Life Gym — the Positive Living Centre for Men, a new facility established in Stanley Prison, officially opened on October 23. It marked a major milestone in the development of gender-specific rehabilitation work by the Correctional Services Department (CSD). Life Gym is the first psychological treatment centre tailored for male persons in custody (PICs) set up by the CSD and is also the first of its kind in Asia. By providing various types of psychological treatments, it aims at helping PICs desist from crime and lead a positive life.

Officiating at the opening ceremony in the company of the Commissioner of Correctional Services Mr WOO Ying-ming, the former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong Professor Fanny CHEUNG said, “Upholding its professionalism, the CSD has been providing a range of holistic and systematic psychological treatment programmes to assist in the rehabilitation of PICs. As a researcher on gender study, I agree that equal opportunities are not achieved only by providing identical treatment, but also by taking into account the specific needs of both sexes. I support the adoption of gender-sensitive measures to promote equal opportunities. I am delighted to note that the CSD has been proactively implementing visionary gender-specific psychological treatment programmes, catering for the specific criminogenic and rehabilitation needs of male and females PICs.”

After the ceremony, a clinical psychologist introduced to the guests the new, vibrant and modern facilities meeting the unique needs of male PICs in Life Gym, including the newly introduced smart bike. The smart bike, equipped with an electronic display screen, could allow male PICs to engage in different forms of sports and competitions on the virtual cycling tracks while one of the latest directions for the promotion of mental health is to make good use of sports activities as an entry point for psychological intervention. Therefore, cyber cycling training was incorporated into psychological treatments in Life Gym, enabling PICs to practise various psychological skills while participating in sports, to enhance the effectiveness of the treatments.