Retiring CSD Assistant Commissioner encourages passing-out members (with photos)
Addressing the passing-out parade, Mr Tang, who will retire in a few days, said correctional officers make significant contributions to society as they are committed to preventing crime, protecting the public and assisting persons in custody in reintegration into society. There are 29 correctional facilities in Hong Kong. If they are not well managed, each one of these facilities might pose a threat to the community and affect the well-being of the public, he said. Moreover, rehabilitation work is of great importance as the majority of persons in custody will reintegrate into society, Mr Tang added, pointing out that fewer offenders could mean fewer victims in society. He noted that safe custodial environments and appropriate rehabilitation services, coupled with diversified community education activities in recent years, have helped to actively prevent crime. It is of great significance to prevent young people from doing wrong and to reduce crime at its roots, he said.
Mr Tang noted that the rate of recidivism, reflecting the CSD's rehabilitation efforts, had dropped by more than one-third in the past 10 years. Hundreds of thousands of young people have strengthened their belief in leading a law-abiding and drug-free life as well as supporting offender rehabilitation through the department's community education programmes. Furthermore, the CSD makes use of important social messages in the form of information based on the stories of criminals. By sharing these messages with relevant community stakeholders, the CSD is able to contribute to rectification of social wrongdoings and reduction of the number of criminals. Research conducted by the City University of Hong Kong and released last year showed that the rehabilitation and community education work of the CSD could effectively prevent crime, and had saved social costs arising from crime amounting to $74.3 billion in the preceding five years.
Mr Tang stressed the importance of staff as an asset. In recent years, a complete overhaul of staff duties and benefits has been under way with a view to enabling staff to do their best and work to their strengths under better working conditions and environments. He pointed out that the CSD is a big family that provides staff with plenty of leisure activities, such as those provided by the multiple-award-winning sub-associations of the Sports Association; has a Volunteer Group with over 3 000 members; and operates the CSD Credit Union Education Fund that has rebuilt more than 150 schools in the Mainland. Mr Tang also noted that the department reserves many vacancies for correctional officers each year to provide opportunities for internal promotion, and said that he had witnessed the promotion of many staff from the rank of Assistant Officer II to Officer over the past 30 years.
Mr Tang said that correctional officers are tasked with great responsibilities of changing society for the better. He pointed out that, given society's rising expectations of correctional officers, the department must have the courage to manage prisons, the empathy to rehabilitate persons in custody, the vision to implement community education programmes and the wisdom to draw significant social messages for crime prevention from prisons. He expressed the hope that passing-out members could use their lives to influence others, and in doing so reduce the number of future victims of crime. In addition, they should also enjoy different activities and pursue further studies for self-enrichment in their leisure, he said.
Ends/Friday, February 9, 2018
Issued at HKT 17:55
Issued at HKT 17:55