Thousands of prisoners released ‘to ease crowding in jails’

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The release of nearly 8,000 inmates in recent months is aimed at reducing the crowdedness inside prisons, Corrections Department director-general Narat Sawettanan said on Thursday (April 16).

Narat said that they were released gradually over six months. In October 2019, 1,261 were released, 1,167 in November, 1,317 in December, 1,377 in January, 903 in February, and 1,865 in March , totalling 7,890.

He said the release of those inmates was based on specific criteria: They must have already served two-thirds of the sentence and they must have shown excellent behaviour in order to be considered for early release, or,

they must have served one-third of the term and be elderly, aged 70 or older, or have some illness or disability. These people must undergo an assessment to evaluate their inability to take care of themselves and the tendency for repeated offences in order to be approved. However, relatives must sign an agreement to patronise them during the probation process until the end of the sentence.

However, if the offender repeatedly commits or violates the conditions, the suspension will be revoked and they will be sent back to prison for the remaining part of the sentence.