Former prisoners should get a second chance

By Niki Ching, Leung Shek Chee College
By Niki Ching, Leung Shek Chee College |

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I am writing in response to the article "Living on borrowed crime" (SCMP, April 27). I think students who interviewed former prison inmates and portrayed them in a theatre production would have learned a lot about their lives.

Although the government is keen to help ex-prisoners reintegrate into society, some people are still reluctant to accept them. The interviews conducted by Li Po Chun United World College students showed that many former convicts regret what they had done and were determined to start a new life. Such programmes can help eliminate discrimination against people who have had a tough time having spent time behind bars.

In conclusion, I believe we should all accept former prisoners because they have already been punished for their crimes. We should treat them like normal people and help them adapt to society.

Niki Ching, Leung Shek Chee College

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Niki. It would seem that the great value in talking to prisoners would be to learn that there are consequences to our actions and hopefully that will ensure we don't make those kinds of mistakes. But, you are right when you say that prisoners should be accepted back into society. Once they have done their time, they deserve a second chance.

It seems, though, that many people feel ex-cons will reoffend. This is often the tough reality, and bosses feel that they cannot expose their business to that sort of risk. Once someone is sent to prison, it takes a long time to get their life back on track.

Susan, Editor