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ResourcesThailand Criminal LawAttorney Services and Prison VisitationWhat is it like in a Thai Immigration Detention Center?

What is it like in a Thai Immigration Detention Center?

Transcript of the above video:

This is a question I get from foreigners here in the Kingdom. I have also been asked this often times by relatives of clients of the firm. What is the Immigration Detention Center like? Have you been there?  What do you think of it? 

I have been there. I have not been incarcerated there, but I have actually been to the facility.  I have seen people who are incarcerated in the facility and quite frankly it is not a place anyone would really want to be. That being said, I don't think you could say that there is anything inhumane per se about it. It is just simply, like any facility that incarcerates inmates, it is not some place that you particularly want to be. The other thing that is interesting about the Immigration Detention Center is that it is by definition a more transitory institution so whereas a prison, and I have made another video on this channel with respect to Thai prisons specifically, whereas with prisons,  I have always gotten the impression here in Thailand that for lack of a better they are somewhat laid-back insofar as you are there, you are incarcerated, it is what it is and the guards and everybody that are there are more sedentary for lack of better term. It is just there is not a lot going on whereas with Immigration Detention there can be because people are processing in and out. Oftentimes, at Immigration Detention you see people who have been incarcerated in the Kingdom for crimes who are now being deported, so those people are being processed through. There is kind of a weird airport waiting room or airport lounge aspect to it and don't take the word "lounge' the wrong way.  There is nothing about the Immigration Detention Center that particularly resembles a lounge. It can be a rather stark place to be incarcerated. Most of the clients I have had that had to go through Immigration Detention want to get out of it as quickly as possible. Oftentimes, we at the firm, especially in matters pertaining to those who had a criminal conviction in the Kingdom and are being deported, we oftentimes try and are largely successful, in expediting deportation so one does not have to spend a prolonged period of time in the Immigration Detention Center

The other thing that we oftentimes see especially with prolonged over stayers and especially those with expired passports, those folks are trying at all costs to avoid Immigration Detention. Sometimes it is possible if their situation is such they can simply pay their fine and leave the Kingdom but other times, it might need to be processed through the apparatus and in those situations basically one is for lack of a better word stuck with the system as you take it.

Again, we try to expedite our clients through IDC as quickly as possible. Sometimes a night or two spent down there or more may just simply be the nature of the beast and you just have to deal with it and get through it. That being said, it is not a place people particularly want to go.  Again I have been down there; it is not a place I particularly love to visit. But that being said, oftentimes our cases involve us needing to deal with it and we go down there and deal with it accordingly.