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Prison appeals for donations

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Prison appeals for donations | The Thaiger
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PHUKET TOWN: Phuket Provincial Prison plans to set up a closed-circuit TV system between the prison and the Phuket Provincial Court Office – if the public will help to come up with the 120,000-baht estimated cost of the project. Phairoj Phankaew, Governor of the prison, told the Gazette that jails in other provinces such as Surat Thani, Chiang Mai already have such a system. “This would be a very good thing to have because it would help to reduce the load on prison officers and make the prisoners happier, too,” K. Pairoj explained. At present, on any particular day, prison officers have to round up dozens of prisoners who are due for appearances in court. Most of these appearances are very brief, covering simple matters such as applications by the police for an extension of the prisoner’s incarceration while investigations continue. Simple matter or not, each prisoner has to be body-searched and then put in handcuffs and, in some cases, leg-irons, before being taken to court. “It is department policy to chain prisoners, but this is often depressing for them. In addition, there are a lot of them; the largest number of prisoners we had to take to court in one day was 112. We don’t have enough officers to manage this, so there is a risk of prisoners escaping,” K Pairoj added. The plan is have a TV and camera in the court and another TV and camera in the prison, so that small matters may be handled “face to face” without the prisoner having to go to court. The catch is that the Phuket Provincial Prison does not have the budget for the equipment, hence the appeal to the public. Those wishing to donate should call the prison at 076- 212104 during government working hours and ask for K. Pairoj. The Phuket Provincial Prison is chronically overcrowded. Originally designed to hold a maximum of 800 people, it is currently bulging at the seams with 1,276 people, most of whom are locked up for drug-related offences or for being in the country illegally.

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