Contributor(s)APADOR-CH (The Helsinki Committee) and Prison Insider

The penitentiary system

Out of the 45 penal institutions, there are 19 half open and open prisons, 16 closed and maximum security prisons, 2 detention centres, 2 educative centres and 6 prison-hospitals.

Some of the prisons are very old such as Gherla prison, a former fortress whose structure dates back from 1540 and needs renovation. Modernisation of the prison facilities was a condition to enter the EU. In 2015 renovation works were launched to limit the effects of overcrowding. Administrative and school buildings are being converted into detention centres within the National Administration of Penitentiaries enclosures.

Prisons are mainly located outside city-centres on the outskirts, e.g. Arad, Rahova and Târgsor penitentiaries.

Prisons are state run. There are no private prisons in Romania.

The National Administration of Penitentiaries reported having 12,657 in 2015. This number includes prison supervisors, guards (among them special intervention forces in high-security conditions), health workers (nurses, dentists, doctors, gynecologists), social et educational workers and technical staff.

Inmate assaults against prison staff are decreasing from 96 assaults in 2014 to 78 in 2015. According to APADOR-CH monitoring of Colibași prison on 28th January 2016, prison employees from various departments were not wearing name badges on their uniforms despite it being mandatory. Fear for safety has been cited as the reason for this as staff believe that if inmates know their identity, they might be subject to reprisals.

The number of social workers and psychologists is considered insufficient.

Social workers-inmates ratio