All Grassroots Divisions On Board To Support Families Of Ex offenders
SINGAPORE, 23 November 2019 – The Yellow Ribbon Community Project (YRCP) Awards and Appreciation Luncheon 2019 was held to recognise the work of grassroots volunteers and their contributions towards supporting families of offenders. Held today at the Max Atria, the eighth edition of the annual event was graced by Guest-of-Honour Mr Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance.
The YRCP is a grassroots-driven initiative which provides support to families who are affected by the incarceration of their loved ones. Families of offenders face various challenges, including financial difficulties if the offender was the breadwinner of the household, or how children may lack appropriate adult supervision if the main caregiver is incarcerated. Through the YRCP, offenders can focus better on their rehabilitation journey, knowing that their families are supported by the community.
As of November 2019, all 89 grassroots divisions have come on board the YRCP, with over 1,100 volunteers trained to render timely assistance to families of newly-incarcerated offenders. More than 12,000 families have benefited from such support since YRCP’s inception in 2010.
In his opening address, DPM Heng commended the growth of the grassroots-led initiative, noting that the YRCP started with eight grassroots divisions. He emphasized that the commitment of volunteers and the community makes a significant impact in keeping Singapore safe and secure.
Superintendent of Prisons Valerie Chiang, Senior Assistant Director of the Community & Family Policy Branch, Rehabilitation and Reintegration Division, Singapore Prison Service said, “We are heartened and grateful that all grassroots divisions nationwide have come together to support the families of offenders. This will go a long way towards helping more families benefit from YRCP, and in turn better support offenders in their journey of rehabilitation and reintegration.”
This year, over 1,200 families will receive supermarket vouchers as part of the annual YRCP Booster Pack initiative by the Singapore Prison Service and the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association, and sponsored by the Heartwarmers Volunteer Group, Inmates’ Families Support Fund and Yellow Ribbon Fund. In addition, more than 100 school bags containing essential stationery items, shoe vouchers and hand-written letters from incarcerated family members will be given out to their children aged 6 to 12 years old.
“A single act of kindness, not to mention the united effort from the community, can already mean so much to those who may be fighting many unseen internal battles because of the prolonged absence of their loved ones. By extending our helping hand, we can make a lasting positive difference in the lives of these families,” said Edna Tan, Yellow Ribbon Champion of the Kebun Baru Division.
About the Yellow Ribbon Project
Started in 2004, the Yellow Ribbon Project is a community initiative 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 managed by the Community Action for the Rehabilitation of Ex- Offenders (CARE) Network, which comprises the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), Singapore Prison Service (SPS), Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE), Yellow Ribbon Fund (YRF), National Council of Social Service (NCSS), Industrial & Services Co-operative Society Ltd (ISCOS), Singapore After-Care Association (SACA), and Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA).
More information is available at www.yellowribbon.org.sg
About the Singapore Prison Service
As a correctional agency, the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) enforces the secure custody of offenders and rehabilitate them for a safe Singapore. We take the lead in providing guidance to offenders under our charge and assist them in their reintegration upon their release. We cooperate with our partners in aftercare and prevention, working with them to rehabilitate, renew, and restart the lives of offenders so they can become productive members of society. Our team of Captains of Lives comprising uniformed officers and civilian staff, work together to inspire everyone at every chance towards a society without reoffending.