The Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok, officiated today (September 16) at a launch ceremony for "The Reflective Path", a community education programme organised by the Correctional Services Department at Ma Hang Prison.
More than 30 students and teachers from Yan Chai Hospital Lan Chi Pat Memorial Secondary School were invited to the ceremony. The students also became the programme's first batch of participants after its official opening.
Introduced under the Rehabilitation Pioneer Project (RPP), "The Reflective Path" is a new programme that encourages students to take part in the role-play hearing of cases involving common youth crimes in a mock court at the Staff Training Institute in Stanley, enabling them to learn more about Hong Kong's criminal justice system.
After the mock hearing, participants are "sentenced" by the mock court. In this way the students can experience the process of imprisonment at Ma Hang Prison, so as to better understand the life of persons in custody and the price they pay for committing crime. In addition, there are focus group activities and sharing sessions, making it a unique and meaningful community education event.
Addressing the launch ceremony, Mr Lai said that the CSD has been effectively utilising its facilities and resources in supporting the Government's policy to combat drug-related crimes committed by young people. Through experiential activities involving persons in custody, the department seeks to convey to young people the dire consequences of committing drug-related crimes, said Mr Lai. The CSD's rehabilitation programmes and publicity initiatives supporting offenders' rehabilitation have proved to be effective measures in reducing crime, he added.
Since beginning of this year Ma Hang Prison has been progressively transformed into a multi-purpose training base. Principal Officer of the CSD, Mr Choi Nam-hin, who is in charge of "The Reflective Path" programme, said, "Five trial runs have been carried out in Ma Hang Prison since May this year. Critical evaluation has been conducted on the content and detailed arrangements immediately after each trial run to strive for excellence.
"As the programme is new, the department has to assess whether the sessions can enable young people, especially those who are visiting the correctional institution for the first time, to understand the criminal justice system in Hong Kong, and become aware of the detrimental consequences of committing crimes.
"We also hope to achieve the objective of community education through face-to-face sharing with persons in custody, which allows participants to gain a better understanding of correctional services as well as the meaning of rehabilitation work."
The CSD launched the RPP in September 2008. Through a series of diverse community education events including educational talks, visits to the Correctional Services Department Museum, the Green Haven Scheme, extended training camps, a drama and music performance of "Creation and Rehabilitation", student forums, meetings with persons in custody and "The Reflective Path", the department seeks to disseminate to young people the messages of leading a law-abiding, drug-free life and supporting the rehabilitation of offenders. Since November 2012, RPP activities have been accepted as approved "Other Learning Experiences" under the New Senior Secondary Curriculum.
Ends/Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Issued at HKT 15:40
The Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok, officiates and addresses a launch ceremony today (September 16) for "The Reflective Path", a community education programme organised by the Correctional Services Department at Ma Hang Prison.
Mr Lai (left) and the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Yau Chi-chiu (right), visit a cell in the Special Unit at Ma Hang Prison.
A student takes part in a mock reception procedure as part of "The Reflective Path".
Students take part in a simulated grass-cutting exercise as part of "The Reflective Path".
Students take part in a foot drill during "The Reflective Path".
Students meet with a person in custody to better understand the price paid for committing crime.