Police will start attaching electronic monitoring tags to caught street racers, many of whom are teenage ‘dek waens,’ in November.
The move is an effort to keep the young daredevils off the streets and out of trouble.
The timetable was unveiled by Justice Minister Chaikasem Nitisiri on Wednesday. The scheme will later be expanded to other prison inmates if the trial on the dek waen proves successful.
Electronic monitoring tags fitted to offenders enable authorities to track their position through use of GPS technology and location verification units.
It is part of a plan to ease the massive overcrowding in prisons and juvenile homes across the country, and release selected inmates into home detention.
There are about 270,000 inmates in prisons across the country and the Corrections Department says the figure is rising by 3,000 a month and will easily surpass 300,000 next year. About 70% of the inmates are serving sentences for drug offenses.
The Corrections Department has 188 prisons in Bangkok and the provinces with a capacity to accommodate only 211,000 inmates. The Juvenile Observation and Protection Department administers 78 youth detention centers in the country. The number of the youths in the homes is unclear.
Mr Chaikasem said the tags would be ready for use by mid-November by the Juvenile Observation and Protection Department. They would be fitted to apprehended motorcycle street racers, youths who continually break traffic laws. If it proves successful, the scheme could be extended to another 6,000 prisoners held by the Corrections Department next year.
About 200 street racers were expected to “benefit” from the pilot scheme, the Bangkok Post reported.