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Serving a Thai Prison Sentence in Your Home Country

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing prison sentences here in the Kingdom of Thailand and we are discussing it in the context of foreigners who have been convicted of crimes here in the Kingdom and they are serving out prison sentences. 

The thing to first of all take away from this video is, yes there are folks, preferably less than we would all like, but there are folks who do commit crimes in Thailand. They are sentenced to prison time in the Kingdom and they have to serve out their sentences. Many countries make bilateral agreements with Thailand regarding sort of a reciprocity if you will, of serving of prison time. 

I am going to go ahead and quote directly from Thai Visa, that is thaivisa.com.  Their article is titled Prisoners: Thailand has Repatriated More Than 1,000 Convicts to their Home Countries. Quoting directly: "The Chief of Thailand’s Probation Department has revealed that bilateral agreements have meant that more than a thousand convicted prisoners have been allowed to leave Thai prisons to serve their sentences in their homelands. “Quoting further, "Police Colonel Narat Sewtanan said that it was good that prisoners could serve their time in a more familiar environment regarding language and culture." I urge those who are watching this video to go check out that article if you are interested in this topic because there is more in there.

Notably it is interesting because these are reciprocal arrangements and Thai prisoners are transferred back from where in some cases, if they have been convicted of a crime in a foreign country, they are transferred back to serve out their time in Thailand and deal with their sentence here. So there is a reciprocity to this. It also should be noted, if you do commit a crime in Thailand and you are thinking you are going to just instantaneously be transferred back to your home country, think again, that is not really how it works. Depending on the Treaty and depending on the arrangement, there is generally a specified sort of lower threshold period of time someone has to overcome. It is usually a percentage of the sentence 50%, 30%, 70%, whatever, it is stipulated by Treaty wherein that individual has to serve out that amount of time in Thailand before they will become eligible to transfer back to a prison in their home country to serve out the rest of their time. Depending on the situation, this could be an exceptionally advantageous situation for an individual to be transferred back to their home country. In certain circumstances, folks may not necessarily want to be; it depends on their circumstances. But overall, having visited prisons here and dealt with people who were trying to deal with the reciprocity system, it seems especially on a language barrier factor, there are many folks that would like or would prefer to be back serving their time in a place where they had more ready access to communication between their fellow inmates and themselves and also there seems to be folks who also, reading material was a big one that that I have heard when I visited folks in prison here.  Access to for example English language reading material. For obvious reasons, this being Thailand, there is not going to be just ready access to that kind of thing, at least broadly.

Again, there are many reasons not to go to prison in Thailand. Not having access for example to a lot of reading material in English is but one of them. 

The thing to take away from this video is there is a mechanism which may be triggered if the circumstances permit, to allow a person who is serving a prison sentence in Thailand to be transferred back to their home country in order to finish out their sentence.