About 500 secondary students, teachers and social workers from 15 schools today (March 4) took part in a student forum under the Rehabilitation Pioneer Project (RPP) organised by the Correctional Services Department (CSD).
The CSD organises student forums every year to spread the messages of leading a law-abiding and drug-free life and supporting the rehabilitation of offenders.
The Po Leung Kuk Chairman, Dr Eric Cheng, who attended as an officiating guest, and Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Sin Yat-kin, led District Fight Crime Committees representatives in taking part in the launch ceremony of the event, which was also supported by the CSD Committee on Community Support for Rehabilitated Offenders.
Adopting a theatre format for the first time, the forum featured a drama performed by the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre about a person who went astray by taking drugs. The story highlighted some of the problems that rehabilitated persons face when they re-integrate into society and sought to share messages about rehabilitation among the students. Students were invited to participate in a role play and a sharing session to strengthen the interactive effect. The forum enabled the students to understand the dire consequences of taking drugs and committing crimes. It also aimed to help them make the right decisions in life and to understand the importance and meaning of rehabilitation, as well as encouraging them to support rehabilitated offenders in re-integrating into the community.
During the sharing session, rehabilitated persons talked about the price they had paid for committing crime and the process of rehabilitation. It also reinforced the message of abiding by the law.
Dr Cheng said the RPP's diverse activities can help young people understand the harmful effects of taking drugs and committing crime so they will stay away from drugs and learn to live within the law. He appealed to the students to promote the message of supporting rehabilitation among their peer groups after the forum.
Participating students said the theatre format helped them better understand the serious consequences of taking drugs and the sense of guilt endured by rehabilitated persons, including their difficulties in reintegrating into society and their desire to be accepted by the community. The seminar enabled them to look at persons in custody from other perspectives, and understand the importance of supporting rehabilitation and the significance of social harmony.
Assistant Commissioner of Correctional Services (Rehabilitation), Mr Woo Ying-ming, said, "Since the launch of the Project in 2008, the department has organised a series of activities including educational talks, visits to the Hong Kong Correctional Services Museum and correctional institutions, the Personal Encounter with Prisoners Scheme and the Green Haven Scheme to promote the messages of the detrimental effects of drug abuse and supporting rehabilitation.
"The CSD refines the Project regularly to inject new elements into it. For example, the extended training camps under the Project and the music and drama performance under the Creation and Rehabilitation Programme can enhance participants' understanding of the fight against crime and rehabilitation."
Mr Woo thanked the schools and students for their involvement in making the student forum a success and the District Fight Crime Committees and Committee on Community Support for Rehabilitated Offenders for their support for rehabilitation through action.
Mr Woo appealed to the public to support rehabilitated people and help them re-integrate into society.
The Rehabilitation Pioneer Project has incorporated various moral and civic education-related actitivities allowed within the "Other Learning Experienes" of the new Senior Secondary Curriculum since December 2012, including meet-the inmates sessions, visits to the Hong Kong Correctional Services Museum and public education talks.
Ends/Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:40
The Correctional Services Department held a student forum under the Rehabilitation Pioneer Project today (March 4). The Po Leung Kuk Chairman, Dr Eric Cheng (ninth left), who attended as an officiating guest; the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Sin Yat-kin (tenth left); and 18 District Fight Crime Committees representatives took part in the event to show their support for rehabilitation work.
Adopting a theatre format for the first time, the forum features a drama performed by the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre about problems that rehabilitated persons face when they re-integrate into society.
During a sharing session, students listen attentively to a rehabilitated person talking about the price he had paid for committing crime and the process of rehabilitation.