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Short Sentences Becoming a Life Sentence

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Short Sentences Becoming a Life Sentence

At times mild crimes do not correspond to "mild" punishments. We often deal with trials where the defence has been entrusted to attorneys appointed by the Court and at times exercised without the charged person knowing about the very existence of the process. There are cases of people who, because of their precarious life style and marginalisation, were not accessible and, consequently, were not aware of what was happening. In these situations only by imprisonment do they come to know the news of the outcome of the trial.

Often the sentence is long because it constitutes the sum of many smaller sentences: they are like "little life sentences" given to people who repeatedly committed small crimes during a phase of their existence, even though they later on completely changed lifestyle.

For example, in prison we also meet many young people who, having left stories of drug use and having taken up a normal life, with work and a good family, have received, after many years, sentences related to old crimes. These sentences convict them to a long confinement. Prison in these cases destroys lives that have just been resurrected and all is lost: work, wives, children, hopes, dreams. The judiciary system does not seem to take into account the achieved rehabilitation.

In prison we also come across persons accused of serious crimes that are carrying out heavy sentences. Held to be dangerous, at times they are forgotten by former friends and live a terrible experience. During the imprisonment, the young people they were have become men and women who are frequently very different from when they committed their crimes. Becoming faithful friends means supporting these persons during the length of their imprisonment, helping them not to extinguish the desire for a possible future outside prison.


I want to speak of freedom, of future. I don't just want to continue to correspond with you by mail. That is why I wish you came here as soon as you can. In the last times I have been reading a lot. I find it a very good recreation instead of remaining inert, letting the time pass over my head and worn me out, inexorably becoming just one among many.

I am trying to react through reading...

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