Rare Pictures from Inside a Thai Prison Cell

October 16, 2012

These pictures give you a rare glimpse into the life of a Thai prison inmate. The photos of inside a Thai prison cell were secretly taken by an inmate and then smuggled out of the prison. They were originally posted on a popular Thai forum by the inmate who is now apparently free. According to the caption, they were shot earlier this year in a prison in northern Thailand.

Sizes of prison cells vary from prison to prison. This one has about 50 inmates. The prisoners sleep on the floor. As you can see, they only sleep on a thin blanket. They are not allowed pillows but can use clothes for this. Many cells are overcrowded and new inmates can only sleep on their side. The inmates are locked in the cells for about 14 hours a day. Lights are kept on all the time. During the night, guards do not usually come into the cells.

There is a television at one end of the cell. They don’t have live TV but can watch VCDs which is controlled by the guards. In one corner of the cell are the toilets. There is a low wall to give them some privacy. They can also take a shower here by pouring bowls of water over themselves. It is hot in the cells. The ceiling fans only help circulate the warmth and smell from 50 or so prisoners. Most prisoners just wear shorts. However, walking to and from the toilets they are usually naked.

There isn’t much for them to do. They can watch TV or chat with their friends.  The prisoners with illegal mobile phones can use these to chat with girlfriends or download porno clips.  The blankets up in the toilets are there to give privacy to anyone who wants to masturbate. Consensual sex does take place in the cells at night. Usually with one of the lady boys who sells their services for cigarettes. They do this under blankets. No-one takes any notice. Rape is rare.

9 Responses to Rare Pictures from Inside a Thai Prison Cell

  1. November 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    What honorific conditions. I wonder what those guys are in for?

    I’d say boycott Thailand after seeing those photos and reading your description but the beaches are quite nice…

    • reader
      April 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime, it’s that simple. Thai prisons are hard and send a clear message to the outside world that it will punish you if you do wrong, unlike many of the prisons say in Europe that can only be described as Hotels and not much of an incentive to not commit crime again. Perhaps if we followed the ‘Thai way’ that would-be criminals would think again before embarking on criminal activity.

      • Mike
        August 20, 2013 at 9:15 am

        Your observations are quite skewed. The European countries with the most modern, well equipped prisons, have the lowest crime rates. Even lower than Thailand’s..Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria..etc

        You condone these conditions in prison, until you see your son or daughter in one of them, or maybe yourself..Falsely accused of a crime or maybe due to unforeseen circumstances at the moment, you commit a crime ( you’re human ) and you end up in a prison like this.

    • September 21, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      I’m in there 4 21 years,just relesaed 1year &10 months.. have ? Ask me..

      • John
        September 23, 2013 at 8:34 am

        I would like to hear about your time inside. What was it like?

        I have a Thai friend in jail for 13 years and help with money. Because he is small with a soft personality, he has to share cigarettes and food with many other prisoners and spends more money than I can afford to give (his wife banks the money or buys things for him, or says she does. She is also taking some of the money for herself). I have to stop the payments for a time now to try and change the spending pattern. I need to go there and check that my money is even getting to my friend. I last visited him 5 months ago, but he has since been sentenced and changed prisons..

  2. December 29, 2012 at 9:21 pm


  3. John
    July 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    To suggest that Thai jails are delivering more appropriate consequences for crimes than European jails is naive, as well as a disservice to the Thai prisoners who have to endure such harsh conditions. Perhaps if you had a Thai friend doing time in one of the jails, you might have a different perspective on the harsh conditions confronting Thai prisoners. They can spend a huge slice of their life in prison for relatively minor crimes. Most prisoners have little outside support without which they are forced to eat unpalatable food and sleep like sardines in a can in the overcrowded cells. Have some compassion rather than just shooting from the hip.

  4. Dominic
    July 28, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Naive? No, it is not it is a valid opinion.

  5. mark
    March 17, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Hi I need help on where and how I should start my search. I returned from Chiang Mai 10 year ago planning on returning a few months later after constant attempts on calling emailing and letters to my Thai Girlfriend were unanswered I sadly presumed the worst and unfortunately stopped trying admitting defeat. My good friend from the UK who still lives there was up in Chiang Mai recently with his Thai wife and went to a bar the four of us frequented strangely he said on the second night at the same bar a Thai woman approached his wife and asked if they remember me and my Girlfriend after a blah blah She informed them that my Lady after my departure was arrested in Chiang Rai on Drug Possession with another lady and she visited her in Chiang Rai Police Station bringing clothes towel etc but does not know were she is now after a motorbike accident on her way back from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai… Where and How should I start my search the Guest house she stayed at has now changed hands she was at Chiang Mai Uni who dont answer any of my emails we were friends on Bebo now out of service and took all our pictures and after 10 years I’m now not sure on the correct spelling of her second name but I’m 1000% sure she will be reassured to see me.

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