SINGAPORE - The largest number of young inmates have been recognised under an award that honours young people for their participation in activities aimed at cultivating positive qualities, such as self-reliance and perseverance.
Some 145 inmates aged 25 and below from Changi Women's Prison and Tanah Merah Prison received awards at a National Youth Achievement Awards presentation ceremony on Thursday (April 27).
This is the highest number since the Singapore Prison Service's implemented the programme under the national-level Awards in 2000. Last year, 91 young inmates were recognised under the Awards.
Explaining this, Mr Clifford Lin, vice-chairman of the Awards organising committee, said that more inmates have heard about the benefits of the programme from their predecessors, so they decided to join.
Mr Lin, who is also deputy superintendent of prisons, hopes that participants will gain greater awareness of their roles in society and the community at large through the programme.
The awards are divided into several categories, with the gold award being the highest honour. To get a gold, participants of programmes under the Awards have to complete a residential project that will benefit the community, as well as take on leadership roles.
One of only two gold recipients among the 145 inmates who got awards this year is Kayla (not her real name). The 25-year-old put together a compilation of inspiring stories and quotes as part of her community project for the Awards programme.
The A-level student also hopes to enter the hotel and tourism industry after her time in prison.
She said that through rehabilitation during her second time in prison, she now realises that she has goals and great hopes for the future.
Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin, who was guest-of-honour at Thursday's event, said to award winners: "This award is just the beginning. You have to make full use of what you have gained to soar higher and inspire others as they rebuild their lives."