Written by Mark Natanawan

Recently, the military government of the country of Thailand announced they would begin looking into the possibility of prison and criminal law reforms. These reforms, according to a government spokesperson, would be aimed at addressing current issues with conditions in over-capacity prisons and arbitrarily harsh punishment for small crimes.

According to the International Federation for Human Rights, around 300,000 people are incarcerated across the country of Thailand. This is over twice the capacity that existing prisons there are intended to hold. Due to this, Thai prisons are regularly found to be severely overcrowded, with prisoners living in squalid conditions inside.

Criticisms that have been levelled at Thai criminal law range from focusing on the large number of unnecessary and unreasonable jail terms for drug charges to the attempts of the government to jail pro-democracy activists and protesters.  

While this announcement does signal the potential beginning of progress for justice in the country, no specifics were laid out for how reform would take place. It remains to be seen whether any changes will be carried out in reality.

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