The four-day Beijing-Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Prison Forum 2011 hosted by the Correctional Services Department (CSD) began today (April 11) in Hong Kong. The theme of the forum is "The Synergy Effect of Community Involvement in Offender Rehabilitation and Risks and Needs Assessment and Management Protocol for Offenders".
Members of the CSD delegation included Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Sin Yat-kin; Deputy Commissioner, Mr Yau Chi-chiu; and Senior Superintendents Mr Tang Ping-ming, Mr Woo Ying-ming and Miss Ng Sau-wai.
The six-member Beijing delegation is led by Chief Director of Beijing Prison Administration Bureau, Mr Sun Chao-mei; and the ten-member Guangdong delegation is led by Director of Guangdong Provincial Prisons Administration Bureau, Mr Yu Baozhong. Director of Macau Prison, Mr Lee Kam-cheong also led a ten-member delegation to participate in the forum. Meanwhile, a four-member guest delegation from Singapore is led by Director of Prisons, Singapore Prison Service, Mr Soh Wai-wah.
Officiating at the opening ceremony of the forum, the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, said the Security Bureau had long been supporting CSD's work in helping offenders' reintegration into society. Apart from benefiting rehabilitated offenders, it could help reduce crime in the community. In recent years, the Government had continually put more resources on rehabilitative services.
Mr Lee said, "Since 2006, the CSD has implemented the risks and needs assessment and management protocol for offenders to identify offenders with higher custodial and re-offending risks. A programme matching scheme including education, skill-training and counselling will be provided to help these offenders re-integrate into society. Up to the end of February this year, the CSD has provided risks and needs assessment to more than 16,400 inmates and some 18,000 sessions of the programme matching scheme.
"Meanwhile, over 80 non-government organisations and voluntary groups are providing a variety of rehabilitative services and support for persons in custody and rehabilitated offenders with the help of the CSD. The department also organises various community education and publicity activities to promote the understanding of rehabilitated offenders so as to eliminate discrimination on them."
The Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Sin Yat-kin said the aim of this forum was to have an in-depth discussion and experience sharing on penal management and offender rehabilitation among all participating parties. He said it could enhance professional exchanges and mutual communication.
Mr Sin said, "The discussion topic has played an important role in the transformation of offenders. The synergy effect will bring both opportunities and challenges to penal management and offender transformation.
"Correctional services have a long history of 170 years in Hong Kong. At the beginning, Hong Kong's gaol and police were managed by the same authority. Ninety years ago, prisons came under the charge of the then Prisons Department, now known as the Correctional Services Department. I am honoured to host this forum when we are celebrating our 90th anniversary. Looking ahead, the staff of the CSD will continue to serve the community with dedication and perseverance."
The Chief Director of Beijing Prison Administration Bureau, Mr Sun Chao-mei said helping offenders re-integrate into society had become an important and pressing issue. He said that as the forum explored the synergy effect of community engagement to help rehabilitated offenders and risks and needs assessment for offenders and penal management, the discussions would be timely and meaningful.
Also speaking at the forum, the Director of Guangdong Provincial Prisons Administration Bureau, Mr Yu Baozhong said the theme of this forum fully reflected the interactive relationship between the prison and society in management, education and offender transformation. It demonstrated the penal ideology of enhancing social harmony as the basic value and target.
The Director of Macau Prison, Mr Lee Kam-cheong said the introduction of community participation and assistance could help offenders prepare for their re-integration into society.
The Director of Prisons, Singapore Prison Service, Mr Soh Wai-wah said to make correctional work effective, the types and levels of reforms for offenders should be designed and planned according to offenders' risks and needs.
To enhance professional exchange and further co-operation, CSD and Guangdong Provincial Prisons Administration Bureau held the first Prison Forum in Guangzhou in 2004. Singapore Prison Service, Beijing Prison Administration Bureau and Macau Prison later also became the guest or organising parties.
Ends/Monday, April 11, 2011
Issued at HKT 19:44
(From left) Director of Prisons, Singapore Prison Service, Mr Soh Wai-wah; Director of Guangdong Provincial Prisons Administration Bureau, Mr Yu Baozhong; Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee; Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Sin Yat-kin; Chief Director of Beijing Prison Administration Bureau, Mr Sun Chao-mei; and Director of Macau Prison, Mr Lee Kam-cheong.
Delegates of the Prison Forum pose for a group photo with the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee (front row, fifth left) and the directorate officers of the Correctional Services Department.