Morocco and Western Sahara
Capital city — Rabat
Incarceration rate (per 100,000 inhabit…i
Type of government
Human Development Indexi
Homicide rate (per 100,000 inhabitants)i
Name of authority in charge of the pris…
Total number of prisonersi24/11/2021/ Hespress
Average length of imprisonment (in mont…i12/2018/ DGAPR, "2018 Activities Report", p. 140.
Prison densityi12/2018/ DGAPR
Total number of prison facilitiesi31/12/2018
An NPM has been established
Number and percentage of female prisone…i2018/ Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation (DGAPR), “Activity report 2018”, p. 32.
Incarcerated minorsi31/12/2018/ Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation (DGAPR), “Activity report 2018”, p. 32.
Untried prisonersi31/12/2018/ DGAPR, "Activity report 2018", p. 32.
Death penalty is abolished
All prisoners are entitled to spend at least one hour a day in the open air
The prison service offers activities to prisoners
Access to activities depends on the category of the prisoner. (See Organisation Section)
There are designated places for physical activities and sports
The most common sports are football, handball and basketball.
There are designated places for cultural activities
Cultural activities take place in the prison education centre. Workshops which are regularly offered are painting, drawing, literature and music.
Number and percentage of prisoners who participate in socio-cultural activities
This number corresponds to the total participation in cultural (7,737), artistic (7,347) and social (5,760) activities.1
General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation, “2018 Report”, 2019, p. 151 (in Arabic). ↩
Number and percentage of prisoners who participate in sport activities
Prisoners are not involved in the selection of activities. They may be able to make suggestions.
Prison staff are in charge of selecting prisoners to take part in activities. Religious activities are open to all.
Prison facilities have a library
Work is compulsory
Number and percentage of prisoners who work
Data not disclosed
The total number of prisoners who are currently working is not documented. The prison administration reports that in 2018, 172 prisoners worked in production units for the DGAPR. They receive compensation for the work. 1
General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation, “2018 Activity report”, p. 44 (in Arabic). ↩
All prisoners are allowed to work
Job availability is minimal in Morrocan prisons.
The percentage of working prisoners is less than 5% in some local prisons.
Prisoners awaiting trial and class A prisoners are not eligible to work.
Labour as a punitive measure is prohibited
Cleaning and repair work nevertheless make up some possible disciplinary measures.
See Disciplinary section.
Access to work depends specifically on the behaviour of the prisoner, the length of time served and the type of offence committed.
Only “trusted” prisoners (judged on good behaviour, history before imprisonment, type of offence committed, etc.) in the eyes of the prison administration have access to jobs. The prisoner needs to have completed a significant part of their sentence. Certain offences exclude the prisoner from access to work. For example, prisoners who are detained for drug trafficking.
Most prison jobs fall into the category of general services. Public sector industries are present in some prisons.
The prison service is in charge of job distribution. Prisoners can submit requests for the type of work they would like to carry out.
Prisoners are not entitled to employment contracts.
Maximum daily/weekly working hours are set, including at least one day of rest
Weekly rest time and bank holidays are guaranteed by article 42 of the penitentiary law. The law does not state the maximum number of working hours, but specifies that “the hours worked must allow time for resting, eating, walking, educational activities and leisure time”.
Prisoners are paid for their work
The rate of pay in prison is set by a joint order issued by the Minister of Justice and Minister of Finance. (Penitentiary law, article 45).
Half of the salary is saved and is available to the prisoner upon their release. The other half is available during their imprisonment.
significantly below the national minimum wage
The gap between salaries inside and outside of prison varies according to the nature and “the quality of the work”.
Their income is subject to social contributions
Health and safety standards applicable outside are respected in prison
Prisoners have the right to join trade unions
Education and vocational training
Authority(ies) in charge of education and vocational training
Ministry of National Education (ministère de l’Éducation nationale)
Ministry of Religious Endowments and Islamic Affairs (ministère des Habous1 et des Affaires islamiques)
National Agency for the Eradication of Illiteracy (Agence nationale de lutte contre l’analphabétisme)
Office for Vocational Training and Job Promotion (OFPPT), reporting to the Minister of Labour (ministère du Travail)
Waqf - the Legal institution of Muslim law relating to inalienable charitable endowments.. (in French) ↩
Prisoners enrolled in educational training
This number corresponds to the number of prisoners who, during the school year 2017/2018, were enrolled in educational programmes and formal education. It represents an increase of 15% compared to the previous year.1
General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation “2018 report”, 2019, p. 47 (in Arabic) ↩
More than 4,060 prisoners were enrolled in “education” programs during the 2019-2020 school year, and 122 in nongovernmental education programs. Then government directives interrupted the holding of classes because of the COVID crisis. Courses were suspended and deferred to the following school year. This included the course on Moroccan dialect and culture, as well as the modern language learning program.
Education and vocational training is not devolved to external organisations. This is the responsibility of different government agencies and ministries of the Moroccan state.
Education is provided
in all facilities
Primary education and literacy classes are provided in all prisons. Secondary and further education is usually delivered at distance.
Education is available for all prisoners
Class A prisoners do not have access to group study (literacy classes and primary education). Only distance learning is possible for these prisoners.
The prison service implements measures to fight illiteracy
The Ministry of Religious Endowments and Islamic Affairs and the National Agency for the Eradication of Illiteracy take care of literacy classes.
Almost 17% of prisoners are illiterate (December 2018).1
General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation, “2018 report”, 2019, p. 145 (in Arabic). ↩
A total of 7,767 people enrolled in literacy programs during the 2019-2020 school year. The courses were offered by different organisations.
The program offered by the Institut international de la Confédération allemande pour l’éducation des adultes (German Confederation’s International Institute for Adult Education) was deferred by one year due to the COVID crisis.
Prisoners are allowed to pass diplomas and entry examinations
Prisoners can take the same exams in prison as they could outside. Exams take place in the prison education centre. They are supervised and organised by teachers from the national education sector.
The number of prison training centres increased from 15 to 48, and the rate of success was 34%, which is lower than the previous year (47%). According to prison officials, the decrease was due to the suspension of support and remedial classes because of the COVID crisis.
Number and percentage of prisoners enrolled in vocational training
More than 800 prisons benefited from training in traditional trades and crafts during 2019-2020. With United Nations support, prison authorities began renovating the thuja unit at Essaouira prison and two carpentry units at Kénitra prison. They also looked into procuring new equipment and machines.
Vocational training is provided
Training in 43 different disciplines was provided in 2018. These courses were usually in the fields of construction or arts and crafts.
The most popular courses in 2018 were: electrical training, hairdressing, plumbing, fashion design, plastering, glass painting, IT and painting. These trainings were delivered by OFPPT.1
In May 2018 the prison administration opened a vocational training centre in the local El Arjat 2 prison. The centre has a capacity of 170 spaces. Training in various subjects are delivered here (electricity, plumbing, sewing).2
General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation (DGAPR), “2018 report”, 2019, p. 150 (in Arabic). ↩
Ibid. p. iv (in Arabic). ↩
A national arts and crafts contest was launched in the prisons, in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Voting for a winner took place online on the prison administration site and on social networks. The 83 works exhibited were produced by 57 people.
Vocational training is available for all prisoners
Prisoners awaiting trial and class A prisoners do not have access to vocational training.
Distance courses are available
Five prisons (Tiflet 2, Khénifra, Oudaya, Toulal 2 et Aïn Sebaa 1) have dedicated e-learning spaces and equipment, as part of a program supported by the UNDP.1
General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation “2018 report”, 2019, p. 37 (in Arabic). ↩
A learning space was set up at Sala 2 prison for prisoners enrolled at the Mohammed V University (Rabat) wishing to take advantage of distance learning. The Institut international de la Confédération allemande pour l’éducation des adultes supported this initiative as part of a “lifelong learning promotion” project. Similar programs were being planned for this space. The creation of another one was under study for Ain Sebaa 1 prison.
Prisoners have access to computers
in some facilities
Prisoners with the necessary skills can provide training to other inmates, in particular classes in literacy, primary education and arts and crafts.
Access to information
Prisoners are allowed to keep themselves informed regularly on public affairs
Using their own money, prisoners can have books, magazines and newspapers delivered to the prison (Penitentiary law, article 122).
Prisoners have access to a television
Prisoners have access to a television in the common area of the prison. Occupants of a cell (5 to 12 people) or dormitory (13 + people) share a television.
Prisoners have access to a radio
Prisoners have access to the press
Some class A prisoners do not have access to the press.
The prison service allows access to Internet
Politically sensitive information is censored.
The most common prisoner religion is Sunni Islam, just as in Moroccon society.
Prisoners are free to practice their religion and follow their beliefs
Dedicated places of worship are available
in all facilities
There are chaplains in the prisons
Chaplains (mainly Muslim, Christian and Jewish) have a strong presence in Moroccan prisons. The frequency of their visits depends on prisoner demand and religious holidays.
Policies for prevention of violent extremism and radicalisation have been implemented. These policies lead to the creation in 2017, of the Moussalaha program, started by a joint effort between the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation, the Rabita Mohammadia des Oulémas1, the National Human Rights Council (Conseil national des droits de l’Homme, CNDH) and the Mohammed VI Foundation (la Fondation Mohammed VI). Prisoners sentenced for acts of terrorism or extremism take part in this program. Participants numbered 50 in 2018.2
The prison administration also set up an awareness and information campaign about “tolerance culture and openness towards others”.
Fondation created by King Mohammed VI for teaching and promoting Islamic studies. ↩
General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation “2018 Activity report”, 2019, p. 59 (in Arabic). ↩
Individuals or organisations from the outside are allowed to participate in prison activities
Morrocan prisons have been open to external organisations since 2010.
Authorisations for external actors to take part in prison activities are provided by
the prison service
The main organisations authorised to enter prisons are local associations.
Athletes and artists also take part in one-off activities. The Moroccan Observatory of Prisons (L’Observatoire marocain des prisons) and the CNDH are in charge of legal assistance for prisoners in certain prisons.
External actors are not paid by the state nor another body.
Prisoners are allowed to make use of financial resources
Financial resources are accessible
in an account
Prisoners can also request to open a savings account (livret individuel de caisse d’épargne). This account is kept by the bursar of the prison and returned to the prisoner upon their release (Article 106, Penitentiary Law ).
Destitute prisoners receive financial or in-kind support
Expression of prisoners
Prisoners are allowed to discuss matters relating to their conditions of imprisonment
Prisoners have the right of association
Prisoners are involved in the production of radio programmes for the Idmaj station in the Oukacha prison in Casablanca. The programmes are supervised by a panel of experts and management from the prison administration. The radio project was set up thanks to a partnership between the CNDH, the Moroccan society of radio and television (SNRT), the Rabita Mohammadia des Oulémas and the Mohammed VI foundation for the rehabilitation of prisoners.1
In 2018 the prison administration set up a magazine “Cahiers du Prisonnier”. This magazine publishes the literary, artistic and intellectual creations of prisoners. It is organised by a committee made up of teachers and experts.
General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation , “2018 Activity Report”, p. 20. ↩