CSD has been paying close attention to PICs’ health and needs. For PICs diagnosed with impairment of intelligence, autism or hyperactivity disorder, resident Medical Officers and Clinical Psychologists will assess their situation and provide health care for them to facilitate their adaptation to custodial lives. Correctional institutions will assign dedicated staff to take care of PICs with special needs. Relevant staff members will conduct regular meetings with these PICs to understand the problems or difficulties they encounter in order to offer suitable assistance. In addition, all PICs newly admitted into correctional institutions will be arranged to undergo an induction programme and given a booklet called “Information for Person in Custody” to facilitate their adaptation to custodial lives and enhance their understanding of the system and discipline in correctional institutions. If they still have difficulties in adaptation or even conduct indiscipline acts, CSD will lay a disciplinary charge against them impartially after resident Medical Officers have proven that the health conditions of PICs are suitable to attend the disciplinary hearing.
What measures does CSD adopt to prevent PICs from committing self-harm or suicide? CSD will adopt all possible solutions to prevent PICs from committing self-harm or suicidal behaviours. For instance, correctional officers will arrange newly admitted PICs to attend induction talks, during which their attention will be brought to the general points to note in the institutions. The Department will also arrange staff members to provide counselling to them helping them adapt to the life in the institutions as soon as possible. Besides, institutional officers will use the Self-harm Risk Index and observe signs of PICs to identify PICs’ self-harm risks. If PICs are assessed to have higher self-harm risk, they will be placed on the Medical Observation List. Correctional officers will pay special attention to this type of PICs to make corresponding arrangements. CSD also starts to improve the facilities in institutions so as to reduce PICs’ possibilities of self-harm or suicide. For example, toilets, mirrors and washing basins are made with non-fragile materials. For facilities such as fire service sprinklers, they will be designed in a way such that PICs will find it difficult to use those as anchor points to hang themselves. Besides, CSD is replacing old-style locks by electric locks for inmate cells by phase. That is to reduce the time spent on unlocking the cells and to facilitate a speedier rescue. During the training in Staff Training Institute, new recruits will receive training on procedures of handling self-harm or suicide cases by PICs. As for in-service training, clinical psychologists will periodically teach the officers the latest knowledge of preventing suicide and self-harm.
How to determine the prison where a PIC should serve his sentence? Under what circumstances will PICs be transferred to another prison? The Classification and Categorisation Board of CSD decides on the correctional institutions where PICs should serve their sentence. When PICs on remand are convicted by court, the Classification and Categorisation Board of an institution will interview the convicted PICs, classifies and categorises them according to the nature of offence, age, the term of sentence and security category, etc. of the PICs. The Board will determine the types of institution where individual PICs will serve their sentence according to the conditions of admission of different institutions. In considering if a PIC should be transferred to another institution, CSD will make decision according to a series of factors such as the operation of the institution, security and the physical and mental condition of the PIC.
What special arrangements will be made if a female PIC is pregnant while serving sentence in prison? What arrangements will be made following the birth of the infant, for example the supply of milk powder and diapers? Are there any specific brands? Is the mother allowed to breastfeed her infant? Generally speaking, when female PICs are pregnant with 30 weeks’ gestation, they will be taken to the centre hospital to ensure that they can receive immediate medical treatment from resident Medical Officers and correctional officers with nursing qualifications if the needs arise. Besides, the institution will arrange the pregnant PICs to undergo antenatal checkups in public hospitals on a regular basis. If they have special needs, they can make a request with the duty staff who will refer their cases to the centre hospital and make appropriate arrangements according to the recommendations of Medical Officers. For example, if the Medical Officer opines that the pregnant woman needs to take additional nutrients, the institution will include additional food into her daily diet. According to the legislation, the child of a female PIC may be received into prison with its mother until the mother has completed her sentence or such child has attained the age of 3 years, whichever is the earlier. PICs’ children who stay in prisons will be provided with milk powder which is of unspecified brands and purchased according to the established procedures of the government. Mothers are allowed to breastfeed their infants. As for diapers, apart from the approved diapers brought to mothers in custody by relatives and friends, they can also accept those sent in by staff of non-governmental organisations. To sum up, the institution will arrange adequate disposable diapers for children of PICs.
Under what circumstances will a PIC be put in “Shui Fan Fong (水飯房)”? What are the differences between the life in Shui Fan Fong and that of PICs in general? What are the differences on their welfare? Special Unit, the so-called “Shui Fan Fong”, is a facility used for separate confinement of PICs in a correctional institution. For the name “Shui Fan Fong”, the public may be misled into believing that a PIC in the Special Unit is only provided with three meals of plain water and rice. Actually, this arrangement had been abolished several decades ago. Meals in the Special Unit are not different from those provided to other PICs. According to legislations, CSD imposes separate confinement on individual PICs or removal from association with other PICs based on different reasons and managerial needs. Those reasons include the imposing of separate confinement as punishment due to indiscipline acts, or the PIC takes the initiative to request for protection because of individual conditions such as the special criminal background of the PIC, or the PIC affects the discipline and order of the institution so that it is necessary to remove from association with other PICs. PICs serving sentence in the Special Unit will not lose their privileges automatically unless the PIC is imposed separate confinement and loss of privileges at the same time due to indiscipline acts.
Are there different designs of clothing for PICs? There are various categories of PICs under the custody of CSD, including adult PICs and young PICs, male PICs and female PICs, convicted PICs and remanded PICs. To facilitate the management of various categories of PICs, CSD will provide them with different clothing for identification. Moreover, to maintain the health of PICs, CSD provides PICs with different summer and winter clothing. The clothing for patients, pregnant women and PICs on exercise is different from the clothing for PICs at the usual time. Members of the public have the chance to see different styles of clothing for PICs in TV programmes or movies.
What are the reception procedures for PICs in general? All newly-admitted PICs will undergo a series of reception procedures when they are admitted into institutions. The procedures include searching, verification of court warrants and taking of fingerprints, etc. Moreover, they have to hand in their personal belongings which will be kept by the institution temporarily. Then, the staff of different sections will interview them to understand their needs. The staff will then arrange them to go to the centre hospital for examination by the Medical Officer to assess their physical and mental health. Upon completion of the above procedures, the institutional staff will arrange the PICs to join the Induction Programme. Meanwhile, the staff of different sections will explain to them the points to note in respect of their life in correctional institutions, including daily life, exercising, work and discipline, etc. If PICs have any queries, they can raise questions immediately and the staff will answer their enquiries accordingly.
If the spectacles worn by PICs are not up to the standard, do they need replacement? What are the specifications for spectacles in prisons? What are the procedures for prescription of spectacles? Spectacles worn by PICs must be made of plastic, including the frames and lens. If the spectacles worn by a PIC are prescribed with metal frames or glass lens, the institution will ask them to prescribe another pair of spectacles conforming with the specifications, and the original spectacles will be kept under the custody of the institution or their relatives and friends. If a PIC needs to prescribe spectacles during his/her custody, he/she can apply to the institution and then the visiting eye doctor will conduct the vision test. Once confirmed by the eye doctor that they have actual needs to wear spectacles, PICs may apply to the institution for receiving spectacles during visits by relatives and friends. If there is no visit from relatives and friends, PICs may apply to the staff of the Rehabilitation Unit for prescription of spectacles for them in the market.