About 500 students, teachers and social workers from 16 secondary schools joined the Student Forum of the Rehabilitation Pioneer Project for interactive exploration of the youth drug abuse and rehabilitation topics today (February 22).
The forum, organised by the Correctional Services Department (CSD), has been a large-scale annual event under the Rehabilitation Pioneer Project since 2008. Concerted efforts by the CSD in collaboration with schools has brought about a series of community education and visit programmes, which deliver positive messages and encourage students to become "rehabilitation pioneers" with the mission and vision to respect the rule of law, live a drug-free life and support rehabilitation work for inmates.
During these two-hour activities, participants enjoy an interactive session, "Options in Life", during which they can explore the importance of making the right decisions at critical junctures, and take part in a sharing session in which inmates talk about their rehabilitation path after going astray.
"As the issue of youth crime and drug abuse is a concern in our society, the CSD has held a series of community educational talks and visits under the Rehabilitation Pioneer Project to convey to young people the messages of combating crime, staying drug-free and supporting rehabilitation work," said the Assistant Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Tang Ping-ming.
"We hold educational talks at schools participating in the project and after each talk suitable participants will be selected by responsible teachers or social workers to join a visit to a correctional institution or the Hong Kong Correctional Services Museum," Mr Tang added.
"Participants who complete the visits to correctional institutions will be asked to give an oath indicating their commitment to becoming a rehabilitation pioneer who supports rehabilitative work."
By end of last year the department had conducted 607 educational talks in 224 secondary schools and 78 governmental or non-governmental organisations (NGOs), with more than 100,000 people participating in the talks. More than 10,000 students from 630 schools and NGOs were recorded to have visited correctional institutions and met inmates there under the project.
Mr Tang said he was pleased to see positive feedback after many participants wrote to correctional institutions expressing their support for and acceptance of rehabilitated offenders. He thanked NGOs and schools for their concerted efforts and support for rehabilitation work, which helped rehabilitated offenders to reintegrate into society.
Officiating guests at today's forum were the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Sin Yat-kin, and representatives from the District Fight Crime Committees.
Ends/Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Issued at HKT 16:46
Students listen to an experience sharing session with rehabilitated offenders during the Student Forum of the Rehabilitation Pioneer Project today (February 22).