Awareness, education, liaison and more...

OUR WORK

 
International anti-drug trafficking campaign

No Más Mulas / No More Mules – our campaign warning vulnerable people at risk of becoming drug mules

No Más Mulas – our Spanish-language campaign in Latin America

 

Hong Kong has extremely long and punitive prison sentences for drug trafficking. Our campaign warns vulnerable people at risk of becoming drug mules by sharing prisoners’ stories online and campaigning at the source. We help to spread the message and increase awareness within the communities most targeted by drug traffickers in Latin America.

No More Mules is our campaign for the rest of the world, in particular Africa.

The same as No Más Mulas, our campaign’s mission is to raise awareness of the risks of trafficking drugs to Hong Kong with its extremely long and punitive prison sentences.

We also share prisoners’ stories and campaigning at the source, we help to spread the message and inspire change within the communities most targeted by drug traffickers in Africa and Asia. 

 

How it started

The campaign emerged in 2013 when Father John Wotherspoon, an Australian Prison Chaplain, started to notice the alarming number of foreigners coming to Hong Kong recruited as drug mules. 

Father John has traveled extensively in Africa, Latin America, and more recently Malaysia, to meet the families of prisoners and members of the press, TV and radio. 

By participating in our campaign, defendants may be considered eligible for small reductions to their sentences. Since the launch of our anti-drug trafficking campaign, the number of drug mules entering Hong Kong from Africa and South America has reduced significantly.

nomasmulas.com

 
Prison Visitation on the Air

A lifeline for the non-Chinese speaking prison population

The weekly hour and a half segment Prison Visitation on the Air has become a critical lifeline for prisoners, especially foreigners, who have no local family support. Prisoners and their families can phone in requests to read letters, play special songs and exchange messages in many languages. 

Voice for Prisoners provides partial funding to keep this radio programme – the only English-language radio show catering to non-Chinese inmates – on air. It is hosted by Bruce Aitken and airs every Sunday night on AM 1044 Metro Plus from 8:30pm to 10pm.

“He who opens a school door, closes a prison.”– Victor Hugo

We believe that education is the key to success after a prisoner is released. We provide financial aid for educational courses and procurement of educational materials in various languages.

Prisoners who wish to further their education can approach our prison chaplains or write to us at:

Voice for Prisoners Ltd.

GPO Box 9148, Generall Post Office

Hong Kong

 
Education as Reformation Fund
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Volunteer-run services
 
Prisoner mailing service

We help handle correspondence between prisoners and their family and friends overseas, local volunteer visitors and pen pals. Outbound letters are digitised and sent electronically instead of by post, significantly cutting communication time and ensuring it’s received. Inbound digital letters and photographs are in turn printed and given to the prisoner. 

 

We process over two hundred letters and other correspondence every month. If you are interested in becoming a penpal, please contact us at volunteer@voiceforprisoners.org.

Prison visitation programme

We have a robust team of volunteers who visit prisoners who do not have family members who can visit them in Hong Kong and for those who require emotional and social assistance. 

 

Our volunteer visitors are from various walks of life, occupations, ethnicities and are proficient in different languages. Visits are non-contact social visits, meaning visitors cannot physically touch the prisoner, but can see them through a glass barrier and speak through the phone.* 

 

We seek to match prisoners to new volunteers on a needs-basis with priority given to prisoners who have not had regular visitors in the past 3-6 months. We also take into account the geographical accessibility of the prison prior to matching. 

 

Prison visitors develop long-term relationships with prisoners and typically visit on a monthly basis, providing them with moral, spiritual, and emotional support. They often help meet prisoner’s practical daily needs such as bringing approved snacks, stationary, phone cards, clothing, books and other personal necessities. Making provisions is entirely voluntary and is not required. Funds are available for volunteers who request funding and many books and clothing are provided for free at MercyHK's second-hand store on 191 Temple Street. 

 

Visiting prisoners can be a way of gathering useful information that may strengthen their legal cases. Prisoners can also be made aware of the opportunity to study short courses from the Chinese University of Hong Kong under the sponsorship of our organisation.

 

Each volunteer determines the time and the frequency of their visits. We ask that visitors commit to at least 6 months in order to participate in the programme and actively communicate with the volunteer coordinator about the status of their visits. 

If interested in participating or would like to learn more about this programme, please contact us at volunteer@voiceforprisoners.org.


*Volunteers interested in contact visits – usually in participating in Bible studies and prayer groups – should contact Kun Sun Association. Note that one cannot participate in both Bible studies and social visits (non-contact) because of institutional regulations.

Case assistance

Volunteers assist with specific legal cases by working with the prisoners’ legal team to build a stronger defence for the prisoner. This work can make a critical difference for prisoners who only rely on lawyers assigned by Legal Aid who are often assigned at a very late stage in their detention and do not have the time and capacity to engage in in-depth information gathering. 

 

Here, volunteers can take up a diverse set of tasks, including but not limited to

  • become the main liaison between the legal team and the prisoner’s family which involves corresponding with family members

  • visiting the prisoner

  • gathering evidence

  • helping family members and friends to write letters of support/character letters

  • working on mitigation letters

  • providing the “fuller story” to the legal team

 

Volunteers can also encourage the prisoner who pleads guilty to participate in our No Más Mulas/No More Mules international campaign which will typically earn them a three-month discount in their sentence.

If interested in participating or would like to learn more about this programme, please contact us at volunteer@voiceforprisoners.org.

Legal research

In collaboration with Hong Kong Dignity Institute (HKDI) we conduct legal and investigative research that seeks to 

  1. Eliminate practices and shift policies that enable human trafficking; and 

  2. Underscore the necessity for swift and effective cooperation between individuals, government departments, and civil society. 

 

Some of our collaborative projects include
 

 

Volunteers who are interested in assisting with legal research should contact us at volunteer@voiceforprisoners.org.

Other support
 
panel of layers
consular liaison
Panel of lawyers

For limited types of cases, we have a panel of legal experts who can assist prisoners to commence judicial review proceedings.

Consular liaison

We work with foreign consulates whose nationals are in prison with regard to various requests. Some prisoners due to age and/or ill health can be transferred to their home jurisdiction to serve the remainder of their sentence. The procedures are usually cumbersome. We aim to assist the smooth transfer of suitable prisoners to their home jurisdiction.

GET IN TOUCH

Contact Voice for Prisoners to donate, learn more about our work and find out how you can get involved.

P.S. We are always looking for pro-bono administrative assistance, fundraisers, event organisers, translators, and more...

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