Prison ceremony helps inmates sever gang ties

They renounce gang affiliation in front of others, and get support

A screen grab from a video clip featuring a prison inmate known only as Sam declaring his intention to leave his gang. Mr Paul Ang, an ex-offender, severed all ties with the gang he had belonged to when he took the Gang Renunciation Programme pledge
Mr Paul Ang, an ex-offender, severed all ties with the gang he had belonged to when he took the Gang Renunciation Programme pledge in 2009.ST PHOTO: ZAIHAN MOHAMED YUSOF
A screen grab from a video clip featuring a prison inmate known only as Sam declaring his intention to leave his gang. Mr Paul Ang, an ex-offender, severed all ties with the gang he had belonged to when he took the Gang Renunciation Programme pledge
A screen grab from a video clip featuring a prison inmate known only as Sam declaring his intention to leave his gang. PHOTO: AMRIN AMIN/FACEBOOK

Behind the walls of Changi Prison, a ceremony takes place that is not often talked about because of the implications for its participants. It involves gang members severing all ties with the secret societies they once belonged to.

For former gang member Paul Ang, it meant having to address fellow prisoners in a prison yard with the knowledge that some of them would see him as a traitor.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 20, 2019, with the headline 'Prison ceremony helps inmates sever gang ties'. Subscribe