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%.