emphasise that all prisoners without exception (including those undergoing cellular confinement
as a punishment) should be offered the possibility to take outdoor exercise daily. It is also axiomatic
that outdoor exercise facilities should be reasonably spacious and whenever possible offer shelter
from inclement weather.
Ready access to proper toilet facilities and the maintenance of good standards of hygiene are
essential components of a humane environment.
In this connection, the CPT must state that it does not like the practice found in certain
countries of prisoners discharging human waste in buckets in their cells (which are subsequently
“slopped out” at appointed times). Either a toilet facility should be located in cellular
accommodation (preferably in a sanitary annex) or means should exist enabling prisoners who need
to use a toilet facility to be released from their cells without undue delay at all times (including at
Further, prisoners should have adequate access to shower or bathing facilities. It is also
desirable for running water to be available within cellular accommodation.
The CPT would add that it is particularly concerned when it finds a combination of
overcrowding, poor regime activities and inadequate access to toilet/washing facilities in the same
establishment. The cumulative effect of such conditions can prove extremely detrimental to
It is also very important for prisoners to maintain reasonably good contact with the outside
world. Above all, a prisoner must be given the means of safeguarding his relationships with his
family and close friends. The guiding principle should be the promotion of contact with the outside
world; any limitations upon such contact should be based exclusively on security concerns of an
appreciable nature or resource considerations.
The CPT wishes to emphasise in this context the need for some flexibility as regards the
application of rules on visits and telephone contacts vis-à-vis prisoners whose families live far away
(thereby rendering regular visits impracticable). For example, such prisoners could be allowed to
accumulate visiting time and/or be offered improved possibilities for telephone contacts with their
Naturally, the CPT is also attentive to the particular problems that might be encountered by
certain specific categories of prisoners, for example: women, juveniles and foreigners.
Prison staff will on occasion have to use force to control violent prisoners and,
exceptionally, may even need to resort to instruments of physical restraint. These are clearly high
risk situations insofar as the possible ill-treatment of prisoners is concerned, and as such call for
A prisoner against whom any means of force have been used should have the right to be
immediately examined and, if necessary, treated by a medical doctor. This examination should be
conducted out of the hearing and preferably out of the sight of non-medical staff, and the results of
the examination (including any relevant statements by the prisoner and the doctor's conclusions)
should be formally recorded and made available to the prisoner. In those rare cases when resort to
instruments of physical restraint is required, the prisoner concerned should be kept under constant
and adequate supervision. Further, instruments of restraint should be removed at the earliest
possible opportunity; they should never be applied, or their application prolonged, as a punishment.
Finally, a record should be kept of every instance of the use of force against prisoners.