16 July 2019
A band of young inmates at Cape Collinson Correctional Institution performs during a ceremony. Photo: GovHK
A band of young inmates at Cape Collinson Correctional Institution performs during a ceremony. Photo: GovHK

Young inmates at Cape Collinson ace exams

Thirty-four persons in custody at Cape Collinson Correctional Institution were presented with certificates at a special ceremony this week in recognition of their achievements.

More than 90 sat for various academic and vocational examinations including the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination, exams of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, as well as those covering subjects and disciplines such as Chinese word processing, basic plumbing, creative design and application, and electrical wiring.

They achieved 48 merits out of 202 certificates obtained. Among the candidates, eight were enrolled in this year’s HKDSE Exam. One candidate scored 21 marks in six papers taken and was admitted to a bachelor’s degree program while others enrolled in other post-secondary courses.

During the ceremony, an inmate spoke about his days preparing for the HKDSE Exam and recalled when he kept going astray and was sentenced to the correctional institution.

He was grateful to have had the opportunity to turn over a new leaf. He expressed his gratitude to Father John Russell, who has been teaching English voluntarily for about 30 years in correctional institutions and continues to teach the HKDSE class every week at the age of 91.

Russell’s students paid respect to him and recited a poem adapted from the lyrics of a song.

During the ceremony, a band comprised of inmates sang to convey their love for their families.

Cape Collinson Correctional Institution, located in the eastern part of Hong Kong Island, can hold 192 male inmates aged from 14 to under 21 who are ordered by the courts to undergo training at the center for a period of six months to three years.

It provides half-day education programs and half-day vocational training to help rehabilitate inmates and prepare them for reintegration into society.

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Father John Russell (right), 91, has been teaching English as a volunteer to young inmates at the Correctional Services Department’s facilities for 30 years. Photo: GovHK

Young inmates, who are sentenced to undergo training programs, have spent much of their time studying to pave the way for their reintegration into society. Photo: GovHK

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