A delegation of the IJJO and UNICEF visits the Ban Karuna youth detention centre in Bangkok

On the 13th of June, a delegation composed by representatives of the IJJO and UNICEF were invited by DJOP-Ministry of Justice to visit the Ban Karuna Juvenile Vocational Training Centre for Boys, a centre of deprivation of liberty for children and young adults located near Bangkok. The director and staff of the centre briefed the delegation on the centre’s organisation, activities, and psychosocial intervention methodology, after which there was a visit of the various facilities.  

In this regard, the centre works closely with the families of the juveniles, cooperating with the community, governmental agencies and non-governmental partners, to foster welfare after release and job seeking. 

The Ban Karuna Vocational Training Centre for Boys worked since 1954 with children and young adults under criminal justice process. The primary mission of the centre is to ensure the wellbeing of children and young adults, and to improve their reintegration into society. In addition, the centre works to reduce the number of detained juveniles, currently around 500, as well as the reduction of detention time. 

The centre has a grading system based on positive behaviour, with a focus on positive discipline instead of a punitive approach, as well as with the participation of the juveniles in the elaboration of the guidelines and incentives.

The centre also focuses on education, from primary school to high school. The centre also offers vocational training courses, developing technical skills useful for the employment and reintegration of juveniles into society. There is a small number of staff, which does not put emphasis on control, instead striving to provide a positive living environment. 

The Director General of the centre, Mr Sak-Chai Kaamchoo expressed interest in international best practices, also pointing out that they strive for the best interest of the juveniles, focusing on the good relationship with the staff as the driving force of change. The IJJO Chairman, Dr Francisco Legaz, expressed his will to support DJOP-MOJ in the continuous development of its practices, with full respect of international standards.