With thousands of prisoners in several Thai prisons infected with the Covid19 virus, the pressure on the long-standing problem of overcrowded prisons in the country is only increasing, Justice Minister Somsak told Thepsutin, who said there were about 50,000 prisoners will be released next month.
So far, the Department of Corrections has reported 10,384 Covid19 infections in Thai prisons. After last week’s outbreaks at Bangkok Remand Prison and Central Women’s Correctional Institution, with nearly 3,000 inmates infected, human rights organizations called for the release of prisoners incarcerated on petty charges or pending trial for light or not violent crimes.
Minister Somsak says that about 50,000 prisoners held on charges of petty drugs will be released next month and placed under house arrest wearing electronic anklets.
The prison system continues proactive testing this week and all prisons are required to submit a weekly report outlining the number of Covid19 infections, as well as the number of those who have recovered from a coronavirus infection.
The prison populations in Thailand are known to be the most populous prisoners in the world. In a list of countries with the highest rates of the prison population, World Prison Brief places Thailand in ninth place.
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