Thai Prison Population Rises by 33.6% in Three Years

January 4, 2012

The Thai prison statistics for 1st December 2011 have just been released. Of course this doesn’t show a reduction yet as the prisoners that received a royal pardon weren’t released until later in the month. But it does give you an idea of how crowded the prisons were at that time. Back in October 2011 Thailand was suffering greatly from the floods and a number of prisons in the central region had to be evacuated. The prisons were already overcrowded and this situation made it worse. At the start of the floods there were 242,989 prisoners in the system. By the 1st December 2011 this had risen to 251,812 prisoners. The royal pardon will probably see a reduction by as many as 30,000. But, that is still too many as Thailand’s prisons are only built to house 105,748 prisoners.

1st December 2011: Men (215,924) + women (35,888) = 251,812
1st December 2010: Men (184,980) + women (31,017) = 215,997
1st December 2009: Men (182,038) + women (30,020) = 212,058
1st December 2008: Men (161,995) + women (26,403) = 188,398

As you can see from the above statistics, the number of prisoners keeps on rising despite the royal pardons. In just three years, the prison population went up by 33.6%.


3 Responses to Thai Prison Population Rises by 33.6% in Three Years

  1. Darren Nelson
    January 29, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    When Abhisit Vejjajiva said he would introduce welfare policies to provide for the poor,I didn’t realise he meant this !

  2. tony
    February 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    As we heard from news media about the corrupted offcials involved it is part of the cause to the rising numbers of drug offenders being caught. Seriously, how many of such cases are thoroughly investigated or simply ‘I am the Law’ attitude by some of the investigators being and being too lazy to probe and clear those innocent party.

  3. Sakura
    August 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Unfortunately, those Thais at the lower end of earners in society are disproportionally short-term sentenced to prison for minor misdemeanours because they are unable to pay an alternative court fine.

    For instance a large baht fine for stealing property worth a few hundred baht. Or a 2000 baht fine for being caught in possession of one or two illegal pills or small amounts of wacky-baccy.

    Most Western governments will accept collecting your fine in weekly or monthly installments if you don’t have the means to pay it immediately.

    The Thai courts do not give this option to keep you out of jail. Hence the recent record numbers now in Thai prisons is not surprising.

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