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Correctional services work reviewed

The Correctional Services Department, in its annual review, said today that the number of new admissions to correctional facilities – including detainees, remand prisoners and convicted individuals – increased 30% to 17,268 in 2023, up from 13,246 in 2022.

 

At a press conference, Commissioner of Correctional Services Wong Kwok-hing said the average daily penal population at correctional facilities had increased to 8,498 persons in 2023, compared to 7,613 persons in 2022. The average daily occupancy rate rose from 67% to 75%.

 

Moreover, the average daily number of remand prisoners hit a new record high since 2000 of 3,096, up from 2,666 in 2022. 

 

Mr Wong said that to ease the strain on Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre, capacity at Stanley Prison and Tung Tau Correctional Institution had been deployed to accommodate adult male remand prisoners.

 

He added that the department will begin the partial redevelopment of Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre in mid-2024 to increase its capacity for adult male remand prisoner by 410 places, thereby helping to alleviate overcrowding.

 

The commissioner said that the number of admissions to correctional institutions owing to involvement in offences relating to black-clad violence and the contravention of the National Security Law stood at 950, rising from 829 in 2022.

 

As at the end of 2023, the number of individuals in custody owing to involvement in offences relating to black-clad violence or contraventions of the National Security Law was 776, an increase of 49% compared to a year earlier.

 

To deal with very hot weather conditions, the department has been exploring and introducing new measures in recent years to improve air ventilation in correctional institutions. Last year, it commissioned a works department to apply a cooling coating on the rooftops of some buildings at two institutions in order to test the coating’s heat-reducing effect, with favourable results being observed.

 

The department said it will discuss the wider application of the cooling coating at suitable correctional facilities with the works department concerned, subject to the availability of resources.

 

On its rehabilitation work, the department said it had launched a variety rehabilitation programmes under Project PATH to address the special rehabilitation needs of those in custody owing to involvement in offences relating to black-clad violence and contraventions of the National Security Law.

 

It has also launched a series of educational activities to enhance knowledge of Chinese history among young persons in custody, and their sense of national identity, and has established flag-raising teams among such young persons.

 

Mr Wong also mentioned that the department set up Multi-purpose Family & Rehabilitation Service Centres in Sha Tin and Tuen Mun last year, as well as Parent-child Centres at Hei Ling Chau Addiction Treatment Centre, Tong Fuk Correctional Institution and Stanley Prison.

 

Through its Rehabilitation Pioneer Project, the department organised 12 community education activities designed to disseminate key messages to young people in relation to safeguarding our country and home, and leading a law-abiding and drug-free life, as well as around offender rehabilitation.

 

Last year, a total of 41,683 youth participants joined such activities, up from 23,777 in 2022.

 

The department also launched an official Instagram account to let more young people understand its work and significance.

 

Mr Wong revealed that the department expects to recruit about 55 correctional officers this year, and that year-round recruitment for assistant officers will continue.

 

To promote the application of innovation and technology, and high-quality development, the department signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation last year to deepen co-operation and promote sustainable development of smart prisons.


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