Comptroller General of Prisons: How to seize it?

Verified 27 January 2021 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

The Supervisor-General of Places of Deprivation of Liberty (CGLPL) ensures that the fundamental rights of persons deprived of their liberty are respected. He's independent. It has the power to inspect all places of deprivation of liberty by the authorities: prisons, police cells, psychiatric hospitals, detention centers, etc. The Controller may be seized by persons deprived of liberty or by a person who has knowledge of a violation of their rights.

The GLPL may refer to a person who is confined or placed in one of the following locations:

The LRBMC may be seized by the following:

  • Person deprived of liberty, whether or not a minor or a foreign national
  • Relatives or close relatives of a person deprived of liberty
  • Lawyer of a person deprived of liberty
  • Witness
  • Staff member involved in the establishment
  • Association or a legal person having as its object the respect of fundamental rights
  • Government, parliamentarians or other independent administrative authority

It may also decide to take up the matter on its own initiative.

The GLPL may receive a report for the following reasons:

  • Violation of the fundamental rights of a person deprived of liberty or who has been deprived of liberty recently (right to privacy, right to a lawyer...)
  • Poor conditions of police custody, detention or hospitalization of a person (conditions of hygiene, food...)
  • Improper functioning of a prison or health unit receiving persons hospitalized without their consent. For example, if a prisoner cannot access a doctor.

By mail

The GLPL can be entered by simple mail.

Who shall I contact

It is not possible to make an anonymous report. The mail must be signed. However, the name of the person who made the report will not be disclosed by the GLPL.


if a person in prison writes, the mail cannot be controlled by the institution.

In physical maintenance

A person who is locked up, his relatives or the staff of the establishment may meet the CGLPL during one of his visits to the establishment concerned. These interviews are confidential.

Reception desks are displayed in the establishment and in the family reception rooms.

Who shall I contact

The GLPL sends a visit report to the ministers concerned by the place of deprivation in question.

If it considers it necessary, it makes recommendations to improve the situation.

It may decide to make these reports public.

In the event of a violation, the CGLPL may make a report to the public prosecutor. It may also refer to disciplinary proceedings public officials involved in the violation of the fundamental rights of detainees.