Year2021
Contributor(s)APADOR-CH / independents experts

Living conditions

The law establishes a minimum standard for living space per prisoner

yes

The minimum living space for each prisoner in shared cells is 4 m², and 6 m² for individual cells. This rule was put into place mainly for areas dedicated to individuals condemned to closed regimes. The prison service recognises that it has not been able to follow this rule due to overpopulation in facilities. In 2018, while visiting the Bacau prison quarters, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) calculated 1.5–2 m² of living space per prisoner in shared cells.[^cptt]
In 2018, the Association for the Defence of Human Rights in Romania – the Helsinki Committee (APADOR-CH) visited Miercurea Ciuc prison. In closed regimes, it saw an average space of 2.62 m² per prisoner. Some cells had 1.65 m² per person.1
[^cptt]: European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), “Report to the Romanian government on the visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, p. 59.


  1. APADOR-CH, “Report on the Miercurea Ciuc prison visit”, 8 July 2019. 

Prisoners are accommodated in single cells

no

Prisoners sleep on

a bunk bed

The overpopulation of certain cells forces some prisoners to share a bed. Bunk beds are not always equipped with ladders.

All the prisoners are provided with bedding

yes

The prison service is required to provide each prisoner with bed sheets and a mattress. The latter is usually either in poor condition or infested with bugs.
The loved ones of prisoners can provide them with bedding.

Windows in remand detention centres are 30x40 cm and are reinforced with multiple grates. In centres that are managed by the police and awaiting renovations, cells are immersed in darkness, are barely ventilated, and are often humid.1


  1. European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), “Report to the Romanian government on the visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, p. 27. 

The cells/dormitories are provided with electric lighting

yes

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

in some cases

Prisoners can smoke

in shared spaces

The only mention of smoking in the prison regulations relates to individuals placed in disciplinary confinement. They are exclusively allowed to smoke during recreational walks.1


  1. Article 226, Prison Regulations (in Romanian). 

Prisoners have access to water

in their cell

Showers are located in the cells/dormitories

in some facilities

Showers are often shared and rarely equipped with walls tall enough to offer prisoners any privacy. Some of the cells for women or persons in closed regimes are only equipped with one shower within the sanitary block.

The administration is required to provide each prisoner with two hot showers per week. Prisoners who work have access to one shower a day.1
Male prisoners at Miercurea Ciuc prison without showers in their cells are allowed two showers a week, lasting up to 10 minutes.2
The CPT advised the administration to create a schedule for access to the shared showers to avoid prisoners fighting.3


  1. Article 111, Prison Regulations (in Romanian). 

  2. APADOR-CH, “Report of the Miercurea Ciuc prison visit”, 8 July 2019. 

  3. European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), “Report to the Romanian government on the visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, p. 58. 

Types of sanitary facilities

  • toilets
  • latrines

Sanitary facilities are clean, adequate and accessible

in some facilities

The prison service provides personal hygiene products free of charge

yes

Since 2016, the administration has been committed to providing all prisoners with a total of six bottles of shampoo, four toothbrushes, 12 tubes of toothpaste and 24 toilet paper rolls each year. For female prisoners, 12 packs of feminine hygiene products are also provided.1
In 2018, female prisoners in the Galati remand centre met with the CPT and complained about the lack of feminine hygiene products.2


  1. Romanian government, ““Response to the report of the CPT on its visit from 7 to 19 February 2018””, 19 March 2019, p. 114. 

  2. European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), “Report to the Romanian government on the visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, p. 27. 

The prison service provides cleaning products free of charge

yes

Beddings are refreshed

yes

These are frequently in bad condition.

The prison service is required to provide new prisoners with ‘adequate clothing’ if they have none.[^fourn] [^fourn]: Articles 102 and 112, Prison Regulations (in Romanian).

Prisoners can wash their clothes in dedicated spaces equipped with washing machines.

Prisoners are responsible for the upkeep of their cells. Those assigned to general service take care of the shared spaces.

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

yes

Number of meals per day

3

Daily cost of meals per prisoner

1,44 USD

The daily cost of meals for most condemned prisoners is 6 Romanian lei per person.
In 2018, the prison service increased its daily budget after a visit from the CPT:

  • from 4.01 to 6.00 Romanian lei per day for convicted prisoners.
  • from 5.83 to 7.75 Romanian lei per day for minors.
  • from 4.73 to 6.99 Romanian lei per day for the sick and pregnant.1

  1. Romanian government, “Response to the report of the CPT on its visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, p. 111. 

Food services are managed by

the prison service

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

yes

The prison service is required to provide ‘adequate’ food intake. Meals served must be checked daily by doctors.1
During a visit in 2018, the CPT noted the lack of fruits and vegetables and the excess of fats on the menus. Following the report, the administration increased the quantity of fresh fruits and vegetables given to prisoners.2


  1. Article 113, Prison Regulations (in Romanian). 

  2. European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), “Report to the Romanian government on the visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, p. 60. 

The prison service provides food that respects special dietary needs

yes

The prison service is required to respect the dietary restrictions of the prisoners for every meal. Whether or not the institution follows this rule is up to them.

Prisoners eat their meals in

  • their cell
  • a communal dining area

The location of meals depends on the institution’s regime. Prisoners in open and semi-open regimes have their meals in a shared area. Those in a closed or high-security regime have their meals in cells. The prison service is required to furnish cells with chairs and tables to allow prisoners to eat comfortably. The CPT noted the lack of them in cells during their visit to the Bacau prison.1


  1. European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), “Report to the Romanian government on the visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, p. 59. 

Prisoners can buy food products

yes

Prisoners have access to prison commissaries once every two weeks. The prison commissary is sometimes managed by an outside company. Many prisoners obtain additional food goods. They do, however, denounce the price of the products, which are often 30% more expensive than on the outside.

Prisoners can have access to a refrigerator

in some facilities

The permission to have a refrigerator varies from facility to facility.
In 2019, APADOR-CH noted that Târgu Jiu prison had refrigerators in shared cells.
In the past, refrigerators could be found in the hallways of Galati high-security prison. The administration claimed they were used to traffic drugs and consequently removed them. It stated that it is not legally obligated to replace them.
Many prisoners, like the ones in Craiova prison, have complained about not being able to have refrigerators in their cells.1 Refrigerators are always present in rooms reserved for conjugal visits.

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

no

Prisoners are allowed to receive food parcels

yes

Prisoners are allowed to receive 10 kilograms of food per parcel, 6 additional kilograms of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as 20 litres of water and non-alcoholic beverages. Foods that require cooking are forbidden.

Part of the prisoner's food is produced by the prison

in some facilities

Both Târgu Jiu and Miercurea Ciuc prisons have a vegetable garden and sometimes livestock that they can use to stock up on dairy products. Târgu Jiu facility has more than 18 hectares of farming land.