Bayanihan: FRED Program of Malabon City

On the 30 of May 2023, 6th floor of Session Hall at Malabon City Hall, the beginning of the program “Ugnayang Laya” took place. It is a program that aims to strengthen the second chance program implementers. The Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation Inc., in partnership with the Malabon mayor, Mrs. Jeannie Sandoval, invited LGUs, NGOs, and other facilities that help with the reintegration of detainees and enhancing the programs that are in place which help rehabilitate them after getting back into society. In the 4-day program, the participants engaged in activities that helped them reflect upon themselves and help with the betterment of the programs for PDLs. Many partook in the debates and open forums, learning about the crucial role of a multidisciplinary team and how coordination is key to aiding the people that need their help. Here are some testimonies that came from the participants of Ugnayang Laya.

“Salamat for the opportunity na pwedeng makatulong sa pdls at sa family nila during reintegration” – Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)

“It’s a big help for us, especially to me being a worker in a barangay who has a lot of chances to talk and to listen to PDLs in our Barangay. It’s also a first step for giving PDLs a solution to the new life they want to have.” – Brgy. Hulong Duhat

“Ugnayan Laya is a good program for the ex-PDLs wherein to give them a 2nd chance to reintegrate to the community with the help of Barangays and other sectors.” – Malabon CJFD

The successful reintegration of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) into society is a crucial step in promoting rehabilitation, reducing recidivism rates, and creating safer communities. Achieving this goal requires a comprehensive approach that goes beyond traditional correctional methods. By assembling a multidisciplinary team, consisting of professionals from various fields, we can harness the collective expertise and resources necessary to fasten the process of reintegrating PDLs. In this article, we explore the importance of a multidisciplinary team and how their collaborative efforts contribute to successful reintegration.

To begin, a multidisciplinary team brings together professionals from diverse backgrounds, such as psychologists, social workers, vocational trainers, healthcare providers, and legal experts. This diverse skill set enables a holistic assessment of PDLs’ needs, strengths, and challenges. Each team member contributes their unique perspective, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of the individual’s circumstances. This holistic assessment helps in developing personalized reintegration plans that address specific needs, such as mental health support, vocational training, addiction treatment, and legal assistance.

Second, by combining the expertise of different professionals, a multidisciplinary team can offer a wide range of services within a single framework. This approach eliminates the need for PDLs to navigate multiple systems independently, reducing bureaucratic hurdles and saving valuable time. Services may include educational programs, vocational training, substance abuse counseling, mental health support, legal aid, and employment assistance. The collaborative efforts of the team ensure a seamless delivery of these services, promoting continuity and minimizing gaps in care.

Furthermore, the multidisciplinary team fosters collaboration and knowledge sharing among professionals. Regular meetings, case conferences, and shared documentation allow for a comprehensive understanding of each PDL’s progress and challenges. Through these interactions, professionals gain insights from different perspectives, expanding their own expertise and refining their approaches to reintegration. This collaborative environment ensures that PDLs receive the best possible support, as professionals learn from each other’s experiences and adapt their strategies accordingly.

Reintegrating PDLs into society involves managing potential risks and addressing underlying factors that contribute to criminal behavior. In addition to what was stated above, a multidisciplinary team excels in developing targeted intervention strategies based on the individual’s risk factors, needs, and strengths. By collaborating on risk assessments, professionals can identify potential triggers and tailor interventions accordingly. This proactive approach aims to mitigate risks, enhance protective factors, and promote positive behavioral change, reducing the likelihood of reoffending.

And last but not least, a multidisciplinary team engages with the broader community to facilitate the successful reintegration of PDLs. By collaborating with community organizations, employers, educational institutions, and housing providers, the team helps create a supportive environment for PDLs’ transition back into society. Community involvement reduces stigma, fosters empathy, and creates opportunities for PDLs to access resources and build social connections. This community engagement is vital for creating a sense of belonging, reducing isolation, and increasing the chances of successful reintegration.

The reintegration of persons deprived of liberty requires a multifaceted approach that acknowledges their diverse needs and challenges. A multidisciplinary team brings together professionals from various fields to provide holistic support, targeted interventions, and comprehensive services. By collaborating, sharing knowledge, and engaging with the community, this team creates an environment that accelerates the reintegration process, reduces recidivism rates, and ultimately leads to safer and more inclusive societies. The power of collaboration cannot be understated, as the collective efforts of a multidisciplinary team provide the foundation for successful reintegration and the opportunity for PDLs to rebuild their lives.

By Jiro Pepito


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