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What are the Prisons Like in the Kingdom of Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the Thai prison system. It is a question I get rather frequently oftentimes, a lot of times, from relatives of clients of the firm who are asking what the conditions of their relative who is being incarcerated in Thailand is like.   I can say pretty much unequivocally Thai prison is not a place that you want to be.  That being stated, I would not say it rises to the level of inhumane, it is just simply not a place you would particularly like to be and I think that Thai Authorities, if you ask them, one of the big things that I have heard from clients over the years is that it is really, really boring because you are just sitting around. There is nothing really going on in there. The thing that I think the Thai Authorities would probably say is "Yes, we want it to not be pleasant and the reason for that is we want it to be a deterrent for people committing crimes.” So basically it is not going to be a Club Med in there. It is basically going to be a prison.  I have been to multiple different prison facilities, Bangkok Remand prison, Klong Prem as well as the Pattaya prison. I made another video specifically on Immigration Detention Center which is a different thing than the prison itself. 

One thing I will say when comparing the Immigration Detention Center to the Prison System, the prisons are a little bit more, for lack of better term "laid back" because people that are incarcerated in there, they are not going anywhere and there is not a lot of activity, for lack of better term. At the Immigration Detention Center it is a much more transitory institution. They are processing people in, they are processing people out. They are deporting people etc., etc. It is more active at Immigration Detention as opposed to the Prison system. That being said, the remand prison especially, where people are still being tried for whatever accusation they have been put on trial for, that Prison is a little bit more, there are some things moving around. 

That being said, the thing that I have come across over the years with many of my clients is amenities are difficult to come by. The system provides sort of the basics: so food, shelter, you know enough cleanliness; there are showers etc., various hygienic facilities, you know toilets etc. that is all there. There is no issue with that particularly but one thing that I have seen over the years doing prison visitations etc. is many of the clients that we have dealt with, they would like amenities; things like different kinds of soap or shampoo for example. I have seen that oftentimes asked for.  New toothbrushes, toothpaste etc. It sounds rather basic but you know that is the nature of the thing. Basically, getting these folks you know moderate, low-level creature comforts for lack of better term. By the way the prison facilities do allow people to put money on account for individuals in the system but that being said is not sort of the license to just have sort of a free-for-all and be frivolous and have all types of amenities. Again the overarching paradigm in these prisons is people should be in there to be sort of penitent, thinking about what they have done; it is not supposed to be an overly pleasant place. It is not inhumane, but it is not designed for the individuals involved to particularly have a particularly pleasant time; in fact, somewhat the opposite.  

So the thing to take away from this video is avoid Thai prison certainly.  Obey the law here in the Kingdom of Thailand and if one doesn't, it may be possible depending on if one has been accused, to go ahead and try and figure out some way in which to plea down or to litigate a given criminal case in order to avoid as much prison time as one can.  That being said, the thing to take away from this video, it is not a place you want to end up here in the Kingdom of Thailand.