Give ex-convicts a chance to reintegrate: Prisons Department

National 1 minute, 42 seconds

TUTONG

THE acting director of Prisons Department has called on employers to provide a chance for ex-convicts to reintegrate themselves into society by offering them jobs.

Hj Ismail Hj Murat said relapse cases among prison inmates were due to issues in landing a job and receiving acceptance from the community.

“The stigma is still there, even from their own families, so they find it hard to accept them back,” he said on the sidelines of the Family Fun Sports Day to mark the Prisons Department’s 62nd anniversary.

The acting director said the total number of prison inmates has increased from over 500 last year to 620 this year.

He added that most of the prisoners were first-time offenders.

Hj Ismail said providing employment opportunities to the ex-convicts will help reduce the recidivism rate.

“The department hopes the community will give these ex-convicts an opportunity to return to society and provide job opportunities because this will help them avoid going back to prison,” he said.

The acting director said the department will continue to ensure the inmates’ security, safety and recovery through various programmes and trainings.

One of the trainings involve equipping the inmates with the skills needed once they are released, including carpentry and tailoring.

The department has managed to help several ex-convicts land a job through its counselling and aftercare service.

Although there are a number of agencies that are assisting the inmates and ex-convicts, Hj Ismail hopes more companies and agencies will provide them with the opportunities.

“To help inmates recover, it is not only the role of the Prisons Department, it is also the public sector, private sector, non-governmental organisations and families’ responsibility to accept them back into the community,” he added.

During the event at the Prisons Department Training Centre in Tutong, Permanent Secretary of Home Affairs Hj Mohammad ‘Abdoh Dato Seri Setia Hj Abd Salam was present to celebrate the department’s anniversary.

Over 300 officers and personnel from the department were also present, along with their families to take part in various activities.

The Brunei Times