Bill lets records be scrubbed

Bill lets records be scrubbed

Three hundred prisoners have been released from Ban Noen Sung prison in Prachin Buri. They have completed a Corrections Department pilot job-training scheme designed to help inmates acquire new skills before returning to society. (File photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Three hundred prisoners have been released from Ban Noen Sung prison in Prachin Buri. They have completed a Corrections Department pilot job-training scheme designed to help inmates acquire new skills before returning to society. (File photo: Chanat Katanyu)

People who have been convicted of a crime and served their sentence will be able to clear their criminal records, according to a new draft law.

Additionally, about 150,000 criminal suspects whose cases were rejected by the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) or who have been acquitted in court will also be able to clear their criminal records, according to the bill on criminal records.

The draft law is aimed at improving opportunities for such people when they are seeking a new job, said Chawalit Wichayasut, a Pheu Thai Party MP for Nakhon Phanom in his capacity as vice-chairman of the House committee on justice and human rights.

At a committee meeting on Wednesday, Royal Thai Police (RTP) officials reported there are about 12 million people who have a criminal record, 150,000 of whom are criminal suspects who haven't been arraigned or have been acquitted already, he said.

The committee agreed in principle that these people deserve the right to have their criminal records expunged from the police's database, which the RTP estimated could be done by September.

Under Section 28 of the constitution, those who have been proved not guilty or already served their sentences deserve to have rights equal to other people, Mr Chawalit said. Already approved in past public hearings, the bill on criminal records now awaits submission to the cabinet, he said, adding it would allow those with a record to regain their place in society.

This bill is crucial to ensure justice as criminal records affect the lives of people who have been acquitted or completed their sentences, said Assoc Prof Yuttaporn Issarachai, a lecturer at the School of Political Science of Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University.



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