Prisoners drafted in to help SMEs

September 18, 2013


Up to 270,000 prison inmates are to be drafted in to work for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) facing labour shortages, Deputy Commerce Minister Nattawut Saikuar said Wednesday.

Mr Nattawut told reporters that he had instructed the Department of Business Development to ask the Corrections Department to allow 270,000 prisoners, including 40,000 women, from 193 prisons nationwide to take on manufacturing jobs working for SMEs.

He said a 200-baht daily wage would be offered to inmates employed in primary goods production. The wage would be increased for those with specific skills.

“SMEs have been affected by the 300-baht daily minimum wage policy. Some of them have been able to adapt. But the most common problem is the lack of labour to produce goods. These inmates can help,” Mr Nattawut said.

Mr Nattawut said inmates could be employed in SMEs that produce shoes, ornaments, woodwork, knitwear and textiles, musical instruments and sporting gear, machinery and agricultural equipment, repair and maintenance products, paper, leather, travel gear, artificial flowers and fruit, ceramics, toys and games, clothing, electronic goods, electrical appliances, and beverages.

I‘ve had experience in a prison before, which makes me understand that many prisoners don’t know where to go after being released, and repeat their offences,” Mr Nattawut said.

This project will give them career. Any inmate who proves to be a good skilled labour will be recommended to the SME operators once they are released.”

7 Responses to Prisoners drafted in to help SMEs

  1. Michael
    October 27, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    What a great idea!

  2. John
    October 29, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    How strict are Thai jails about only allowing relations to deposit money into prisoners’ accounts? Can I as a foreigner deposit money into their prison account? I was able to do so at the small Pathum Thani jail, but wonder if I will be allowed to make deposits now he is in the much bigger provincial jail.

    From Australia, if I phone the prison, can I find out if he has been getting visitors? I am concerned nobody is visiting him or paying money into his account. I give money to his wife but have my doubts it is getting paid.

    • Richard Barrow
      October 29, 2013 at 7:31 pm

      At some prisons you have to actually visit someone before you can deposit some money into their account. at others you don’t need to do this. You can also sometimes send money by postal order to the prison. You can try and call the prison but I doubt they will give that information out to just anyone.

      • John
        October 29, 2013 at 7:37 pm

        So people other than direct family can deposit into prisoner’s accounts if you visit them? That is reassuring. What is the maximum amount in coupons that prisoners can withdraw each day? I thought it was 200 baht, but my friend’s wife said it was 300 baht.

        • Richard Barrow
          November 2, 2013 at 1:08 pm

          It has possibly gone up or up to that individual prison.

  3. npr
    November 6, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Every prison is different, about visits, deposits, letters in and out etc. and that’s one of the most frustrating things.

  4. estefany gonzalez
    November 12, 2013 at 8:57 am

    hi good morning i want to know if I can help, do not know about my mom and is in the long prison I have no form of communication with it thanks ….. My email is

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