A Positive Approach to Youth Rehabilitation : ‘Ban Kanchanapisek’ Redefines Juvenile Incarceration

As part of the second Executive Program on Rule of Law and Development (RoLD), Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ) organized a study trip to Ban Kanchanapisek Vocational Juvenile Training Centre for Boys, Nakhon Pathom. The mission is aimed to educate a sense of understanding on the rule of law as the backbone of inclusive society and to learn about positive approach of empowerment from the youths who earned a second chance within the Centre.

The study trip to Ban Kanchanapisek is formed to make RoLD fellows understand the rights process to rehabilitate the youths who entered the wrong paths, in line with Human Rights. Instead of viewing them as criminals and treat them accordingly, the approach cultivates positive perception and reinforcement. With a light shines into their lives, they are called upon to shy away from their dark past. Breaking the cycle of crime is the driving ambition behind the Centre’s work. Therefore, after rehabilitation young people follow a path of reintegration, thereby decreasing the likelihood of recidivism.

Mrs. Ticha na Nakorn, Director of Ban Kanchanapisek Juvenile Vocational Training Centre for Boys, stated that “Ban Kanchanapisek is not a ‘prison’ as we know it. Besides, the centre does not treat the youths like prisoners. Rather, all boys shall be treated with respect, and their fundamental as well as human rights must be protected. Right mindset must be promoted, although they are lawbreakers, they are also considered as victims of the society. Our duty is to foster a better understanding among the public and to encourage the improvement of juvenile justice system.  We need to help the youths get their lives back on track and become productive citizens through education as they deserve.”

Prof. Dr. Kittipong Kittayarak, Executive Director of the Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ), added, “The effective application of the Rule of Law would lead to fair and just and eventually peaceful society, only such society will gear our nation to a true sustainable development.  By looking through the lens of justice and fairness, authorities and decision makers will be able to understand issues of inequality and vulnerability. This will facilitate policy making that truly provides ‘justice’ to all parties equally: access to education and healthcare, fair trial, to name a few. Such equality will help reduce crimes and effectively prevent recidivism, thereby creating a safe society in the long run. Ban Kanchanapisek is recognized as a model initiative that provides sustainable solutions for young offenders

The Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ) is a research institute affiliated with the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network. TIJ’s vision is to foster a culture of lawfulness in the society through the rule of law, in collaboration with, the RoLD Program fellows, as well as advocate solutions for Development-led Crime Prevention to establish a safe and inclusive society for all.

Nakhon Pathom March 23, 2018