The situation of the usage of the mother tongue in jails is virtually inexistent, in spite of the fact that there are carcer institutions in Romania, where the number of the Hungarian inmates exceed 20%, for example Miercurea Ciuc, Targu Mures, Codlea jails.
In these institutions Hungarian cannot be used nor verbally, nor in written form, inmates have no access to Hungarian television posts (otherwise available in the offer of almost every cable company operating in Transylvania), nor are they allowed to listen to local Hungarian radio stations.
They cannot ask for Hungarian teachers, priests or psychological help. While according to the law they are entitled to use their mother tongue among each other, in reality if they do so, they get punished for it. Due to the usage of the Hungarian language the prison authorities do not protect inmates from the abuse suffered from other prisoners.
Our organization has been sought out by Hungarian inmates in Romanian jails, complaining about not having been allowed to speak on their mother tongue. They are forced to write all letters to their family members in Romanian, even in spite of the fact that very often they do not speak or write well in Romanian. Hungarian inmates suffer abuse from the jail administration as well as other inmates, such abuse being the result of their ethnicity and mother tongue. Inmates should be allowed to converse and correspond on their mother tongue, however this is strictly forbidden in Romanian jails. Also, Hungarian inmates who have turned to our organization have complained that if they formulate the violation of their linguistic rights to the prison authorities, they have to complete their full sentence, they are not released earlier for good behavior.