Questions for monitors

What percentage of detainees is in employment (sentenced/pre-trial/women)?

Are work placements allocated through an individual assessment as part of the sentence planning process? Are clear and transparent criteria used?

When working opportunities are limited, who decides on allocation? 

How is a detainee’s medical and physical fitness to work assessed? Are detainees who claim they are unfit to work entitled to a medical test? 

Is work linked to vocational training?

Do detainees have a choice in the type of work they will undertake?

Are detainees prevented or deterred from work through disincentives?

What different types of work are available in the prison? 

Is work provided by the state authorities, private contractors and/or non-profit organisations?

If work is provided by private contractors, is this fully supervised by the prison administration? 

Are there opportunities to work in the community? How are these allocated (clear and transparent criteria)?

Are maximum working hours set by law or regulation? Is there at least one day rest per week? 

What are the average working hours (daily?/weekly?)? 

Are schedules arranged to ensure that detainees who work can take part in other constructive activities. 

Are work environments safe and appropriate? 

Do conditions of employment reflect those of outside the prison (for example applying labour law standards and social rights, such as retirement rules and being included in social security system?)

Are local standards on health and safety at work applied? 

Is work equitably remunerated? How are wages set and calculated - is this clear, transparent and understandable to detainees?

How are wages used by detainees (for personal use, as savings for release, compensation for damages related to their crime)? Do detainees have a say in this?


Are there indications that the least attractive work is done by detainees in situations of vulnerability?


Do persons with mental and physical disabilities have equal access to employment? Do the authorities take reasonable measures to ensure this?  


Do women detainees have the same opportunities to access employment as men? 


Is the working regime flexible enough to respond to the needs of pregnant women, nursing mothers and women with children? 


Is a similar range of employment options with vocational value offered to women as men?


Are all children above minimum working age and young persons in detention who wish to work provided with access to constructive work opportunities?Are these linked to vocational training in fields that are likely to prepare them for employment, where possible in the community? 


Are protective standards relating to child labour and young workers applied in prison work?