Wed, Oct 28, 2015 - Page 11 News List

Reformed former convicts make a fresh start
鐵窗三十年 他「預約人生下半場」

Reformed former convict “Black Horse” Chen Hsing-yu shares his experiences with the audience at a book launch at National Taiwan Ocean University in Keelung City on Oct. 13.

Photo: Yu Chao-fu, Liberty Times

The Taiwan After-Care Association has compiled a new book, An Appointment with the Second Half of Life, which recounts the lives of seven rehabilitated former convicts. A book launch was held at National Taiwan Ocean University in Keelung City on Oct. 13, at which “Black Horse” Chen Hsing-yu, one of the seven reformed convicts, appeared in person to share his inner journey. Keelung City Council Speaker Sung Wei-li attended the book-signing event, saying that she hopes society will give more care and help to rehabilitated former inmates who have the courage to correct their mistakes and lead a better life.

“Black Horse” Chen Hsing-yu spent 30 years behind bars, during which time his wife not only did not leave him but kept watching over his home and family and took their daughter with her to visit “Black Horse” in various prisons as he was moved from one jail to another, so as to encourage him and keep him in good spirits. Looking back on those times, “Black Horse” said that one time when he was imprisoned in Shalun in Tainan, his wife and daughter took the overnight train to Tainan from Keelung to visit him, just so they could see him for a short time. That scene made him determined to get back on his feet, he said.

Chen said that after being released and starting a new life in the community he had worked hard to make a go of it in business and now runs a company that works with reformed ex-prisoners. The story of “Black Horse” moved prison warden Huang Tsung-hsing to write the song Reluctant to Leave Shalun Station, and the Spring Melody Chorus, whose members are mentors for people undergoing rehabilitation, was specially invited to perform the song at the book-signing event, along with singer Stephen Hsu.


1. imprisoned adj.

被關 (bei4 guan1)

例: These three people were imprisoned for two years.


2. get back on one’s feet phr.

重新站起 (chong2 xin1 zhan4 qi3)

例: I am down and out, but I will get back on my feet.


3. make a fresh start phr.

重新開始 (chong2 xin1 kai1 shi3)

例: It is time to make a fresh start.


Chen Hung-ta, chief prosecutor at the Keelung District Prosecutors’ Office, called on the public to encourage and support reformed former convicts by showing them greater concern and empathy. He said that, as long as they are willing to make a fresh start, they should be treated equally, as that will result in greater social harmony.

(Liberty Times, translated by Julian Clegg)






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