By Carla Boonkong & Son Nguyen / Thai Examiner
Thailand now imprisons its women more than any other country in the world. It is a stark and disturbing fact driven by little pink yaba bills of crystal meths. 82% of all Thai women imprisoned last year were arrested for drug related crime, 90% of which, related to metamfetamine. The plight of Thai women and the chronic and tormenting overcrowding in Thailand’s prisons is driving a discussion for reform behind closed doors on how Thailand handles its drugs problem long term.
The plight of Thai women, locked up in overcrowded cells for 15 hours at a time, serving stiff sentences, sometimes for years at a time, for possession of a few pink pills, is begin to gnaw at the conscience and sense of justice of many officials and those in authority.
Something significant is brewing in Thailand when it comes to the war on drugs. And the key focus for those who would like to see Thailand pursue a more progressive, softer and merciful approach, is the plight of Thai women in Thai prisons. In fact, Thailand is now the country in the world that incarcerates more of its women than any other, even more than the United States. Both countries are, in fact, imprisoning more and more of their women folk and the reason is clear. Drugs, more particularly metamfetamine, crystal ice or meths. Over 82% of women in Thailand’s prisons are there because of drugs and over 90% of these women are small time crystal meth or metamfetamine users.