The incident follows a similar story in Sisaket on August 20th when a 41-year-old Thai man had himself arrested by holding up a heavily surveilled gold shop after a fight with his girlfriend.

A Thai man on Thursday who had just completed a six-month prison term in Pattaya deliberately provoked the police in Sattahip into arresting him two hours after being let out of prison as he found life on the outside too much to bear.

39-year-old Khanchit Sutthipichai was arrested only two hours after his release from Nong Pla Lai Prison in Bang Lamung, Pattaya (inset scene from a Pattaya prison cell) and told police he committed a robbery in order to be sent back to the prison where life was easier with food, accommodation and friends.

A Thai criminal just released from prison in Chonburi found himself back in custody on Thursday just two hours after his release from Nong Pla Lai Prison in Bang Lamung, Pattaya after he decided that he simply could not cope with freedom on the outside. The man had just completed a 6-month term for drug offences.

39-year-old man wanted to go ‘home’ to prison

39-year-old Khanchit Sutthipichai was apprehended by police after he tried to steal a motorcycle and sidecar in Sattahip, Chonburi. He told arresting officers at Na Chom Tien police station that he missed his ‘home’ at the prison where he had friends, plentiful food and accommodation. 

‘No idea what to do’

‘I have no idea what to do after the release,’ he said. ‘ I have no money at all, I don’t have any food to eat and I miss my friends in prison,’ he told bemused but slightly disturbed police officers saying that he had deliberately committed the crime intending to be arrested and imprisoned again.

Sisaket man’s girlfriend told him to get her out of her life so he went back to prison

His story comes after an August 20th incident in Sisaket where Thai police arrested a 41 years old man named as Mr Worawee who also deliberately set himself up to be arrested when he attempted to rob a gold shop in the urban centre of the northern province. He told police that he had earlier rowed with his girlfriend and she told him to get out of her life.

Thai prisons among the most notorious in the world

These stories will surprise many as Thai prisons have developed a notorious and fearsome reputation, particularly among foreigners and tourists to Thailand following a long list of best-selling books and TV programmes that tell shocking stories of Westerners locked up in the kingdom with some disturbing reports of prisoners dying or simply disappearing behind bars never to be heard of again.

Many of the stories are real and make no mistake, serving time in a Thai prison is not something to be taken lightly. 

1,000 prisoners die every year in Thai prisons from HIV Aids, Tuberculosis or disease

In May, the director-general of Thailand’s Corrections Department, Police Colonel Naras Savestanan acknowledged that some 6,000 prisoners in the corrections system suffer from HIV/Aids or tuberculosis.

Some 1,000 prisoners die every year from such diseases and it something Thai authorities including the current prisons chief, are trying to address within the limits of the growing overcrowding problem.

Controversy over prisoner parties in Thai prison

In July, 5 political prisoners who were jailed for illegal acts during Thailand’s recent political upheavals and subsequently pardoned following the coronation of the Thai King caused some controversy after telling a university seminar that they had been able to have birthday parties while in prison.

This drew an official denial from Police Colonel Naras who said such activities were strictly prohibited in the prison system.

The former PAD prisoners subsequently explained that they got around the rules by asking visitors to bring large donations of food together at certain days to share among themselves and other inmates.

Corrections Department boss says prisoners receive three meals a day to suit heir palettes

This brought clarification from the prison boss who revealed that care is taken to provide food to all prisoners three times a day and to provide food that is suitable to all every prisoner’s palate. He also suggested that different food products can be purchased in prison for prisoners who have access to funds.

Some UK long term prisoner regretted going back home to finish off their sentences

It draws a contrasting picture of the Thai prison system from contemporary reports with tales of chronic overcrowding and sickness which are seen as the greatest challenge to inmates.

A number of UK prisoners who have been transferred back to the United Kingdom to continue to serve long sentences for drug dealing have latterly acknowledged that they would have preferred to have stayed in Thailand in hindsight.

They recalled that the prison regime, in many respects, is less strict during hours when prisoners are not locked up and confined to cells particularly as many of these prisoners reported being allowed to go outdoors in the sunshine within the prison precincts.

Discipline in Thai prisons today is reported to be tougher due to chronic overcrowding

However, it is reported that since the military took power in 2014, discipline in Thai prisons has increased as the problem of overcrowding has reached critical levels due mainly to the never-ending war on drugs driven in today’s era by the bane of methamphetamine use.

Further reading:

Drugs leave Thai prisons chronically overcrowded with 87% of female prisoners jailed for meths

Thai man goes to prison to grant his girlfriend in Sisaket her heart’s desire – him out of her life

Prison guard gets life for attempted murder as Thai top brass crack down on prison corruption and ill discipline

Thailand to outlaw cigarettes in prison as it sends trainers to prison to assist inmates to cope

A young Swedish man imprisoned for Life in Thailand facing a harsh reality as mum also suffers