Religion

Questions for monitors

women
foreigners
disabilities
minorities
children

Are there any indications of discrimination against persons adhering to certain religions or not adhering to a religion within the prison? 

Do detainees have the possibility of choosing and changing their religion in prison?

Are there indications of indoctrination or forcible religious conversions (either through official prison programmes or among detainees)? Are detainees required to participate in religious activities?

Are there restrictions placed on the right to exercise religion? If yes, for what reasons and are they justified? 

Do disciplinary measures entail restrictions on the freedom to practice/not adhere to a religion?

Does the prison have appointed religious representatives for the main religions present among the detainee population? Is the number of chaplains proportionate to the number of detainees belonging to each religion?

Do chaplains of different religions have equal status (e.g. access to the same facilities)?

Can detainees receive visits in private from a religious representative of any religion if they request (including those religions for which there is no appointed chaplain)? 

Do detainees have the opportunity to participate in regular services, religious meetings and festive occasions? Are adequate facilities made available for collective religious practices within the prison? 

Are detainees able to keep in their possession religious books, symbols and objects? Are staff trained to recognise and respect these? 

Do detainees have the possibility of observing the requirements of their religion, including praying, wearing specific clothing, grooming and washing as often as their religion requires?

Are detainees able to fast for religious reasons? How does the prison accommodate fasting detainees (e.g. providing warm food during non-fasting times)?

Are detainees able to access meals prepared according to the rites of their religion? 

Are persons who do not observe a religion subject to dietary restrictions for religious reasons?

children

Do children and young detainees in prison have the possibility to choose, change and practice their religion, as well as to not adhere to a religion (on the same basis as adult detainees)? Are there any indications of religious indoctrination or forcible religious conversion of young detainees?

women

Do women have the same right to choose, change and practice their religion as men in prison (e.g. same access to places of worship and collective practices)? 

minorities

Do persons belonging to minority and indigenous religions have the same opportunity to practice their religion as others? Are there any indications of discrimination, indoctrination or forcible conversion into mainstream religion(s)?

disabilities

Do persons with disabilities have the same access to religious activities and places of worship as other detainees (any physical barriers to access)? Are there any indications of persons with mental disabilities being indoctrinated or forcibly converted into a religion in prison?