The Non-Government Organisation (NGO) Forum 2011 on offenders' reintegration into the community and the Outstanding NGO Volunteer Award Presentation Ceremony were held today (October 3) to provide a platform for experience sharing in the provision of rehabilitative services to offenders.
The forum, entitled "Offenders' Reintegration into the Community - NGOs' Successful Case Study", was co-organised by the Correctional Services Department (CSD) and the City University of Hong Kong (CityU). It included discussions on successful cases and essential factors in community reintegration as well as case sharing by workers and volunteers of NGOs in partnership with CSD on providing services to offenders.
Speaking at the forum, the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Sin Yat-kin, said helping offenders become responsible persons and law-abiding citizens was a noble and worthwhile goal that would also help Hong Kong become a safer and more secure home for all. In the meantime, community acceptance and support were of great importance for offender rehabilitation.
Mr Sin said, "We hope that, through various activities and collaboration with academics and NGOs, the public can better understand and identify the needs of offenders and rehabilitated persons, so that the most suitable services and timely assistance can be provided for them.
"NGOs have a long history of working with CSD to provide rehabilitative services to offenders in correctional institutions. At present, more than 80 NGOs collaborate closely with CSD in providing a wide range of services for offenders and rehabilitated persons, covering group counselling, festive mass programmes, hobby classes and cultural activities.
"These activities serve as valuable supplements to the services provided by CSD. Moreover, the offenders could, through the contact with and services provided by the volunteers of NGOs, feel the care and concern of the public."
Mr Sin pointed out that in 2010, more than 2 000 volunteers participated in providing services to offenders. The Outstanding NGO Volunteer Award Presentation Ceremony was held to show appreciation for the volunteers' selfless contributions and meritorious service for the rehabilitation of offenders.
Also speaking at the NGO Forum 2011, the Provost of CityU, Professor Arthur Ellis, said the aim of the forum was to examine and develop initiatives and actions for the successful rehabilitation of offenders.
"To meet this challenge, it is of critical importance that we strengthen partnership and communication among the sectors that are involved and promote synergy in our joint efforts in the rehabilitation of offenders," Professor Ellis said.
About 250 persons including 43 Outstanding NGO Volunteer Award recipients participated in the event today.
Ends/Monday, October 3, 2011
Issued at HKT 19:08
The Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Sin Yat-kin (right), and the Provost of the City University of Hong Kong, Professor Arthur Ellis, are pictured at a forum entitled "Offenders' Reintegration into the Community - NGOs' Successful Case Study" today (October 3).