Bangkok Hilton

  Bang Kwang Central Prison

History

The prison houses many foreign prisoners. It is a harsh prison that handles death row and long-sentence prisoners. All prisoners are required to wear leg irons for the first three months of their sentences. Death row inmates were required to have their leg irons permanently welded on, although this practice ended in 2013. In the book The Damage Done, former prisoner and drug courier Warren Fellows recounts that the prison was nicknamed “Big Tiger” by the Thais because it “prowled and ate”. Fellow’s associate Paul Hayward also served part of his sentence there.

Prisoners receive one bowl of rice in vegetable soup each day. Other food must be purchased from the prison canteen. The prison works on a chit system. Each prisoner has an account with the canteen. Poor prisoners do chores for wealthier prisoners and prison guards to earn money for food. Some Westerners, particularly British, Americans, and Canadians receive extra money monthly from charities. Thai prisoners used to be served red rice, “khao daeng”, foreign prisoners white rice. This was abolished as it was seen as discrimination. All prisoners are now served white rice.