Photo Tour of Samut Prakan Prison

December 7, 2007

This is the front of Samut Prakan Central Prison as you arrive. Straight ahead is the administration building. On the ground floor are the rooms for visiting the prisoners. On the left is the building for the relatives to wait. If you arrive by car, you have to give your driver’s license to the security guards on duty. Notice the prison bus in front of the administration building. It is about to leave to take the prisoners to the courthouse in Samut Prakan city. It takes about 45 minutes and it is very hot and smelly for the prisoners. Some days it is also very cramped.

This picture was also taken from the bridge over the canal in front of the prison. This is looking to the left. At the front is the car park for visitors. The building behind is the canteen area for relations waiting to make a visit.

This is the front of the building as you arrive at the prison. This is where relatives go to meet the prisoners. The car park and the prison shop is to the left.

This is the prison shop where you can buy things for the prisoners. You cannot bring anything into the prison, so you have to buy here at the shop. The prices seem fair.

There is a form you have to fill with the quantity of each item. Unfortunately it is only in Thai.  Sometimes there is someone working there who knows some English.

This building is for the Vocational Training Center. To the left you can see one of the watch towers.

This is the gate that you have to pass through to see the prisoners. Above the door you can just see the red number “2”. This means that it is “round 2”. When you arrive, you have to first fill in a form (on the counter to the left of this picture) and then submit it to the office (behind me in this picture). They will then give you the round number for your visit.

If you like, you can do video conference with the prisoners inside the prison. This is usually quicker and you don’t need to book in advance. Not many people use this service so you will only have to wait about 15 minutes. Each television is for a different section in the prison. You will be able to see and hear them. They can also see you. The people you can see in the distance are in the waiting room. They are waiting for their turn for the normal visiting procedure. Most people prefer to see their relations in person rather than on television. This picture must have been taken before it was ready, as there is no sign of the camera on top of each television.

This is the visitor’s room. You can talk to the prisoner on the other side of the cage by using a telephone. You are given exactly 20 minutes and then they switch off the line. You are not allowed to take pictures in this room.

This is the corridor outside the prison cells. In this picture you can see three cells. Each floor has 16 cells. Outside each cell there is a water jug. The cell is about 4 metres wide and 7 metres deep. Each cell holds more than 60 prisoners. The prisoners are locked in here from 4.30 p.m. until early morning. Between 4.30 p.m. and 9 p.m. they are allowed to watch television. They show either a movie or a karaoke song. In this picture, some students are being shown around the prison.

This is a scan from a brochure for the prison. It shows the view from inside the cell.  It was obviously taken for publicity reasons. Although the size is correct, this is the cell reserved for the prison trustees. Normal cells don’t have mattresses and pillows like this. There are also over 50 people sleeping in this same space. The toilet is located behind the photographer. The televison is above the door. What is strange about these two photos is that it shows that you can see into the next cell. This must be an old photo as there is now a wall there.

This is a rare photograph showing the overcrowding in Thai prisons. This is basically the same room as the picture above, but with a lot more people. The middle row has 2-3 people lying side by side. 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.

This is a picture of Section 2 (Dan 2) taken from the road. It is in the southeast corner of the compound. The two buildings to the left are the cell blocks. Each floor has 16 cells. The ground floor is the canteen area. The building on the right is the area where the Thai prisoners do occupational training. They make things like shoes and furniture. In front of this building is the playing field where the prisoners can play football at the weekend. However, during the rainy season, this is just a field of mud. Most of the foreigners will be housed in Dan 2.

This is the ground floor beneath the buildings where the prisoners sleep. You can see the gap between the two buildings. The ground floor usually has tables and benches and is used for eating. In these pictures, the tables have been cleared so that the prisoners could put on a concert. Inside the prison, the prisoners can wear normal clothes. However, they must wear shorts. Only guards can wear long trousers.


7 Responses to Photo Tour of Samut Prakan Prison

  1. van der laan henry
    January 6, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    hello i bin in this prison for 10 months its realy the hell over in this prison , i bin lucky to get king cut amnesty and come home last december , i got to do 10 months more in the hell ,,yep the pictures are nice only the reality is not the same if u sleep with 70 peoples in one room on the floor ,,,just contact me like to no more inmates who spend his time over there i like to make a movie or a book from this experience from raping ,torture , and people who are going dead

    • sam
      July 30, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      i feel for you as I was there for only 26 days, felt like 26 weeks, man was i happy when they let me out, yep was in the foreigner cell and we had at least 70, usually 72..lukily i didn’t see any raping or deaths but a few fights in the daytime hours and we all got punished for it–back to the cells.. i still visit my friend i met there hero-he’s innocent and was wrongly convicted of embezzlement by a prosecutor who appealed a not guilty verdict.

  2. van der laan henry
    January 6, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    total inmates woman and men 5000 and about 200 foreigners,

    • darren mcdonough
      January 11, 2012 at 1:50 am

      Iwas in this prison before it was the worst experience off my life. They breached my human rights and mentally tortured me.I am lookimg for witnesses who were in the prison about 5 years ago with me to help me prove what they did to me in that prison. I hope someone can help me they are not going to get away with it.

      • sam
        July 30, 2012 at 2:56 pm

        my sympathcies but i was only there recently good luck but don’t expect justice, i mean what happens in american prisons is even worse and that’s a developed country.. bad shit happens in prison and for now on i make sure never again!

  3. Ahmad
    January 28, 2013 at 2:32 am

    I has been stay in samutprakn pro jail for 6 months but that time was like a horror dream and very very tough time if any one do not have his own money then he will die with hunger and without medical treatment. There is no Medicean properly .dirty food one time in 24 hours.penalty of rash in exact words we will say hell in this world all Thai prisons …. No prisoners able to contact with their families in their homeland countries.this is my own life experience in Thai prison of 5 months.

  4. sharif
    March 15, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    i was there on august 2010 till august 2011 after serving 366 days what a hell!i was in room 12 then transfered to room 13 which is a mixed muslim foreigners and muslim thai at least there was releaf of sleeping space coz we were only 35-42 maximum

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