The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) is preparing to invite companies to join a project to build "correctional industrial estates" in five provinces, including those in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
The project, which is aimed to upskill inmates and give them factory jobs, is expected to be developed in Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao, which form the EEC zone, as well as Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon.
These provinces are Thailand's major production bases for various industries which require a large number of workers, said Veeris Ammarapala, governor of the IEAT.
Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said earlier the project should help the government relieve overcrowding in prisons and reduce employment of migrant workers from neighbouring countries.
The IEAT will ask the committee on the correctional industrial estate promotion to approve its project.
Companies which want to join the project will receive support from the IEAT on industrial estate management.
"The correctional industrial estates will be developed under a joint venture business model," said Mr Veeris.
"Companies must allow for the construction of correctional industrial estates on their land."
The IEAT is allowed by the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand Act to form a joint venture with firms in and outside the country.
Currently 2-3 investors have shown interest in joining the project, said Mr Veeris.
The IEAT wants the government to offer attractive investment privileges to prospective investors in order to encourage them to join the project.
The IEAT is studying the investment incentive packages which will be able to catch the attention of investors.
Earlier this year, the Industry Ministry ordered the IEAT to conduct a study on a plan to have two correctional industrial estates in Thailand.
The first venue, located at Ban Bueng temporary prison in Chon Buri, is hiring 300-400 inmates to work in factories.
The second one is expected to be built in Samut Sakhon.