Justice Minister proposes releasing chronically ill inmates to reduce prison overcrowding

PHOTO: Thai Prison Life

In an effort to reduce overcrowding in Thailand prisons, the Justice Ministry is looking into allowing chronically ill inmates to be released on a royal pardon. There’s also talk of shortening sentences for those incarcerated on drug charges, according to Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin.

Overcrowding has been a problem at Thailand’s prisons, especially now more space is required for new inmates to go through a quarantine before being released in the prison population to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Somsak spoke to the heads of 143 of Thailand’s prisons, saying that while some prisoners have been released early and some jail terms have been suspended, the prisons still have too many inmates.

To reduce the crowding, Somsak is suggesting releasing chronically ill inmates on a royal pardon. The sick inmates would not be those not eligible for patrol or early release, he says.

At the moment, the ministry is working on a new regulation to help overcrowding by reducing the jail sentences for drug offenders, but they would also be released with an ankle monitor for home detention, Somsak says.

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SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Caitlin Ashworth

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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