A Songkhla drug treatment centre, which has about 4,000 male drug prisoners, has allowed its inmates to make video calls with relatives in a pilot project to help families save travel costs when visiting them, the clinic’s head said.
Padej Ringrod, the chief of the drug treatment centre, said the Line video call project has been running on a trial basis since late last year.
Padej said the clinic has some 4,000 inmates who have been ordered to be detained by the courts for drug rehabilitation.
The site has four smartphones to allow inmates to have video chats with relatives for about 20 minutes, similar to regular visits, he added.
Currently, slightly more than 10 prisoners can use the devices in a day.
Padej said inmates with the best behaviour were allowed to try the video calls first.
He said relatives must first come to the centre to register for video calls with the inmates and the staff would then schedule their calls. All the calls were automatically recorded and were monitored by guards, Padej added.
Any inappropriate conversation would result in an end to the conversation and punishment for the prisoner.
This project was initiated by the Corrections Department with an aim to be adopted and tested nationwide, to help poor families and those that live far from the prison.