There are 29 correctional facilities in Hong Kong, which can accommodate up to 8,400 people in total. These include 24 correctional institutions, three half-way houses and two custodial wards of public hospitals. All of the institutions have hospitals on their premises but they may be sent to public hospitals for follow up treatment. Various psychological programmes are offered to inmates to improve their psychological well-being. Nine of the correctional institutions are for male adults. Stanley Prison is the city’s largest maximum security prison, where inmates serve long term or life sentences. Shek Pik Prison is another maximum security prison, where inmates serve medium to long term prison sentences, including life sentences. The medium security institutions are Tong Fuk Correctional Institution, Hei Ling Chau Correctional Institution and Pak Sha Wan Correctional Institution. The minimum security prisons are Tung Tau Correctional Institution, Pik Uk Prison and Tai Lam Correctional Institution. Elderly inmates, generally aged over 65, considered to be a low security risk are housed at Tai Lam Correctional Institution. Tai Lam Centre for Women is a maximum security prison for women, while the more recently established Lo Wu Correctional Institution has one minimum security wing and two medium security wings. Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre provides treatment for those regarded as criminally insane, or inmates who are dangerous and violent. Maximum security prisons, such as Stanley, have high walls and watchtowers. The workshop, cafeteria, main passages and restricted areas are monitored by surveillance cameras. Cells are typically about 7 square metres with a toilet for each inmate. Prisoners include those who are jailed for five to 12 years or more.The ratio of staff to inmates is 1:1.4. Former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang Yam-kuen is now serving his 20-month sentence at Stanley Prison for misconduct, but was sent to a maximum security prison for his own protection. Medium security prisons are equipped with double fences with restricted areas in between. They have collective cells. The ratio of staff to inmates is 1:2.5. Prisoners include those who are jailed for 12 years or less. Hong Kong prison authorities to challenge court ruling on hair cuts for men Minimum security prisons are equipped with one fence and also have collective cells. Prisoners include those who are jailed for five years or less. The ratio of staff to inmates 1:2.5. Prisoners who are fit and able must work six days per week, comparatively high compared to the rest of the world, for which they may earn a small wage to buy snacks and luxury items such as cigarettes in prison. They must not work less than six hours or more than ten hours per day. In 2015, a daily average of 4,244 inmates “were engaged in industrial work to provide a wide range of goods and services for the public sector in a cost effective manner”, according to the government. Typical projects include making concrete slabs and kerbs for infrastructure projects, making hospital linen and office furniture. The maximum wage is about HK$192 per week. Less physically demanding tasks include laminating books for public libraries and making envelopes for government departments, for which you can earn about HK$23 per week. Former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang appeals against misconduct conviction and jail sentence In their free time, prisoners do not have access to the internet but they can write letters. Some prisons are smoke free, but others only have designated no-smoking areas. Prisons do not have air conditioning, which has raised some concerns from human rights observers given Hong Kong’s humid climate, but there is no international standard for this. Prisoners are allowed to make telephone calls once per month but only for 10 minutes. They are entitled to one hour daily exercise in the open air. At Stanley Prison, where former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang Yam-kuen is now behind bars, prisoners face a strict regime of rising at 6.30am, lunch at midday, dinner at 4.30pm and one hour of free time each day which they can spend in the yard, and bedtime at 10pm. He will only receive one toilet roll every three weeks. An average cell is about 80.7 square feet, with a bed, sink, toilet and desk with a chair. The issue of Hong Kong’s prisons was debated on RTHK’s BackChat programme on February 15, as seven police officers were found guilty of assaulting Occupy protester Ken Tsang Kin-chiu. Law Yuk-kai, director at Human Rights Monitor, told RTHK, said he thought local prison conditions were generally “pretty good” compared with the rest of the world. “They are very disciplined,” he said. “The institutions are basically drug free. But we have a gambling problem here, it is quite common in the Chinese community. “Meanwhile ethnic minorities in Hong Kong are relatively worse off, both outside the prison and inside. Some of their needs might not be properly tended to.” Tobias Brandner, associate professor at Divinity School of Chung Chi College, Chinese University of Hong Kong, told RTHK he thought there could be more emphasis on rehabilitation over punishment. “Prisons are relatively safe in Hong Kong,” he said. “They are professionally run. But there are various areas [where] improvements could be made, and rehabilitation is one of them. My impression is that there is an overemphasis on punishment.” Women in Hong Kong prisons may be forced to cut hair short To no one’s surprise, the food is very bland in Hong Kong prisons, although it is generally nutritious. Every third day an inmate will be served the same food. They are given four meals a day, with a typical meal being plain rice and vegetables. But prisoners can buy some additional snacks from the canteen with their work salary. Reoffending rates in Hong Kong are relatively low compared to the rest of the world. The recidivism rate in Hong Kong was 27.1 per cent as of 2013, according to the government. This marked a steady decrease from 36.5 per cent in 2004. This represents offenders who commit another offence within two years of being discharged.