A regional body monitors the places of deprivation of liberty
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) visited four prison facilities between 10 and 21 May. Among other things, the purpose of these ad hoc visits was to evaluate the measures taken by Romanian authorities following the Committee’s last visit in February 2018.
The use of cell phones is authorised
Only prisoners under open regimes or with a professional duty outside the prison can have mobile phones. The phones must not have internet access.
The prison service confiscated more than 7,000 unauthorised mobile phones from 2017 to 2020. It plans to install radio jammers soon, to disrupt mobile phone use.
Required conditions for conjugal visits
- intimate partners
The prison service has made a medical certificate and screening compulsory since 15 May 2020 for all conjugal visitors as a preventive measure for the Covid-19 pandemic.
significantly below the national minimum wage
The net wages paid by the companies are comparable to salaries on the outside. The prison service takes 60% of what prisoners receive from their work. Prisoners are allowed to use 10% of their income during their confinement. The rest is put in an account in their name that they can access when they are released.
As of 1 January 2019, the cost per prisoner is $12.34 lei per hour for outside companies. In 2019, the prison service received 61 million lei, or 10 million euros, thanks to the work prisoners did.
The law provides for a temporary release system
Permissions for temporary release may be granted for good behaviour.1
In 2019, the service granted 5,749 24-hour leaves and 2,950 leaves exceeding 24 hours.
Correctional facilities are monitored by other bodies. The APADOR-CH association has an agreement with the prison service, and regularly carries out monitoring visits within the facilities. It publishes its reports and recommendations on its website. The prison service also has its own internal control body: the inspection of penitentiary services.
In 2019, the inspection of penitentiary services carried out ten “thematic” checks and 25 unannounced checks. It received 333 complaints, 48 of which were deemed admissible.
The People’s Advocate may be contacted by any person via mail, e-mail, fax or by filing a request with the regional offices. The person must specify their name, address and the reasons for their request. The events in question must have occurred within the previous year. Letters addressed to the People’s Advocate do not require stamps and cannot be withheld by prison authorities.
In 2019, the People’s Advocate received 518 letters of complaint from penitentiary facilities. The complaints mainly concerned confinement conditions, food, violence in prison, as well as the use of video surveillance.