CPT-visit to Portugal

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In a report on Portugal published November 2020, the Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee (CPT) once again urges the Portuguese authorities to take determined action to prevent police ill-treatment and ensure that cases of alleged ill-treatment are investigated effectively. It also proposes a series of measures to improve the treatment of prisoners, notably vulnerable prisoners.

Concerning Prison Education, they report
Caxias Prison

Prisoners were confined to their cell for up to 22 hours or more each day and had no access to education, work or vocational activities. Some of the prisoners had been held in this cell for in excess of eight months.

Porto Prison

The cramped conditions for these prisoners were exacerbated by the fact that they were confined to the unit and, due to staff shortages, had regularly not been offered outdoor exercise on a daily basis. Further, due to threats from other inmates they could not attend the gym or education. It was, on the other hand, positive that efforts were made to provide these prisoners with paid work in protected areas of the prison.

As regards Porto Prison, 447 prisoners had a job (most as a wing cleaner), 273 were enrolled in the school and 64 were undertaking a professional qualification (such as gardening, painting or as a pastry chef).

CTP recommendation

The goal should be to ensure that all prisoners (including those on remand) spend a reasonable part of the day outside of their cells (i.e. 8 hours of more) engaged in purposeful activities of a varied nature: work, preferably with vocational value; education, sport; recreation/association.