United Kingdom

Detention issue

Time out of cell

FRA research findings

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Legal instruments & key provisions

Legal instrument Key provision
England and Wales - Prison Rules 1999If the weather permits prisoners shall be given the opportunity to spend time in the open air at least once every day, for such period as may be reasonable in the circumstances. However, this provision is subject to “the need to maintain good order and discipline”. Prisoners are afforded a minimum of 30 minutes in the open air daily. Time spent indoor varies depending on the establishment, and on the availability of staff and constructive activities. Every prisoner able to profit from the education facilities provided at a prison shall be encouraged to do so and educational classes shall be arranged at every prison.
Scotland - Prisons and Young Offenders Institutions (Scotland) Rules 2011Prisoners must be given the opportunity to take exercise or, where the weather permits, to spend time in the open air for not less than one hour every day. The Governor must provide reasonable facilities and opportunities to enable prisoners to participate in recreational activities outwith normal working hours. The Governor must obtain reports about a prisoner’s particular needs and wishes concerning work and education as soon as practicable after that prisoner is received into prison. They must, in consultation with the prisoner, determine a programme of work, educational activities and counselling for the prisoner.
Northern Ireland - Prison and Young Offenders Centres Rules (Northern Ireland) 1995Every prisoner shall be given the opportunity of association for not less than one hour each day which may be taken as exercise in the open air, weather permitting. As far as practical, reasonable facilities shall be allowed to prisoners who wish to practice handicrafts or other hobbies.


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