Violent criminals in Thailand to be tagged for 10 years after release to protect women

Soon, criminals put away for violent crimes against women in Thailand will have to wear an electric monitoring (EM) ankle bracelet for up to 10 years after their release.

The new law – Measures for the Prevention of Repeat Offenses in Sexual or Violent Crimes Act – aims to reduce the chance of reoffending, prevent violence against women and make it easier for police to detain dangerous criminals if they do turn back to crime after being released from prison.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin pushed for the law following the horrific news last week that a serial rapist was arrested for the fifth time in Ubon Ratchathani province in northeast Thailand.

The 41 year old offender, Pathanin Jen, physically attacked, raped, and held captive two young women from November 20-22. He was found to have committed six similar offences and was recently released from prison.

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The public was left wondering how the system failed so badly to allow him to commit such cowardly and heinous acts against women again after being imprisoned. He was out of prison for less than one year before he reoffended, said Somsak.

A few days later, the Ministry of Public Health posted saddening statistics highlighting that young Thai girls aged 10 to 14 years old comprise 31% of the 8,500 women and girls who are physically and sexually abused in Thailand every year. The figures span from 2019-21.

Women are not safe. Every day, stories hit Thai media of women being attacked and raped. High rates of drug addiction only seem to exacerbate the problem.

The justice minister says the serial rapist from Ubon Ratchathani is the exact type of violent criminal the new law is aimed at stopping from reoffending.

The law will also give police powers to detain anyone who they believe is violent as an emergency provision, said Somsak.

The new legislation will also see that victims of such crimes are compensated 100,000 baht, including 50,000 baht in damages, 40,000 baht for medical expenses and 20,000 baht towards rehabilitation costs.

The new law is expected to take effect from January 23, 2023.

“My intent is to push forward the law against recidivism in order to control these people from repeating the same incidents and create safety for society, especially women, so Mr Patanin will be under surveillance even after he is released from prison according to the new law. It will come into effect on the 23rd of January,” said Somsak.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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