PHUKET: Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong joined his first dawn search of Phuket Provincial Prison to re-affirm the facility’s “White Prison” status yesterday morning.
The mass search, conducted by more than 100 officers from military, police, Corrections Department, Health Office and other government agencies, failed to uncover any drugs or contraband.
Areas searched included personal lockers of all inmates as well as sleeping quarters, the infirmary and other areas where officers believed contraband could be hidden.
No illegal items were found in the search, and none of the 400 inmates selected at random tested positive for drugs.
“But a few items that are forbidden were found, such as sharp weapons made from spoons and forks,” said Governor Nisit.
“The prisoners claimed they needed the weapons to protect themselves. That should be the job of the guards.”
Gov Nisit remarked on his satisfaction with the raid.
“It was my first time joining the prison search. Of course, me and the other officials are happy with the results,” he said.
While the prison retains its “white” status, it continues to suffer from overcrowding. The facility was originally built for only 800 prisoners, but that number is approaching 3,000 – more than three times the facility’s capacity.
However, former Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut announced in September that respite was in the works with the news that a 1.1-billion-baht-budget had been approved to build one of the most modern prisons in the country on 108 rai of government land at the site of the Bang Jo Detention Center in Srisoonthorn (story here).
— Chutharat Plerin