Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The fact that persons unknown recently enjoyed success smuggling ya ice (crystal methamphetamine) and mobile phones into Phuket Prison by concealing the items inside dead rodents may have a comic aspect to it, but the revelation reflects a serious problem with the security situation – if not the hygiene – at that facility.

The problem of smuggling at an overcrowded prison is by no means unique to Phuket. Prison inspections nationwide typically yield large caches of contraband, mostly cell phones and methamphetamines.

The Phuket Gazette understands why mobile phones are so highly prized among those cut off from general society, but it is hard to believe that any of the more than 1,500 inmates crammed into the six-rai prison could surreptitiously acquire, use, recharge and pay monthly service bills for these devices without a little help.

The very same mundane tasks can be problematic enough for people on the outside.

The Gazette also appreciates the straightforward manner in which prison director Rapin Nichanon admitted to the scale of the problem, but we're nevertheless troubled by the thought that such a situation could exist if some small percentage of the wardens at the prison were not somehow involved, even if just by failing to notice what's going on.

Hopefully the current installation of more CCTV surveillance cameras will shed light on how these problems have been allowed to persist.

As for the other contraband of choice, methamphetamines, it is much harder to understand why inmates continue to generate such demand for the drug that put so many of them behind bars in the first place. One would expect the last thing an inmate would want to do would be to “ramp up” the prison experience, or further exacerbate the social tensions that develop with confinement of so many felons in such a small area for such a long time.

Then there is the inevitable “crash” that ensues when the drugs wear off. Given the conditions inside, one might reasonably expect that antidepressants would be the drugs most sought out by inmates.

Society generally prefers to remain ignorant of what goes on behind prison walls, but the overcrowding at Phuket prison, coupled with the availability of communications technology and powerful stimulants, is a combination worthy of public concern.

There have been no reports of serious unrest at Phuket Prison in recent years, but never has it been so overcrowded. Keeping the population there free of meth and mobile phones is the best way to keep the peace. So we wish the wardens every success in the ongoing game of cat-and-mouse.
– Phuket Gazette

1

"There have been no reports of serious unrest at Phuket Prison in recent years"

Do you really believe that they would tell you about any problems there? This isn't Disney Land. People are locked up for using drugs but they should be in places that help them.

Drugs are not the scourge of the world, you have to look at the real problems.

Posted by Tbs September 4, 2011 01:10:00PM

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It is easy to top up a phone for someone else.You can do it with online banking. I top up my friends when they have no credit.
Don't prisoners in some very nice western prisons have mobile phones?

I agree with you if I was living the miserable life of a prisoner I would much rather prefer heroin or anti anxiety/sleeping pills which the latter are practically OTC here.

Posted by Nancy Botwin September 4, 2011 02:03:16PM

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3

"There have been no reports of serious unrest at Phuket Prison in recent years"

Do you really believe that they would tell you about any problems there? This isn't Disney Land. People are locked up for using drugs but they should be in places that help them.

Drugs are not the scourge of the world, you have to look at the real problems.

Posted by Tbs

EXACTLY! I'd like to see one day the comparison between alcohol, cigarettes and meth in terms of deaths/year. Even medical drugs KILL tens of thousands /yr. Prohibition does NOT work, but it sure keeps prices high and guess who is the ultimate dealer around the world? We know the US army guards drug fields in Afghanistan and the Lao army makes yaba.

Posted by John September 4, 2011 08:12:04PM

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Wow! You'd think the inmates would want opium, not meth. I couldn't think of anything more horrible than rotting in a Phuket prison wired on meth! Will somebody just shoot me? LOL.

Posted by Harry J Parker September 5, 2011 04:30:00AM

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6

"There have been no reports of serious unrest at Phuket Prison in recent years"

Do you really believe that they would tell you about any problems there? This isn't Disney Land. People are locked up for using drugs but they should be in places that help them.

Drugs are not the scourge of the world, you have to look at the real problems.

Posted by Tbs

There is no such thing as helping an addict. The only person who can help an addict is themselves.They will tell you whatever you want to hear whenever you want to hear it.

If they wanted to help themselves, prison would be the place to reform if that is indeed what they wish.

Posted by Keith Robinson September 5, 2011 01:27:25PM

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7

"There have been no reports of serious unrest at Phuket Prison in recent years"

Do you really believe that they would tell you about any problems there? This isn't Disney Land. People are locked up for using drugs but they should be in places that help them.

Drugs are not the scourge of the world, you have to look at the real problems.

Posted by Tbs

What would the real problem be? They made bad decisions and drugs had a lot to do with it. Addicts will do anything for drugs. I don't want them on the streets. Prison is good for them – they quit using and get sober, if they choose to.

Posted by Mike September 6, 2011 01:29:20AM

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Real problem is: Why are people turning to drugs to begin with? Society is what it is, and what it does to people. How about all the people who get low wages, not enough to live on and then go into depression and see drugs as a way of escaping, a bit like how many people get drunk to try and perk up their lives.

Posted by Tbs September 6, 2011 11:22:32PM

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8

Real problem is: Why are people turning to drugs to begin with? Society is what it is, and what it does to people. How about all the people who get low wages, not enough to live on and then go into depression and see drugs as a way of escaping, a bit like how many people get drunk to try and perk up their lives.

Posted by Tbs September 6, 2011 11:22:32PM

Reply

0    0

7

"There have been no reports of serious unrest at Phuket Prison in recent years"

Do you really believe that they would tell you about any problems there? This isn't Disney Land. People are locked up for using drugs but they should be in places that help them.

Drugs are not the scourge of the world, you have to look at the real problems.

Posted by Tbs

What would the real problem be? They made bad decisions and drugs had a lot to do with it. Addicts will do anything for drugs. I don't want them on the streets. Prison is good for them – they quit using and get sober, if they choose to.

Posted by Mike September 6, 2011 01:29:20AM

Reply

0    0

6

"There have been no reports of serious unrest at Phuket Prison in recent years"

Do you really believe that they would tell you about any problems there? This isn't Disney Land. People are locked up for using drugs but they should be in places that help them.

Drugs are not the scourge of the world, you have to look at the real problems.

Posted by Tbs

There is no such thing as helping an addict. The only person who can help an addict is themselves.They will tell you whatever you want to hear whenever you want to hear it.

If they wanted to help themselves, prison would be the place to reform if that is indeed what they wish.

Posted by Keith Robinson September 5, 2011 01:27:25PM

Reply

0    0

4

Wow! You'd think the inmates would want opium, not meth. I couldn't think of anything more horrible than rotting in a Phuket prison wired on meth! Will somebody just shoot me? LOL.

Posted by Harry J Parker September 5, 2011 04:30:00AM

Reply

0    0

3

"There have been no reports of serious unrest at Phuket Prison in recent years"

Do you really believe that they would tell you about any problems there? This isn't Disney Land. People are locked up for using drugs but they should be in places that help them.

Drugs are not the scourge of the world, you have to look at the real problems.

Posted by Tbs

EXACTLY! I'd like to see one day the comparison between alcohol, cigarettes and meth in terms of deaths/year. Even medical drugs KILL tens of thousands /yr. Prohibition does NOT work, but it sure keeps prices high and guess who is the ultimate dealer around the world? We know the US army guards drug fields in Afghanistan and the Lao army makes yaba.

Posted by John September 4, 2011 08:12:04PM

Reply

0    0

2

It is easy to top up a phone for someone else.You can do it with online banking. I top up my friends when they have no credit.
Don't prisoners in some very nice western prisons have mobile phones?

I agree with you if I was living the miserable life of a prisoner I would much rather prefer heroin or anti anxiety/sleeping pills which the latter are practically OTC here.

Posted by Nancy Botwin September 4, 2011 02:03:16PM

Reply

0    0

1

"There have been no reports of serious unrest at Phuket Prison in recent years"

Do you really believe that they would tell you about any problems there? This isn't Disney Land. People are locked up for using drugs but they should be in places that help them.

Drugs are not the scourge of the world, you have to look at the real problems.

Posted by Tbs September 4, 2011 01:10:00PM

Reply

0    0

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