Detention issue

Time out of cell

FRA research findings

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Legal instruments & key provisions

Legal instrument Key provision
Execution of Penalties and Detention in Custody Act (Закон за изпълнение на наказанията и задържане под стража)At least one hour per day outdoors. Two hours outdoors per day for prisoners under 18 years of age. At least two hours outdoors per day and at least one hour per day during the winter for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and prisoners engaged in underground or harmful work. If possible, each prisoner must be provided with conditions for participating in sport games and exercises for one hour per day in addition to the time spent outdoors. In case of unfavourable weather conditions these activities must take place indoors. Prisoners must have access to the library at least once a week.


Year Recommendation Report
2017The Execution of Penalties and Detention in Custody Act regulates outdoor stay for not less than an hour a day. In some places the administration allows for extended stay outdoor by an act of the prison director. This creates problems when directors change and the new director reduces the extended stay outdoor. It is appropriate to fix this stay either in the law or Implementing Rules so that this right is regulated in a uniform manner in all closed-type facilities. Report details
2019Another systemic deficit that the NPM has established through the years is the lack of budget funding for adequate activities carried out by the social workers in their work. In the newly repaired detention facilities there are no spaces for social activities, and where such exist (e.g. the detention facilities in Plovdiv and Shumen) there are no social workers to conduct these activities. Report details
2020A systemic deficiency the NPM has found over the years is the lack of budget funding for adequate activities in the tasks of social workers. The newly renovated detention centres do not have premises for social activities while the places with such premises (for example, Plovdiv Detention Centre) do not have social workers to perform them. Report details