Capital city — Bucharest
Incarceration rate (per 100,000 inhabit…i
Type of government
Human Development Indexi
Homicide rate (per 100,000 inhabitants)i
Name of authority in charge of the pris…
Total number of prisonersi
Average length of imprisonment (in mont…i2020/ Council of Europe, [SPACE I – Report 2021](Conseil de l’Europe, SPACE I – Rapport 2021, p. 125.), p. 125.
Total number of prison facilitiesi
An NPM has been established
Number and percentage of female prisone…
Death penalty is abolished
Contact with the outside world
Contact with the outside world
All prisoners have the right to receive visits
Prisoners with disciplinary sanctions can be deprived of receiving visitors for a maximum period of two months.
Visits were interrupted during the Covid-19 pandemic. The four establishments visited took compensatory measures to reorganise the visiting premises and equip them with additional computers in order to offer remote visits. In addition to visits, prisoners were entitled to one hour per week of video calls with their relatives. Convicts were also entitled to a three-hour conjugal visit every three months. Prisoners who had been granted a conjugal visit would be placed in quarantine for seven days.
Adult defendants were entitled to four visits per month and minors to six visits per month, each lasting 30 minutes. All visits with a family member would be made across a window using a telephone. The CPT considered that persons in detention must have visiting rights of at least one hour each week.
In order to obtain visiting rights, visitors must make an appointment by email or telephone with the prison facility concerned. They must present an official ID.
People eligible to visit
Anyone may visit a prisoner as long as they have an authorisation from the prison director.
There are dedicated rooms for visits.
Open visits take place in common halls with tables and chairs. They can last between 30 minutes and two hours. The number of visits allowed monthly mostly depends on the prison regime:
- Prisoners under maximum security regimes can only receive three visits per month.
- Prisoners under semi-open regimes closed or awaiting transfer can receive five visits per month.
- Prisoners under open regimes can receive six visits per month.
Pregnant women, those imprisoned with their children and minors can receive up to eight visits per month.
Visitors cannot exceed two adults and two minors.
Two or more prisoners from the same family can receive the same visitors at the same time.1
Articles 138 to 142 Prison Regulations (in Romanian). ↩
Prisoners and visitors can meet without physical barriers
There is usually a physical barrier when untried prisoners or those under a maximum security or closed regime receive visitors. However, these persons can be allowed to receive visitors without barriers when authorised to do so by the prison director (for family reasons, in recompense for good behaviour, etc.).
Prisoners are allowed to receive visits from their children or minor relatives
Visitors under 14 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
Conjugal visits are allowed
Prisoners who wish to receive conjugal visits must work first or take part in social-educational activities.
Those who received disciplinary sanctions within the last six months or have been granted exit permits within the last three cannot have conjugal visits.1
Articles 145 to 147 Prison Regulations (in Romanian). ↩
Required conditions for conjugal visits
- intimate partners
Conjugal visits are allowed every three months. Intimate partners are allowed a visit of three hours. Married couples can stay up to 48 hours.
In 2019, APADOR-CH visited several areas meant for conjugal visits. Most of these areas were in good material and hygienic conditions. They are equipped with bathrooms, televisions, refrigerators and sometimes telephones.
However, the association states that among the five prisons visited, the beds and sheets in Giurgiu and Galati prisons were in poor condition.1
APADOR-CH, “Report on the visit to Giurgiu prison”, 27 March 2019; “Report on the visit to Galati prison”, 14 June 2019. ↩
Every month, visitors can bring up to 10 kilogrammes of food items that do not require cooking, an additional six kilogrammes of fresh fruits and vegetables (except for lemons) and 20 litres of water or non-alcoholic beverages.
Relatives can also send prisoners clothes, televisions (subject to the approval of the prison director), small video games (with an inbuilt screen), musical instruments, religious objects, books and pictures.
The list of prohibited items can be found as an appendix to the prison regulations.
Prisoners should be incarcerated at a location close to their home. Prison facilities are located across different parts of the country, enabling prisoners to stay close to their families. This is not always possible for minors, for whom only four prisons exist in the country.
Prisoners are allowed to exchange mail
There is no limit to the amount of mail a prisoner may send.
Mail exchanged is subject to control
A prison guard opens the letters without reading them in the presence of the prisoners. The date and the names of the sender and receiver are entered in a register.
Prisoners are allowed to receive parcels
E-mail exchange is possible
yes, under certain conditions
Some prisoners are allowed to communicate via email and video calls. [See Telephone calls.]
Prisoners are allowed to make external phone calls
Prisoners under open, semi-open or closed regimes or awaiting transfer can make ten phone calls per day, not exceeding a total period of 60 minutes.
Prisoners under maximum security regimes may make up to three phones calls per day, not exceeding a total period of 30 minutes.1
Article 133, Prison Regulations (in Romanian). ↩
In accordance with the law in force, prisoners had access to the telephone three times a week (five times for minors) for a period of 10 to 30 minutes each. Most establishments allowed calls of 25 to 30 minutes, while the establishment in Craiova only allowed calls of 10 minutes.
Landline telephones were installed in each cell from 15 March 2021 in the Buzău pre-trial detention centre. In order to make a call, prisoners must make a written request to the prison director. The prisoner’s details would be integrated into an application. A unique identification code would eb generated, and the amount of money indicated by the prisoner entered into the system. The prisoners would only be allowed to make a phone call to family members or their lawyer.
Prisoners are allowed to call
Prisoners may call up to ten local and/or foreign numbers. They have the right to contact relatives, a lawyer, a bailiff, a mediator, a diplomatic representative or third parties, subject to the agreement of the prison director.
A prisoner at Brăila Prison complained of non-compliance with the right to make calls, after numbers recorded in prisoners’ telephone directories were deleted. The prison administration ordered institutions to allow prisoners to be able to add those authorities, institutions or organizations responsible for the protection of human rights to the list of persons whom prisoners can contact by telephone.
The phones are located
- in the cells
- in the yard
- in the corridors
Phone locations depend on the prison facility.
Telephones are placed in cells in Galati, Giurgiu and Craiova prisons.1
In Miercurea Ciuc, phones are placed in the yard.2 In Târgu Jiu, they are placed in the corridors.3
Phones placed in the corridors can be used by prisoners until 6:30 p.m., while the ones in cells can be used until 9 p.m. Corridors and cells do not allow for privacy during phone calls.
APADOR-CH, “Report on the Visit to Craiova prison”, 1 July 2019. ↩
APADOR-CH, “Report on the Visit to Miercurea Ciuc prison”, 8 July 2019. ↩
APADOR-CH, “Report on the Visit to Târgu Jiu prison”, 24 June 2019. ↩
Almost all the cells visited by the CPT were equipped with a telephone. Prisoners could use it whenever they wish, up to a maximum of 10 calls and one hour per day. The telephone booths were located in the corridors and in the walking yards. According to the CPT, these provisions might offer more privacy than calls made in cells.
The cost of phone calls is in line with market prices
Prisoners must load prepaid cards for phone calls.
Prisoners in Târgu Jiu prison complain about the telephone call rate of 0.53 lei per minute. The rate is higher than that of other prisons.1
APADOR-CH, “Report on the Visit to Târgu Jiu prison“, April 2019. ↩
Those on a low-income in prison were able to make regular free phone calls. This provision was in line with a 2018 CPT recommendation.
Phones calls are wire tapped
Untried prisoners’ calls may be wiretapped.
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.
Prisoners have access to video calls with external contacts
Subject to the authorisation of the prison director, certain prisoners may be allowed by the prison service to communicate via email or video calls. The following persons are authorised:
- persons staying in prisons that are far from their relatives
- those taking part in social-educational activities, those working and those who show ‘good’ behaviour
- women Prisoners may make up to four video calls per months for a duration of 30 minutes. The conversation is confidential and takes place in a specially equipped area. It can be prolonged in case of exceptional family situations.1
Articles 134 to 136 Prison Regulation (in Romanian). ↩