Coronavirus (Covid-19)Thailand

Justice Minister says 50,000 inmates will be released following Covid-19 outbreaks

Chiang Mai prison / Photo via Department of Corrections ประชาสัมพันธ์ กรมราชทัณฑ์

With thousands of inmates now infected with Covid-19 at several Thai prisons, shedding light on the country’s longstanding problem of overcrowded prisons, Thailand’s justice minister says around 50,000 inmates will be released next month.

So far, the Department of Corrections has reported 10,384 Covid-19 cases in Thai prisons. Following the last week’s outbreaks at the Bangkok Remand Prison and Central Women’s Correctional Institution, with nearly 3,000 inmates infected, human rights groups called for the release of inmates who were incarcerated over minor charges or awaiting trial for minor or non-violent offences.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin says around 50,000 inmates who are incarcerated on minor drug charges will be released next month and placed under house arrest with electronic monitoring bracelets.

The department is continuing proactive testing this week and all prisons must file a weekly report outlining the number of Covid-19 cases as well as the number of those who have recovered from a coronavirus infection.

Thailand’s prison population rate is one of the highest in the world. On a list of countries with the highest prison population rates, World Prison Brief ranks Thailand as ninth.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tanutam Thawan

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.


  1. And they authorities, government had been warned about that this would happend by other countries months ago and did as usual nothing to prevent it. We are Thai, we know best, we have nothing to learn from the rest of the world mentality strikes again.

  2. It totally beggars belief. I’ve been baffled by Thai logic for well over 20 years. I would love to be able to sit down with the person or persons who decided on this course of action and walk them through the thought process. I wonder what kind of reaction you would see flash across their faces. What is it that causes this? Is it the level of education? The heat? The food? I suspect it’s the system of not being able to question decisions made by more senior people. You just need one looney at the top…..

  3. “I suspect it’s the system of not being able to question decisions made by more senior people”
    That’s the correct answer to your question nigel, people in charge are old, uneducated, superstitious, and with a huge ego, young generation is surprisingly the opposite, they learn from internet and are far from being stupid, the problem is the elders don’t listen to them, i see the case many time, when everybody know that the old guy in charge of the village/hospital/school/police station is doing it wrong, by nobody will tell him to not make him lose face, so everybody doing it wrong and accept it.

  4. Murika is quite correct,the concept of excessive deference to seniority is wide spread in the vast majority of asian cultures.
    It has been this way For many centuries and there is nothing that can be done about it at this point in time.
    Until the present generation in power completely die off and the internet generation gain total control nothing can change.

  5. The Asian concept of “losing face” is interesting in so many ways. It’s said as though the overall idea of being “embarrassed” when someone point out you are wrong or made a mistake is uniquely Asian. Of course that’s not the case. In Western and African cultures, feeling foolish when someone points out your errors is perfectly normal. The only difference seems to be the way Asian react to that feeling. It’s not the fault of the person causing the embarrassment, rather the person embarrassed who acts like the child and sulks. In the West it’s called being a child and any adult acting in that way should feel more embarrassed for behaving like a spoiled brat. Along with corruption, the Thai attitude to being embarrassed is what holds the country back. As @Me cynic says, hopefully the next generation will show a little more backbone and take embarrassment in the chin like adults should.

  6. Nothing will change with the new generation ; They will do EXACTLY the same things ! Think about it , I see it in myself more and more I am doing the things my parents did , think like them act and react like them ,things that 40 years earlier I swore I will never do . NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE HERE

  7. Two things will result from this decision: (1) more criminals among the population, and (2) more infections for sure – aren’t they already quarantined by being in prison? Why bring them out to the general population?

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