Plenty here thought they wouldn't get caught!
They were wrong!
Categories of Prisoners
1. Prisoners whose appeals are pending in the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court.
2. Convicted Male prisoners' terms of sentences range from 25 years to life.
3. Death Sentence Prisoners wait for execution.
Building and Facilities
1. The prison is divided into 13 seperate sections.
2. Total compound area 80 acres.
3. Capacity for Bangkwang Central Prison is 4,000 inmates. At present there are about 8,000.
4. 25 work shops.
5. One auditorium.
6. One hospital.
7. 11 dormitories and 11 dining halls.
8. Outside walls are 2,406 m long, 6 m high and 1 m beneath the ground equipped with high voltage wires.
9. Inside walls of each section are 1,298 m long, 6 m high equipped with barbed wires.
Recreation and entertainment facilities, both indoor and outdoor, are available to all inmates. These include library, television, radio, video, movies and various types of sports and games. These activities keep inmates strong and provide physical and emotional release. They enable inmates to experience interpersonal and group relations, self confidence interpersonal and group relations, self confidence and new better ways to spend their leisure time upon release.
A convicted prisoner can be released on any one of the following:
a.. on the expiration of sentence or by the orders of competent authorities.
b.. On royal pardon (occasionally).
c.. On parole (after two - third of his term of sentence has been served).
Reduction of time served depends variably upon good behavior by classification and the days of working for the public. All prisoners released on parole are subject to a statutory period of parole supervision.
Inmate's daily routine (except Saturday, Sunday and national holidays)
06.00 Hours Breakfast
08.30 Hours Attend vocational training or educational programs
12.00 Hours Lunch
13.00 Hours Attend vocational training or educational programs
15.30 Hours Recreation and personal activities
16.30 Hours Dinner
17.30 Hours Lockup
21.00 Hours Prayer and bedtime
The Prison Conditions
Overcrowding is still a problem due to continued crime.
Cell sizes - Cells are generally 6 m x 4 m and contain twenty to thirty inmates. They sleep on the concrete floor [on mats], side by side. Each cell has an open asian style toilet. Some foreigners are able to secure better conditions, those who have access to Embassy and financial support.
Food generally the prison diet consists of one meal a day of red rice and fish head soup devoid of vegetables or meat. There is a store in the prison where prisoners with money can purchase fresh fruit and vegetables and other items.
Water - drinking water is available although the standard of filtration is questionable by comparison to western standards.
Medical care - Prisoners are provided access to the prison hospital.
Visiting the Prison
Take the northbound river taxi (the long one with the stripe) from Pra Athit Pier to the end of the line in Nonthaburi (Bt6-15). Walk up the road, take the first left and continue to the Visitor Centre on your left. Show your passport and tell them who you want to see. Cross over to the prison. Your belongings are checked then you pass through a gate. You will be directed to wait at a fenced gallery.
Building #1-3, Mon, Wed;
Building #4-6, Tues, Thurs.
There are 8 visits a day and you have to register at least 30 minutes
before the visit. These begin at 9am and last 40 minutes.
WRITE TO A PRISONER
Letters can promote human rights and rehabilitation.
Rules when writing to a Prisoner:
Some of these prisoners will rejoin our society one day. That transition can be positively influenced by your kindness and compassion when you offer words of encouragement in a simple card or letter.
Please be aware that prison mail is not like ordinary mail that you might send to a friend in the 'free world'. There are often delays when writing to prisoners because each letter must be censored before it is delivered to the prisoner. So please be patient. Some prisoners have very limited resources and can't afford the stamps and/or writing material. Generally, foreigners with Embassies have access to these resources but it still takes time and effort.
Letters can be addressed to:
1. Always be polite. Your aim is to help a prisoner, not to relieve your own feelings. Governments don't respond to abusive or condemnatory letters (however well deserved).
2. Always write your letters on the basis that the government concerned is open to reason and discussion.
3. Show respect for the country's constitution and judicial procedures, and to demonstrate an understanding of current difficulties. This will give more scope to point out ways in which the human rights situation can be improved.
4. If you wish to write an appeal, be clear in what you are requesting. You should never make 'demands' on Governments.
5. Never use political jargon or profanity. Don't give the impression that you are writing because you are ideologically or politically opposed to the government in question.
6. All letters are subject to censorship by authorities so please do not write anything that will offend anyone.
Tips for writing
In your first letter, tell a little background about yourself - your interests and hobbies, things like that. Avoid sharing too much personal information. Prisoners are happy to hear from you and are looking for words of encouragement. You might respond to something they have written, such as a love for the outdoors or some other area of interest.
If you don't receive a reply right away, be patient. Mail moves more slowly behind prison walls. These prisoners are anxiously awaiting contact from the outside world. If you don't get an immediate reply, be assured that it is not because they are not trying to communicate with you.
Be sure both your return and to address are legible. Always print your name and address neatly on the envelope and include it again in the body of the letter in case something happens to the envelope. Put the prisoners' name on each sheet of paper or the back of any photos that you enclose - this ensures that pages won't get lost when the mail is opened.
Birthdays can be a lonely time. If you don't have time for a lengthy correspondence, remembering a prisoner on this particular day can have a tremendous impact.
Greeting cards can be a good way to make initial contact. There are so many friendship-type cards available just to say "hello" to the prisoner. This can take the pressure off of you worrying about what to write that first time.
You might want to include a photograph of yourself so the prisoner has a "face" to put with the name. Obviously, many of the prisoners are forthright in stating they are looking for relationships, but others are simply looking for a friend with whom they can correspond. A photo would be a nice gesture of friendship.
Be open and honest in your correspondence but stay level-headed and always remember that these prisoners are human beings. They are not novelty toys.
Do not send CASH in the mail.
Establish contact with the prisoner first before attempting to send them financial support.