An ex-con legally released seven months ago has been recalled to the jail in the northern province of Payao after a gaff by the Department of Corrections (DOC). He refuses to return.
The DOC admitted they made a mistake and wrongly calculated the years of imprisonment so recalled the former convict to finish his porridge.
Teeraphat Sophon was originally jailed for falsely registering another person at his home.
But the ex-inmate refuses to go back to jail and asked the lawyer Kiattikhun Tonyang to help him.
Teeraphat said he didn’t want to go back to jail. The former felon said he has been rehabilitated and started an avocado farm business.
Teeraphat revealed he was sentenced to three years at Payao Provincial Prison. He entered prison on April 7 last year and was released on February 7 this year after being jailed for ten months.
Teeraphat said his penalty was mitigated and he got pardoned twice. He made known he was promoted to a special class inmate when he was inside and then released.
Seven months after his release Teeraphat said he got a summons from a court saying his release was a mistake.
According to the summons, he had to go back to prison for another seven months because his special class promotion was wrong.
The lawyer, Kiattikhun, informed the media on Sunday that he has requested the Ministry of Justice to investigate the issue.
Kiattikhun said the DOC and Payao Provincial Prison should be more careful. People shouldn’t be called back to jail because of misunderstandings or miscalculations. Freedom is important. No one wanted to go back to jail, even if it is only for a day or an hour. The officials had to take responsibility if it was their mistake.
Yesterday, the DOC issued a document to explain the issue, starting by explaining the inmate position promotion process.
The department said each provincial prison in Thailand has an internal meeting about the special release and promotion of prisoners. After that, each prison checks the list of inmates who deserve special promotions. Then, each provincial prison sends the list of names to the DOC. The DOC checks the list and submits it to the Justice Ministry.
The department made known that the Payao Provincial Prison thought that Teeraphat was promoted to the special class inmate and wrongly calculated how many years he had left in prison so, he was released.
However, the prison later received a document from the Justice Ministry dated February 9, 2022, saying the special promotions of Teeraphat weren’t approved.
The DOC issued a document dated February 18, 2022, to notify the prison and inmates about the cancellation.
The prison notified Teeraphat about the cancellation, but he refused to go back. The prison then filed a complaint to the court, and the court issued a document dated May 31, 2022, to recall Teeraphat back to jail.
The DOC informed the prison that they would conduct another investigation to determine whether everyone correctly followed the rules and regulations.
The DOC revealed that there were another two inmates who had been wrongly released and needed to return to jail.