We visit “Chiang Mai Women Correctional Institution” in the centre of Chiang Mai. The buildings are around 111 years old and the prison shows it. For a very short time ago the last inmate was moved to the new institution outside the city, and the old prison is now opening up for the public, also just for a short while.
When operation for full power the prison had 2.300 inmate and a big number of women guards. the sex of the guards is a big problem in many facilities around the world, it is not always a good idea to have men to guard women, but it look like that the Thais have that part right.
In year 2000 they government moved most of the inmates to a new prison outside the city, and only around 400 inmates used the old buildings until a few days ago. now it is empty and as I understand, have to be pulled down. And in good Buddhist style, a group of monks will perform a ceremony from 26 to 29.01.2013 ( 2556 Thai year ) to clean the area from bad energy and bad spirits.
It is a round 20 years ago they execute a inmate in this prison, so the pillar where the prisoner stand up, with her bag to her executers and then killed by shooting. That pillar need at special ceremony.
Thai prisons are a bit different from prisons in Europa or other places in the western world. The government only pay for about 50 % of all expensive of the prison, the rest they have to get by them self. So a prison here is also a company that have to produce some services. In Chiang Mai, they have a cafe, offer massage and make some handicraft. This give the prison a high percentage of inmates that do not return to the prison again……. It is a very interesting way to handle it…:)