In response to press enquiries on a court case, the Correctional Services Department gave the following response today (September 27):
"One former Officer and one former Assistant Officer of the Correctional Services Department (CSD) were recently charged with misconduct in public office. They were found guilty at the Eastern Magistrates' Court today.
The CSD places great importance on the conduct and integrity of its staff. As a law enforcement agency accountable to the public, we adopt zero tolerance to any misconduct of staff. Any breach of law will be strictly dealt with.
During the hearing, the two defendants made unfounded accusations against the Department and their superiors. We express deep regret at their act. The Department has never forced staff to ensure a high level of employment rate and success rate for rehabilitated persons. The judgment of the court proves that the accusations were made without any supporting evidence and upholds justice for the Department.
The Department respects the Court's decision and is studying the judgment carefully before taking any follow-up actions. Regarding the concern that other correctional officer(s) responsible for supervising rehabilitated offenders might have been involved, the Department has referred the case to the relevant law enforcement agency for follow up action.
Following the revelation of the incident in 2009, we have conducted a comprehensive review of the procedures on supervisory duties for inmates of drug addiction treatment centre after their release. Subsequently, we have introduced a series of improvement measures to strengthen supervision of supervisees, speed up processing cases of breaching conditions of supervision, and enhance the checks and balances mechanism to minimise the possibility of manipulation by human factors (for example, introducing tamper-resistant urine collection containers labelled with serial numbers, keeping detailed records of the use of and the issue and receipt of each tamper-resistant urine collection container, and stepping up the enforcement of the requirement of conducting random surprise collection of urine samples of the supervisees by superiors of the supervising officers shortly after the last urine tests). The new measures have been smoothly implemented for more than a year and achieved the expected results. At our request, the Corruption Prevention Department of the Independent Commission Against Corruption will start a full review of the relevant procedures.
In addition, the Department has strengthened its integrity management over the past two years. We have organised promotional activities and training to inculcate a culture of integrity and honesty among our staff and to enhance their awareness against acts of misconduct.
Correctional work is very challenging and we are tasked with great missions and responsibilities. Apart from the provision of quality custodial services, we have also collaborated with the community and various stakeholders to take forward rehabilitative work so as to achieve our core mission of protecting the public and reducing crime. We are committed to serving the community by carrying out our duties with dedication and upholding the highest standard of integrity, thus contributing to the order and stability of Hong Kong."
Ends/Thursday, September 27, 2012
Issued at HKT 18:17