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Running Strong: 10 Years of the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run
Celebrating a decade of unlocking the second prison for ex-offenders – what we saw at this year’s Yellow Ribbon Prison Run.

Participants flooded the Changi Village area with yellow, the bold hue that symbolises the community’s commitment to giving ex-offenders a second chance at life. 

Young and old, all clad in yellow – the crowd was diverse, ranging from corporate organisations and sponsors to members of aftercare organisations and ex-offenders themselves.

Launched in 2009, the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run has become an annual tradition. Now in its 10th edition, the Run has hosted 79,200 runners and raised $1,057,000 for the Yellow Ribbon Fund, which supports rehabilitation programmes for inmates, ex-offenders and their families.

Yellow Ribbon Prison Run
ALL PHOTOS: Muhamad Khair

A sea of yellow on the morning of 9 September 2018. Participants were in high spirits as they performed the “Yellow Ribbon Wave” in unison. 

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Runners at the starting line. The unlocking of the gate, which resembles the bars of a prison cell, signifies the unlocking of the second prison for ex-offenders.

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Understanding and acceptance starts from a young age. One of the awesome things about the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run is that it is very much a family affair. 

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Taking on the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run, on wheels. Few community sporting events can match the awesome, can-do spirit of the Run.

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Ot’s all about supporting fresh starts. Strong partnerships with corporate organisations have led to growing employment opportunities for ex-offenders. In its 2017 Annual Report, the Singapore Prison Service noted that 97% of inmates referred to the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises secured a job before their release.

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And it’s not just corporate organisations who can play a part. Volunteers were aplenty along the 5.6-kilometre route, helping runners to hydrate themselves and livening up the atmosphere with cheers and words of encouragement. 

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Almost there! As in previous years, the route wended its way around Upper Changi, mirroring the journey of acceptance that inmates must go on upon their completing their sentence. Many game stations were placed along the route; at this station, participants rang the bell to show their support for ex-offenders.

For all participants, the Run culminated at the Rehabilitation Fair. Held within Changi Prison Complex, it gave participants the opportunity to experience and better understand the rehabilitative journey of inmates.

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Using Virtual Reality goggles, participants learnt more about the “Prison Without Guards” concept, which allows Prison officers to leverage technology in their daily operations. 

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Letters from behind the wall: In a new initiative this year, participants were given the chance to reply to letters written by inmates, so as to offer words of acceptance and encouragement. 

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An inmate’s wish. Each letter had a serial number that allowed participants to respond to them. 

Every year, over 10,000 ex-offenders complete their sentence and are released from our prisons and Drug Rehabilitation Centres. Let's continue to give them the second chance to make good. Thank you for your support!

About the Yellow Ribbon Project
Started in 2004, the Yellow Ribbon Project is a community initiative that seeks to create awareness of the need to give second chances to ex-offenders; generate acceptance of ex-offenders and their families in the community; and inspire community action to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-offenders into society. For more photos of this year’s Yellow Ribbon Prison Run, visit the Yellow Ribbon Project Facebook page.

  1. by Muhamad Khair
  2. 13 September 2018
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