Green jail benefits prisoners and staff

Esther Lam, Heep Yunn School

Lo Wu prison is a more pleasant place that will help inmates change for the better

Esther Lam, Heep Yunn School |

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The new prison complex boasts greenery in abundance.
There will soon be a big change in the city's prison system. A new green jail in Lo Wu promises to promote open space. As an energy-saving and environmentally friendly jail, it was designed by the Architectural Services Department and aims to change the belief that a prison has to be dark, dank and airless.

A green jail is a great idea. It answers the call to protect the environment. The plants can make the prisoners feel more relaxed. I believe they will be better behaved in the enhanced environment. It will be easier for them to adapt to society later. It is also good news for the staff who spend most of their time in the jail.

On the other hand, are there any drawbacks?

The green jail is more beautiful than some of the homes of the poor. That is not fair for those who work very hard but are worse-off than the prisoners. Think about the residents in the caged homes of Sham Shui Po. A comfortable jail may encourage them to commit crimes.

However, this green idea can be extended to other government buildings, such as schools, public housing and hospitals. It will offer a more comfortable environment with natural sunlight and fresh air. It will improve our health.

This is the winning entry in the junior section of the Heep Yunn School First Term SCMP Newspaper Report Competition (2010-2011). Students had to write a short summary of an article followed by a personal response. The competition promotes students' interest in social issues and helps enhance their critical-thinking skills