Ministry to propose releasing aging prisoners to ease cost burden

The Justice Ministry is to propose Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to invoke Section 44 of the interim constitution to release aging prisoners and prisoners with chronic sickness to reduce the state burden.

If approved, former influential mayor of Bang Saen or Kamnan Por will fall under the criteria to be freed as well as aging prisoners serving jail sentences for violation Article 112 of the Criminal Code.

This was revealed by the deputy permanent secretary of the Justice Ministry Mr Tawatchai Thaikiew yesterday.

He said the ministry has an idea to propose the release of aging prisoner who have no potential to commit any crime under the ministry’s scheme called “Taking Care and Monitoring Prisoners Freed on Royal Pardon to the Society to become Good Citizens.”

Under the idea, he said, prisoners to be freed must be those who are  sick with chronic sickness  and can no longer help themselves, and aging prisoners.

The idea is aimed to ease the burden of the government in taking care of these prisoners, he said.

For those serving jail terms for violating Article 112, they should also be benefited from the scheme if they fall under the criteria, he said.

Ruangsak Suwaree, deputy director-general of the Corrections Department, said the release would not take into account the names of the prisoners, but only whether or not they fit under the conditions set.

He was referring to Kamnan Por who was sentenced to serve prison term for murder but fled the country.

However the kamnan was arrested after quietly slipped into the country. He is now serving jail sentence at the prison hospital.

Ruangsak said prisoners being treated in the hospitals would require two guards to take turns for the three around-the-clock shifts, meaning the department would have to provide six guards daily to watch over a treated prisoner which is a cost burden , said the deputy director.