From "Bangkok Rules Model Prison" to "Life-changing home"

18 August 2016

      On 17 August 2017 at Ayutthaya Provincial Prison, Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ)brought the media and ASEAN correctional officials, who are participants in the Bangkok Rules implementation training programme, to have a study visit at this Bangkok Rules Model Prison.


      Mr. Adul Choosuwan - prison superintendent, welcomed and briefed the visitors that the prison was selected by Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ) and the Department of Corrections as the Bangkok Rules Model Prison for the category of male prison with a large female wing. There were 563 female inmates on the day and most of them were drug-relating inmates. Female inmates who enter the prison will be treated through inmate procedures, including reception, training, and treatment ofpre- and post-release care. Each step of procedures complies with the Bangkok Rules in various areas.


      Dr. Nathee Chitsawang - expert on the Bangkok Rules implementation, said that this prison passed the criteria for evaluating the model prison, which makes this prison stand out. Despite budget and personnel constraints, this prison is different from other prisons. The treatment of prisoners in this prisons is in accordance with the Bangkok Rules starting from the admission, orientation, interviewing, physical examination, and body search, which must be done with respect to the dignity of the woman.


      "In this prison, there is classification of inmates, which makes correctionalofficials knowall inmateswhat the background they have. Together with the Sentencing Plan, all inmates must be guided to have a goal of life as any of the legaljobs upon their release. Prisoners will be trained in various areas i.e. family relationships, career, religion, health, business, and life skills to be ready to return to society". saidDr. Nathee Chitsawang.


     This woman wing is like "Life-changing home” that will change all inmate lives who was trained in the programmes.


       In this study visit, the media and ASEAN correctional officials, who are participants in the Bangkok Rules implementation training programme accessed to various activities in prison in various areas such as


  • Happy Center (Life-changing room - an inspirational place, that serves both psychological therapeutic and development.


  • Life-changing library – an inspirational library, where inspiration is created through books, quotes and reading to friends.


  • Ayutthaya Academy – givesvocational trainings and the "SME changes life " programme (business planning course).


  • Life-changing Thamma Room


  •  Mother and Child Room


  • Health Promoting Clinique


  • Life-changing school


  • choir, yoga,Japanese dance, and traditional Thai dance etc.


    All inmates will be trained through various programs. Each program is designed to better the lives of the inmates.


     It seems that this study visit this time gave ASEAN corrections officerssatisfaction with experience of seeing the real practices and treatment of the Bangkok Rules implementation.


     Dr. Barbara Owen, specialist of the Bangkok Rules, said, "This training aims to provide ASEAN correctional officers better understand the content of the Bangkok Rules implementation through the real practice and change attitudes towards the treatment of female inmates”.


      Dr. Nathee Chitsawang added that. "The problem of implementing the Bangkok Rules is to change the attitudes of corrections officers, which has been accustomed to work in an old-fashioned way for long time. Attitude changing needs techniques and inspirational creating".


 The study visit of the media and the participants showed that this Bangkok Rules Model Prison in Ayutthaya is a real life-changing home that really transforms female inmates as well as  transforms correctional officers.



                                                                                                                                          Reported by Thongchai