Admission and evaluation
All inmates are admitted to prison with a valid commitment order
Prisoners can inform their families about their imprisonment
There is a reception area for arriving prisoners
in all facilities
Prisoners are placed under observation upon arrival for up to 21 days. Prison staff examine the prisoner’s behaviour and personality, as well as the psycho-social risks they present. 1
During a visit in 2018, the CPT found that prisoners were subjected to violence when moving from the arrival ward to the general prison regime. It deplored the neglect of individuals placed in the new arrival units.
A copy of the prison regulations is made available to the prisoners
A staff member provides a booklet on the organisation of life in prison and speaks with each new prisoner to answer any questions. The prison service is required to post prison regulations on notice boards, at documentation points, on internal distribution channels and within each cell.1
Assignment criteria are not clearly communicated by the prison service. The service emphasises vulnerability factors such as sexual orientation, mental disorders, state of health, disabilities, ethnicity, the prisoner’s work history prior to imprisonment and the reason for conviction (especially for sexual offenders).1 These criteria may influence the prisoner’s assignment.
Access to rights
Prisoners can be assisted by a lawyer throughout their incarceration
Prisoners have access to a legal aid centre
The prison service is required to provide rooms for meetings between prisoners and their lawyers. Confidentiality is not always guaranteed, and prison staff are always present to maintain ‘visual surveillance’.
Deaths in custody are logged in a register
Number of deaths in custody
Deaths in 2019 were mainly due to cardiovascular disease (16) and cancer (16), HIV/AIDS infections (6) and suicide (7). Two homicides were reported. Prisoner deaths occurred in public hospitals (41.4%), prison hospitals (37.1%) and within prisons (21.4%).
Three prisoners died on 17 March 2020, due to an act of arson the arson in their cell in Satu Mare prison. All prisoners were evacuated from the facility due to the smoke. The judicial authorities conducted an investigation to establish the causes and circumstances of the fire.
Variation in the number of deaths in custody
An increase of 7.7% was observed between 2018 and 2019. The prison service recorded 65 deaths in prison in 2018.
Number of deaths attributed to suicide
Variation in the number of suicides
There was a 30% decrease between 2018 and 2019. In 2018, the prison service recorded 10 suicides in confinement.
Death rate in custody (per 10,000 prisoners)
Suicide rate in custody (per 10,000 prisoners)
National suicide rate (per 10,000 inhabitants)
The prison service must notify a judicial authority for
The prison service is also required to inform the labour inspectorate of any prisoner death that occurs while the prisoner is working in detention. Guards must ensure that the scene of the incident is preserved for the needs of the judicial investigation 1.
The prison service is required to immediately inform a prisoner’s relatives in the event of death.
In the event of a prisoner’s death, the service informs the family of the procedure for recovering the remains.
Suicide prevention policies are implemented
in some facilities
Suicide prevention workshops are occasionally organised in prisons, such as in Craiova, Gherla and Codlea in 2018. A guide on suicide is distributed to health professionals responsible for the psychological assessment of prisoners.
The CPT has voiced concern about the confinement conditions of prisoners at risk of suicide. Self-aggression and suicide attempts are subject to disciplinary sanctions, including solitary confinement1. The prison service views these acts as an attempt by prisoners to obtain ‘privileges’ (change of cell, transfer, medical prescriptions, etc.)2.
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), “Report to the Romanian government on the visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, p. 77. ↩
Romanian government, “Response to the report of the CPT on its visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, p. 141. ↩
Allegations of abuse were reported.
The U.S. Department of State noted the February 2019 indictment of several officials at Rahova Prison Hospital for mistreatment of inmates between 2015 and 2018. Its annual report highlighted the persistence of mistreatment.1
In 2018, the CPT gathered numerous allegations of mistreatment, ranging from insults to rape, during its visit to the facilities of Aiud, Gherla, Iaşi and Galaţi. In the latter, the specialised intervention corps for law and order was accused of multiple acts of physical and sexual violence. The events took place outside the field of view of surveillance cameras, mainly in stairwells and inside offices.2
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), “Report to the Romanian Government on the visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, pp. 35-41. ↩
The prohibition of torture is enshrined in the Constitution and the legislation
The United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT) was
ratified in 1990
All allegations and suspicions of ill-treatment inflicted on prisoners are logged
Medical personnel are required to inform the public prosecutor of any signs of mistreatment observed upon the arrival of a prisoner. The prosecutor can then initiate an investigation1. In 2018, the CPT reported that none of the health professionals interviewed the previous year had the necessary knowledge to diagnose cases of torture and mistreatment. The Committee also deplored the partial and sometimes non-existent recording of abuses suffered by prisoners2.
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), “Report to the Romanian government on the visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, p. 69. ↩
Number of recorded violent acts between prisoners
Data not disclosed
The CPT noted numerous cases of violence between prisoners. Abuse, sometimes sexual, was most often observed between fellow prisoners. The Committee obtained a change of cell for three prisoners who were sexually assaulted at Bacau prison. The violent acts observed did not lead to prosecution 1.
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), “Report to the Romanian government on the visit from 7 to 19 February 2018”, 19 March 2019, pp. 44-45. ↩
The prison service is implementing a policy of protection against violence between prisoners. Monitoring and information-gathering are in place with a view to reducing ‘violent behaviour’1. Facilities have protection cells to accommodate vulnerable prisoners, with placement decided by the prison head or at the prisoner’s request. Activities and movement can be organised in such a way as to avoid encounters between specific prisoners 2.
Each prison facility keeps an updated record of violence between inmates
Number of complaints filed by prisoners against the prison service
Most complaints involve the right to a living space of 4 m² per person (208 complaints), the right to own and receive certain items (54), marital rights (52) and access to care (35).
The liberty and custody judge is required to hear prisoner complaints. This judge often has an office within each facility.
National Preventive Mechanisms and other external control bodies
The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) was
ratified in 2009
An NPM has been established
yes, in 2015
Name of the NPM
The NPM has come into office
yes, in 2015
The NPM was appointed by
Structure of the NPM
The work of the People’s Advocate is supported by six collaborators, each in charge of a specific field. External specialists and human rights associations may also be called upon.
Term of office of the NPM
5 years, renewable, revocable
The NPM’s mandate is renewable once and may be revoked by Parliament.
The NPM reports are made public
The NPM publishes on its website annual reports, visit reports, recommendations and any institutional responses received.
Number of visits made by the NPM during the year
In 2019, the NPM visited ten of the country’s 45 prisons: Târgu-Jiu, Găești, Craiova Pelendava, Târgu-Mureș, Aiud, Tulcea, Giurgiu, Ploiești, Ploiești-Târgșorul Nou and Tichilești.
The legislation allows the NPM to carry out unannounced visits
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.
The NPM can monitor all prison facilities, units and premises
The NPM recommendations are effectively implemented
in some cases
The NPM conducts follow-up visits, sometimes unannounced, to see whether its recommendations have been implemented.
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)
Its reports are made public
The SPT’s “Report to the Romanian government on the visit from 7 to 19 February 2018” was made public on 19 March 2019.
The Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture (SPT) has visited the country
yes, in 2016
Its report was made public
The SPT’s “Report to the Romanian government of the visit from 3 to 12 May 2016” was made public on 29 January 2019.
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.
Sentence adjustments policies
The law provides for a sentence adjustment system
Sentence adjustments can be granted during the incarceration
The judge may grant a sentence adjustment to a prisoner, provided that any fines be paid and that the sentence does not exceed seven years. The prisoner must ’“show by their conduct an intention to make amends or to take part in community service’”. A conditional supervision period of up to several years may then be accorded by the judicial authorities.
For crimes for which the sentence does not exceed three years, a less restrictive probationary period may be granted1.
Persons sentenced to less than 10 years must have served two-thirds of the sentence before being eligible for an adjustment. Persons sentenced to more than 10 years must have served three-quarters of their sentence before being eligible. If the remainder of the sentence exceeds two years, a probationary period is generally pronounced 2.
Persons sentenced to life imprisonment are eligible for a sentence adjustment, provided they have already served 20 years in prison. The convicted person must also have demonstrated good conduct. The decision lies with the competent magistrates, who may decide on a probationary period of ten years. 3
The granting of a sentence adjustment is notably conditional on the prisoner’s ‘good conduct’. Recorded in a register, this includes participation in activities, work carried out and offences committed.
Prisoners can contest a negative decision of sentence adjustment
The law provides for a temporary release system
Permissions for temporary release may be granted for good behaviour.1
The law provides for a sentence adjustment for medical reasons
Number of prisoners who have been granted a presidential pardon or amnesty during the year
The Constitution entrusts the responsibility for declaring amnesty to the government and Parliament. The President of the Republic may grant individual pardons.