The law establishes a minimum standard for living space per prisoner
The architect Jorge Mealha, who had visited prisons to design new buildings, reported that prisoners were crammed into cells of between 20 and 30 square metres, which were freezing in winter and stifling in summer, and that they had nothing to do but watch TV. Most prisons only had dormitories and it was very difficult to obtain information on the number of prisoners per cell.
Prisoners are accommodated in single cells
Inmates are placed in individual cells. Inmates may be placed in collective enclosures in the following cases:
To meet the needs of families (a mother/father and their child)
To prevent risk of physical or psychological harm
In the case of a lack of space in the facility (article 34 of the Prison Rules)
Prisoners sleep on
All the prisoners are provided with bedding
Cells each have a mattress, a bed, bed linens, a chair and a cupboard.
Cells are fitted with a window that can be opened.
The cells/dormitories are provided with electric lighting
The cells/dormitories are equipped with heating and/or air conditioning
Inmates are authorised to equip their cells with an electrical heating appliance or air conditioning unit, at their own expense.
Prisoners can smoke
in communal areas
Tobacco consumption is a criterion to assign inmates to a cell (article 18 of the Regulations).
Prisoners have access to water
in their cell
Showers are located in the cells/dormitories
Prisoners have a right to one shower per day. The water must be hot.
Types of sanitary facilities
Regulations provide for a washbasin and toilet or equivalent sanitary facilities in each cell (article 34 of the Regulations).
The facilities where inmates are housed are equipped with a WC.
The prison service provides personal hygiene products free of charge
only for new arrivals and destitute prisoners
Inmates can buy personal hygiene products.
The prison service provides cleaning products free of charge
Beddings are refreshed
yes, once a week
Bed linen changes are the responsibility of inmates.
Rubbish is collected from cells once a day.
Drinking water is free and available in all areas of the facilities
Number of meals per day
An additional meal is served at snack time.
Daily cost of meals per prisoner
Private companies are awarded €3.20 per day and per person to meet dietary needs.
Food services are managed by
private food services
The prison service provides food that respects special dietary needs
Specific diets are available for medical reasons and, “where possible”, for religious or philosophical reasons (article 45 of the Regulations).
Prisoners eat their meals in
a communal dining area
In the absence of a dining hall, the governor of the facility determines where meals are to be eaten.
Prisoners placed in a disciplinary cell eat their meals in the cell.
Prisoners can buy food products
Each facility has a canteen service where prisoners can buy food and non-food products. The DGRSP determines which products are made available to the prisoners.
The cost of the products is deducted from the prisoner’s personal account. The DGRSP determines the maximum amount of purchases (Article 50 of the Regulations).
Automatic vending machines give access to coffee, water, soft drinks, baked goods, and tobacco (article 51 of the Regulations).
Prisoners are allowed to cook in their cells or in a shared space
in some facilities
Prisoners are allowed to cook in their cells or in a shared space designated for that purpose.
Prisoners are allowed to receive food parcels
Visitors are allowed to bring one food package every week weighing a maximum of 1 kg. On the occasion of a birthday, they can bring a pre-sliced cake weighing a maximum of 2 kg. Beverages are forbidden (article 48 of the Regulations).