A Thai Prison Cell

March 13, 2014

Chiang Rai Prison

Photography is not normally allowed in prisons in Thailand. The only way we can get to see every day life in prisons is through pictures secretly taken on mobile phones and uploaded to social media. Another source of pictures are the ones taken by the local media who are often invited when a raid is being carried out at a prison. These pictures are by online media Naewna and were taken during such a raid at Chiang Rai Central Prison.


What is interesting about these pictures is that you can clearly see the amount of space allocated to each prisoner. Each space is also given a number and so you can see that in this small cell there are at least 26 inmates.  I say at least as there might be be another row going the other way down the middle. At the far end of the room, there is a low wall (see picture above) with an open entrance way. Behind this wall is the squat toilet.


There aren’t any beds as you can see. When prisoners first arrive they are only given a blue sheet. At some prisons they might not even be given that. There is a lot of overcrowding and resources are limited. At Chiang Rai Central Prison there are 5,177 inmates, 80% of whom are there on drug charges. If an inmate has any money, he can buy a thin matteress & other bedding. There are no pillows, but they can stuff a pillow case with clothes.

7 Responses to A Thai Prison Cell

  1. Tamam Bohamud
    March 13, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Mr.Richard Barrow
    I am really thankful for your contribution.
    My brother is unfortunately in Samut prakan central prison, and the conditions of living there is much more difficult.
    The Photos above does not look like very bad. At least the cell seems clean. But as i have heard from some inmates in Samut prakan central prison, the situation is horrible !

  2. Alfred Maxesro
    May 2, 2014 at 4:53 am

    This photo is unfortunately is far from reality.

  3. Ten
    May 20, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Hi everyone,
    My friend is in Phuket Prison for fake passport, but I am trying to transfer them to BKK prison, because it’s much easier for me to visit them. Therefore i need you help to let me know how i can do it, thanks

    • Richard Barrow
      June 4, 2014 at 9:01 am

      You can ask his embassy to request so that he will be bearer to them. But he cannot be moved until the case is closed and there is no appeals. Which means at least one month after sentencing. But, if he has appealed the sentence, he has to stay there.

      • Alfred Maxesro
        June 4, 2014 at 10:41 am

        Mr. Barrow. could you please just tell me when the last issued Pardon in Thailand is ?
        do you think there is a good possibility a pardon this year to be issued ?

        • Richard Barrow
          June 19, 2014 at 12:20 pm

          There hasn’t been one for a while. Maybe next one on King’s birthday in December.

  4. Patricia Purcell
    August 5, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    My son lives in Thailand a few years and was very good at phone sales this man approached him and said he would put the money up my son as been working all the hours to get the clients now I think he as quite a few
    But the money man and his girl friend whant it all so they have put some drugs in my sons house and the girl took the policeman to show him this all happened last night I have let my husband deal with it only I feel to ill
    The bail is £22,000 my husband got this solic from the foreign office and he told him to tell me the prisons for the ones who only have small amounts of drugs are quite good.im sick with worry can’t eat.please enlighten me. Thank you pat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *