Give opportunities to ex-convicts to recover – Prisons Dept

Ibrisam (second left) presenting a souvenir to Benedick at the event on Friday.

KOTA KINABALU (Feb 10): The community should give opportunities to former convicts or those under parole to work and live amongst them, said the Deputy Director-General of Prisons Department, Datuk Ibrisam Abdul Rahman.

Ibrisam said for ex-convicts or those under parole to recover from their mistakes and to start over, jail time alone would not be enough.

“They have to be able to get out of prison and live normally once again and this is where the community can play a part to assist them,” he said during a career carnival for people under bond or parole and employers at the State Prison Department in Kepayan on Friday.

Ibrisam said ex-convicts would not be able to change and move on for a better life if the community continues to stigmatise them, and refuse to give them a chance.

He said the Prison Department has programs to help prisoners to integrate with the outside community.

He said such programs include parole and corporate smart internship (CSI) where individuals who pass the physical and mental assessment would get a chance to work outside prison with supervision.

Ibrisam said such a program could also help prepare future employers to have the confidence in hiring ex-convicts or people under parole.

“If we save them by allowing them to slowly get back out there and earn a decent living, it could help to cut down government cost to feed and house them in the prison.

“This could also help by allowing them to contribute economically through work and spending,” he said, adding that this could help reduce congestion in prison.

Ibrisam said the community needs individuals that can contribute back to society whereas these people need the community to give them a second chance in life.

“We hope more companies would be willing to work with the Prisons Department in the CSI program to create a more caring society,” he said.

The event was officiated by Ministry of Industrial Development, Deputy Permanent Secretary Benedick Bisoni, who represented Sabah Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development Phoong Jin Zhe.

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