Voices Beyond The Walls – Thailand Jail – Rell Hayes
When I think of this question, I am quickly reminded of every society has it’s own method in how ones existence is measured by one’s character, the economical standings within the community and in most cases ethnicity. This same holds true for those who are considered the outcast of society and while rules are much different in this abnormal society, there is a perverse ranking system within the prison system that contradicts all rules of the civil world as we know it. As you are processed into the correctional system, your initial ranking is immediately determined by the crime by which you’re detained.
What you are arrested for and convicted of becomes your re-categorized worth according to this unspoken rating system within the existing criminal justice system itself. It applies that the more vicious your crime the higher you sit within this abnormal society to become divided into the haves, and have nots.
The rating system is a very warped way of looking at things, but from my experience, it exists. It is mutual between the inmates and the guards, for instance:
A guy that sells drugs in his community, may be considered an entrepreneur,
A person who has considered as a murder is considered of high respect and regarded as someone everyone should fear.
And then everything in between burglaries and robberies are regarded at a certain level.
For those that have committed the cardinal sin against society; society itself has on many occasions expressed their outrage and opinions regarding the immediate and long term punishment for these individuals. While there will always be debates as to when society should get involved, or to have the legislative body create better programs in these facilities that may address these issues, stemming from social, economical and some cases physical abuse. This experience has only shown that, the true issues that society refuses to acknowledge, is that many of these individuals are products of many different sociological factors that leads to such behaviour that is neither treated nor addressed during their incarceration. Instead they are placed in world in which the moral values, is no different then the circumstances that may created these types of dysfunctional behaviour. They are deprived of these morals values, which are replaced with a kill or be kill attitude, which in most cases these individuals are release back into these same communities, and to have their entire time spent behind these walls ignored and tormented; they come to know that each day may just be their last day. From the prison guards to the general population, these individuals will find themselves in a position of imminent danger based on others their beliefs and their own prejudices against such crimes.
The normal message people on the outside perceive is that in surviving this, it’s just a cushy life living with TVs and they do afford those things to you, but at a price – it’s not afforded to everybody. If you are a person that doesn’t have any means what so ever you are pretty much down to the state to support you and that support is very minor. I guess I could give you 100 different scenarios and to me it’s very disturbing the society doesn’t really know about it, because none of this is sensationalised or re-examined. Inmates are paying a debt to society for their crimes, but what is allowed to occur without trace is how prison officials will take the liberty to allow a goon squad that serves to take the liberty beating people half to death with investigations that have them cleared.
I consider myself a survivor. It is hard for most people to imagine the full horror of being incarcerated in a foreign prison knowing that you are innocent of the charges that have landed you there. Banged up in Thailand, where the prison system has a notorious international reputation, it seemed like things could not get much lower. During the imprisonment, I was subjected to a system of starvation and mistreatment designed to break people. Many in similar circumstances have taken their own lives, unable to face another day in a living hell.
To make an idea of Thailand prison watch this video – Inside Prison in Thailand , Prisons Documentary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEvJ-UECzO8
As an inmate in Thailand I often felt alone, confused and nearly overwhelmed by despair – emotions that would be experienced by anyone in similar circumstances.
I have overcome this surroundings, and through this experience I was able to build a whole new chapter in my life.
I was released after one year as a result of a plea bargain, but the experience has left an indelible impression on me. It has caused me to become more determined
than ever to rebuild my life and again become a success.
It has also prompted me to become involved with charity work for prisoners. At this moment I run a campaign – DONATING BOOKS FOR FOREIGN PRISONERS IN PHUKET PRISON on my donating website – rellhayes.org
Some of them like this one: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/266221-stoney-monday/page-2 – Got Closed because of Defamation Issues.
But as somebody commented : “Well, Karma has finally caught up.. ” , Yes , Karma is wonderful and if you are honest to yourself it will work on your side.
It is very important for me to focus on my goal, wich is to Make the world a better place because I was here. I helped others and I will keep doing until the last day of my life.
In my life , I have been in many situations before the prison episode , for example this article: Money donated by Australians has built and paid for emergency accommodation for Thai refugees as part of an enormous Australian effort. When every little bit helps
“Phuket bar owner Rell Hayes, of Perth, drove a ute of food and water to Khao Lak immediately after the wave struck, and has been fund-raising ever since.
“We put up an Australian family who had lost everything and helped them try and find their friends,” said Mr Hayes. “Now we need the tourists to come back.”
It was an interview for theage.com.au