Create positive impact in lives of ex-offenders

The launch of the Yellow Ribbon Community Truck is a step in the right direction to educate the public and dispel the misconceptions surrounding former offenders ("Rolling out message of second chances"; Oct 21).

The public should always be encouraged to create a positive impact in the lives of these former offenders by participating in this community outreach programme.

Giving former offenders a second chance at employment, and accepting them, will give them greater reason to not re-offend, and spur them to prove to society that they are able to make use of the second chance given to them.

A larger pool of volunteers, as well as testimonials from former offenders, will help address the public's misconceptions.

The Government should also focus its efforts on helping families of the former offenders, as they have often been cast in a negative light.

Perhaps the Yellow Ribbon Project can go further and speak to companies about hiring former offenders to give them a chance to earn a decent living.

Bigger companies should set an example for smaller companies to follow.

By giving them jobs, companies are helping to remove the stigma hanging over former offenders and showing the public that they can change for the better.

It also helps to boost the former offenders' self-confidence and self-esteem.

More can be done to help former offenders integrate back into society and to remove any barriers that might be holding them back from finding employment and supporting their families.

Darren Chan Keng Leong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2015, with the headline 'Create positive impact in lives of ex-offenders'. Print Edition | Subscribe