134 Ex Offenders Commended For Seizing Second Chances And Giving Back to Society
SINGAPORE, 12 October 2019 – 134 ex-offenders were recognised for their contributions to society at the Yellow Ribbon Celebrating Second Chances (C2C) Awards Ceremony 2019, held today at The Star Gallery. Mr Amrin Amin, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health, was the Guest-of-Honour at the biennial event, which recognises the determination of ex-offenders in staying crime-free and drug-free and giving back to society.
In his opening address, Mr Amrin emphasised the importance of supporting ex-offenders in overcoming the challenges they face in reintegrating to society, particularly in the areas of employment, family and personal development.
Organised by the CARE Network, the seventh edition of the event was also attended by representatives from over 50 organisations which included corporate partners, employers and social service agencies. These organisations have lent their support to the Yellow Ribbon Project in various ways.
Employers, by providing job opportunities, continue to be an integral pillar of support for ex-offenders and contribute in preventing re-offending. “Life has been hectic since I was released from prison in 2013, but it is through the counselling support I have received at Acorn Quest that has opened many doors for me, including my current job. I have been working to make ends meet and it has not been easy, but what keeps me going is knowing that I have a stable job and income, with my boss, counsellor and family supporting me all the way,” said Ms Kasmawati Bte Kali Ubi, a therapist at health solutions firm Synphne Pte Ltd and a recipient of the Bronze Certificate of Achievement.
“It is crucial for us as employers to provide opportunities to those who have the desire and drive to change and grow,” said Dr Subhasis Banerji, founder and managing director of Synphne Pte Ltd. “Kasmawati has good people skills that puts our patients at ease, and seeing how she is making a difference in others’ lives matters more to us than her past.”
Over 5,300 employers have registered with the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE) to employ ex-offenders. In 2018, 96% of the inmates assisted by SCORE secured a job prior to their release. On average, more than 2,100 inmates receive employment assistance annually, and over 60 per cent remain in their jobs six months after their release.
“The Yellow Ribbon Project encourages the public to give second chances to ex-offenders and support their reintegration. At the same time, it is equally important for the ex-offenders to take responsibility for their rehabilitation, seize the opportunities offered to them and pay it forward. Recognising their commitment to change and their positive impact on society helps to strengthen their belief in their ability to change,” said Deputy Superintendent of Prisons 2, Lawrence Lee, Vice-chairperson of the Yellow Ribbon C2C Awards Ceremony 2019 Organising Committee.
About the Yellow Ribbon Project
Started in 2004, the Yellow Ribbon Project is a community initiative in Singapore that aims to create awareness of the need to give second chances to ex-offenders, generate acceptance of ex-offenders and their families in the community, and inspire community action to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-offenders into society.
The Yellow Ribbon Project is an initiative of the Community Action for the Rehabilitation of Ex-Offenders (CARE) Network, which comprises Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), Singapore Prison Service (SPS), Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE), National Council of Social Service (NCSS), Industrial & Services Co-operative Society Ltd (ISCOS), Singapore After-Care Association (SACA), Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA) and the Yellow Ribbon Fund (YRF).