Prisoners to be Tagged & Released from Crowded Jails

Model prisoners may be fitted with electronic tags and released on probation, to help relieve congestion in prisons, Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said on Friday.

He said the 143 prisons in the country were designed to house 220,000 inmates, but there were 380,000 prisoners.

Bunk beds were built to serve 80,000 of the excess prisoners, but that was still 80,000 short.

Mr Thepsutin said new prisons would not be necessary if some prisoners were fitted with electronic monitoring devices and then released back into the community.

Model elderly prisoners would be eligible under the proposal, and those who had nearly completed their sentence.

Mr Thepsutin said he formed a sub-committee to look more closely into implementing the idea. Criteria would include the crime committed and behaviour while behind bars. It would also study the laws and regulations that would be involved.