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  #1  
Old 01-21-2007, 04:38 PM
joanneh joanneh is offline
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Default Lard Yao Women's Prison

Hi
Just wondering if anyone is writing to any of the women in Lard Yao?
Cheers
Jo
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  #2  
Old 02-24-2007, 05:34 AM
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Yes Jo. I write to an Uzbek women serving 25 years. I'm travelling to Thailand in a week's time and will visit her in Lard Yao. A daunting but exciting and I'm sure quite moving experience awaits.
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Old 02-26-2007, 04:32 PM
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Your visit will be one of the best things to happen in awhile!!! Your friend is very lucky to have you. One day I plan to go on a trip and visit my friend in there as well.
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Old 02-27-2007, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joanneh
Your visit will be one of the best things to happen in awhile!!! Your friend is very lucky to have you. One day I plan to go on a trip and visit my friend in there as well.
Thanks Jo. I hope it goes well, for her sake more than mine. She doesn't know I'm coming as I didn't want to get her hopes up just in case things fell through. It looks like it will be okay though and I've got all next week to do it.
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  #5  
Old 10-29-2007, 08:50 PM
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Dear Jo,
I was writing to an American woman in Lard Yao, but she was recently sent home.
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:16 PM
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Hi Sara,
Welcome to PTO.
Are you writing to anyone else in Asia?

Rachel x
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Old 10-30-2007, 09:30 PM
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At this time, my only penpal is incarcerated on death row in Zambia. I've been writing to him for approximately 2 years. He is my adopted brother. I have thought about writing to someone in Thailand, but right now my energy is very focused on helping my brother with his legal appeal, possible pardon, and locating his children. I imagine that writing to someone in Thailand might also be equally consuming, and I'm not sure I could handle it right now. However, I am open to suggestions or insight from those who are writing to individuals in Thailand.
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Old 02-09-2008, 07:26 PM
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does anyone know how to obtain a list of women who would be open to becoming penpals from lard yao?
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Old 02-18-2008, 10:01 AM
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www.Bangkwang.net

Go to penpals and click on a country and it will list any women in Lard Yao.
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Old 02-18-2008, 10:37 AM
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www.foreignprisoners.com

They also have some women listed.
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:09 AM
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Default Can anyone tell me

How I go about writing to someone in there, for friendship.
thanks
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:10 AM
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sorry just seen the replies
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:36 AM
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Hi there,

I write to my girlfriend every week. She's in Lard Yao at the moment.

Dynamite.
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:51 PM
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Dynamite,
Are there any useful bits of information that you could share with us?
Mail restrictions, visiting hours and procedures... anything that may help people who come looking for help and info?

Thanks,

Rachel
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:29 AM
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Greetings! I used to be a volunteer to visit prisoners in BKK when I lived in Thailand. I always wrote to them after the visits, most of them reply everytime they could (it's difficult for some to get money to buy stamps), I could see how happy they were to be able to communicate with people outside, they love to write about their hopes! That keeps them alive in spite of all the suffering. I lost track of them since I moved out of the country and can't get an accurate list of the people who are still there, but I really would love to start writting to them again.
Those of you who are helping these persons, please keep going! We all deserve a second opportunity! Cheers!
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:18 PM
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Hi Rachel,

Sorry I didn't reply any sooner. I'm quite busy with all sorts of things.
I'll try to check once a week or is there a possibility of an alert by email?

I have some info on Lard Yao, lots of info on Chiang Mai women's prison and the Thai court system.

I nicknamed my girlfriend Dynamite. Prison hasn't broken her spirit at all and I always see the fire in her eyes, ready to explode.

She's back in Chiang Mai now. She was in Lard Yao for a few months to take some final tests etc. for her high school graduation after only 1.5 years of studying. She passed with a 3.7 average. Maximum points is 4.0. After little more than 2 years she tries to graduate for her 4 year university study this coming April. All at the age of 40. She sure makes me proud.

Lard Yao doesn't accept parcels at the moment, only letters, but it doesn't matter how long the letter is. Outgoing letters are restricted.
From Lard Yao she could write one letter a week, from Chiang Mai only one letter a month with a maximum of 15 sentences. Don't ask questions about living conditions, prison ways, officer behavior, that sort of thing. All in- and outgoing letters are screened. As far as I know the only accepted language other than Thai is English.
Parcels are accepted in Chiang Mai, parcels containing clothes, toiletries and such. Clothes can't have zippers, loose (elastic) bands, that sort of thing. These can be used to hang oneself. Ask in letters what the inmate needs and what is allowed.

Visiting is a different matter. Lots of it depends on the status of court or sentence, the inmate's behavior and the crime committed. When visiting food, clothes, medicine, books, and sometimes movies and music can be given.

A little background info:
Dynamite was arrested with 2000 Jaba (meta-emphatamine) pills. She was forced (blackmailed) to work into the drugs business. She wasn't very cooperative, had a pain-in-the-ass boyfriend, and after 6 months the drugs mafia (in this case a police-army family) had enough. She was drugged with GHB, taken home with another victim, and arrested on the way home when police "found" 2000 pills inside her motorbike.

Thailand has 3 courts.
The first court is where you'll get your initial sentence, basically based only on the police report. These are usually the big ones we all know, in her case it was 28 years, and it only took about 10 minutes.
I suspect the court was rigged. Thailand doesn't know or doesn't use jurisprudence. It's all up to the judge, a lottery.
The second court is the appeal court where they will listen to your side of the story. Sentences sometimes go up but are usually reduced. Usual is anywhere between a 1 and 50& reduction. I say usual because in Dynamite's case it went from 28 down to 4.5 years.
Court 3 is an appeal to the King, but can go up and down and might take years. A court case can be stopped at anytime, after court 1, 2 or 3. We accepted the decision of court 2.

She was arrested with someone else. This person (only riding the motorbike!!!) had an initial sentence of 25 years. However, also gets the same reduction she's got, and is already free. This is how things are done in Thailand. An accomplice, innocent bystander, everyone gets arrested and is more or less given the same sentence as the #1.
#2, #3 etc has to decide to stay with #1 or go to court by him- or herself.

In Chiang Mai, if an inmate is caught with less than a 1000 pills, they can have a 15 minute visit every day. With anything over a 1000 pills it's once a week. With visit I mean a telephone visit with steel bars and glass in between us. While the case is still in court you can visit daily with a lawyer. It's a room with metal bars. The inmates have to stay clear of the bars for about 1 meter. It's not a private affair, but English isn't well understood. Usual you're given an hour. I took 2 hours per visit and sometimes twice a day.

Once thing I learned is that the officers don't like the bad reputation their prison/ the Thai prison system has. If you're polite and behave yourself you usually get away with a lot. Not understanding the language is always a good excuse.

Last summer I was allowed to visit every day. She is allowed to have a visit once a week, so 52 visits a year. She had 15 visits before I came.
Her family is far away and not able to visit often so I took 20 visits.
However, to get this I had to talk to the director.

Food can be given in large quantities. I buy enough for 3 people every day. If they tell you you can't, tell them she shares with friends who have nothing. Everything will be checked, cut or opened etc. If they say you can't give certain food ask why. Sometimes it only needs to be peeled or repacked. Paper, pencils, stamps, underwear, toiletries, they can use everything. I found that underwear is considered very important. It has to be comfortable. Preferable bra's are sports bra's, the ones without metal wiring. They're only allowed a few pair so it gets washed often and should be of good quality. Black or any dark color is best for obvious reasons.
If you send from oversees, clothes should be the smallest adult size possible. A Thai size small or medium is a large children's size in Holland.

Books, (Thai synchronized) movies and music is allowed too and appreciated. This is possible by calling it a donation for the prison library, to be used by the general population, but in my girlfriend's name. This way she gets first rights, and the donation will be credited to her. They can't have these things privately. They have tons of books about Buddha, how to behave, that kind of stuff. The Thai translation of Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons" was well appreciated, and while Dynamite was still reading it there were already 30 or more people waiting to read it too. Movies should be comedies or other light hearted and non-violent stuff, although I managed to get in the movie Braveheart, hahaha.

Medicine can only be given if the inmate has a prescription for it.
If you talk face to face, figure out a system of codewords for future letters so more delicate issues can be discussed without suspicion.

As long as the inmate's case is in court rules are strict. When the court case is closed it's all up to the prison. They have a rating system: very bad, bad, average, good, very good and excellent. Taking courses, studying, staying within the rules, and working hard is well rewarded. Dynamite scores excellent and this gives her an additional sentence-cut of 5 days/month. The prison has now put her on the list for a King's pardon. If it comes she's expected to be out this summer, maybe as early as May.

The way the visitor behaves reflects on the inmate.
2.5 years ago her case was still in court, and with 28 years to her name, I was at war with everyone. It didn't matter much at that time.
Last summer her case was closed. I'm still a stubborn hard-ass, never backing down, never taking no for an answer, never getting intimidated, but I'm always polite and give respect to the people who earned it.
The whole story would take more than a day to write down, but I was willing to fight and according to the prison made it to someone's hitlist.
I received death threats last summer, but don't worry about it much. The male officers treat me with respect while the female officers told Dynamite to never let me go, hahaha.

Last summer I left a week before her birthday. I ordered a big birthday cake for her and the few friends she has and asked if it would be okay to have cake for all the officers to say "thank you". It wasn't done before. I had a thank you email from a lady officer. She wants to learn English and we now email on a regular basis. I get bits and pieces of info. In my letters to Dynamite I call it "tales from the fairy".

I have a friend in Chiang Mai. A Christian missionary from New Zealand she's helping foreign prisoners in Thai prison. How I met her is another long story. She visits Dynamite once a month, keeps me and the family up to date, and is doing the financial matters for Dynamite on the outside.

I learned the hard way, through trial and error, so here are a few do's and don'ts.

Number 1, 2 and 3. Do your homework and go to the top. I found that people at the top never asked for money or favors. They usually have high values, are willing to do what's right and are usually in a position where they can't be hurt. If the inmate has family or friends in Thailand ask if they know people at the top. At the prison I was always 30-45 minutes before opening, usually there around 7.15, before most of the officers came. I would sit and watch while having a smoke. I don't understand the ranks on the uniform but I watched them greet each other. From the Thai "Wai" I figured out the head honcho. Dynamite had some unwanted visits from the mafia. She was threatened in prison.
I asked him about these security issues. His English wasn't good but he was interested and asked me to come to his house in the evening to talk to him. He would get a translator. My instincts told me he could be trusted and I told him the whole story, from beginning to end. He turned out to be the #2 officer and he took his job very seriously.
That night at 4 A.M. they lifted Dynamite of the bed and she filled in the blanks. Prisons have the power to investigate and screen everything and everyone. All this happened 2.5 years ago. I had some bad feelings about some of the officers then. They weren't there last summer. Dynamite made a list of people she wants to see, everyone else gets screened to this day.

If you'll visit only one person, other inmates will come and ask the person you visit if you can do things for them too. If you do, don't do this directly for them. It will make the person you'll visit look like mafia because she arranged it. For instance. One woman had to give birth and asked Dynamite if I could give some baby clothes and a baby blanket. I did, but not in the woman's name because she isn't my girlfriend. I gave it to Dynamite and she gave it to the woman.

Discard anyone who comes to you and offers help. They want your money. Do your homework and find people who could be of use.

Always be friendly and respectful around the prison.

Ask the prison, work with them. They are not the enemy. They can explain the rules, can help to find an honest lawyer. The lawyer we had seemed good in the beginning, willing to work for decent money. I suspect that he was bought or threatened to go against us. After the 28 year sentence he showed his true face and wanted €. 17,500. I refused, and received death threats. Dynamite would get a life sentence. He ran when he heard that the prison was going to investigate. The prison helped Dynamite to fire him from her case. We haven't seen him since. Her lawyer in court 2 was good as gold.

There is so much more to tell, some other time, maybe some more questions. It's past 11 PM, time to get some sleep.

Hendrik.
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  #17  
Old 01-16-2010, 08:20 PM
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Wow!
This is great info.
I am going to copy it and post it in the profiles section.
Thanks so much for taking the time to share this information with us.

I hope Dynamite continues to go from strength to strength.

Keep in touch and let us know how you are getting on.

Much love,

Rachel xx
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:05 PM
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What happened to Dynamite? She was lucky to have a good friend.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:59 PM
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I would like to have a panpal with a woman/women in Lard Yao, can anyone direct me on how to do that.
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:27 AM
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Hi Rachel,

I have recently contacted two women in Lard Yao prison through a charity called "hope behind Bars" one form Thailand and the other is from Laos, both women don't get any outside help. I am going over to visit them in September so I am trying to find out more info too

kind regards

Clinton
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