Austria - Cell space



Detention issue

Cell space

FRA research findings

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Legal instruments & key provisions

Legal instrument Key provision
Code of Conduct for Detention (Anhalteordnung) Arrest rooms have to be situated and equipped in a way that prisoners are kept in a humane way and that health endangerment is avoided.
Penal Code (Strafvollzugsgesetz) Cells have to be appropriately equipped, have sufficient airspace and enough daylight.
Decree concerning the minimum sizes of detention areas for detention areas (GRUNDSATZERLASS betreffend die Mindesthaftraumgrößen für Hafträume mit 1 – 4 Insassen und interne Richtlinien zur Ermittlung der Belagsfähigkeit der Justizanstalten) The minimum size for cells in pre-trial-detenetion are 6 m2 and in detention 7,5 m² to 12,3 m².


Year Recommendation Report
2015 For the NPM, compliance with the minimum size of inmate cells recommended by the CPT is mandatory in light of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Crowded detention conditions must be avoided and minimum cell sizes must be complied with. The NPM points out that, in evaluating the inmate cells, the square metres available are not the only factors to be taken into account. The overall picture of inmate cell conditions is essential. Overcrowding and the small size of inmate cells are especially concerning in light of the fact that most of the detainees have no employment and are confined Long lock-up times in the inmate cells for 23 hours a day. Report details