Lead by example to help prison inmates boost confidence

National 2 minutes, 12 seconds

TUTONG

ALL stakeholders including prison officials should guide inmates in becoming more confident in rebuilding their lives.

This was said by veteran prison officials who were all too familiar with the challenges of rejoining society for prison inmates once their sentences are served.

The officials spoke following their acceptance of excellent worker’s awards, given in conjunction with the Prisons Department’s 62nd anniversary yesterday.

There were a total of 10 officers and personnel of the Prisons Department werechosen to receive the award.

Female warden Siti Normala Embran highlighted the importance of strict management of inmates, especially for prisons officials assigned to the task.

She said being strict in managing inmates would allow prisons officials to portray themselves as being confident as they guide them to be a better person.

By showing that officials are confident in what they teach, she said that it would also allow inmates to be confident of their choices, and in turn, embolden them and prepare them in the process of rebuilding their new lives.

Prisons Officer Abd Razak Hj Sahat said that in guiding inmates, officials should also be compassionate as the prisoners had been sentenced and are in the process of repenting for their crimes.

“And so our responsibility, especially for prisons officials is of course to guide and teach them to be better, to leave the crimes they had done so they could change for better and return to their families,” he said.

He noted that there were some former inmates, who would go into a relapse, committing the same crime after being released and landing back in jail, which shows that there was also lack of acceptance of them from the community.

The lack of acceptance, he explained, may cause the former inmates to mingle with friends or acquaintances that may have caused them to commit crimes.

“So in this, I would like to stress that it is important for the community to accept and support the former inmates, especially their parents and immediate family members,” he said.

Opining the same, Assistant Prisons Counselor Nuraliyah Hj Ahmad added that family plays an important role in preventing former inmates from returning to their criminal habits, as the prisons department may not be able to supervise them, as part of their “aftercare” programme, round the clock.

“But of course in the end, it would also depend on the inmates themselves, on their own willpower to change for the better,” she said.

“At least what we could do is to support them in rebuilding their lives, not just us, but also from the former inmates’ family members and people surrounding them,” she added.

The Brunei Times