Yellow Ribbon Community Project Appreciation and Awards Luncheon 2023
Yellow Ribbon Community Project Appreciation and Awards Luncheon 2023: Mobilising Communities, Strengthening Families
SINGAPORE, 4 November 2023 – The Singapore Prison Service (SPS) and the Singapore Anti- Narcotics Association (SANA) held the annual Yellow Ribbon Community Project (YRCP) Appreciation and Awards Luncheon 2023 today, in recognition of the commitment and good work of grassroots volunteers and their contributions towards supporting families of offenders. The event, held at The Star Performing Arts Centre, was graced by Guest-of-Honour, Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity.
20 awards were given to the grassroots divisions that have been a part of the YRCP for three, five and 10 years, and 444 other individual volunteers received awards for their 3-year, 5-year and 10-year contributions to YRCP. As of November 2023, all 93 grassroots divisions have come on board the YRCP, with over 1,100 volunteers trained to render timely assistance to families of those newly incarcerated. More than 21,000 families have benefitted from such support since YRCP’s inception in 2010.
In her opening address, Minister Josephine Teo unveiled a new YRCP logo and new YRCP Volunteer Pass which will make it easier for families to identify YRCP volunteers. She also shared on YRCP’s plans to deepen community collaborations and expand the work of volunteers to provide more sustained support for families of incarcerated persons. The expanded work of YRCP will enhance synergies amongst stakeholders by onboarding new community partners such as Family Service Centres from each grassroot division and NeuGen1. 11 YRCP volunteers will befriend and support families not only during incarceration but continue post-release as well. The accessibility of training and training materials will also be enhanced to help YRCP volunteers develop the necessary skillsets to manage family members’ emotions arising from incarceration of loved ones, and gain knowledge on the effects of incarceration on the family and family dynamics. This will enable YRCP volunteers to perform their roles more effectively.
Superintendent Ong Choon Yong, Senior Assistant Director of the Community Partnership & Family Policy Branch, Rehabilitation and Reintegration Division at SPS, said: “Family plays a critical role in supporting the long-term desistance of ex-offenders. With the expanded role of YRCP volunteers as family befrienders, we are confident that inmates’ families can be better supported in the longer term, helping them remain crime and drug free. In addition, YRCP volunteers, who operate at the grassroots level, are a source of pro-social support for all ex- offenders when they return to their residential neighbourhood upon release. To better equip our volunteers for their new role, SPS is investing more resources to train our volunteers.”
Ms Juliyanah Binte Jalil who is a Yellow Ribbon Champion of the Jurong Spring Division, said: “Supporting families impacted by incarceration is essential, as it has far-reaching effects on both the children and caregiver. As a YRCP volunteer, I can make a meaningful impact on the lives of ex-offenders, lowering the recidivism rate and facilitating their successful reintegration into society. As I continue my volunteering journey, I hope to empower individuals by creating opportunities and promoting social inclusion. I strive to give back to the community that I cherish and wish to make a lasting and positive change in the lives of those I serve.”
1 NeuGen is one of the core members of CARE Network and focuses primarily on families and children of ex-offenders to prevent inter-generational offending.