Friday July 6, 2012
Ex-convicts need support to return to society
By RINTOS MAIL
KUCHING: An appeal has gone out to the community, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and capable individuals to support the rehabilitation programmes of the Prisons Department.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, who made the appeal, said an all-round cooperation could help rehabilitate convicts and prevent them from returning to their old destructive ways.
He said the community’s awareness of its role in giving prisoners “a second chance” was vital because they needed to feel being appreciated and accepted by the community.
Jabu said it was a known fact that former convicts were often forced back into their old ways by the community’s prejudice attitude towards them.
“My advice is, the community should be prepared to accept ex-convicts because without the support of the community, it is very difficult for them to merge into society.
“Clearly, the community’s acceptance is a key element in making ex-convicts feel that they are welcomed,” he said at the launch of the state Prison Complex by Head of State Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng at Jalan Puncak Borneo here yesterday.
Jabu, who represented Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, believed that if ex-convicts were given the “second chance”, they could contribute something more meaningful to society, religion and nation.
Jabu also assured that the state government would always support the Prisons Department’s desire and effort to rehabilitate all convicts in all prisons in the state.