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Jailhouse rehabilitation rocks at Klong Prem exhibition

Jul 24. 2019
Photo by: Department of Corrections
Photo by: Department of Corrections
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By The Nation

An unusual exhibition in Bangkok is set to shatter the stigma surrounding former prisoners next month, with gleaming proof that inmates can turn their lives around and become valuable members of society.



Helping prisoners find the new skills and hope to build a life after their release is difficult amid the conditions of Thailand’s notoriously overcrowded jails. But mandatory rehabilitation programmes are a key to cutting the rate of rearrest for ex-inmates.

To showcase the fruit of its rehabilitation efforts, the Department of Corrections is inviting members of the public to an exhibition dubbed “Rajtangakai Khan Thai Hai Ohkad”, or giving opportunity to former prisoners. On show for two weeks from the beginning of August will be works by prisoners that  display the skills they have been taught behind bars.

Police Gen Narat Sawettanun, director of the Department of Corrections, said that the exhibition’s goal is to allow inmates to showcase their work and thus increase their chance of getting jobs after release. He wants both government and private sector organisations to take notice of the valuable skills on display.

 “I want all the inmates to treat their time in prison as a precious opportunity to improve themselves. When they step outside the gate after their rehabilitation, I hope society can accept them back and offer them opportunities,” he said.

The 10-day exhibition will feature a showcase of inmates’ newfound work skills, a competition for items created by the prisoners, and around 100 stalls selling furniture, home decor items and paintings made behind bars. To add to the festival spirit, prisoners will perform folk songs and traditional arts, while food and drink is served from stalls.

The exhibition runs from August 2-11, 9am to 9pm, in the gardens of Klong Prem central prison.

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