Specific complaints

In some situations you have to submit your complaint to special institutions created for dealing with a specific type of claim, such as the investigation of crimes or the assessment of the quality of medical care.

Generally, you have to submit your complaint to a specific body, when the prison administration would not be considered sufficiently qualified or independent to review your complaint, and when there are other institutions created for the examination of such types of claims. 

The most common exceptions to the general procedure are:

Complaints about a crime committed by a fellow inmate

If a fellow inmate has committed a crime against you, it will be examined by an investigator who is usually a member of the prison staff. This investigation will be carried out according to the Criminal Procedure Law. If you believe that a crime has been committed against you, you should alert the prison staff or the head of the prison. They should pass that information on further to the official responsible or to the investigator. 

Complaints about violence from prison staff

If you have been involved in a violent conflict with prison staff, it will be investigated by the Internal Security Bureau. You should write directly to the Internal Security Bureau or submit your complaint to the head of the prison. He/she must forward your application further to the Internal Security Bureau. 

Complaints about the ineffective investigation of a crime in prison

If another inmate commits a crime against you and you believe that the crime has not been investigated properly by the prison investigator – e.g. criminal proceedings have not been initiated, when they should have been, or the investigation is ineffective or inappropriate – you should complain about this to the prosecutor.

Crimes or violence committed by prison officers will be investigated by the Internal Security Bureau. If you believe that a crime has not been investigated properly, you should complain about it to the supervising prosecutor.

If you do not know which prosecutor to write to, you can simply address your complaint to the prosecution in general. Your complaint will be forwarded to the relevant official within the prosecution.

Complaints about the quality of medical care

If you believe that the medical care provided to you was insufficient or inappropriate, or the doctor did not fulfil his/her obligations properly, you should submit a complaint to the Health Inspectorate.  

You can further appeal the decision of the Health Inspectorate to the director of the Health Inspectorate and subsequently, to the Administrative Court. This procedure is described in the Regulation of Health Inspectorate

Complaints about conditions at work

If you are employed in prison either by a state institution or a private employer, all disputes related to employment are to be resolved according to the procedure set out in the Civil Procedure Law and in the Labour Law. You may also submit a complaint to the State Labour Inspectorate.

Complaints about the poor quality of food

If you receive bad quality food (for example, expired products or an inappropriately prepared meal etc.) or the portions are too small, you should first complain to the head of the prison.  

If the head of the prison cannot or does not solve the problem, you can complain further to the Food and Veterinary Service. The service will have to carry out an examination of the quality of the food you receive and establish whether it is appropriate or not. If necessary, the Food and Veterinary Service can order the prison to ensure that the food given to you is of an appropriate quality. 

Human Rights Guide

A European platform for human rights education