Helping offenders rehabilitate and reintegrate into society is often a lengthy and ongoing process. In addition to the efforts of government departments and the determination of the offenders themselves, the care, acceptance and support of the community are also vital to this process.
The Under Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok made the above remarks today (April 13) at a Correctional Services Department (CSD) ceremony to launch a new Announcement in the Public Interest (API). Also officiating at the ceremony, held in Lo Wu Correctional Institution, were the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Sin Yat-kin, and the Chairman of the Committee on Community Support for Rehabilitated Offenders, Mr Herman Hui.
During the event, Mr Sin appointed elite athlete in swimming, Miss Sherry Tsai as a Rehabilitation Ambassador.
The new series of API calls on people to "Give Rehabilitated Offenders a Chance". Mr Lai said: "The strongest and most practicable way to accept and support rehabilitated offenders is to 'Give Rehabilitated Offenders A Chance'."?
He pointed out that everyone makes mistakes but has been given second chances. Therefore the community should give another chance to offenders who are determined to turn a new leaf to re-integrate into society. The community should help them stay away from crime and become law-abiding and self-reliant citizens who can make a contribution to society.
The launch of the new TV API and a corresponding radio API coincides with the 90th anniversary of the CSD. Correctional services have a history of 170 years in Hong Kong, and Hong Kong's gaol and police were once managed by the same authority. Ninety years ago, prisons came under the charge of the Prisons Department, now known as the CSD.
The TV API and a corresponding radio API will be broadcast on various TV and radio stations from mid-April. The API refers to a newly-released rehabilitated offender who is offered the chance of employment and has turned over a new leaf. To echo the message, a new poster has also been produced and is to be displayed on a public bus and a CSD lorry.
Ends/Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Issued at HKT 19:10
Officiating at the launch ceremony for a new Announcement in the Public Interest are the Under Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok (centre); the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Sin Yat-kin (left); and the Chairman of the Committee on Community Support for Rehabilitated Offenders, Mr Herman Hui.
Mr Sin (right) appoints elite athlete in swimming, Miss Sherry Tsai as a Rehabilitation Ambassador.