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Nov 15, 2023 / 14:45

Conference of penitentiary managers in Asia-Pacific region upholds human values

The penal administration should promote social reintegration and increase confidence of population in the correctional system.

The 41st Asian and Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators (APCCA 41), held in Hanoi from November 13 to 16, aims to uphold human values, trust, and solidarity in prison work.

Vietnam's Deputy Minister of Public Security Nguyen Van Long made the statement at the conference's opening ceremony, highlighting the APCCA's significant contributions to strengthening international cooperation in prison and correctional management.

This year's event brought together more than 200 delegates from 25 countries, three international organizations, and 15 diplomatic missions. This is the second time that the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has hosted the rotating conference.

 An overview of the APCCA 41 opening ceremony. Photo: VNA

In his opening remarks, Deputy Minister Long emphasized that the event also aims to expand relations in many areas related to correctional administration and open a way for understanding among the forces of different countries.

"APCCA is an annual event that provides a platform for agencies responsible for prison and correctional management in the Asia-Pacific region to exchange ideas and share experiences for effective prison management," Long said.

The deputy minister added that the exchange of information and experience among APCCA members is important for countries and territories to improve the efficiency of correctional practices.

He briefed the guests on Vietnam's correctional landscape and specific policies on education, vocational training, and health care for inmates, as well as those on amnesty and rehabilitation.

The official expressed his hope that the delegates would share feasible solutions to improve the efficiency and quality of penal administration. "This will help inmates return to normal life soon and contribute to the prevention and reduction of crime, thus creating a healthy environment for the development of each nation and the region," Long stressed.

Shie Yong Lee, Head of the Singapore delegation and director of the Singapore Prison Service, said prisons should be safe places for both inmates and prison administrators.

International delegates at the opening ceremony. Photo: VNA

She noted that a safe environment and health care are important for inmates with mental and behavioral disorders, as well as those with drug problems and disabilities.

"In the Asia-Pacific region, each country has its own model and management in accordance with its own legal framework and culture. How to minimize recidivism through rehabilitation programs, and improving material facilities and technologies should also be discussed. In this endeavor, we highly appreciate the role of APCCA," Lee said.

She stressed the need to promote the social reintegration of prisoners and increase public confidence in the penal system. "We all share the common goal of moving forward. The prison management system should uphold humane values, promote social reintegration, and increase people's trust," Lee added.

Lieutenant General Le Minh Hung, Director of Prison Administration under the MPS, stressed that the APCCA 41 will help improve the efficiency and quality of prison administration.

"In addition to strict punishment, educating prisoners and helping them reintegrate into society also play an important and consistent role in the execution of prison sentences," Hung said.

First held in 1980, the APCCA now has 34 official members. Through 40 conferences in various countries in the region, the APCCA has made important contributions to international cooperation in prison management and inmates' education and rehabilitation.