The government is increasing its efforts to give Malaysia’s former convicts a second chance by encouraging employers and the private sector to provide ex-offenders with employment opportunities.

The move is seen as a positive way of not only addressing the country’s unemployment issues but also as a means to help reintegrate ex-convicts back into society.

With the Yellow Ribbon campaign which started in 2018, the government further aims to inspire the community to change its perception towards ex-offenders and provide a more conducive support system for the nation’s reformed criminals.

Established programs such as the Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) have helped to rehabilitate inmates by providing them with job training as well as social and spiritual enhancement programs to increase their chances of success at a life outside of prison.

Female inmates undergoing rehab at the Kajang Women’s Prison.
(Image Credit: NST)

Further initiatives such as the Skim Latihan Dual Nasional (SLDN) that provides inmates with vocational training in prison have been well received with over 17,000 inmates actively taking part in its numerous courses.

And on-the-job training programs like the Corporate Smart Internship (CSI) have also shown positive results with 90% of it’s initiates now employed after completing their sentence.

(Image Credit: Pexels)

There are even in-house programs where prisoners can gain higher education even behind bars.

Inmates studying in class at the Kajang Prison.
(Image Credit: mStar)

This progressive endeavour is a welcoming prospect as life after prison can be harsh for ex-cons.

According to a recent report, nearly 90% of ex-offenders released from prison are left homeless and are forced to live out life in isolation.

They are often ignored and shy away from friends, family, as well as society, due to their prior convictions and criminal record.

(Image Credit: Malay Mail)

The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) have even said that employers are apprehensive to hire former convicts because of the negative perception that ex-offenders receive throughout their lives. 

The ongoing stigma serves as a wall against fully rehabilitating and reintegrating ex-cons to be active members of the community, resulting in them returning to a life of crime from sheer desperation.

And this inevitably becomes a troubling situation where criminals are sent off to prison to complete their sentence, only to be locked up again.


Which is not too great for the nation’s overloaded detention centres and correctional facilities.

(Image Credit: Poskita)

But Malaysia seems to be on the right track as there are ways to end this rather vicious cycle of incarceration.

Countries like Norway have poured resources into a “restorative justice system” that focuses on rehabilitating prisoners and provide former convicts with the necessary skills and services to help them turn over a new leaf and assimilate into community living.

(Image Credit NY Times)

Looking eastwards, Japan has “correctional work support centres” which promote convicted inmates to employers, ensuring ex-convicts would have secure work opportunities well before they step outside prison walls.

(Image Credit: mentatdgt via Pexels)

Even our neighbour Singapore have endeavoured into campaigns to not only rehabilitate ex-convicts but also increase efforts to create awareness and include participation from the community to help ex-offenders reintegrate into society.

(Image Credit: Pixabay)

And impressively, the Home Ministry also claimed that the country’s recidivism rate – the tendency of ex-offenders to commit crimes – is among the lowest in Southeast Asia.

(Image Credit: Pixabay)

With the constant efforts and programs being introduced, the nation is well on its way to reaching its goals of not only protecting society from crimes but also helping prisoners and ex-convicts achieve success after a life behind bars.

Everyone deserves a second chance especially those who have paid the price and been punished for their crimes and mistakes.

Share with us your thoughts on how we can better help our ex-cons on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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(The government has saved RM1.33 billion in socio-economic savings and RM232.2 million in development cost savings through the Community Rehabilitation Programme (CRP). (Pix by FARIZ ISWADI ISMAIL) By FAIRUZ MOHD SHAHAR and HASHINI KAVISHTRI KANNAN - August 17, 2016 @ 12:45am PUTRAJAYA: The government has saved RM1.33 billion in socio-economic savings and RM232.2 million in development cost savings through the Community Rehabilitation Programme (CRP). Armed Forces chief General Tan Sri Zulkifeli Md Zin said 6,500 people under supervision have successfully completed rehabilitation as of July. “Out of this, 85 per cent of them are now self-employed based on the skills gained at the centres while 15 percent of them have been employed in various sectors. “Throughout the programme, the inmates were given skills training such as agriculture, aquaculture; chicken farming; basic mechanics and computer skills, among others. We also conduct social and spiritual enhancement programmes to make sure they are fully rehabilitated. “Their family members are encouraged to visit as frequently as possible, not only during festive seasons." Zulkifeli was speaking at the summit titled ‘Total Security System through Creative Collaboration’ in conjunction with the International Conference on Blue Ocean Strategy. The programme, which is part of the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) initiative, eliminates the need to spend millions of ringgit in building additional prisons to address crime and overcrowded prisons. Also present were Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and NBOS senior deputy director (national strategy unit) Datuk Dr William Stevenson. CRP is a unique programme developed under NBOS aimed at reducing repeat offenders. For this initiative, six centres were developed at a cost of between RM6 million to RM10 million. The centres were constructed within six months and are able to accommodate 1,650 inmates. The programme was implemented in March 2011 in military camps nationwide. RELATED STORIES Saving Cameron Highlands: RM2.2 billion needed for rehabilitation Rehabilitation programme for Poca detainees Uniting communities via Quran RECOMMENDED Be alert to plagiarism Perak Basketball Association apologises over inverted flag on jersey Liverpool's Robertson happy to let Klopp manage workload Agong departs for home after two-day visit to Labuan UK car body warns output will slump if Brexit leads to tariffs with EU #Showbiz: 'Garang', first feature film starring OKU talents, out Dec 5 Be alert to plagiarism Azis: DNA test only used to support citizenship application Eat Well: Awesome oats Ban Ki-Moon receives honorary doctorate from UKM Dapatkan 'Hello Kitty Carrier' Yang Comel Ini Di McDonald's Bermula Dari 27 November 2019! 7-Eleven Stores In Thailand Will No Longer Be Providing Plastic Bags To Customers)
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