Hong Kong Correctional Services

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Hong Kong Correctional Services
HK Correctional Services Logo.svg
Agency overview
Formed 1879
Jurisdiction  Hong Kong
Headquarters 23rd, 24th and 27th Floors, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai
Employees 6,659
Minister responsible
Agency executives
Website www.csd.gov.hk/
Hong Kong Correctional Services
Traditional Chinese 懲教署
Simplified Chinese 惩教署

Hong Kong Correctional Services (also called Correctional Services Department, CSD, 懲教署) is responsible for prisoners and prisons in Hong Kong. The Commissioner of Correctional Services reports to the Secretary for Security.

Although the Chief Magistrate (now Commissioner of Police (Hong Kong)) was given control over prisons in 1841, the legislation to create the department did not come into being until 1853. CSD was part of the Hong Kong Police Force until 1879 when the role of Superintendent of Victoria Gaol was created. Superintendent of Victoria Gaol was re-titled as Superintendent of Prisons, the department has been financially independent from the Hong Kong Police Force since 1921.[citation needed]


As with all of the Hong Kong Disciplined Services, British-pattern rank insignia continue to be utilised, with the only change being the replacement of the St. Edward's Crown by the Bauhinia flower crest in 1997.[1]

  • Commissioner of Correctional Services (similar insignia to a UK General)
  • Deputy Commissioner (similar insignia to a UK Lieutenant-General)
  • Assistant Commissioner (similar insignia to a UK Major-General)
  • Chief Superintendent (similar insignia to a UK Colonel)
  • Senior Superintendent (similar insignia to a UK Lieutenant-Colonel)
  • Superintendent (similar insignia to a UK Major)
  • Chief Officer (similar insignia to a UK Captain)
  • Principal Officer (similar insignia to a UK Lieutenant with a bar beneath)
  • Officer (similar insignia to a UK Lieutenant)
  • Probationary Officer (similar insignia to a UK Second Lieutenant)
  • Technical Instructor
  • Assistant Officer Class I (similar insignia to a UK Sergeant)
  • Assistant Officer Class II (similar to a UK Private)
  • Instructor


CSD has 29 facilities across Hong Kong ranging from maximum security prisons to rehabilitation centres.

Name of Facility Location Years of Operation Facility Type Capacity Status/Remarks
Shek Pik Prison Shek Pik 1984–present Maximum security institution 426 active
Sha Tsui Correctional Institution Shek Pik 1972–present Minimum security institution 121 active
Tong Fuk Correctional Institution Ma Po Ping 1966–present Medium security institution 925 active
Lai Chi Rehabilitation Centre Shek Pik 2002–present Rehabilitation Centre 90 active
New Territories
Name of Facility Location Years of Operation Facility Type Capacity Status/Remarks
Bauhinia House Tai Lam Chung 1984–present Half-way House 24 active; moved to current location in 2002
Lai King Correctional Institution Kwai Chung 2008–present Minimum security institution 200 active
Chi Lan Rehabilitation Centre Kwai Chung 2008–present rehabilitation centre 40 active; relocated from Shek O Road in 2008
Pik Uk Correctional Institution Sai Kung 1975–present Maximum security institution 385 active
Pik Uk Prison Sai Kung 1975–present Minimum security prison 550 active
Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre Tai Lam Chung 1972–present Maximum security institution 261 active
Tai Lam Centre for Women Tai Lam Chung 1969–present Maximum security institution 151 active
Tai Lam Correctional Institution Tai Lam Chung 1980–present Minimum security institution 598 active
Wai Lan Rehabilitation Centre Tai Lam Chung 2002–present Minimum security institution 24 active
Lo Wu Correctional Institution Lo Wu 2010–present medium security institution 1400 active
Name of Facility Location Years of Operation Facility Type Capacity Status/Remarks
Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre Lai Chi Kok 1977–present Maximum security institution 1484 active
Lai Hang Rehabilitation Centre Tai Wo Ping 2002–present Rehabilitation Centre 70 active
Phoenix House Tai Wo Ping 1983–present Half-way house 30 active
Pelican House Tai Wo Ping 1995–present Half-way house 30 active; moved to location in 2004
Hong Kong Island
Name of Facility Location Years of Operation Facility Type Capacity Status/Remarks
Cape Collison Correctional Institution Cape Collison 1958–present Training centre 192 active
Ma Hang Prison Stanley 1974–1/2015 Minimum security institution NA decanted
Pak Sha Wan Correctional Institution Stanley 1999–present Medium security institution 424 active, adult no smoking correctional facility
Tai Tam Gap Correctional Institution Tai Tam Gap 1980–present Minimum security institution 160 active
Tung Tau Correctional Institution Stanley 1982–present Minimum security institution 452 active, adult no smoking correctional facility
Victoria Prison Central 1841-2005 Maximum security institution NA closed; see publication entitled "Victoria Prison Memorial Book" published by the CSD and available from the Correctional Services Museum Gift Shop at the Stanley Prison.
Stanley Prison Stanley 1937–present Maximum security institution 1511 active
Hei Ling Chau
Name of Facility Location Years of Operation Facility Type Capacity Status/Remarks
Lai Sun Correctional Institution Hei Ling Chau 1984–present Minimum security institution 164 active
Hei Ling Chau Correctional Institution Hei Ling Chau 1984–present Medium security institution 532 active
Hei Ling Chau Addiction Treatment Centre Hei Ling Chau 1975–present Drug Addiction Treatment Centre 672 active
Nei Kwu Correctional Institution Hei Ling Chau 2002–present Minimum security institution 236 active

Juvenile prisoners[edit]

As of 1997 there were four juvenile correctional facilities for males. Female juveniles were held at Tai Tam Gap Correctional Institution, which housed females under age 21. At the time Hei Ling Chau Addiction Treatment Centre and Sha Tsui Detention Centre also held male juveniles.[2]

Prisoner demographics[edit]

As of 2017 there were about 8,423 prisoners in the Hong Kong prison system. The numbers of prisoners by territory were 5,663 Hong Kongers; 1,734 not from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Macau, nor the Republic of China area (including Taiwan); and 1,026 from Mainland China, Macau, and the ROC. The respective percentages were 67, 21, and 12.[3]

Reading materials[edit]

As of 2018 there were about 100,000 books in the prison libraries; the percentages by language were 83% Chinese, 10% English, and 7% not in Chinese nor English. Prison authorities stated that they did not wish to buy very many books in neither official language to ensure the security of the prisons; Legco member Shiu Ka-chun criticised this rationale.[3]


Badge of the Correctional Service Department before 1 July 1997.

The current crest of the force was adopted in 1997 to replace most of the colonial symbols:[4]

  • St Edward's Crown replaced by the stylised Bauhinia flower crest
  • Replacement of the Royal cypher by a Compass rose, with the words "Correctional Services 懲教署" circling it
  • Addition of a laurel wreath bearing the words "Correctional Services Hong Kong"


CSD officers are trained in the use of, and can be issued, revolvers as lethal sidearms, the ASP expendable baton and the Sabre Red pepper spray are the standard less-than-lethal options; additionally a type of pepper gun and the rubber bullet rifle form the standard-issue equipment of the elite anti-riot team officers, known as the Correctional Emergency Response Team (CERT). Aside from handguns officers are also trained in the use of shoulder arms such as shotguns and rifles, however the long arms are rarely issued.

Revolvers are issued to staff escorting prisoners outside the prison, to those stationed in the watchtowers of the maximum security prisons. Other firearms are authorized for use under the observation of senior officers such as when prisoners escape from the prison, riot or when causing damage to the prison.

CSD in popular media[edit]

  • TVB drama series Tomorrow Is Another Day was filmed with the full co-operation of the CSD who allowed the film crew to film and access to Stanley and other prisons.
  • 2017 Independent Movie With Prisoners (zh) (同囚) was filmed as a story about prisoners being tortured inhumanly in Sha Tsui Correctional Institution. A claim that the film was based on real events was later retracted.


Flag of the Correctional Service Department before 1 July 1997.

External links[edit]

Media related to Hong Kong Correctional Services at Wikimedia Commons