The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 135:14) states that one should not bring a Sefer Torah into a prison.:

"בני אדם החבושים בבית האסורין אין מביאי' אצלם ס"ת אפילו בר"ה ויה"כ: הגה והיינו דוקא בשעת הקריאה לבד אבל אם מכינים לו ס"ת יום או יומים קודם מותר ואם הוא אדם חשוב בכל ענין שרי :"

It seems logical that this would also apply to other holy objects like Tefillin. What are the reasons a Sefer Torah is not allowed in a prison? And therefore, for example, if the reason is that a prison is an unclean place, then it should also apply to tefillin, right?

  • the reasoning isn't about "unclean" but about the kavod for the sefer Torah which should have people go to it. But there is sizable argument over whether one should not bring the torah -- some say you should for a minyan, others say not to. The Ramo says that one should bring it a day or two before to establish it there so it isn't being denigrated by being schlepped in. – rosends Nov 25 at 4:09
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    This Shu"A does not apply to our prisons that have a stand-alone shul. THe only question is whether the Teffilin can be put in a cell that has a lavatory. As the water is flushed and the place cleaned, and there's no bad smell, it is still a Machlokes, but some do allow to put Teffilin in a cell. – Al Berko Nov 25 at 12:20

I don't know why you try to infer Teffilin from Sefer Torah. Shu"A brings those Halochos explicitly in O"H Siman 43, please read it if you want to see the details.

The bottom line, if the cell has an open toilet it is still allowed to put Teffilin and read Krishm"A. Some may behave more stringently either covering the open toilet with a blanket or covering the Teffilin with Kippah and staying 4 Amos away (2 meters).

Keep in mind that the בית הכסא the Mechaber is talking was just a pit full of excrements, not the contemporary water-flushed toilets.

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