Fri, Nov 21, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Mayor helps ex-convict find honest work

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

A former convict, who spent much of her adult life in jail before being released in June, found the first decent job of her life last month with the assistance of Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強).

The 52-year-old ex-prisoner, identified as Da Han (大涵), who, has spent most of her time on and off in prison over the past 30 years, was discharged in June after being imprisoned for the past 10 years on repeat drug abuse and drug dealing convictions.

Da Han, who completed two years of education at a prestigious university before being convicted of robbery during her student days more than 30 years ago, had been active in prison because of her leadership skills.

She was unable to find a job after being freed, mainly because of her age and criminal background. Even the computer skills she had recently developed were not able to open any doors for her.

With her parents both deceased and her younger brother suffering from a chronic illness and in need of money and care, Da Han was desperate to earn a living and wrote a letter to Hu, appealing for a job.

Earlier last month, Da Han was informed by the Taichung City Government’s Department of Labor Affairs that there was a job opening for a cleaning lady at an office building in Taichung. She was eventually hired, making it the first decent job that she has had in her life.

Da Han was a junior at a national university majoring in public finance and taxation when she and several classmates robbed the house of a Taipei prosecutor for fun.

Although she was only the lookout during the robbery, she was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison and was expelled from the university. After serving her time, Da Han wandered aimlessly.

Jobless and homeless, she began to mingle with drug abusers and traffickers, leading to frequent stints in prison that grew longer after she was convicted for repeat offenses.

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