Justice Minister: Prisons must be free of drugs, mobile phones

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BANGKOK, Sept 29 –Justice Minister Gen Paiboon Kumchaya has reiterated that prisons must be free of narcotics and mobile phones.

The minister plans to seek 1,000 more corrections officials jobs so that there will be enough warders to supervise about 300,000 inmates nationwide.

Gen Paiboon laid down his policies to the governors of 143 prisons nationwide last Friday. He stressed that there must not be any narcotics or mobile phones in prisons.

Entries and exits at prisons must be repeatedly checked. If regulations were strictly enforced, no banned objects could enter prisons, he said.

If a raid found any banned object in a prison, its governor would be held responsible, the justice minister warned. He admitted that there were still narcotics and mobile phones in prisons and concerned officials would have to solve the problem.

Gen Paiboon also said that he proposed to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha that nationwide prisons needed 1,000 more warders to add to their overall workforce to supervise over 300,000 prisoners nationwide. He also proposed to raise returns for the personnel and renovate prisons to increase their security.

Regarding narcotic solutions, the justice minister said that next week he would discuss the integration of narcotics-related budgets with representatives of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Public Health.

Asked about narcotics production in neighboring countries Laos and Myanmar, Gen Paiboon said that he provided the prime minister with relevant information so that her could negotiate solutions. He added that Thailand and other ASEAN members would fund sustainable solutions to narcotic problems in the neighboring countries.