Move afoot to cut inmate numbers
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Move afoot to cut inmate numbers

The Justice Ministry will amend rules to allow suspects whose cases have yet to reach court to stay out of jail on condition they wear Electronic Ankle Monitoring (EM) bracelets.

The aim of the move is to reduce chronic overcrowding in the country's prisons.

According to Justice Minister Pol Col Tawee Sodsong, the country's prisons have a maximum capacity of 180,000 inmates. However, more than 280,000 people are currently being detained in Thai prisons, with about 50,000 of them awaiting trial.

Pol Col Tawee said the ministry is working on amending Section 89/1 of a ministerial regulation, seeking to empower the court to determine alternative options for offenders in some cases. The options include home confinement with EM bracelets.

The Justice Minister added that those allowed to be confined at home would have a better chance to prepare their cases. He said the ministry expects to wrap up the matter sometime this year.

Meanwhile, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights said that activist Tantawan "Tawan" Tuatulanon was discharged on Tuesday from Thammasat University Hospital, where she had been detained after her bail was granted with a 100,000-baht surety on Monday.

She was taken to the Criminal Court at 12.24pm to be fitted with an EM bracelet.

The activist has been charged with violating Section 116 of the Computer Crimes Act, the Traffic Act, as well as insulting officers on duty following her horn-honking protest during a royal motorcade on Feb 4.

A source said that the police are preparing to re-arrest Ms Tantawan following a report that she was also wanted under another court warrant.

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