On 10 November 2018 the new Legislative Decree no. 121/2018 entered into force regulating the enforcement of adverse judgements against juvenile offenders.
The new discipline, which aims to promote accountability and re-education of prisoners, replaces the previous legislation, completely focused on the imprisonment, with the provision of alternative community criminal measures.
Community criminal measures (Art. 2) consist of alternative measures to detention, particularly focusing on the re-education and involvement of the family nucleus. The main are:
- Trial assignment to Social Services (Art. 4): where an educational program is prepared together with the social and health services;
- Home detention (art. 6): if the above trial assignment is not possible;
- Semi-liberty (art. 7): a part of the day is dedicated to educational activities.
The Juvenile Surveillance Court manages the adoption, replacement and revocation of these measures, but it will always be up to the person concerned to make the first request for adoption, as the judge will not be able to dispose of it ex officio.
With this Decree, the Italian legislator wanted to safeguard the personal and family relationships of the minor, in further respect of international institutions, which have repeatedly highlighted the inadequacy of the Italian penitentiary system with regard to the absence of alternative measures to those in custody.