Material conditions of detention
Photo: G. Korganow / CGLPL

In light of the number of hours spent in cells or dormitories on a daily basis, the conditions of accommodation have a considerable impact on the experience of deprivation of liberty. The minimum standards of these conditions must be compatible with human dignity.

The architecture of the place of detention, and in particular the design of the cells, must contribute to guaranteeing the safety of the people housed there and...

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Sanitary facilities that are in good condition, clean, sufficient in number and easy to access are essential to ensure the hygiene and dignity of people in detention, as well as to avoid the transmission of certain infectious diseases. If the sanitary needs of detainees are not met this may constitute cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, or even torture.

The toilets or latrines should be directly accessible from the cell or...

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In view of the total reliance of detainees on prison authorities for their basic needs, the provision of clean water at all times and good quality food is essential to maintaining their health and strength. Failure to meet these basic requirements can constitute a form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, or even torture. The quality of the diet of detainees, including its minimum caloric and protein content, must be stipulated by...

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Adequate ventilation and lighting, including access to daylight, are among the basic elements required to ensure the health and well-being of detainees. The windows must be large enough to enable detainees to read or work in natural light; they must allow the entry of fresh air, and adequate ventilation is required at all times. Windows fitted with bars or other security devices should not block the entry of a sufficient amount of air...

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Clean clothes and bedding, in sufficient quantity and adapted to the climate, are essential elements of good personal hygiene and decent living conditions in detention.

Pre-trial detainees should be allowed to retain their civilian clothes. Detainees serving sentences should, in accordance with national norms, have the option to wear their own clothes rather than a uniform. In all cases, the clothes should never be degrading...

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Material conditions of detention
Photo: G. Korganow / CGLPL

Accommodation

In light of the number of hours spent in cells or dormitories on a daily basis, the conditions of accommodation have a considerable impact on the experience of deprivation of liberty. The minimum standards of these conditions must be compatible with human dignity.

The architecture of the place of detention, and in particular the design of the cells, must contribute to guaranteeing the safety of the people housed there and...

Browse detention issues

Sanitary facilities and personal hygiene

Sanitary facilities that are in good condition, clean, sufficient in number and easy to access are essential to ensure the hygiene and dignity of people in detention, as well as to avoid the transmission of certain infectious diseases. If the sanitary needs of detainees are not met this may constitute cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, or even torture.

The toilets or latrines should be directly accessible from the cell or...

Browse detention issues

Food and water

In view of the total reliance of detainees on prison authorities for their basic needs, the provision of clean water at all times and good quality food is essential to maintaining their health and strength. Failure to meet these basic requirements can constitute a form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, or even torture. The quality of the diet of detainees, including its minimum caloric and protein content, must be stipulated by...

Browse detention issues

Lighting and ventilation

Adequate ventilation and lighting, including access to daylight, are among the basic elements required to ensure the health and well-being of detainees. The windows must be large enough to enable detainees to read or work in natural light; they must allow the entry of fresh air, and adequate ventilation is required at all times. Windows fitted with bars or other security devices should not block the entry of a sufficient amount of air...

Browse detention issues

Clothing and bedding

Clean clothes and bedding, in sufficient quantity and adapted to the climate, are essential elements of good personal hygiene and decent living conditions in detention.

Pre-trial detainees should be allowed to retain their civilian clothes. Detainees serving sentences should, in accordance with national norms, have the option to wear their own clothes rather than a uniform. In all cases, the clothes should never be degrading...

Browse detention issues