Belgium - Solitary confinement



Detention issue

Solitary confinement

FRA research findings

View details

Legal instruments & key provisions

Legal instrument Key provision
Prison Law (Basiswet betreffende het gevangeniswezen en de rechtspositie van de gedetineerden) Solitary confinement enforced as a security measure can only be applied if the warden deems that there is a danger for general order and/or safety and if the measure is proportional to the danger it would remedy. Solitary confinement as a security measure may last a maximum of seven days. This seven day period can only be renewed by a motivated decision of the warden and after hearing the prisoner. The measure can be renewed three times, bringing the maximum application of solitary confinement to 21 days in total. When solitary confinement is taken as a security measure, the prisoner retains the right to use/enjoy all facilities, organised by the prison (e.g. the use of the telephone and other means of communication, written and oral contact with lawyers and with consular and diplomatic officials), except when this is no longer compatible with the aim of the security measure. When a prisoner is detained in solitary confinement in a punishment cell, the warden must ensure that the prisoner has meals, clothing, shoes and products for his personal hygiene, has sufficient reading materials, has the option to spend at least one hour in the open air, can carry out correspondence, can profess his/her religion of choice and receive visitation of a representative of that religion, can apply to a lawyer for legal support, can apply to psychosocial and medical assistance, does not stay longer than 14 days in the 'punishment cell'.


Year Recommendation Report
2018 No NPM established Report details