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Thailand’s Department of Corrections has chosen 20 inmates to take part in its weapons production training program, designed to give them a chance of employment and public service once they complete their sentences.
The Director-General of the Department of Corrections, Pol Col Narach Sawetanan, reported that a survey of 142 correctional facilities across the nation found 225 inmates serving sentences relating to the production of firearms and weaponry.
Of this number, only 30 had been arrested for producing functioning firearms. After psychological evaluations and other appraisals, the list was narrowed to a final 20 individuals.
All of the inmates are to be transferred to Bang Kwang Central Prison to undergo 1-2 weeks of training, by military specialists, in both theory and practice of weapons production. The inmates will then spend several weeks practicing their new skills before being taken on daily excursions to further hone their abilities with the army. All those who complete the training are to be employed by the state once they complete their sentence so that they may serve Thai society.
Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, previously approved the Royal Thai Army’s Ordnance Department to oversee the training, saying that the inmates would help Thailand be more self-sufficient and better equipped in the future.