Continuing to accompany the “stranger” in Thai prisons

For 25 years, the Jesuit prison ministry in Thailand has been accompanying foreign prisoners primarily through providing counselling and companionship. Today, the programme serves about 1,200 prisoners spread across in 10 prisons in Bangkok and other provinces, and two prison hospitals.

This year, the team encountered a number of challenges.

Tales from the Bangkok Immigration Detention Centre

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The Bangkok Immigration Detention Centre is neither a prison nor a jail. It is the last barrier for non-Thais awaiting deportation back to their home countries, after finishing their prison sentences or paying court-imposed fines.

These detainees have, for the most part, entered Thailand illegally.  How long they will be in the detention centre depends on many factors – the regulations of their country’s embassy/consulate, their travel documents, a plane ticket, and whether they are physically fit for the flight home.

Prison Ministry perseveres as prisons flood

At the height of the floods in Thailand in October and November, the Jesuit Foundation Prison Ministry continued to reach out to the many prisoners it has befriended in the country’s overcrowded prisons.   Vilaiwan Phokthavi, Director, Jesuit Prison Ministry tells us how the floods affected prisoners in three prisons.