• วนัส สำเภาเงิน
  • ศิริโรจน์ รัฐประเสริฐ
Keywords: Punishment, Criminal penalties


In Thailand, criminal law is regarded as a very effective tool to control the behaviors of the people in the state because of its severe penalties. Due to this reason, criminal law has been excessively and unnecessarily in the prevention of bullying to prevent, threat, and prohibit against any undesirable action. Therefore, this results in the problems of over-criminalization.  However, by applying criminal law which contains severe penalties may not be consistent with the purposes of the punishment. For example, in the case of the incarceration of drug offenders the application of such law cannot help reduce narcotic addiction and recidivism. Since the past, it can be seen that the application of strict suppression measures and severe penalties cannot entirely solve the problem in the spreading of drug use in Thailand. Furthermore, the application of such law also results in prison overcrowding issue. Due to these problems, it leads to an issue in the thesis studying under this topic of "Guidelines in applying other measures as alternatives to imprisonment as an alternative in Thailand".

Findings in this study indicate that, in Thailand, there are other measures as alternatives to imprisonment including condemnation, detention, and suspension and pending for penalty. Due to short-term imprisonment, the offender cannot be completely reformed; therefore the law provides the opportunity to reform for the offenders who commit the first time offense, the drug addict who is considered a patient who must receive medical treatment, or for a case of minor offense which is not a serious crime. This is done by considering the penalty rate that should not be more than 5 years to avoid severe consequences of being sentenced to imprisonment the offender may experience including being insulted by the society so that the offender will not be involved with the criminal inside the prison according to the theory of punishment to relieve the wrongdoers.  However, suspending for sentence or waiting for the penalty cannot be used as alternative measure to imprisonment in all cases since the Criminal Law in section 56 stipulates limitation conditions that do not allow the provisions of the law to cover the offender who used to be sentenced to prison, except in cases of negligence or misdemeanor or a penalty of not more than 6 months for previous imprisonment or previous imprisonment for offenses committed by negligence or misdemeanor offenses, etc. Generally, the essence of such provisions focuses particularly on providing opportunities to reform for first time or tiny crime offenders.  If considered carefully, it can be seen that the Criminal Law in Section 57 specifies that the court can determine for the penalty that has not yet been either determined or executed. Thus, in practice, the implementation according to the provision of Criminal Law in Section 56 should not be the measure of criminal enforcement which will restrict the rights of wrongdoers in the form of punishment. Instead, other measures should be imposed as alternative to imprisonment, particularly like those measures used in foreign countries so as the court apply other measures instead of imprisonment to cover other whose offenders who are unjustly to be punished though they might have been imprisoned before; for example, patients requiring medical treatment and with offenses that are not serious crime.

Results in this study conclude that other measure as alternatives to imprisonment in Thailand are not sufficient to address the issue in the misuse of criminal law. Thus, the offender who does not fall into the Criminal Code section 56 is sentenced to imprisonment unjustly and this leads to the problem of prison overcrowding eventually. To help alleviate such problem, the researcher suggests criminal law amendment be implemented to append other measures as alternatives to imprisonment such as social service working, application of electronic tools to control the offenders, etc.

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