Ex-convicts worry about stigma, says psychologist


By Sarah Hafizah Chandra & Alverdtekoster Anyap

KUCHING: One of the biggest worries of ex-convicts when they get out of prison is community acceptance.

Community acceptance is very important for them to return to the right path and avoid falling back into the crime pit.

Dr Bernard Ting concurred that acceptance is always the first thing a former prisoner looks for upon finishing his or her sentence.

The medical lecturer at the Department of Psychological Medicine, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak said many times these inmates wanted to turn over a new leaf, but they were not given the opportunities.

“Reducing stigma towards inmates require actions from all parties in society. Awareness could start from the family and officials.

“Being accepted in their own community in particular would gradually tell the world that they can remain well,” Dr Ting told New Sarawak Tribune.

Having said that, he acknowledged that there was also a need to be aware of what caused the inmate to be imprisoned and whether he or she was remorseful over his or her wrongdoings.

He said if inmates did not have good insight and continued to get involved in crimes, then they might bring more harm when they are not in a controlled environment.

“It is essential to have rehabilitation while inmates are still in prison as they could be trained with life skills.

“Upon release, the officials could also gather some collaboration from community partners to get them a paid job.

“To reassure the employers, there could be continuous support such as police assistance in any grievance would be important especially if the inmates were involved in serious crimes – this is a concept called supported employment service,” he explained.

Dr Ting added that reoffending risk might be assessed by experts from time to time to ensure that inmates remain well in the community.

Noting how many former inmates had learnt some skills while they were imprisoned, he said prison officials could provide a good testimony to the potential employer if there was a need to reassure the employer that they behaved well in prison.

“The most suitable job for inmates is always tailored to the skills they have.

“In fact, many non-governmental organisations have started to pay attention to this group of people and willingly provide them working place to start a new life.”

998 UiTM graduands receive scrolls

KOTA SAMARAHAN: A total of 998 graduands received their degree and diploma scrolls at the 94th UiTM Sarawak convocation yesterday (September 26). UiTM Sarawak rector,...

Share post:

Our Opinion

More like this

Neighbours’ quick action saves house from fire

SARIKEI: Swift actions by neighbours succeeded in saving two...

Slight decline in reported cases

KUCHING: Sarawak recorded a total of 658 COVID-19 cases...

Students urged to master multiple languages

SIBURAN: Students have been encouraged to master various languages...

Rep assures villagers of development projects

SARATOK: Every application for infrastructure projects will be taken...

Poor weather hampers search for missing fisherman

MUKAH: Inclement weather hampered the fifth day of the...

Sarawak records 45 deaths from rabies since 2017

KUCHING: All 32 immune belt enforcement teams (IBET) will...

Council cracks whip on used cooking oil 

MIRI: Miri City Council (MCC) will be taking stern...

Three week controlled release of water from Bakun

KUCHING: Sarawak Energy is commencing its seasonal controlled release...

Rabies epidemic manageable but vigilance must remain

KUCHING: The number of rabies cases in Sarawak is...

Driver injured as 4WD rams tree

MIRI: A 42 year-old man suffered injuries to his...

Snake caught in hospital

BETONG: A hospital employee was shocked to discover a...

Concert combines music, animation, short film

KOTA SAMARAHAN: A prominent local band, At Adau, has...