The conditions in prison must be such as to allow you to lead a normal life as much as possible. Minimum living standards must be guaranteed to sustain your physical and psychological well-being. This means that basic conditions like appropriate space, light, food, clothes and hygiene must be provided.

Even though imprisonment deprives a person of his or her liberty, prisoners do not lose their human rights and retain the right to live a normal life as much as possible. A stay in prison may bring a certain level of distress and a feeling of vulnerability. Therefore, the conditions in prison should not cause or contribute to additional suffering. 

This means that the physical conditions, such as the space and temperature in the cell, must be appropriate. The prison staff must also provide for your basic needs, such as food, clothes, hygiene, access to light and fresh air.


In France, the details and standards of these conditions are explained in the French Penitentiary Code and  in the internal regulations of each place of deprivation of liberty.

About this section

This section of the Guide will explain what the minimum standards of living are for ensuring your physical and psychological well-being. In addition, it explains how inappropriate living conditions may lead to a violation of your human rights, such as inhumane or degrading treatment.


Last updated 26/07/2023