Detention issue

Time out of cell

FRA research findings

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Legal instruments & key provisions

Legal instrument Key provision
Penal Code (Strafvollzugsgesetz)Prisoners who do not work outside have the right to spend one hour daily outside if the weather does not prevent it. Prisoners who work outside do have this right on each day they do not work. Time outside is to be extended, if this does not interfere with other tasks and order in the prison. Sport is to be allowed, as it is possible regarding equipment, age and health.
Penal Code (Strafvollzugsgesetz)During the day, detainees shall be accommodated in community with other detainees as long as possible. During the night rest period, they shall be accommodated as individually as possible. If appropriate, the accommodation shall be in living groups or otherwise without closing the detention or recreation rooms during the day.


Year Recommendation Report
2016Steps should be taken to offer prisoners more time for activities outside the inmate cell, including of Fridays and weekends. The lock-up times must be shortened, particularly for unemployed prisoners. Lock-up times of 23 hours per day are intolerable. Persons who have been deprived of their liberty should be offered appropriate activities. This applies to juveniles, in particular. In addition to education and occupational or other training, sports activities should also be an important part of this programme. Report details
2017Additionally to schooling and vocational education as well as education in general, sport shall be an important part of activities of youth in prisons. Time outside has to be provided for adults for an hour each day and two hours for youth. This time has to be available for the inmates net. The time spent for being brought outside and back inside shall not be counted. If staying outside is not possible due to the weather, alternatives have to be provided (e.g. in a gym). The provision of at least one time of physical exercise outside has to be guaranteed. Police Arrest Centres have to have useful equipment in- and outdoors. There shall not only be functioning (sport) equipment but also board games and also the participation in external leisure activities should be allowed. Report details
Correctional institutions: Additional personnel resources are required to comply with the legal requirements and those set forth in the minimum standards. Additional personnel are necessary, in particular, in order to reduce lock-up times and increase the employment rate. Operations of companies providing occupational opportunities and workshops in the correctional institutions should be continuously open. The employment of external skilled workers must be expanded in the companies. Police detention centres: Occupational and leisure opportunities in the scope agreed with the NPM should be available to all detainees. Report details