Laws and Regulations
  • Legislation Procedure for Cooperation between States in the Execution of Penal Sentences Act B.E. 2527
  • Regulations of The Committee for Consideration of the Transfer of Prisoners on Procedures for Submitting Request for Transfer and the Receipt and Delivery of Prisoners B.E. 2529
  • Treaty between the Kingdom of Thailand and 24 Foreign Countries.
 
     
 
Q. IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A PERSON CONVICTED OF A CRIME IN ONE COUNTRY TO BE TRANSFERRED TO HIS/HER HOME COUNTRY WHERE HE/SHE WILL SERVE THE REMAINDER OF HIS/HER SENTENCE?

A. Yes. Under the Legislation Procedure for Cooperation between States in the Execution of Penal Sentences Act B.E. 2527 foreign nationals convicted of a crime in Thailand, and Thai citizens or nationals convicted of a crime in a foreign country, may apply for a prisoner transfer to their home country if a treaty providing for such transfer is in force between Thailand and the foreign country involved. Nowadays, Thailand has 24 bilateral prisoner transfer treaties in force in France, Spain, Canada, The Republic of Italy, United States of America, Sweden, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, The Republic of Finland, The Federal Republic of Germany, The Republic of Portugal, The Republic of Austria, Israel, The Republic of Poland, Denmark, Hong Kong S.A.R., Switzerland, Norway, The Republic of Philippine, The Republic of Estonia, Czech Republic, Australia, The Federal Republic of Nigeria, Netherlands and The Republic of Mali.

Countries that treaties are in negotiation process are: the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the People Republic of China , Belgium and Cambodia .

 
   
     
 
Q. WHO MUST AUTHORIZE THE TRANSFER OF THE PRISONER?

A. The consent of the foreign government and the prisoner is required for each transfer. The decision to transfer a prisoner is a discretionary decision to be made by “The Committee for Consideration of the Transfer of Prisoners” consisting of the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Justice (Chairman), the Judge Advocate General, the Chief Justice of the Criminal Court, the Chief Justice of the Central Juvenile Court, the Attorney-General, the Director-General of the Royal Thai Police, the Director-General of the Department of Corrections, the Director-General of the Treaty and Legal Department, the Director of the Penology Division of the Department of Corrections and the Director of the Treaty Division of the Treaty and Legal Department.

 
     
 
Q. WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR TRANSFER?

A. A prisoner may apply for transfer to a country of which he is a citizen or national in accordance with the provisions of the governing treaty. However, a prisoner is not eligible for transfer until the judgment and sentence in his case is final; that is, when no appeals or collateral attacks are pending. In Thailand, a prisoner must served a minimum period of imprisonment and required to pay fines that imposed as part of the criminal sentence be paid prior to transfer. Depending on the provisions of the governing treaty, prisoners who are convicted of certain types of crimes (such as military offenses and political offenses) or who have less than a year of time remaining on their sentences are not eligible for transfer.

 
   
     
 
Q. HOW DOES A PRISONER APPLY FOR TRANSFER?

A. The transfer process for a Thai citizen incarcerated abroad usually begins with the prisoner notifying the Royal Thai Embassy that he/she wishes to be transferred under the treaty. Thereafter, the Committee for Consideration of the Transfer of Prisoners, in its discretion, determines whether a prisoner can transfer back to Thailand , pursuant to Legislation Procedure for Cooperation between States in the Execution of Penal Sentences Act B.E. 2527. If the Committee concurs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will contact the embassy of the transferring state. After the foreign government approves the transfer, an arrangement will be made between the two governments for the prisoner's transfer to be effected at a time mutually agreeable to the governments.

The transfer of foreign prisoners incarcerated in Thailand follows a similar process, begins with the prisoner notifying the Embassy. The Embassy will also assist the prisoner in acquiring the necessary documents from the appropriate government authorities and consent of the receiving. Then, the embassy sent the request and required documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (through diplomatic channel). After approving the transfer , arrangement for the prisoner's transfer will be made between the two governments.

 
   
     
  Q. WHAT DOCUMENTATION S ARE REQUIRED TO APPLY FOR A TRANSFER?

A. Documents required for prisoner transfer applications vary depending on the treaty and the laws or procedures of the country in which a prisoner is incarcerated. Thai citizens incarcerated abroad should contact Royal Thai embassy or consulate, who will assist inmates in obtaining the necessary documents and completing any required forms. Foreign nationals incarcerated in Thailand should consult his/her embassy about their interest in transfer. Documentation provided to The Committee for Consideration of the Transfer of Prisoners generally includes:

  • Form or letter signed by prisoner indicating interest in transfer
  • Birth certificate or passport
  • All Court Judgments
  • Prison progress report (security level, disciplinary reports, prison jobs, program participation, psychological evaluation, current medical condition)
  • Immigration status
  • Consent letter of the Receiving State include information on how the prisoner's remaining sentence will be administered after transfer.
 
   
     
  Q. WHEN A FOREIGN NATIONAL WHO IS SERVING A SENTENCE IN A STATE FACILITY IN THE UNITED STATES WISHES TO APPLY FOR A TRANSFER, WHAT PROCEDURES APPLY?

A. Procedures on the transfer of convicted foreign prisoners from prisons in Thailand are:

  • The Receiving State submits a request for the transfer of prisoners to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its respective embassy in Thailand .
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sends the request to the Department of Corrections (Secretary of the Committee for Consideration of the Transfer of Prisoners)
  • The Department of Corrections examines and gathers the documents. It also arranges a schedule of the meeting of the Committee.
  • A meeting of the Committee is held for consideration of the request for the transfer of prisoners.
  • The Department of Corrections makes a report of the Committee's meeting and drafts a transfer order to be signed by Chairman of the Committee.
  • The Department of Corrections sends the transfer order to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs the Receiving State of the transfer order through the embassy in Thailand .
  • The Receiving State informs the Transferring State of a delivery date.
  • The Department of Corrections holds a transfer ceremony to deliver the prisoners.
  • The Receiving State executes the remaining sentence of the prisoners.
  • Any changes of the sentences due to the Royal Pardon, if occurred, will be informed by the Department of Corrections through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  
 
   
     
 
Q. ONCE A PRISONER HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED, HOW IS HIS/HER FOREIGN SENTENCE ADMINISTERED?

A. At the outset it is important to recognize that a transferred prisoner has no right to appeal, modify, set aside, or otherwise challenge his/her foreign conviction in the receiving state. For Thai prisoner, the committee shall avail itself of the supporting documents concerning the sentence certified by the transferring state, as a basis for consideration. If the sentence imposed by the judgment or order of the court of transferring state is compatible with the sentence prescribed by the law currently in force in Thailand, the committee shall issue an order to the responsible officials authorized (prison or juvenile observation and protection centre) to carry out the procedures for security controls, probation, and the procedures for juveniles to fulfill the requirements of the applicable law. In case of the sentence imposed under the law of the transferring state are not compatible with the sentence or condition of punishment as prescribed by the law currently in force in Thailand, the committee shall forward the case to the public prosecutor for submission of a petition to the criminal court or the central juvenile court for consideration of an adjustment to the law currently in force in Thailand. However, the adjusted sentence shall not be more severe than the sentence imposed on Thai prisoner in the transferring state.

For foreign prisoner, the continued enforcement of the sentence shall be governed by the laws and procedures of the receiving state, including those governing conditions for service of imprisonment or other deprivation of liberty such as probation, parole, conditional release or remission of otherwise.

 
   
     
 
Q. HOW MANY PRISONERS HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED SO FAR?

A. 710 foreign prisoners and 8 Thai prisoners, details are as follows;

 

COUNTRY

Transferred Foreign Prisoners

Transferred Thai Prisoners

1

France

29

-

2

Spain

33

-

3

Canada

17

-

4

Italy

7

-

5

United States of America

76

4

6

Sweden

14

1

7

United Kingdom

28

-

8

Germany

18

-

9

Austria

2

-

10

Israel

3

1

11

Denmark

3

-

12

Hong Kong S.A.R.

68

2

13

Switzerland

6

-

14

Norway

1

-

15

Estonia

5

-

16

Czech Republic

2

-

17

Nigeria

395

-

18

Australia

3

-

 

TOTAL

710

8

 
   
     
 
Contact

Foreign Affairs Sub-bureau, Bureau of Penology, Department of Corrections, 222 Nonthaburi 1 Street, Suanyai Sub-district, Muang district,
Nonthaburi province, Thailand 11000
Tel: +66 2 9673381
Fax: + 66 2 9672408
Email:
foreignprisoner@correct.go.th