Contributor(s)Observatoire marocain des prisons (OMP) / independent experts

Daily life

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)

  • In November 2022, the prison service organised a conference and debate in the Beni Mellal prison. The conference was hosted by a writer, who discussed his publications about the region’s history.

    / L'Opinion

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.

  • At the Kenitra prison, a cultural café hosted meetings with writers, debates and film screenings during the 27th annual International Book Fair.

    / Hespress

Number and percentage of prisoners who participate in socio-cultural activities

24.9 % (20,844)
/ DGAPR, "Activity Report 2018", p. 151.

This number corresponds to the total participation in cultural (7,737), artistic (7,347) and social (5,760) activities.1

  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

34.9 % (29,239)
/ DGAPR, "Activity Report 2018", p. 151.
  • The 400 juvenile prisoners at the El Arjat 2 prison participated in social and athletic activities on 28 and 29 June, organised by the Royal Moroccan Federation of sport for all (Fédération royale marocaine de sport pour tous, FRMSPT). The participants competed in team and solo sports, and could win prizes. The FRMSPT also organised similar events in other prison facilities, such as Khouribga, Azrou, Bouarfa, Errachidia and Casablanca.

    / Hespress

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

  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.

Salaries are

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


Authority(ies) in charge of education and vocational training

different authorities

  • 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)

  1. Waqf - the Legal institution of Muslim law relating to inalienable charitable endowments.. (in French) 

Prisoners enrolled in educational training

4.8 % (4,060)
Percentage based on the number of prisoners in December 2020 / DGAPR

This number corresponds to the number of prisoners who were enrolled in educational programmes and formal education during the school year 2019/2020. There were 122 prisoners participating in informal programmes.1

  1. General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation , “2020 report”, 2021, p. 50 (in French). 

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.
A total of 7,767 people enrolled in literacy programs during the 2019-2020 school year. 1

  1. General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitatio, “2020 report”, 2021, p. 51 (in French). 

  • The prison service’s “Prisons without illiteracy” (Prisons sans analphabétisme) programme has benefitted over 52,000 prisoners since 2016. According to the prison service, the illiteracy rate has dropped by 40% since the programme’s implementation.


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 between 2019 and 2020.1

  1. General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation (DGAPR), “2020 Report”, 2020, p. 21 (in French). 

  • The number of prisoners who applied for the baccalaureate exam in June 2022 was 205 (102 at the Kenitra prison and 51 in Khemisset).

    / Hespress
  • More than half of prisoners who took their baccalaureate exams in 2021 passed. Among those, 97% passed with distinction.


Number and percentage of prisoners enrolled in vocational training

11 % (9,225)
/ DGAPR, "Activity report 2018", p. 41.

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

  1. General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation (DGAPR), “2018 report”, 2019, p. 150 (in Arabic). 

  2. Ibid. p. iv (in Arabic). 

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


Six prisons (Tiflet 2, Khénifra, Oudaya, Toulal 2 et Aïn Sebaa 1 and Sala 21) have dedicated e-learning spaces and equipment.2

  1. General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation “2020 report”, 2021, p. 50 (in French). 

  2. General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation “2018 report”, 2019, p. 37 (in Arabic). 

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.

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”.

  1. Fondation created by King Mohammed VI for teaching and promoting Islamic studies. 

  2. General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation “2018 Activity report”, 2019, p. 59 (in Arabic). 

  • The “Musalaha” (Reconciliation) programme aims to deradicalise and reintegrate extremist prisoners. During its 10th annual event, 239 extremist prisoners participated, and 180 were released. Zero cases of re-offending were recorded. The programme has been offered to female prisoners since its 5th edition. This programme is only open to candidates who have shown a willingness to reconsider their radical ideas and who have requested to participate via a reasoned, written application. These requests are examined to ensure that they are not motivated by opportunism, with the sole objective of receiving a pardon. The programme includes several components: religious education, human rights, and a psychological evaluation with video recordings of statements from the friends and family of victims of terrorism.

    / L'Opinion

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


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.

  1. General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation , “2018 Activity Report”, p. 20.