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11. Posted by paul j (Respected Member 217 posts) 9y

Yeah, i would like to hear more on the subject.I would be willing to visit prisoners in Bangkok , i`ll be there on my own so i suppose they will be doing me a favour in exchange .

12. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

The prison visit

It may be true that the prisoners did some crime. But the punishments they receive for this is way more harsh, than what would happen, in Europe, where i live. Here where we have more highly developed human rights, the justice system tends to aim at protecting society, from the misdemeanours of offenders and hopefully rehabilitate them, rather than make them suffer as much as possible for their crime. The prisons in places like Thailand, are like what they were here, around 200 years ago.

Visiting the prison also did me a favour. Gave me a renewed appreciation of the luxery of being able to walk down the street, or buy things like coffee, soap and clothes, pretty much as often as i like. And i also like to see more aspects of any country, than the tourist attractions.

First time i went to the prison was a Tuesday. I wanted to visit a Canadian guy who has served already 13 years, for drugs offences. The prison guards would not let me in. They said he was allowed only one visit per day, and he already had one. I have been told by a Thai guy(he was visiting a relation, in the prison), that they can have more than one, but i could hardly argue. The guards make up whatever rules they feel like. They would not even let me leave the gifts i had brought, for the guy.

The next day i went back to visit 28 year old Jody Aggitt. He is a UK citizen, who is also in prison for drugs offences. At first, they would not let me in, because i am not a relation. I told them, he is a friend of my husband(not true), and then they let me in. I brought cigarettes, books, soya milk, doughnuts, candy and banannas. I was only allowed to bring in the doughnuts, candy and banannas. I was however allowed to take the rest away, when i left. They photo copied my passport, for 1 baht, and asked me to fill in a form. Then i had to hand over my bags and money beld, which they put in a safe. A female cop searched me and asked me to go through a metal detector.

I waited, in the visitors area, until the prisoner was allowed to come down. The visiting time time was around half hour. He was not allowed down, for 15 minutes. It is a maximum security prison, so i was only able to talk with him through a phone, with glass bars and 2 meters of space separating us.

He was arrested, along with some of his friends and his girlfriend, for selling drugs, from a house he was staying in, in Bangkok, five years ago. He was sentenced to death. He has been appealing for 5 years, and now he has a life sentence. 100 hundred years. He is hoping to have this reduced to 20 years. I get the impression that the prisoners appreciate our visits a lot. I did not have much time to speak with him, but from what he said, i get the impression, that he found himself with a pregnant Thai girlfriend and no money. I dont know if he got into drug selling on purpose, to solve his money problems, or just fell into it. His girlfriend was put into the womens correctional prison, where their son was born. She and their son now live in England, with his family. The closest he ever got to his son, was as close as i got to him, while visiting. He is treated better than a lot of prisoners, because he gets regular visits, from the British consulate. People who come from countries where their consulate does not visit them, are treated a lot worse.

The consulate makes sure their human rights are protected. But they are in some ways at the mercy of the guards. The guards get to veto anything and anybody that comes into the prison. So the guards get to decide whether they are to be lonely, malnurished and bored, or if life will be made a little more pleasant for them.

When he was sentenced to death, the British consulate told him it is unlikely to happen, because they rarely execute foreigners. He is learning Thai, so he can understand a little more about what is happening, when the guards speak about him, and when he goes to court. He says,the guards are friendly enough, when he is giving them something, but change when he is not. I did not get details on this.

He is a friendly, good natured person who seems to be happy to talk about anything and everything. His family have put information on the internet, about him, hoping people will visit him and write to him. So, if u google Jody Aggitt, u can read more about him.


13. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

What to know, when visiting the prison

The name of a person, u are going to visit. They wont let u in, if u say u want to visit any foreigner.

Say, u are a relation, or at least a friend. But if u say you are a relation, they will look at your passport. So, if u dont come from the same country or have the same last name..... There is also a section on the form, to say if u are a priest or priestess. So maybe u could get away with saying u are one of those.

Dress conservatively. Cover tatoos and body piercings. Wear something with sleeves. Long trousers for men or a dress which covers your knees, for women. They have refused to let some visitors in, because of the way they look.

Dont argue with the guards, no matter what they wont let u do, or bring in. The worse that will happen to u is u will not be allowed in. The prisoner may have to suffer more consequences, for your behaviour. It probably goes without saying, that it is unwise to discuss human rights, with the guards or anybody visiting other prisoners. This may effect how the prisoner is treated.

If u bring presents, bring things u could use yourself, in case you have to take them away, again. Things like soap, toothpaste, fruit, cigarettes, books etc are things the prisoners would like.

14. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Where to get the name of a prisoner, to vist.

Either on the internet
visit the cafe, of the merry V guest house. They have messages on the message board, of the cafe, with the names of prisoners who would like a visit. The merry v is between the green guesthouse and the my house guest house, on Soi Chanasongkran. Not far from the Khao San Road. If u visit a prisoner, u could ask if they have names of others who would like a visit, and then later post them, on this message board, along with any info, about difficulties u encountered getting into the prison.

The prisoners have visiting days and hours, so go on their visiting days. U wont be allowed, in on any other day.


[ Edit: Edited on Dec 9, 2006, at 1:16 PM by Mel. ]

15. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

How to get to Bangkwang prison(there are also 2 other prisons, which did not visit)

Bangkwang Central Prison.
117 Nonthaburi Road,
Nonthaburi Bangkok 11000, Thailand

Take the public transport river boat, to the last stop north. The stop is called Nanthanaburi. Then walk straight around 100M. Take the first turn left. Walk 50M.

16. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Administrators and moderators

Would, it be possible, to pin this at the beginning of the Asia forum, like the one about volunteers, in cambodia.
Then when people visit prisoners, they will be able to post info here, and maybe the names of other prisoners who would like a visit.


17. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 9y

Quoting Mel.

Administrators and moderators

Would, it be possible, to pin this at the beginning of the Asia forum, like the one about volunteers, in cambodia.
Then when people visit prisoners, they will be able to post info here, and maybe the names of other prisoners who would like a visit.


Hi Mel, I've stickied it for a while, but it's not really the type of thread we'd normally sticky. But since you asked so kindly

18. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Thanks Sam I am!!!

19. Posted by TylerJames (Respected Member 333 posts) 9y

i saw a similar poster when was in Bangkok. i had recently read a book on an australian who was imprisoned in thailand so i really wanted to talk to someone who was acctualy in the prison.

i called my embassy and asked if their were anyone that i could visit they were hesitiant to give me an name but finnaly did. the womans name was sandra from north carlonia usa. she was arrested for trying to smuggle 999g of herion through bangkok int airport, when she arrived in court they said she only had 400g on her. she said customs had taken the rest. anyway she got the death pently but appealed and got a numbered sentence of 33 yrs.

the hardest part of going to visit someone is trying to find the place i had to take a hr ferry ride to a part of bangkok where no tourists are, the same products that were on say ko san road were half the price here. no one spoke any english i had to walk around for a good hr to find a taxi who knew the place i was going.

when i arrived i said i was a friend, to my suprise the staff was very helpful and directed me where to go. the waiting room even had a massage ctr, though i diddnet go. my name was called and i went in to meet sandra. she was thrilled to meet me she hadent had a visitor in over 2 months. she diddent really talk about her arrest but kept asking about my trip and where i had been, i guess it was her was of being free again. the information she did share with me was amazing and horrifying they all sleep in one room side by side sometimes with rats running all over the floors. the guards were so corupt they would take her upstairs sometimes to watch a football match and snort heroin. she gets no outside news so i tried to fill her in on what was happeing, the whole experence was something i will never forget as long as i llive. i am in no way supporting what she did, i was just trying to learn something new. but sandra said that the visits that she recives from travellers is what keeps her from giving up on life. i

so if you are in thailand and want to do something off the tourist track please try and visit one of your fellow citizens in a thai prison.

20. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Hello tylerjames

I think contacting the consulate for names was a cool idea.
The people who need visits most, have nobody to advertise their names on the internet and on notice boards. If the consulates give out their names, then they will get visits, too.
What is Sandras surname? Maybe somebody else would like to visit her, also.

Also, people who come from non english speaking countries get fewer visits. So if somebody comes from such a country, and your consulate will give the names of prisoners, I think the prisoners would really appreciate a visit or a letter.

I presume sandra is in the womens correctional institution(not sure i got the name of it right).
Would u have the exact name of the prison, and instructions, about how to get there, from the Khao San Road? If u have this info, would u post it here?


[ Edit: Edited on Dec 15, 2006, at 1:52 AM by Mel. ]

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