In the past several months, 76 inmates have escaped from Thai correctional facilities, a significant increase when compared to the previous year. Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin says most of the prisoners escaped during the 14-day quarantine at a temporary prison or hospital, which is a requirement before being housed in the general prison population. The minister warned prison authorities to step it up to prevent similar cases.
From October 2021 to January 2022, there were 19 reports of prison escapes involving a total of 76 inmates. Somsak says that with most of the cases involving inmates that escaped from quarantine, the problem can be fixed in the short term by improving the security for inmates undergoing the isolation period. He adds that prisons can also make a budget request to improve security and prevent escapes.
For a long term approach to managing the situation, the minister says the Department of Corrections will organise a prison system to offer a specific area for the new inmates to quarantine as the Covid-19 situation is ongoing with no clear end in sight.
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