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Not only is family the foundation of society, it also poses great impact on the rehabilitation of ex-offenders, or causes problems such as spousal relationship, child care, emotions management and discipline of children. Due to stereotyping in society and the special circumstances of these families, families of ex-offenders are under enormous pressure beyond the difficulties they are facing as life changes. As a result, the Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention, Hong Kong (SRACP) found resources and opened the Home Circuit in 2002 to provide Hong Kong’s first and only one-stop family support service for families of prisoners and ex-offenders. Its purpose is to encourage contact between the prisoner and his family, enhancing his motivation to change, to rehabilitate, and to make preparation for a family reunion upon release.

 

Parental Workshop led by a social worker who helped family members of offenders/ ex-offenders to vent their negative emotion and develop mutual support

A few years ago, Sang’s (alias) father got arrested for gambling. Struggling with her husband’s imprisonment and loan sharks’ demands, Sang’s mother, who came from mainland China and married Sang’s father in Hong Kong, had neither family nor neighbors to turn to. She could hardly focus on anything with her only thoughts being her husband and son. Was her husband going to change? How would she explain to her young son? What was going to happen to this family?

 

With many doubts in mind, Sang’s mother was in need of a place where she could express herself, where people would accept and understand her. Social workers and other rehabilitated families in SRACP’s Home Circuit Centre supported Sang’s mother through this difficult period. From avoiding creditors, moving homes, going to court, to visiting Sang’s father in prison, Sang’s mother has evolved from the wife who depended on her husband for everything to the competent woman we see today.

 

Her son, Sang, had been living in frustration not knowing about his father’s imprisonment. Under the encouragement of the social worker, Sang’s father finally took the courage to explain everything to his son in a two-page letter, telling him how wrong and sorry he was. Since his contact with his father, Sang had become much happier and more outgoing. He would then propose visiting him in prison despite his resentment in the past. His acceptance motivated his father to make positive change and to become the father he has always wanted. About six months ago, Sang’s father was finally released from prison and reunited with the family.

 

Sang’s story is only one of the many stories of ex-offenders’ families; and they all need help just like Sang did. As the Government fails to allocate resources to address the issues of this particular group of people, and without subvention from the Social Welfare Department, SRACP can only resort to seeking aid from other charitable bodies. Thanks to the Fu Tak Iam Foundation, who generously funded our service since October 2009, we were able to provide the following services in the past two years (10/2009 – 9/2011):

 

Hotline Service: Promotional posters with information of hotline service were distributed in different correctional institutions.

 

Family Counseling: Intensive counseling was provided for families that were facing difficulties brought by the arrest and imprisonment of family members.

 

Enhancement Groups: Many of the family members of ex-offenders do not know about their partners or parents’ involvement in illegal activities until their actions are uncovered by police. Our enhancement groups aim to support the family members in adapting to new life changes and making new living arrangements accordingly.

 

Resilience Program
Volunteers and social workers were helping children to build up positive values through playing games.

Volunteers: Family members were invited to become the “Home Circuit Ambassador” and get involved in community work. Besides supporting other ex-offenders’ families and volunteering in prison visit escort service, they reached out to other disadvantaged groups by sharing their experience in overcoming obstacles.

 

Group Sessions for prisoners and ex-offenders: These group sessions help prisoners and ex-offenders understand the damage their crime commitment could bring onto others and their families; and make self-reflections.


Crime Prevention Programmes: To reduce the risks of intergenerational transmission of criminal behaviors in these families, a series of crime prevention programmes led by our community volunteers were arranged to help children build a positive perspective of life and learn about citizen responsibilities.

 

Community Programmes: Disadvantaged groups in the community could learn from the stories shared by the service users of Home Circuit. The sharing sessions also helped strengthen their resilience to challenges.

 

Escort to Prison Visit
Home Circuit Ambassadors escorted an elderly and some family members to pay prison visits

Without the support of Fu Tak Iam Foundation, Home Circuit of SRACP would not be proudly standing here today, helping these problem families back on track.

 

(Article provided by The Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention, Hong Kong)

 

 




 

Not only is family the foundation of society, it also poses great impact on the rehabilitation of ex-offenders, or causes problems such as spousal relationship, child care, emotions management and discipline of children. Due to stereotyping in society and the special circumstances of these families, families of ex-offenders are under enormous pressure beyond the difficulties they are facing as life changes. As a result, the Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention, Hong Kong (SRACP) found resources and opened the Home Circuit in 2002 to provide Hong Kong’s first and only one-stop family support service for families of prisoners and ex-offenders. Its purpose is to encourage contact between the prisoner and his family, enhancing his motivation to change, to rehabilitate, and to make preparation for a family reunion upon release.

 

Parental Workshop led by a social worker who helped family members of offenders/ ex-offenders to vent their negative emotion and develop mutual support

A few years ago, Sang’s (alias) father got arrested for gambling. Struggling with her husband’s imprisonment and loan sharks’ demands, Sang’s mother, who came from mainland China and married Sang’s father in Hong Kong, had neither family nor neighbors to turn to. She could hardly focus on anything with her only thoughts being her husband and son. Was her husband going to change? How would she explain to her young son? What was going to happen to this family?

 

With many doubts in mind, Sang’s mother was in need of a place where she could express herself, where people would accept and understand her. Social workers and other rehabilitated families in SRACP’s Home Circuit Centre supported Sang’s mother through this difficult period. From avoiding creditors, moving homes, going to court, to visiting Sang’s father in prison, Sang’s mother has evolved from the wife who depended on her husband for everything to the competent woman we see today.

 

Her son, Sang, had been living in frustration not knowing about his father’s imprisonment. Under the encouragement of the social worker, Sang’s father finally took the courage to explain everything to his son in a two-page letter, telling him how wrong and sorry he was. Since his contact with his father, Sang had become much happier and more outgoing. He would then propose visiting him in prison despite his resentment in the past. His acceptance motivated his father to make positive change and to become the father he has always wanted. About six months ago, Sang’s father was finally released from prison and reunited with the family.

 

Sang’s story is only one of the many stories of ex-offenders’ families; and they all need help just like Sang did. As the Government fails to allocate resources to address the issues of this particular group of people, and without subvention from the Social Welfare Department, SRACP can only resort to seeking aid from other charitable bodies. Thanks to the Fu Tak Iam Foundation, who generously funded our service since October 2009, we were able to provide the following services in the past two years (10/2009 – 9/2011):

 

Hotline Service: Promotional posters with information of hotline service were distributed in different correctional institutions.

 

Family Counseling: Intensive counseling was provided for families that were facing difficulties brought by the arrest and imprisonment of family members.

 

Enhancement Groups: Many of the family members of ex-offenders do not know about their partners or parents’ involvement in illegal activities until their actions are uncovered by police. Our enhancement groups aim to support the family members in adapting to new life changes and making new living arrangements accordingly.

 

Resilience Program
Volunteers and social workers were helping children to build up positive values through playing games.

Volunteers: Family members were invited to become the “Home Circuit Ambassador” and get involved in community work. Besides supporting other ex-offenders’ families and volunteering in prison visit escort service, they reached out to other disadvantaged groups by sharing their experience in overcoming obstacles.

 

Group Sessions for prisoners and ex-offenders: These group sessions help prisoners and ex-offenders understand the damage their crime commitment could bring onto others and their families; and make self-reflections.


Crime Prevention Programmes: To reduce the risks of intergenerational transmission of criminal behaviors in these families, a series of crime prevention programmes led by our community volunteers were arranged to help children build a positive perspective of life and learn about citizen responsibilities.

 

Community Programmes: Disadvantaged groups in the community could learn from the stories shared by the service users of Home Circuit. The sharing sessions also helped strengthen their resilience to challenges.

 

Escort to Prison Visit
Home Circuit Ambassadors escorted an elderly and some family members to pay prison visits

Without the support of Fu Tak Iam Foundation, Home Circuit of SRACP would not be proudly standing here today, helping these problem families back on track.

 

(Article provided by The Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention, Hong Kong)