Material conditions of detention

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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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