Detention issue

Time out of cell

FRA research findings

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Legal instruments & key provisions

Legal instrument Key provision
Standard rules of procedure for detention establishments (Règlement intérieur type des établissements pénitentiaires, annexé au décret n°2013-368 relatif aux règlements intérieurs types des établissements pénitentiaires)All detainees must be able walk in the open air for at least an hour each day. The rules relating to movement within detention establishments vary according to the type of establishment. For any detainee (either convicted or before conviction in criminal procedure) activities are offered.


Year Recommendation Report
2015The NPM noted that the provision of teaching remains insufficient taking into consideration the objective of social reintegration which should govern the prison organization. Report details
2016As regards gender equality, the NPM noted that the provision within detention establishments of mixed activities, in a progressive manner, should be associated with the provision of clear and systematic information on their mixed nature and in view of obtaining the consent of the participants. The withdrawal is therefore proposed of the words 'on a derogatory basis' of Article 28 of the penitentiary law, replacing them with 'subject to the maintaining of good order and the safety of the establishments, activities may be mixed'. Report details
2017The NPM recommended that t is necessary to provide a legal framework for and to reassert the value of work in detention. The development and the opening up of vocational training towards the outside must be continued. Measures allowing for a diversification of the vocational activity offered to detainees must be encouraged. The NPM further recommended to ensure that the provisions of the rules of procedure are compatible with access for all to the library, in particular for detainees who work and those who are placed in solitary or disciplinary confinement. Report details
2020The NPM states that prisoners should be offered a range of therapeutic, educational, recreational, sporting, artistic and cultural activities, the number and diversity of which should increase with the duration of the detention measure. These activities should be adapted to a variety of profiles according to physical abilities, state of health, interests, culture and language spoken. The Controller general of detention facilities noted that all activities except for certain sports and general service work stations were suspended during the health crisis. He stressed that this interruption could only be temporary and that it was regrettable that the prison administration had not encouraged alternative practices Report details