Title : The Protection of Rights of Awaiting Trial Proisoners
Researchers: Sumonthip Jaihlek, Nathee Chitsawang
The objectives of the research entitled ?The Protection of Rights of Awaiting Trial Prisoners? were to examine the problems and obstacles to the current practice regarding the awaiting trial prisoners, to study the protection standard of offender rights under detention while awaiting trial in other countries, and to propose further recommendations for improving the protection of rights and promoting justice for this group of prisoners.
The research found that the major problem on protecting the rights of awaiting trial prisoner could be identified in various process of criminal justice system. First of all, during the arrest process, the arrestees were not properly notified their rights and the pre-charge detention period was relatively prolonged. Secondly, during the court trial process, there were some difficulties in the grant of bail and also very limited alternatives on the treatment of awaiting trial offenders. Besides, during the process of imprisonment, the awaiting trial or unconvict prisoners were inappropriately detained with the convicted inmates. Also, there was a problem on unnecessary use of prison restraints. Moreover, during the released process, although the offenders were acquitted, they could not be immediately released at the court. Furthermore, there was an apparent lack of law and relevant regulation to be enforced for the practice regarding the awaiting trial prisoner. There was also a problem caused by the prisoners who did not acknowledge their own rights.
Consider the standard of conduct towards the protection of unconvict prisoners? rights in other countries, there was specific measures on the treatment of offenders awaiting trial which indicated that every accused person shall be perceived as an innocent individual until he/she was found guilty. By doing this, the court must play a leading role in processes starting from arrest, the police investigation, the court proceedings, the detention in prison, the release, and also the protection of victims? rights as well the rights of all those involved with the special group of awaiting trial prisoners. Also there should be more use of alternatives to imprisonment, including the electronic monitoring (EM) devices and home detention, and so on. In addition the court trial must be ongoing, speedy and fair.