Coronavirus (Covid-19)Thailand

Some inmates to be released on parole following Covid-19 outbreaks at prisons

Photo via Facebook/ ประชาสัมพันธ์ กรมราชทัณฑ์

With thousands of inmates infected with Covid-19 at several Thailand prisons, the Department of Corrections is now tackling its longstanding problem at prisons… overcrowding.

There’s now talk within the department of possibly granting some prisoners parole, or at least reducing their sentences as a short-term measure to reduce the overcrowding. Others in court detention, while awaiting trial, might be released on bail. Previous reports also said around 50,000 inmates incarcerated for minor drug charges might soon be released on house arrest and monitored with an electronic tracking bracelet.

To release inmates on special parole or to reduce their sentences, rules need to be amended, according to the department’s director general Aryut Sinthopphan. The rules on parole and sentence reduction are primarily for elderly inmates, or prisoners who are chronically ill.

So far, more than 12,000 inmates have tested positive for Covid-19 at around a dozen correctional facilities across Thailand. The department is now rolling out a so-called “Bubble and Seal” measure to prevent the virus from spreading and all correctional facilities are instructed to prepare for potential outbreaks. Prisons must set up their own field hospitals as well as their own committees to handle Covid-19 situations.

Correctional facilities are also told to screen all inmates for Covid-19. Those who test positive for the virus will need to do an X-ray of their lungs to see if they need to treat inflammation or other symptoms.

Prison officers who have any symptoms of Covid-19, even a runny nose, will need to do a swab test. Officers who pass the virus to others in prison can potentially face disciplinary action, Aryut says.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Tanutam Thawan

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


  1. Any and all non violent subjects should be released. Drugs are not without consequences but prohibition simply makes problems worse. The real issue is govt employees are more often than not the competition in the illicit drug market shutting down other competition. Its not about stopping crime

  2. I didn’t see anything about prisoners being tested for Covid prior to release? They talked of prison officers having to do swab tests (I assume they mean lateral flow test) even if they have a runny nose! What about the 76% of carriers of the virus who have no symptoms? A runny nose of one of the rare things you get with Covid. And it says if you test positive you will get an x-Ray to check for fluid in the lungs. I’m totally baffled by what the hell they are talking about. Are they making this up or are 5 year olds running things?

  3. @Nigel –

    Just as mad as the UK re the virus.

    I was just sent a picture of a person who arrived in London form Bangkok, Thai mum and English dad, he lives in Thailand but has both British and Thai passports.

    He is visiting his dad in hospital one day after arriving from Bangkok in the picture.

    He should have spent ten days in self isolation and taken two more tests over the ten day period.

    So the government here are fools too as not all people self isolate.

  4. Well they are breaking the law if they don’t self isolate for 10 days and have a Covid PCR test if you arrive from and Amber list country. Even if you simply transit an Amber list country such as the UAE or Qatar. If you have the persons details Then report them. He can face a £10,000 fine. The government and indeed the public should take such behaviour as they would drink driving. You are a threat and menace if you don’t isolate

  5. “Are they making this up or are 5 year olds running things?”

    Read the source article in the BP and all your questions are answered, @Nigel.

    “Well they are breaking the law if they don’t self isolate for 10 days and have a Covid PCR test”

    Well, whoopee, that’ll make all the difference! Sage estimated that 80% of those supposed to self-isolate don’t. Other estimates are higher. The only “check”, in less than a third of those supposed to be self-isolating, is a call to their mobile.

    … yet many commenting here criticise Thailand, and anyone else who does the same, for enforcing state quarantine (including you, BTW).

Leave a Reply