Ex-offender helps families of inmates

It was within the confines of a prison wall that Adam (not his real name) decided to stop taking drugs once and for all, for the sake of his family.

The 47-year-old had started taking methamphetamine - also known as Ice - a decade ago, but the law caught up with him last year.

He spent four months in prison last year, two months in a halfway house and six months on home detention.

"Rehabilitation was very tough and scary... I was worried about whether my children, my family and the public would accept me," said the father of two, who works in the food and beverage industry.

The ex-offender became a Yellow Ribbon Community Project volunteer in the Woodlands division this year, after receiving help from volunteers to settle his housing debt when he was released in May.

"I thought if people can give me a chance, why don't I support other families? I know how tough it is for them," he said.

He visits the families of offenders or those who have been sentenced, and takes time to listen to their stories.


"We are like listeners. When they are down, they give us a call. We play with their kids, take them to the playground," he said.

Another Yellow Ribbon Community Project volunteer, Ms Suzana Ahmad, received a five-year service award yesterday on behalf of her Tampines Changkat division.

"People keep to themselves because of the stigma (of having a family member in jail). We tell them we are there for them," she said.

Amelia Teng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 16, 2018, with the headline 'Ex-offender helps families of inmates'. Print Edition | Subscribe