Family and community help ex-prisoners restart their lives

August 17, 2020 - 07:26

Chu Minh Đức, deputy chairman of Bình Lục District's People's Committee, said helping people who made a mistake was the responsibility of local authorities, but society needed to help too.


Some former prisoners get jobs in Vĩnh Sơn Stone Mining Company’s garment factory in Kim Bảng District, Hà Nam Province. — Photo

HÀ NAM — Lê Văn Sỹ from Thanh Liêm District, Hà Nam Province, feels happier with his life after being released from prison a few years ago.

Sỹ was sentenced to ten years in prison for drug smuggling in 2008.

As a result of his conscientious work at prison, he was granted an amnesty on National Day on September 2, 2016 and released early.

Sỹ recalls the first months after he was freed. With no money and no job, he was desperate.

With the help of local government and his family, he borrowed money from the Bank for Social Policies to open a pig breeding farm and set up a team to work as painters for local construction sites.

Now he has a better life and a stable income.

Sỹ said he would have been unable to restart his life without support from local police and his relatives.

Sỹ is one of the thousands of former inmates who have gotten jobs from local companies and assistance from provincial authorities.

Chu Minh Đức, deputy chairman of Bình Lục District's People's Committee, said helping people who made a mistake was the responsibility of local authorities, but society needed to help too.

"The local police department is assigned to check and detect potential risks to help released inmates avoid making the mistakes they made in the past after reintegrating into the community," said Đức.

The People's Committee has directed the Bank for Social Policies to provide capital for them to develop production, he said.

Most prisoners face many difficulties after finishing their sentence, without money or work.

A very important solution to help inmates integrate into the community is vocational training, job introduction and creation, according to Đức.

"To help them have a job and income after leaving prison, the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs of Hà Nam Province has helped them take part in job training courses and co-ordinated with local enterprises to find jobs for them," said Đặng Xuân Hải, deputy director of provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

Since 2014, vocational training and job centres in the province have organised training courses for 321 inmates. Of which, 307 have found jobs and stable incomes.

About 1,053 former prisoners have stable jobs in local companies and business establishments.

At least 1,217 households with a member who is a former prisoner have gotten loans from the Bank of Social Policies to develop production and husbandry, the department said.

According to Sỹ, many former prisoners like him learned the true value of life and became determined to build a new one.

With repentance and determination, they have escaped poverty and built new lives for their families and helped others.


A duck breeding farm of Lã Văn Duẩn, an ex-prisoner in Binh Luc District, Hà Nam Province. — Photo

On their journey, they receive support from their families, local government and businesses.

Understanding the aspirations of former prisoners, Lê Thị My, chairman of the Vĩnh Sơn Stone Mining Company board of directors, helps them restart their lives after long jail terms by creating jobs and income for them. For many years, former inmates have worked for My's company.

"If everyone discriminates against them and every employer does not want to hire anyone who has done time in jail, it forces them back into a life of crime or poverty. How can they rebuild their lives?" My said.

"I understand them and that is also the reason which helps them work hard at my company to have a better life."

Family also plays an important role in managing, educating and helping ex-prisoners.

Bùi Quang Định, a resident from Bạch Thượng Commune, Duy Tiên District, said his son was imprisoned a few years ago. His family was so sad but had to try to overcome the sorrow to help their son restart his life after finishing his sentence.

"I always encouraged and helped him understand his mistake and correct them to become a useful person. Now he has a stable job and is happy again."

"Each former prisoner had an unhappy past but it is important that they stand up to overcome difficulties to have a new life," Định said.

The trust of family, relatives and the community has helped former prisoners in Hà Nam rebuild their lives and also repay that trust. — VNS