PHUKET CITY: For most societies, prison is an undesirable place to which law-abiding citizens send the the community’s undesirables, i.e., the deviants, perverts and miscreants. But in Phuket, prison has become just another tourist attraction.
Helping to keep alive the strong local tradition of anywhere-anytime tourism, Paisarn Suwannaraksa, Director of Phuket Prison, told the Gazette that the 1,500-inmate prison is now open for public tours, both to educate the public and to change foreigners’ perceptions that Thai prisons are as atrocious as popular media depict.
“The leaders and management of the prison adhere to international standards, which means our living quarters, food and officers all have to meet high standards for the prisoners,” he said.
“We welcome visitors from any country to come and see our prisons. We are happy to show the high quality of the cells, and we would like to dispel any misconceptions foreigners may have, to show that [our facilities] are not as terrible or unlawful as they might think,” Director Paisarn said.
“We can have a maximum of 30 visitors per day, divided into groups of 10, but we ask visitors to please dress well.”
Prison officials can be reached for tour arrangements at Tel: 076-212104 or 076-214689.
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