My Future: When I Am Released from Prison
By Pak Raksa, Siem Reap Prison.
I regret that I was born this way,
With my mind perceiving no difference between right and wrong
My parents tried to teach me, but I did not listen
The mistakes I made are crimes and because of these sins,
I am detained and the police arrest me.
I learn how handcuffs feel when pulled against my skin
I should have listened to my parents advice,
Everyday now I live in sadness
I pray to God to help me,
I pray my parents will never worry or suffer because of me again
I want to be a good person, I want to work hard and build an admirable reputation
I will correct all my mistakes, and I will never make these mistakes again
I wil try to study hard, gaining knowledge to develop my community
I want my life to be bright
I believe in myself, and I can be independent and successful.
All human beings need to learn what is right and what is wrong,
And now i have learnt right from wrong
When we know our mistakes we must correct them,
i will correct them,
Without gambling and drinking, I will be a better person
All human beings must know their own mistakes and correct them,
We must learn from them, and never commit those mistakes again.
We must always try to be better, to be valued and appeciated by others,
The future then will be bright
My Future: After I Am Released From Prison
Net Ouen, Siem Reap Prison.
I sit and contemplate my mistakes,
I am far away from my family because of what I have done,
I know now that I was stupid, that I did not consider my future
I am sorry for all of it
The tears form in my eyes
I tell my mother I am sorry for what I have done
I am sorry for all the times she has cried
I ask my mother and father for forgiveness
I regret not going to school, I regret using drugs
My mistakes and my wrong doings almost cost me my life
They have bought me to prison and made my life without purpose
The tears form in my eyes and fall
I wish I had listened to my parents advice
Its all I can think of now
I wish I could be together with my family
But I must wait to be released, to be reunited with them.
When I am free I will be a better person,
I will make amends for all I have done
I will make my parents proud of their son.
My mother will not cry for me anymore, she will not be worried or tired
I will walk a different path, and my life will be better.
In prison all I can feel is sadness,
I am cold everyday, without the love and warmth of my family
This is my first time in prison, and I know in my heart there will be no second or third time
I wait for the new dawn to come
And I will say goodbye to wine, girls and drugs
The drugs controlled my mind and blinded me to my future
They made me break the law
When I am released I will walk the right path, I will be better then before
I understand my mistakes now,
I will be a good child, I will make good choiceS and know wrong from right
I promise to my parents that I will come home to them as a better child
I study hard now in prison, and I can see my future
I will be a teacher,
The light of the new dawn is as bright as my future
My Future: After I Am Released From Prison
Mao Sros, Phnom Penh Prison.
I stand and cling to the bars of my jail cell
I try to see into the distance, past the walls of the prison
I think of my family and I think of all of my regrets
All of the children here wear the same blue shirts, all of us have the same feelings
We all have regrets, and fear and sadness
We feel the walls of the jail cell closing in around us
From above we see only barberd wire, pressing down on us
We sleep and even in our dreams we are sorry for what we have done
We regret our mistakes that keep us here
Our tears fall in our sadness
My small and big mistakes I committed against the law
They come from my stupidity, I didn't listen to my parents
I hope one day to leave this place and I will change
I will be a good son
I will make my mother proud of me and be a part of my nation
I will change myself, to be a good person and a good student
I will deserve to be part of Cambodia, to be one of its children
My Future After I Am Released
Before I was arrested by the police I was not good to my family and my country; I would often go out and simply waste time. During the time I should have been studying I would often instead fight, use drugs, drink and gamble. These things made my parents very concerned and made them worry every day.These actions also ruined my family’s reputation. I received criticism from the neighbors as well. I didn’t listen to the advice of my parents because I was stubborn. I only responded to their advice negatively and I would often talk back to my parents.
However, my parents never hit me. They always showed affection towards me, but I didn’t recognize their love. I have just now begun to realize how much my parents love me. When I was arrestedmy parents tried so hard to help me and tried to raise money to get me released. It was after seeing this that I realized how much my parents love me. I regret what I have done to my family, my society and my country. I came to realize my wrong doings while living here in prison. There are no words to express how feel other than that of regret.
After serving my term in jail, I want a bright future. I want to study moto repair skills for my future career in order to support myself and my family. I also want to help my parents with their farm. I will look after them when they are old. I promise to stop committing crimes and living a bad life. I will stop concerning my parents with many worries. I will try to change into a better citizen. Finally, I admit all my wrongdoings. I want to send the message to my peers not to follow in my footsteps because it is bad for your families and bad for society.
I would like to say that I was wrong and I am sorry.
Essay by SokHeng
My Future After I Am Released
It has been months since I have lived in the prison. I am here because in the past I committed offenses which were in conflict with the law. I am very regretful that before I came here, I made a lot of mistakes which negatively affected my family. I wasted their time and money with my wrongdoings. In addition I didn’t listen to the advice of my parents and my teachers.
Instead I hung out with the wrong crowd, and I started to follow their example by not going to school or studying. Then one day I started using drugs. After I started to use drugs I began to commit crimes. Soon after, I was arrested by the police and I was charged with theft. I was sentenced to be detained in Preysor Prison Correctional Center 2 (CC-2) until the present time. After dwelling on what I have done, I’ve come to realize that I did my family and my country wrong.
While living in the prison I am provided with the right to healthcare, the right to legal assistance from lawyers who work at NGO’s and the right to education. I am also provided with training and life skills.Additionally, I am provided with the right of expression because I was allowed to participate in a meeting where I shared ideas that mighthelp me develop personal traits like being a good son, a good student and a good citizen.
Finally I would like to ask my parents to forgive me. I made them worried and concerned, both physically and mentally in the past. I commit that after I serve my jail term I will study hard and pursue my education. I want to be a doctor in order to help my country and other people who are sick and have diseases. I promise that I will change for the better. I will stop acting against the law.
I also want to thanks the NGO’s and other institutions for their previous assistance. I commit not to step foot in prison again;I commit not to make my parents worry and not to commit further crimes that negatively affect society.
‘I recognize my mistake’
The children are crying because they are hungry. I cry until I feel like I could die, because I harassed my mother to get money and sometimes I hurt her. I was not afraid of anything- I scolded my mother, and acted like a tiger.
Because of drugs, I forgot everything and now I have no relatives to help or take care of me. I used drugs including yama, cocaine, and sniffing glue. I also hit small students in order to get money to buy drugs for daily use. All those drugs made me forget everything and feel high all the time, like I was flying. I was always wasting time, doing useless things, and stealing other people’s belongings. After I went into the correctional centre I became aware of my wrongdoing and tried to follow the law at all times. I nearly died from the pain in my heart. I was very afraid and did not want to go to prison again, and so after I am released I will only do good deeds.
Song by Mao Sros, aged 17
‘I want to be your son again, Mother’
I sleep with sorrow in my heart and think of my family every day. I miss you so much, Mother, and I imagine your image in my mind. You always took care of me and you always forgave me no matter how badly I behaved.
Now I am far from you and I realize my faults- I always did the wrong thing towards you.
Now I am in prison missing you every day and I don’t know when I will see you again.
I sleep with sorrow every night. My heart nearly breaks and my whole body is in pain. Now I know my flaws and I ask your forgiveness. In the next life I hope to be your son again so I can treat you with gratitude.
Song by Pen Naroth, age 17
Children in Conflict with the Law Views:
A 15-year-old boy S.O said with his forlorn face, “I bitterly regret that I was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment. Everyday as I look out through the prison’s windows, I see children going to school. I want to go to school too, but I cannot. I am now pessimistic about my life. If I had not been involved in the offense, I would not have been so disappointed. Actually, I did not commit the offense. I don’t want to talk it all again because it really causes me a headache all the time. ” “Because of the wrongful arrest, I was accused of robbery. I have been detained in Prey Sor prison for almost two years and my case has been ignored by Municipal Court. I feel so sorry that I cannot go to school; I have ruined my future,” the boy said
A 16-year-old boy N.N, being detained in the Takeo prison said, “Now I am absolutely regretful. If I had known that taking food from other people to eat could lead me to be imprisoned, I would not have done it. I can not go to school; I feel so sorry and full of remorse about my life.”
A 17-year-old boy S.CH.T, being detained in the Siem Reap prison, described about his life with tears falling down on his blue uniform, “Since I was born, I’ve been neglected by my father, but I have never made my mother disappointed. Unfortunately, I was so gullible that I was sent to jail. I am so apologetic for becoming a prisoner who is a hated person in the society and particularly for making my mother dismayed. I promise when I have served my jail terms, I will be committed to becoming a good person, building up my dignity, and stopping being that gullible again.
A 17-year-old boy H.S.H said, “Because of my friends, I decided to use drugs after I was convinced that drug consumption was really fascinating. I have fallen deeply into drug consumption and couldn’t return. Each day I needed to take at least 5 pills of drug and each pill cost 5,000 riels. In case of having no money, I stole the things from my home to sell for money. I would spend the money on buying the drug. Now I am aware that my future has been blemished, so I would like to convey my message to you all to stay far away from drugs because it not only damages your health, but also affects your study, family and society.
A 16-year-old boy D.N said, “I used drugs because I trusted my friends. Once I consumed it for the first time, I felt dizzy, nauseous and sleepy. Upon becoming seriously addicted, I decided to steal things and rob people to make money for buying drugs even though I knew it was against the law. I would like to remind you all not to try this drug because it can damage your health, study and family.”
A 17-year-old boy V.D said, “I was sentenced to five years by the court. Personally, it is too long because I did not commit the robbery. Other guys came to borrow my crowbar to open the door of their house. Furthermore, I did not conspire with them in the offense and received the money, so it is unfair to me.”
A 17-year-old boy S.T said, “Since I was addicted, I never went to school. Conversely, I often hung around aimlessly from place to place. Once I had money, I never bought food, but I spent my entire money buying drug. Sometimes I didn’t have adequate money, so I decided to steal the things from home to sell for money. My family members and neighbors totally hated me, yet now I feel relieved and become strong again after staying in the centre for drug treatment, and I attended a technical training course. My family members are delighted when they see me become a good person again.”
A 17-year-old boy L.T said, “Because I was totally obsessed with the pleasure and excitement, I wanted to act like those in sex movies. I raped a seven-year-old girl. I absolutely regret my ridiculous act and realize that I was wrong! So please don’t follow such a silly act.”
A 17-year-old boy O.K said, “Because of stealing things, I am in prison. Because of hunger, I was urged to commit the offense. My mother is a beggar and my father died a long time ago. I think this is the first and the last time for me. If I were rich, I would not have stolen things from other people.”
S.R is a boy living at Steoung Meanchey area. He said, “My younger siblings and I live with our grandmother. We get up at 5 am early in the morning to pick up rubbish until 5 pm. We can sometimes earn from 5,000 riels to 10,000 riels a day. I don’t want to work with rubbish since it has a bad smell. Sometimes my fingers and my toes are injured and I catch flu and have scabies on my body. I can’t go to school because my family is poverty-stricken. If there is a NGO sponsoring me to study, I will try my best to study. I will have a good job and I will not let myself fall in this situation again.”
A 17-year-old boy S.C.V said, “Because of poverty, I could not go to school and I thought I would not be able to find a job once I became an adult. One day my friends persuaded me to rob somebody in order to get some money. If I had had money, I would not have done that. I was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment and I felt hopeless in my life.”
A 16-year-old boy Y.Y, being detained in the Banteay Meanchey prison, said, “I was overwhelmed by the situation. While I was sleeping in my house, my friends threw to me the purse that they got from their robbery. I suddenly got up and looked at it. Suddenly the villagers took me to the police and accused me of robbery. I denied robbing anyone but the police hit me violently and forced me to admit committing the robbery. I could not bear their violence, so I admitted committing the robbery, which I never ever did.”
“Because of the mistaken arrest, I was accused of robbery. I have been detained in Prey Sor prison for almost two years and my case has been ignored by Municipal Court. I feel so sorry that I cannot go to school; I have ruined my future,” the boy said.
A 16-year-old boy Ch.V, being detained in the Banteay Mean Chey prison said, “I feel so bored and want to be released from this prison soon in order to get freedom like other people. I want to study and have a good future. I miss my parents and relatives. I don’t want to be convicted and imprisoned; therefore, I will try to change myself to become a good person. I want to remind all children not to steal things from other people because it is against the law. Furthermore, you should all try to study hard for the future.”
A 17-year-old boy C.N was sentenced to 5 years for raping his sister. He said, “I feel so sorry for what I did to my sister. Because I went out with my friends and watched sex films, I dared to do that. Once I arrived home and saw my sister, suddenly I had a sexual feeling. Later I decided to rape her. I didn’t know that my act could cause me to be in prison.” He added, “The consequence is what I am being detained in prison now. I feel regretful that I have destroyed her life. I took so much pity on her, but it was too late. I think 5-year term in the prison serves me right. I swear when I have served my jail term, I will not commit the offense again. I will try to be a good person in society. By the time I am released from prison, I will be 22 years old. I think it is not too late for me.”
A child whose name is P.C revealed his fault with sadness, “I regret that I made a mistake because of anger and thoughtless. I have said sorry to my parents already, but I still regret what I have done. I promise my parents that when I return to school again, I will try to study hard and will not commit an offense again.”
Child Victim Views:
A 15-year-old girl K.M, a victim of prostitution said forlornly, “Before the conviction of the perpetrators, I strongly believed that the three of them would be sentenced appropriately; however, the conviction makes me disappointed and I did not want to return to my hometown like this. I am not satisfied with it at all.”
A 5-year-old girl named S.N, who seems incredibly mature for her age, said angrily in front of the lawyer, “I don’t want money, but I wish to appeal against the trial judge’s decision and to have the three people who raped me sentenced to imprisonment.”
An 11-year-old girl P.N, living in Siem Reap province said, “My father raped me five times. After raping, he usually threatened that I should not tell my mother, or else he would kill me. I should not have such a wicked father.”
A 15-year-old girl S.M said, “After my step-father raped me, I felt much too hurt and disappointed. I shouldn’t have such a fiendish father. I always called him father; however, he committed such a devil action.” Because I was afraid of his intimidation, I tried to keep it a secret until I was almost eight months pregnant. Later I decided to tell my mother.”
A girl, whose name is C.N.M, said with tears, “Once the verdict was released and I was supposed to live with my mother, I was really confused. I cried loudly and angrily since the court is not justice. If I have to live with my mother who has a new husband and is brutal and unkind to me, I would rather die. Moreover, she only wants to satisfy her new husband. I want to live with my father.”
A 16-year-old girl P.S, living in Kompong Cham province, is a victim of sexual trafficking. She said, “I suffered greatly from my gullibility. They cheated me and they sold me to a Khmer guy from overseas. I was treated like an animal. Because of my ignorance, I feel so sorry about act my whole life. I would like to request that the judge sentence the culprits to imprisonment in order to prevent them from committing such an offense to other people.
A 13-year-old girl Ch.S, living in Kompong Chhanng province, is a victim of rape. She said, “I was raped by my stepfather four times until I became sick and had to be hospitalized. I did not dare to tell my mother because he threatened that if I told other people about this secret, he would kill me and burn my house. Firstly, I did not tell others, but I could not stand him any more after I was raped again and again. I decided to tell my neighbors, and they informed police to arrest him. I hate my cruel step father very much. I don’t want to see his face. I hope that the trial judge will sentence him to life imprisonment.”
A 15-year-old girl Ch.Ch said with hopeless feeling, “In my life, I live without value because my brother-in-law raped me. He raped me violently. When I shouted, he covered my mouth to stop me from shouting. I hate him very much. I want the judge to sentence him to life imprisonment since he threatened to kill me and all my family members upon his release from prison.”
A 17-year-old girl K.Ph said, “I bitterly regret and feel so embarrassed, and suffered greatly since I have lost my entire honor and dignity. This is what I completely believed in other’s persuasion and they sold me like animals. In order to prevent other girls from being cheated, I would like to appeal to the judge to give a maximum punishment to those culprits. Also, I would like to remind all girls not to promptly believe anyone, especially strangers, or you will experience great remorse and regret the rest of your life.”
O.S, a victim living in Phnom Penh, said, “When the trial judge sentences the two culprits to imprisonment, one for 15 years and the other for 29 years and ordered to jointly pay $ 8000 for compensation, I feel very happy because the trial judge provides me with justice.” She added, “Finally, I would like to tell all girls that if you are the victim like me, you must be brave to reveal the truth. Being brave can lead to successfully punishing the accused.”
The girl Ch.T.V, living in Siem Reap province, said forlornly, “When the trial judge declares the verdict that my step-father B.B is sentenced to 19 years’ imprisonment, I feel very disappointed and terrified. I think that he will be free once again after serving his jail term and he will come to take revenge on both my mother and me because he is so cruel. I want the trial judge to sentence him to life imprisonment.”
Before, in my point of view, it was amazing and unbelievable that the father had sexual intercourse with his daughter. However, now I know that only my father raped me, so I am very overwhelmed by this incident. I regard him as an animal. My older sister and I were raped by our father for more than 10 years. The 18 years and six months jail term in the verdict, is the lightest penalty in my opinion. I want him to be sentenced to death,” the girl said.