Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 2023: Run Beyond 2nd Chances
Singapore, 24 September 2023 – Guest-of-Honour, Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, flagged off the 14 th edition of the annual Yellow Ribbon Prison Run (YRPR) 2023 today. She was joined in the run by more than 6,500 local and international participants, who pledged their support for second chances and social inclusion.
Themed “Run Beyond 2nd Chances”, YRPR 2023 aims to be a symbol of hope and an avenue to rally community support for ex-offenders and their family along their reintegration journey. The run comprised two categories – a 10km Competitive Run and a 6km Non-Competitive Run. Both runs started at Farnborough Road and ended at the iconic Old Changi Prison Wall, where a Yellow Ribbon Project-themed carnival with a variety of interactive activities and entertaining performances were held. For the first time, the carnival featured performances from the Women Police Pipes & Drums and Gurkha Contingent Pipes & Drums from the Singapore Police Force.
At the carnival exhibition, the participants learnt about the various support for inmates and ex-offenders along their journey towards successful rehabilitation, from in-care to after-care. They also had the opportunity to interact with desistors 1 and pen notes of encouragement to inmates.
The YRPR 2023 had incorporated sustainability efforts, such as the use of environmentally friendly materials for the iconic run t-shirt and drawstring bag. The Yellow Ribbon Project also partnered social enterprise ‘Cloop SG’ to support environmental sustainability by facilitating the recycling of participants’ old running shoes.
This year’s run saw representatives from the Australian and British High Commissions, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, the United States Embassy and the European Union Delegation to Singapore lending their strong support through their participation in the YRPR. In addition, the Singapore Prison Service (SPS)’s foreign counterparts, including correctional leaders who are attending the inaugural edition of the International Correctional Leadership Programme organised by SPS between 25 and 29 September 2023, also took part in the run. This included delegates across 15 countries and regions. 2
Inmate Participation in YRPR
Contributing to the Yellow Ribbon cause, 137 inmates showed their determination for change by running 6km within prisons to help raise funds. Corporate donors had pledged $10 for every 1km completed by the inmates. These inmates’ commitment and efforts had raised a total of $8,220 which would go towards supporting ex-offenders and their families.
Samuel, an inmate who participated in this event for the second time said, “I am ready to rebuild my life. I have learnt that if I’m going to wait for change, it will never come. I have to be proactive to make positive changes, and contributing to the YR cause while serving my sentence in prison allows me to express my determination to pay it forward and do what I can to help ex-offenders”.
Vice-Chairperson of YRPR 2023 Organising Committee, Superintendent Siah Kheng Guan said, “Inmates and ex-offenders will eventually return to the community as fellow citizens, colleagues and neighbours. Their participation in YRPR is a testament to their resilience and courage in making a positive change. The growing support from stakeholders and the community has enabled beneficiaries to flourish as active contributors of the society today. We need to build on this momentum towards a stronger ecosystem of support for ex- offenders and a more inclusive society as we move into the 20th year of the Yellow Ribbon Project next year.”
The YRPR 2023 raised a total of $305,625.00 thus far. This monies will be used to support the rehabilitation and reintegration programmes for inmates, ex-offenders and their family. This includes programmes to strengthen pro-social networks, aftercare, family and children support, and opportunities for education and upskilling.
1 A desistor is someone who has successfully remained offence-free in the community for a long
2 Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Nauru, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vanuatu and Vietnam.