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Imprisonment in Thailand: The Impact of the 2003 War on Drugs Policy

Netrabukkana, Pimporn (2016) Imprisonment in Thailand: The Impact of the 2003 War on Drugs Policy. PhD thesis, ๊University of Essex.


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The major objective of this study was to analyse the impact of the 2003 war on drugs policy on imprisonment and the prison social world in Thailand. While most studies on the drugs war have focused mainly on the quantitative increase in the prison population in the penal systems as the policy’s main impact, this research further examined the social shifts in Thai prisons driven by the drugs war. The data were qualitatively collected and analysed through documentary analysis, observations and in-depth interviews with forty-six participants: the former Director Generals of The Corrections Department, prison inmates, prison officers, and prison directors from Bangkwang Central Prison, Klongprem Central Prison, The Central Correctional Institution for Drug-addicts and The Women’s Correctional Institution for Drug-addicts. Although the Thai government declared a victory in the drugs war by claiming that the drug business had almost been eradicated due to the decrease in the size of the prison population and in the number of drug case arrests, in reality some changes caused by the drugs war within the prison world have been overlooked. The findings of this thesis reveal that the war on drugs produced significant effects upon various spheres of imprisonment. By dividing the framework into several levels for analysis focusing on prison inmates, prison officers and the social relationships behind bars, the lives and experiences of prisoners and prison officers are shown to have been effected in a negative and tougher way. Besides, there have been changes in social relations among prisoners and between inmates and prison officers. Crucially, the key factor leading to the policy impact was the replacement by the more powerful drug dealers in Thai prisons for drug users, due to the Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act B.E. 2545 (2002), which was a significant feature of the 2003 drugs war.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Pimporn Netrabukkana
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2016 12:18
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2016 12:18

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