96 prison inmates receive National Youth Achievement Award

SINGAPORE - Close to 100 prison inmates received the National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA) at Tanah Merah Prison on Thursday for participating in various activities under the award scheme.

The 96 inmates aged between 18 and 25 are from Tanah Merah Prison, Changi Prison and Changi Women's Prison; 91 received the bronze award, four silver while one achieved gold.

The NYAA scheme aims to encourage young people to develop qualities such as perseverance and self-reliance, through activities including community service, skills development and physical recreation.

It was launched in Singapore in 1992, and the Singapore Prison Service implemented it in 2000. Since then, more than 1,460 awards have been handed out to the inmates.

The event's guest of honour, Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah, said: "In the NYAA programme, participants are given a chance to channel their energies and resourcefulness positively, thus fortifying their characters and resolve while helping them to set personal goals.

"Like other prison programmes, the NYAA journey offers participants an opportunity to make good on past mistakes and renew their lives."

A 25-year-old woman, who has been in jail since 2013 for drug offences and cannot be named due to prison policy, was one of the silver award recipients.

She said: "It's a great chance to make use of my time here and it is meaningful. It has been a long time since I did community service, and I also learnt about team work."

limyihan@sph.com.sg