Living conditions

The law establishes a minimum standard for living space per prisoner


However, the framework for Moroccan prisons (Référentiel pénitentiaire marocain) recommends a minimum of 5.4m2 per person in an individual cell. It must be 3.4m2 in a dormitory (rule 31). Rule 45 states that where there is overcrowding “the minimum floor area for a living space must not be less than 2m2 per person”.
Moroccan prison facilities are mostly overpopulated and do not abide by the framework.

The average surface area allotted to each prisoner, in 2022, is 2 m2 across the country’s prisons.

Prisoners are accommodated in single cells


Prisoners are usually placed in collective cells. They live in cells of between five and 12 people or in dormitories with a larger number of people. Prisoners are placed in individual cells in some cases, such as those being sanctioned, those considered at risk and some prisoners with death sentences.

Prisoners sleep on

a bunk bed

All the prisoners are provided with bedding


The prison service is required to provide bedding (blankets, pillows…) to prisoners as soon as they are admitted (rule 19 of the Moroccan prison framework [Référentiel pénitentiaire marocain]).
This requirement is not always met.

Article 14 of the Prisons Act Penitentiary law, states that cells must “meet standards of hygiene and cleanliness, taking into account the climate, particularly regarding the volume of air, the minimum floor space reserved for each prisoner, heating, lighting and air circulation”.
Overcrowding, the condition of buildings and lack of resources are a significant obstacle to these standards being met.

The cells/dormitories are provided with electric lighting


The cells/dormitories are equipped with heating and/or air conditioning

in some cases

Roof fans and/or fans with blades fitted to the ceiling are in place in facilities in the “hottest cities” (Moroccan prison framework, DGAPR strategy 2016-2020, rule 37).

Prisoners can smoke

  • in their cell or dormitory
  • in shared spaces

Prisoners have access to water

  • in their cell or dormitory
  • outside of their cell or dormitory

The location of water supply points varies according to the facility.

Showers are located in the cells/dormitories


Prisoners usually have access to a shower once a week. The frequency varies depending on the facility.

Types of sanitary facilities


The prison service provides personal hygiene products free of charge


Rule 26 of the Moroccan prison framework [Référentiel pénitentiaire marocain]) indicates that it is “desirable” that facilities should provide each new prisoner with “necessary” toiletries “in sufficient quantities” (toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet paper, soap, shampoo etc.).

The prison service provides cleaning products free of charge


Beddings are refreshed


The prison service is required to provide “uniforms which are suitable and adapted to the seasons of the year” as soon as a prisoner is admitted. The prisoner can keep their own clothes if they are considered to be clean or if the administration does not require prisoners to wear specific clothing. (Moroccan prison framework (Référentiel pénitentiaire marocain), DGAPR strategy 2016-2020, rule 18).

Prisoners wash their clothing in the sinks. They can sometimes access the facility’s laundry room.

Individual and collective areas are kept clean by the prisoners themselves. They are assigned, in turn, to general duty in order to ensure the maintenance and functioning of the facility. (Penitentiary law, article x).

Drinking water is free and available in all areas of the facilities


Prisoners can drink water from the tap, which is sometimes available within cells.

Number of meals per day


Daily cost of meals per prisoner

2.3 euros

The budget allocated to feeding each prisoner is 23 dirhams (about 2.30 euros) per day in 2022, according to the authorities.

Food services are managed by

private services

The prison service is required to meet nutritional standards regarding quality and quantity


Prisoners’ food is the paid for by the prison service. It is required to ensure prisoners eat a balanced diet which meets their health needs. The amount and contents of meals are determined by the prison service after consulting with the relevant departments at the Ministry of Health.

The prison service provides food that respects special dietary needs


People who are ill must be provided with an adapted diet which is consistent with medical advice. (Penitentiary law, article 126).

Prisoners eat their meals in

their cell or dormitory

Prisoners can buy food products


Prisoners can have access to a refrigerator


Prisoners are allowed to cook in their cells or in a shared space


Prisoners are allowed to receive food parcels


Food parcels, called couffins, are currently prohibited by the administration. They remain permitted by article 119 of the Prisons Act Article 119 of the Penitentiary law.