Tag Archives: prison

The Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention

21 Nov

The Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention, Hong Kong (SRACP), formerly known as The Hong Kong Discharged Prisoners’ Aid Society, is a government recognised charitable organisation established in 1957. Because of limited financial resources at early stage, most of the staff at that time was voluntary part-time workers. With the dedication and perseverance, the work of the Society gradually came to be recognised and valued by the public. In 1959 the Society received its first government subvention and since then yearly subvention has been granted to sustain the rehabilitation service for offenders and discharged prisoners. The Society was incorporated as a non-profit making limited company under the Companies Ordinance on 23 September 1966.

Through service units, SRACP provides quality rehabilitation and multifarious service for Hong Kong residents who are charged with criminal offence, have been convicted of crimes, or released from prisons; as well as to provide community education, mental health service and crime prevention programmes for the general public of Hong Kong. Our services include individual and family counselling, hostels, recreation, court social work, vocational training and employment, mental health service, community education and volunteer programmes, etc.

The Society is a member of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, the International Prisoners Aid Association and the Community Chest of Hong Kong.

These are examples of some of the things they do:
Home Circuit Service Centre
The Social workers of Home Circuit Service Centre are granted approval to communicate with a prisoner’s family by the Hong Kong Correctional Services Department, providing services including 24-hour hotline, family counseling, and family support groups for the incarcerated or discharged persons and their family. The Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention also encourage family members of offenders and ex-offenders to become volunteers; through providing volunteer service and supporting other families with similar background, they learn to give back to the community.

Blue Bus Sharing of LOVE
*To render emotional and social support to children and youth of incarcerated/ *offended parents
*To build up resilience of children and youth from negative impacts of parental imprisonment
*To counteract the negative cycles of criminal influence in these families
*To resolve children and youth’s adjustment difficulties during the imprisonment of their significant family members
*To strengthen the constant and regular inmate-family connection in order to enhance positive family relationship

Home Network‧Love Linking
Home Network‧Love Linking’ is sponsored by the Community Investment and Inclusion Fund. This project compiles the collaboration between Family, School, Commercial and Community. The project aims at connecting the families of prisoners and ex-prisoners as well as facilitating these families to partner with external parties in the “Companion Scheme”. They will be gradually transformed from service recipient to social capital in the process of rendering service to other underprivileged groups with commercial and community group. The rehabilitated families will also share their stories through community network to alert teenagers about the consequences on family of committing crime and to let parents know how to identify the deviant behaviors of their children, so earlier prevention can be done. Moreover, the family members will share their stories through micro-firm and radio. This is to raise the public noises and discussion on their stories so as to increase social acceptance towards these families.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club Community Project Grant: Project Oasis
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Community Project Grant: Project Oasis, funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust since 2005, is an integrated and collaborative project by the Society and Substance Abuse Assessment Unit (SAAU) of Kwai Chung Hospital. The Project is characterized by joint effort between medical professionals and social workers, aiming at providing substance abusers with short term hospitalized detoxification treatment and comprehensive community based rehabilitative services.

In order to further consolidate the efficacy of treatment, aftercare hostel – Bradbury Oasis Hostel with license under the Drug Dependent Persons Treatment and Rehabilitation Centres (Licensing) Ordinance, provides 16 male placements. Past rehabilitated service users act as peer counsellors to help substance abusers strive for detoxification and abstinence. Those who have rehabilitated well in Bradbury Oasis Hostel but still have residential needs, can apply for short term supportive placement in Chi Lik Oasis Hostel, so as to facilitate their return to independent living in the community.

To find out more about what the Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention do, please follow this link

Volunteer:
Through volunteering with the Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention, the general public, ex-offenders and ex-mentally ill persons are engaged in driving crime prevention education and offender rehabilitation activities in the community. The general public will have the opportunity to know the offenders and ex-mentally ill persons better, encouraging public acceptance. At the same time, ex-offenders and ex-mentally ill persons can rebuild their confidence, which is essential for their reintegration to society.

1. Volunteer Training
The Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention offer specialized social service mainly serving offenders, ex-offenders and ex-mentally ill persons. Therefore, every individual have to attend a basic volunteer training before they join our volunteer team to learn the basic communication skills with our service users and the important things to note when serving them.

2. Volunteer Services
Community Volunteer Team
Formed by people from the community, community volunteer team organises festive mass programmes and group works in correctional institutions to increase the linkages of inmates with the outside world; they assist social workers in carrying out services in Magistrates’ Courts to help relieve the stress of persons awaiting trial and their families. Volunteers also provide prison visitation services and organise birthday parties to help ex-offenders connect with their children, and organise crime prevention education programmes to avoid intergenerational crime. Other volunteer activities include organising activities for ex-mentally ill persons to prepare them for their return to society, and providing justice education programmes to help young people develop good citizenship. Lastly, the community volunteer team is also actively involved in Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention’s agency events such as fundraising activities.

Ex-offender Volunteer Team
To aid their reintegration into society, Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention encourages their service users including ex-offenders, ex-mentally ill persons and ex-drug abusers to actively participate in volunteer service, such as hair cutting and wheelchair repairing volunteering activities. These activities can also transform their service users into givers and help them understand giving is more blessed than receiving.

Social Inclusion Volunteer Team
The Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention encourage service users to work with community volunteers in providing services for other disadvantaged groups, such as people with intellectual disabilities, the elderly and physically handicapped children. On one hand, this allows community volunteers to have more understanding towards ex-offenders through interaction; on the other hand, it helps widen positive social circle of ex-offenders.

3. Volunteer social activities
In addition to coordinating volunteers to provide services, the Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention also organises regular exchange and recreational activities to enhance their interests in the Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention service and their sense of belonging to the team.

Those who are interested in becoming a SRACP volunteer may apply directly to the Agency. (For enquiries, please call 2782-3080). For more information about volunteer requirements, please visit their website by following this link

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The Prisoners’ Friends’ Association

23 Aug

pfa

The Prisoners’ Friends’ Association (PFA) began in 1982 at the suggestion of the Commissioner of the Correctional Services Department (CSD). It was founded to recruit volunteer prison visitors to visit prisoners who had no one visiting them.

PFA’s aim is to give a service of friendship to prisoners and their families by providing regular visits, correspondence and meeting legitimate needs. By this means their aim is to help the prisoners and their families to cope with the imprisonment and to work towards rehabilitation and adjustment to society afterwards, and thus to contribute to a reduction in crime. Within the context of being a Prisoners’ Friend to suggest, encourage and support measures to improve prison conditions and the welfare of the prisoners and their families,

PFA is a voluntary organisation. It is run by an elected Executive Committee. It is not aligned or related to any religious body or other organization. Although the visitors’ pass is issued by the Correctional Services Department and Police and although PFA has to co-operate with them and abide by their rules, the association is an independent body.

What you can do to help
Become a Prison Visitor. For being a Prison Visitor, you need to apply for a pass which allows you to enter any prison in Hong Kong and have an open visit with a prisoner. Before such a pass is issued, it is necessary for the authorities to carry out a security check on you. In fact it is the same check that is applied to those who work inside the prisons. No formal qualifications are required. The main qualification is the ability to be a good friend. Prison Visitors are of different nationalities and religions. They are from all walks of life, of different ages and with varied interests. No specific qualifications are essential to join the association though obviously some people are more suitable than others. Applicants are required to complete application forms. It is a unlikely that anyone with a prison record will be permitted to visit prisons here and so he/she would not generally be issued with a pass.

Become a Pen Friend. Letters mean a very great deal to those cut off from the world in a prison environment. Brightly colored, or interesting cards can bring joy and do not take too long to write. Letters and cards are evidence to the prisoner that someone has thought of him, someone cares and there is a contact outside to whom he can respond. Furthermore, other prisoners look down on a prisoner with no letter whiles, those with mail and visitors are looked up to. So by writing to a prisoner, who previously had no letters, you can open an unexpectedly wide dimension to their lives.

For more information about membership and the application processes, please visit PFA’s website.