I am a 44 year old ex-offender, ex-drug addict and ex-headman for a secret society. I have been in and out of prison several times. The last sentence I served was 6 years long and have spent a total of about 9 years behind bars. I have since been drug and crime-free for nearly 5 years. Upon my last release, I organised my own support group called RSG (Reforming Support Group), which consists of ex-offenders from different backgrounds, with the intention and objective of assisting other ex-offenders in turning their life around.
Established in 2014, Reforming Support Group or RSG was founded by myself and started off as a singled-person volunteer management and outreach group. RSG’s mission is to do public outreach so as to educate the general public and create awareness on drugs prevention, vices and gang-related activities, and to eradicate public stigma towards ex-offenders; as well as to assist ex-offenders throughout their recovery journey by providing emotional, social and psychological aftercare support.
Currently, I work as an Operations Officer at a rehabilitation centre. As an ex-offender and ex-resident of a halfway house, I have gone through ups and downs throughout my rehabilitation and recovery journey myself. Hence, I know first-hand of the challenges faced by inmates during their in-care rehabilitation programme in halfway house settings as well as after their discharge from the programme or after they have successfully served their sentences.
During my off days, I engage in various community works and activities too. I realised the benefits of adopting active and positive lifestyles and have seen the fruits of my personal efforts to improve my life and refurbish my personal character through training and making contributions to the community. Thus, I would like to share those positive experiences and benefits with other fellow ex-offenders like myself. I actively engage in public speaking and education as well – getting support from volunteers consisting of the ex-offenders and staff from various organisations who support my cause. I tapped onto these people with the purpose of encouraging the ex-offenders to partake in active and positive lifestyles doing various community services, while also roping in skilled volunteers to support and share their expertise in helping these ex-offenders at the same time. RSG will continue its efforts to do more forms of public outreach in order to educate and share more about ex-offenders and their recovery journey with the public.
Some of the other activities and roles I am currently involved in include being a Preventive Drugs Educator at Central Narcotic Bureau, a SPS Prison Befriender, a Red Cross Medical Aid, an NEA Litter Free Ambassador, as well as a member of SPF’s Citizens-On-Patrol.
Moving ahead, our group intends to get itself registered as a legit entity in near future so that it can do more to help its beneficiaries.