Due to overcrowding in Thai prisons, none of the cells have beds, nor are prisoners are given any mattresses. Just a thin sheet. If they have any money they can buy extra bedding.
Prison Population 2013:
1 Jan: 214,833 men & 36,986 women = 251,819
1 Feb: 219,466 men & 37,857 women = 257,323
1 Mar: 223,501 men & 38,576 women = 262,077
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A former foreign inmate at Samut Prakan prison says that while sleeping head to foot with 60 other convicts and dealing with meal-time misery wasn’t fun, his time incarcerated wasn’t the nightmare he was expecting [Read full story].
PRISON CELLS: This is a rare photograph showing the overcrowding in Thai prisons. The middle row has 2-3 people lying side by side. In all there are about 50-60 people in this small cell. There isn’t room for everyone to sleep on their backs like this. Many people can only sleep on their side. If they want to sleep on their back, or just to have that extra space, they then have to buy that right. There is an open toilet in the same room with a low wall around it. If someone wants to go to the toilet during the night, they then have to clamber over all these limbs. For this reason it is lucky the light is left on all night. However, the bright light makes it difficult to get any sleep [Full Story].
CORRECTIONS MUSEUM: Maha Chai Prison was built by King Rama V in 1889 after a visit to a prison in Singapore. By Thai standards, it was regarded as the first modern prison. By 1990, the prison was not only old but also overcrowded. The prisoners were moved mainly to Lad Yao Prison. Then Maha Chai Prison was knocked down to make way for a public park and museum. Today, the only evidence of the former prison is the wall along the east side, the main gate, cell block 9 and three of the administration buildings. The small door in the above picture was used to take dead bodies out of the prison. In the Corrections Museum you can learn about Thai prison life and the forms of punishment and torture used since the Ayutthaya period [Full Story].
EXECUTION IN THAILAND: Up until 1934, the official method of execution in Thailand was by decapitating. This was then considered to be barbaric and the method was changed. Over a period of 71 years, a total of 319 prisoners were then executed in Thailand by firing squad. Despite its name, this form of execution wasn’t carried out by a line of men carrying rifles. In Thailand, a single sub-machine gun was used from a distance of about four metres. A total of 15 bullets were loaded though only about 8 or so were needed from a single burst. The last execution by this method was carried out as late as 11th December 2002. The last executioner to use this method in Thailand was Chavoret Jaruboon [Full Story].
INSIDE A THAI COURT: The Thai courtroom isn’t very large. At the front is the raised platform where the judges sit. Above them is a portrait of H.M. The King. Below it is the symbol of the court, a downward pointing dagger with scales balancing on it. In front of the bench sits the court clerk. On the judges right is the table for the prosecution. On the left is the table for the defense. In the middle of the room, facing the judges bench, is the chair and table for the witness. The room is roughly split in half with a low railing. Behind this are the benches where members of the public and interested parties sat [Full Story].