Inside the Cambodian Correctional System
British Journal of Community Justice, Volume 8 (No 3): pp 7-22, 2011
17 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2012
Date Written: March 5, 2011
Little is known about how the Cambodia’s correctional system functions and the problems it encounters. This paper draws on the first author’s doctoral research in Cambodia in which he interviewed 91 detained traffickers, 200 prisoners convicted of other crimes, 55 prison officers in eight prisons. In addition, Cambodian attitudes to crime and punishment are discussed in the light of three sweeps of the United Nations International Crime Victim Survey (UNICVS). This paper provides insights into the correctional system focusing on three aspects: operation, irregularities and life in prisons. Cambodian prisons are more than just places of punishment and rehabilitation. Each is a society within the larger society, characterised by inequality, inequity, hierarchy and other aspects of life observed in the Cambodian society. Corruption and abuses of power were reported. Prisons are primarily places for the poor. Most prisoners were treated as if they were “less than human”.
Keywords: Cambodia, Correctional system, prison procedure, corruption, prisoner, prison officers/guards
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