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Justice minister proposes “fortune-telling” vocational program for prison inmates

Caitlin Ashworth



PHOTO: Her Zindagi

Inmates in Thailand’s prisons might soon be able to study astrology and fortune-telling. Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin proposed the vocational program to help the prisoners get jobs after they are released.

Somsak says the course is a low investment for the Board of Corrections, adding that fortune-telling is popular in Thailand and a skill inmates can use to earn money after they are released.

“From now on, the fortune-telling lessons will be added in correctional career courses because they required very low investment, only about 500 baht for 2 decks of tarot cards. The Correction Board should prepare for the astrology and fortune-telling courses for inmates who want to become fortune-tellers.”

About 35% of inmates at Thailand prisons want to work after they are released, but do not have potential job opportunities, Somsak says. He even pitched the idea teaching inmates to raise chickens for cockfighting.

“The matter needs to be seriously discussed. We must try to do something productive for every prisoner in terms of creating a career, such as raising chickens for cockfighting. This may seem for a game of gambling, but the job can be something useful in preserving something traditional.”

SOURCE: Pattaya News


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  1. Avatar


    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    Tourism won’t be a major industry, Electrical car parts project proposed, English program put forward, now, fortune telling, why not invite the master jedi in Narkon Photom to teach? Be realistic with down to the earth attitude. I just bought coconut plantation Amazing.

  2. Avatar


    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    Would be better to teach them how to cook Pad thai or open a miracle coffee shop. Who comes up with this shit? 500 Baht deck of cards off you go, make some money with fortune telling instead of selling imported masks for 5baht over market price.

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 6:33 pm

      At least if they are fortune tellers then they will be able to know if they are going to get caught when they commit their next crime

      • Avatar

        James R

        Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 11:27 pm


        Really funny, I am still laughing.

  3. Avatar


    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    Well, from a globally epic Special K bust blunder due to technical error to tarot cards/fortune-telling and raising chickens for cockfighting programs, it is a significant step forward (if you know what I mean). I’ll give him credit for his incredible, out of this planet, level of creativity.

    On the other hand, what sounds less promising is that around 35% of inmates would like to work after they are released. Good for them and they should be supported by any means. But what about the other % (I don’t have any figures) that also want and will be released? what is it that they would like to do? Hmm I think I know but be it.

  4. Avatar


    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 7:44 pm

    Thaiger you make me so laugh everyday another crazy idea maybe this is what the prime minister uses to make is stupid daily decisions or maybe he throws a few bones to see the future before he gives them to the people .

  5. Avatar

    preesy chepuce

    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    Well every government needs a think tank to improve policy.

    • Avatar

      Tony Grace

      Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at 2:35 pm

      I see people laughing at you I see a bright light flashing at something yes they say 200bt you need to pay to remove the spell or terrible thing happen to you .555

  6. Avatar

    James Pate

    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    Teaching convicted criminals alternative ways to cheat stupid, superstitious people. This is infinitely more absurd than the moon shot program. You can’t make this shit up!

  7. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 10:11 pm

    Well you see this is what the government consult to run the country.
    They believe in it.

  8. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    Excellent bit of lateral thinking.
    He must have been reading his tea leafs to come up with this.

  9. Avatar


    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    Isn’t this kinda like the chicken farmer putting the fox into the hen house? The government sanctioning criminals to pry on the most superstitious and gullible of the country. I’m all for trying to help ex-cons to get jobs, but come on this is absurd.

  10. Avatar


    Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at 3:11 am

    Staff playing cards in a bar for a few baht has resulted in fines when the police are short of cash, but fortune telling with cards for cash seems to be ok.
    The bottom dropped out of the fortune telling industry with introduction of tea bags. Nobody saw that coming…

  11. Avatar


    Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at 7:54 am

    Serious really?

    Thailand will never stop amazing me

    Well, we did descend from monkeys yes?
    Good Luck

    • Avatar


      Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at 3:07 pm

      We all did descend from monkeys indeed and Thai gov members get back there

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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